Comics that analyze the mind and the human condition are comics that continue to bring me back each month nowadays: something about the introspection is always intriguing to me. Looking inwards is often refreshing when so much of media is focused on threats from outside, external enemies and goals. And indie comics, and in this case Monkeybrain Comics, have been helping to deliver some fantastic creator-owned comics in this area.

The Story: Shane is living a nightmare. Acting as the sheriff of Carpenter Cove, an island of monsters, dragons, giants, and flying motorcycles, things couldn’t be worse than they are. Shane has little memory of his life before Carpenter Cove, what little he remembers haunting his thoughts as he moves through the town. But he is there for a reason, not a projection of Max’s mind. And he’ll stop at nothing to find out why. Because Carpenter Cove isn’t real.

Max Johnson is an agent. A killer. And Carpenter Cove is his mind. It’s a world created by the organization that employs him with the goal of extracting information from Max’s mind through his memories. Populated with people from the people throughout Max’s life, the island town is filled with details of the places he’s traveled to, the imaginings from his childhood, the different aspects of his personality, and the people he’s met.

But everything changes when Shane discovers his son is in Carpenter Cove.

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Ryan K Lindsay, whose work we’ve seen on this site before in Deer Editor, creates an incredibly gripping story in the revelations of Sheriff Shane. Separated from the life he knew and thrown into the mind of a hardened killer, Shane slowly pieces together bits of his life outside the further he delves into Max’s mind.  With Shanes strong ties to his son and his identity as a father and a law enforcement officer, Lindsay creates moment after moment of revelations for the characters and more than a couple truly heart-wrenching scenes.

Agent Max Johnson’s story is somewhat less compelling, and is unfortunately a large portion of the comic.  From the outset, he is nothing more than a hardened killer, willing to do the unthinkable in order to accomplish his mission. But the deeper Shane goes into Max’s mind, the more Max’s actions are seen to have repercussions in the world of Carpenter Cove. I’m sure as the story progresses, both Max and his goals will be more fleshed out. As Shane delves deeper, we as readers are sure to discover more about both Shane and Max.

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The Art: by Eric Zawadzki and Sebastian Piriz is pretty outstanding. With memories and monsters walking the streets of Max’s subconscious, Carpenter Cove is a strange and often terrifying place. From freak tidal waves and storms to dragons and zombies, Shane has a lot to deal with during his investigation. But often it is the small things in the artwork that really get me.  A terrified glance, a brief interaction between characters, or a look of complete sorrow and hopelessness on a characters face when they’re faced with an incomprehensible memory.

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Likewise, color work by Zawadzki and Marissa Louise is equally excellent. Unlike a lot of comics out there, Headspace has a very limited color pallet. While this could be limiting, Zawadzki and Louise put it to good use. The color palette in this case is used fantastically to highlight characters, objects, and sound effects fantastically, making for some stunning images.

If you’re looking for an emotional story set in the veritable playground of the subconscious, Headspace is the comic for you. While the comic seems a bit split between Shane and Max’s stories, the developments in and outside of Max’s mind promise an amazing story to come.

Headspace is available for purchase on Comixology.

About The Author

Long time fan of comic books, video games, and movies. Zander is often no where to be found because he's marathoning movies and tv shows or playing video games till all hours of the night as most disillusioned twenty-somethings are wont to do. Polar opposites are the game: action/comedies and dramas, FPS games and turn-based strategy, science fiction and historical fiction. Why pick one thing when there are so many good things?

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