Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

ymmv .13 – I Haven’t Written a Goddamn Thing

One month down and I haven’t written a damn thing.

Well, that’s what it feels like anyway. I didn’t actually script a full page of comics in January, which makes me feel icky and lazy and stupid and crazy. But I have been writing.

ymmv .13 – I Haven’t Written a Goddamn Thing [LINK]

This column is the sort of thing I didn’t think I’d be writing. It’s a peek into perceived failures, and also what the role of a writer really is. It’s not even something I like to think about because I love scripting and all the rest can feel like work sometimes.

I guess writing is a job and not some creative job where I ride a unicorn to my rainbow office in the sky.

NEGATIVE SPACE #3 Reviews

negative space 3NEGATIVE SPACE #3 landed on Jan 27. The penultimate issue in our mini at Dark Horse from Owen Gieni, Ryan Ferrier, Daniel Chabon, and myself, we were super proud of this issue and so elated that the press/reviews were just as glowing.

If you haven’t got a copy yet be sure to ask your LCS, or hit us up on ComiXology [LINK]

Jack Johnston at We The Nerdy gave us a stellar 10/10 [LINK], saying “Negative Space issue three barrels out of the gate and with a dense atmosphere and memorable characterisation, immediately proves to me that Negative Space will be my top series of 2016 as it was 2015.

Ian Dawe at Sequart gave a glowing review [LINK], saying “Besides everything else, Negative Space is its own form of therapy. And one heck of an entertaining read.

Andrew McGlinn at Big Comic Page gave us a 4.5/5 [LINK] saying, “Negative Space is probably one of the most emotive comics I have ever read.

Ed Garrett at TMStash gave us 9/10 [LINK], saying “NEGATIVE SPACE is beautifully strange and wonderful, with excellent artwork by Owen Gieni.

Chris Beveridge at The Fandom Post gave us an A- [LINK], saying “I find myself just wanting to pore over [Owen Gieni’s] artwork across far larger forms to really soak up the details and colors.

Benjamin Bailey put us on the Pull List over on the Nerdist site [LINK], saying “Bizarre, monstrous, and oddly heartfelt, Negative Space just might be the sleeper hit of the year.

Autin Lanari at Comic Bastards gives us a full 5/5 [LINK], saying “The fact that what will probably amount to the MAJOR plot point of this entire story revolves around a goddamn bottle opener is excellent.

Dan Seitz at Uproxx listed us at #3 of the Top 20 comics for the week [LINK], saying “Never has a story with the moral “think positive” been so outright disturbing.

Gregory Paul Silber at AIPT! gave us 9.5/10 [LINK], saying “I never would have suspected that a comic that takes depression so seriously would make me this happy.

Johnny Hughes at Comic Crusaders gave us a 4.5/5 [LINK], saying “Ryan K. Lindsay continues to excel in this character driven type of story.”

Bhavna Bakshi at Comic Wow! gave us 10/10 [LINK], saying “This is a damn good issue that adds to an already amazing series. Trust me, you’ll love it.

As always, thank you for digging the book, for tweeting about it, for waiting for it. It means the world to us, and also:

If you are suffering from depression, please hit THIS LINK to see the access you have to support. No one has to suffer alone. We are here to help you.

RKL Annotations – NEGATIVE SPACE #3

NEGATIVE SPACE #3 is late. There’s no two ways about it. It’s a new year and a whole month in and you are only just getting your mitts on this beast. We are all crazy proud of this issue so we thank you for holding on and dipping back into the waters with us.

negative space 3Owen Gieni continues to drop serious A-levels of game and heat in this book so it’s an eyeball feast, and Ryan Ferrier is the letter we need AND the one we deserve.

This is a process post where I try to open up how we broke the eggs for this omelette but it usually devolves into my just gushing about Owen’s work. I hope my weepy collaborator love helps you somehow, let’s dive in.

COVER

Love the fact this is so crucial to the issue/story and yet doesn’t really exactly spoil what’s going on.

Also love the crazy violence peppered throughout the whole thing. We went from one very central image for #1, to a smattering of subtle word things for #2, and now this is just a visual buffet the more you dive into it.

PAGE 1

There’s a joke on this page, you see it, right?

It’s not even that good a joke but I really just wanted to keep it because it’s beyond absurd and so it’s a hint to the whole tone of this thing. Even when it’s serious, and bad, there is time for this moment to occur.

It’s also totally a SAGA style opening splash, no bones about it. Complete swipe.

PAGE 2

Beta makes with some serious James Remar info-dumping to open the issue. Womp.

Poor Guy, so sad, so committed to talking out loud to himself to keep us all on track.

PAGE 3

The way Owen handles Guy’s expression completely sells this whole ‘using a tentacle on a mask to mimic putting a hand up to someone’s mouth to shut them up’ moment.

Pretty much just every way Owen handles this weird landscape and the Evorah in it proves he’s worth more to this book than I ever was or could be. He’s playing with a lot of pieces and he’s making it all work like crazy.

PAGE 4

I’m worried this sequence is plodding but I’m realising it’s just metered tone when taken as part of the whole story. This is my ebb before we get to some serious flow right into the finale of this issue.

All of this is set up for what happens ahead and so I’m glad I took my time here.

Also, look at Beta turn nasty and almost burnt in her blackness in that middle panel. That’s some colour as storytelling stuff going on right there.

PAGE 5

You should get a sense of just how pig-headed and stupid and doomed Guy is from this page and how he handles himself here.

The way this random Evorah shuffles into the room but then doesn’t quite see Guy yet is so superbly well placed and handled by Owen. This sequence was hard to write, and I thought I might’ve blown it, but he really brings it all home. That transition between the final two panels really sells the split second moment Guy has before he’s completely screwed.

Also, that child’s skeleton on the table is totally all Owen. Blame. Him.

PAGE 6

Pretty certain that first panel of Guy wrapped up by some tentacles is completely all Owen and it’s so damn effective. Makes it look like he’s been stitched up, but then you see it’s a showdown…and he’s being saved by Beta. The way she holds him down and leans right over the table is just pure perfect Gieni body language. This is masterful in every sense of the term.

Also, take in them Ryan Ferrier scribble balloons. So ace.

PAGE 7

Beta is so confident, so forward, and she’s literally dragging Guy into it all. And there’s no small metaphor that he’s being taken into and down an unknown black whole.

And that bottom panel of Guy swimming forward to this unknown is one of my favourite panels of this book. If ever there was a Depressionaut, this is he.

PAGE 8

Guy is lost, Beta is too quick, and we all quickly see just where this is all taking place and that the unknown is a scary and ridiculous place.

It’s also so cool to know that when you ask Owen for bioluminescent bubbles then it is exactly what you are going to get. This is an example of writing right into the strength of the artist.

PAGE 9

This is the false beat before the real BOOM.

Wish I could’ve tweaked the dialogue some more on this page, it just doesn’t pop as much as the others.

PAGE 10

This, man, THIS is just far too much fun. Owen obviously throws himself headlong into every square inch of this book and this is wild proof right here. Look at this thing? I had an idea, linked to a YouTube clip, I gave some suggestions, but this right here is beyond my brain. Look into those eyes and despair. Owen Gieni just drained your soul.

PAGE 11

This turning point for Guy was one of those sad gags I had to throw at him. The fact he’s about to die and instead one of these giants is going to just suck on him like an emotional everlasting gobstopper and could you imagine anything worse in your life? This is why my characters would gang up and mutilate me if they ever gained independent sentience, I’m no good for them at all.

Owen took that Evorah hugging panel and just gave it everything, didn’t he? This one panel is just pure high art right in the middle of the page. And if you look closer, you’ll see Beta struggling to open it up and her body language is again on point.

PAGES 12 + 13

Double page spread klaxoooon.

An emotional vista, and I wasn’t sure it’d work, but then Owen just comes along and slays it like it ain’t no thing. It’s almost like a picture book for just a moment, a dark, haunting, terrible book for kids about why life sucks. From top left to the promise of life to the bottom right and the ‘real’ promise of life, the only promise it can offer, that it ends, and this page actually gets to me a little.

Though I didn’t realise how well this spread would go down. The reviews loved the shit out of this and I thank them for it.

There’s even this weird little colour scheme thing going on that makes me think/feel INSIDE OUT a little and that’s just too damn fine.

I’m also quietly proud of the device at the bottom where we see the happiness bomb charge and it’s exposition but silent. You still have to piece all of this together, keep thinking, keep up.

PAGE 14

The layout on this page is nuts, the colours, the way we move through the motions. Guy smiling is weird enough but this cropped image of him makes it even more ghastly, a rictus of depression.

I love Guy’s body language as he tears into this beast, he’s so victorious. And the colour draining from the Evorah as they change emotion is something Owen just completely nails.

As for the echo of lines in this page from the last, where I flip the meaning, yeah, you know I’m quietly proud of that – though not silent, I’m still gonna tell you.

PAGE 15

This is a page of complex human emotions. I want you to still hold them, feel them, and yet still not fully understand. Because who actually understands human emotions, we are insane, erratic, flippant. That’s what makes us so beautiful sometimes, and it’s really something I want to try and write.

PAGE 16

“This is how angels must feel.” is one of those lines I wasn’t sure would get through but I knew I’d fight for it, though this was completely unnecessary. It stayed through every draft, never questioned, and I’m still really glad with how simply it sums up Guy’s feelings as he essentially annihilates a bunch of creatures.

And how good does that annihilation look against that green? Bloody ripper.

PAGE 17

War is hell and we all lose. Guy’s boot hitting that dead Evorah shell kinda says it all for me. And that Ferrier SFX in there is perfect to make you feel the split second moment.

Beta’s dialogue is so much fun to write, but even more fun against the droll sensibility of Guy. He never reacts or gives anything away and tone doesn’t play on the page against a back and forth so you need to bring a lot to it but if you do, and you get it right, then these two are so fun against each other. Beta never seems to pic up on Guy’s feelings, which is hilarious for an emotionally charged species. I guess happiness drowns and blinds you – which is completely true, btw.

PAGE 18

Owen’s layout on this coda page for the battle just makes me smile. It’s all a pause, a breath, and it leads into that final beat of the issue. These pages are important because you get interplay, you get set up, and you get to slingshot into what comes next.

PAGE 19

Because of course Rick is a mansplainer. And these two are just as much fun to write as the Beta/Guy pairing and that’s been really fun in this book, figuring out how to pair characters up to bring out the best in them all.

This page is filler, kinda, but it’s insight, and it’s also a pause, but it works because we gave Guy/Beta the pause so now Rick/Briggs get one too right before the end. I like getting these pages when I can, to let the characters play and shine. You can’t always show them within the action so you find the beats.

It was Owen who brought the sight gag of Briggs trying to pry Rick off the tablet, which I think plays well to show how absurd this all is. It’s weighted, it’s dark, it all means something, but it’s also batguano absurd, which you have to be fine with.

PAGE 20

It was important for me to have Guy stand up to Rick, and Kindred, verbally first. This isn’t a sneak attack, this is him really stepping up and doing what he is doing. Cutting Rick off came as a happy accident because I couldn’t think of a good Bond villain entrance for him but then realised Guy wouldn’t stand for it anyway, he’s got to do what’s coming.

PAGE 21

And here comes the realisation for us all, the reason Guy survived down there was because the thought of dying just filled him with such goddamn happiness. There was glee in the thought he was so close to the end. It kinda backfired when it killed the creature that would kill him and so then he’s actually not going to die, but it’s what awakens in him the knowledge of how all this emotional malarkey works, and he’s going to go out with a bang, and that kind of agency is important in a suicidal person. It certainly is in Guy.

It was always really important to me that even at this stage of the tale we have Guy still be suicidal. He’s not cured, this isn’t him fixed. And then we have him use this weird happiness over his own death emotional whirlpool to attack Kindred. This is where his arc is going.

PAGE 22

This is just a page to behold. I was initially going to hold it over until the next issue but Chabon convinced me to have it here and he’s so right, it’s a killer ending. Because – and I cough out some clickbait – you won’t believe what happens next. We still have one full issue to make all of this count, and count it all certainly does.

But, again, look at this page. Just…thank you Messers Gieni+Ferrier.

And this is where the final chickens come home to roost for everyone. One. Issue. To. Go.

Thank you for getting down on this issue. I hope you dug it. Though if you’re reading this I doubt you’re the kind to go this far into hate-reading a comic. I guess.

Indie comics live and die on readers caring, so thank you for taking the time. It means the world to all of us at NEGATIVE SPACE HQ. Stick around, see what drops next month to wrap all of these shenanigans up, which I guarantee you is a worthy and gut-kicking finale to the whole mess.

And remember: if you are suffering from depression, please hit THIS LINK to see the access you have to support. No one has to suffer alone. We are here to help you.

ymmv .12 – #366stories

I’ve been writing down a story idea a day for every day so far in 2016 and it’s one of the craziest and wildest and most fun resolutions I’ve ever made. It’s also getting me to pump out a tonne of dreck, so that’s fun too. I wrote about it in the latest ymmv over at Loser City so I could boil down how the process is working, why it matters, and what I came up with in the first 10 attempts.

ymmv .12 – #366stories [LINK]

This column is a fair bit of a process insight, which was fun, and I hope you get something out of it, and maybe you’re even doing the #366stories thing on your own, and if so then it’s hats off to you, lemme know how it goes for you.

Enjoy.

RKL Annotations – LITTLE MAN IN THE BIG HOUSE: BIG

Read/download LITTLE MAN IN THE BIG HOUSE: BIG free at Challenger Comics – LINK

I came up with the initial conceit for this book way back in 2012. I wanted to do a story set in a prison for supercriminals, cape villains, and that was where I started. From there, I spent a while breaking story. I thought this would be a mini. I had my lead character, Macbeth, and I knew he’d have the power to shrink, but from there I kept following dead end alleys. I had good set pieces, one ripping action sequence, but the story never clicked for me.

So I eventually shelved it.

If it isn’t working, dump it. After a while – and this was a while – you are throwing good money after bad. So the story got shelved but the idea continued to percolate – as ideas tend to do.

A little while later, it came to me – run this character, this setting through some short stories. It all seemed so right and in quick succession two scripts poured out of me. The first one, Macbeth’s first day on the job, is the one you’ve probably just read. And I must say that all of this in a short does make much more sense to me. It gets to be more flippant, more action packed, more grindhouse, more fun. I don’t generally write ‘action’ stories [my wheelhouse is generally the weepy fatherhood emotional world] and so to just let loose and write a shower brawl and NOT worry about the symbolism of it was pretty bloody ace. And wait’ll you see the fight in the second story, being illustrated right now.

So despite this not being a ‘deep’ comic [and, well, maybe because it is just some sweet sweet action], I thought it could be interesting to delve into how this comic was made and what we were trying to do. We hope you dig.

Screenshot 2016-01-22 14.09.39COVER

Eric Zawadzki is a cover god. I went to him as my very first choice to cover this story and he did not disappoint in the slightest. He actually came through with a different thumbnail, and it was pretty good, but being the guy he is he wasn’t happy enough with it so he retooled and then this came out. And isn’t it gorgeous?

We get a sense of Macbeth’s look, as well as his size, and the location, all in this moody image that represents it all so damn well. I also think those tentacles might have been a post-thumb addition and Eric was totally right about it.

This is how to launch a new character/story/world – thank you, Eric.

CREDITS PAGE

Look at Ferrier’s design on this page! Look at this little Macbeth upside down in the top right. This is so keeping in tone with everything I want this project to be, Ferrier is a genius.

PAGE 1

Opening silent splash was a bold choice, but once this page came in I shuffled the captions and words and knew this was how it had to be. It’s such a great image from Paul, and if you consider it launching out at you, no context, no sound, no idea, then I hope it’s an attention grabber. And then we fly into the meat of things.

I wrote and rewrote this page dozens of times. No hyperbole, dozens of times. Getting the balance right – I like the left and the right of my page to often hold balance. It feel it tempers out the ideas and pacing better. I probably couldn’t explain it without sounding crazy.

Then I kept rewiring the ending because initially Macbeth’s family die and this propels him to the new job and as Paul’s art came in I realised how goddamn dumb this was. How terrible, really. Why did he need this motivation to make this change? It was lazy, shitty, lazy writing. So I changed it to be the – somewhat better – idea that he was worried his superheroics might put a target on his family’s head and so he’s avoiding that possible outcome by getting out of the game.

This is probably just as bad but I couldn’t introduce his wife and daughter on Page One and have them dead by the last panel of that page. It wasn’t needed so I made the change. i hope it works. I know I want to use his family in future stories so that should work.

PAGE 2

That establishing shot is so gorgeous.

Flinders is a figure from Australian history. I love using Australian names in my work.

I also rewrote the first two panel’s worth of captions a tonne of times before getting them just right, and I’m finally happy with what I have – which often isn’t the outcome of too much rewriting, sometimes then you are never happy.

The visual of Macbeth is pretty well based of my brother, a prison guard in far north Australia. Short, stocky, heavy, imposing, so it was cool to have a character come from him in this respect.

The Warden is our James Remar with the expos dump, but at least he gets to say “The situation’s shape, indeed, is a pear.” which in my mind makes him sound exactly like Nixon.

PAGE 3

This Warden is so useless, he’s all reaction, not a leader. He cracks me up.

The gag of Macbeth enlarging the paper was something I wasn’t sure would work but when it pushes right into old mate’s face, and he doesn’t budge, and it pushes his nose aside, it’s such a silent moment, and it’s so funny to me.

I also wanted this page to both set up the story’s mission as well as play back story for Macbeth. This took a lot to write to pace well so it wasn’t too lumpy.

PAGE 4

More set up on the situation, and then we get eyes into the scene. As far as things go, this page is perfunctory, and I’m not smart enough to know how to do it better.

And it’s beyond the set up and character, now we introduce the foil of the piece – Hard.

PAGE 5

Went through a tonne of ways to show Hard as a character as well as exactly what he’s been doing in Cell Block D. Hooper’s tone of voice pleases me for exposition, he’s an annoyed suit, that’s fun in this situation.

PAGE 6

This is one of my favourite pages I’ve ever written. I always saw it in my head and tried to script it well, and then Paul just knocked it out of the stadium and into the ionosphere.

This is the selling shot, this is the tone I’m after. Glorious. Put this into the Top 10 Pages I’ve Ever Written List, and it’s silent which makes me happy. I got out of the way, yay.

PAGE 7

Paul goes crazy on the colours and this fight scene goes psychedelic. I love the way he shows Macbeth using size manipulation, it’s so clear and cool.

Took me ages to choreograph this in my mind before scripting it. Fight scenes are hard to do, you gotta read a million other comic fight scenes before you script to get that flow going just right.

PAGE 8

More fight choreography. Mostly just trying to use his size skills in a cool way. Chopping off hands and then enlarging to make a big sorta bolo-boomerang was fun. I toyed with the idea of having him cut the dude’s head off but that’s just a repeat of the hands cut off, and he really shouldn’t be killing people in there. Non-lethal force and all that.

BOUSHK is one of my new favourite SFX.

PAGE 9

The initial script of this had Macbeth beating on Hard and he just repeats the word “YIELD!”

Then I saw Jonathan Hickman use that in an issue of Avengers just a few months later. Took me ages to come up with something new, bastard.

Though I dig Hard saying “Nope.” so straight up. In my mind, he’s Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read in a big degree.

PAGE 10

I snuck one YIELD in, figured it wouldn’t hurt here. And the idea is Macbeth’s gigantic body can produce one hell of a giant voice. Don’t ask me how the science on that one works, it’s a story.

PAGE 11

Octo-Kid is such a lame ass.

PAGE 12

I wanted the Warden to be so useless that despite all the victory and things occurring on his own CCTV, he wasn’t watching, he was having a sandwich.

Tried to tie in this whole ‘big’ aspect to the issue, from them asking for big solutions, and him asking if it’s ‘Big enough for ya?’ It’s not a big thing but I tied back to it when I could.

The final panel was initially silent but I dropped that caption in so everyone knew the story was over, because I worry about stuff like that.

So I hope you dug this. Someone just this very second described this book as ‘The Atom meets an 80s low budget prison film’ and that’s perfectly what I was going for. This is comics as fun. And I love that we can leave the story online but also offer a PDF. That sort of thing excites me when I see it in the wild so I like to give in return.

Macbeth will return in ‘THE MASSIVE’ hopefully later this year, the issue is being knocked out now by another artist and it’s another fight bonanza of fun. And it needs less expos set up, so it’s a real rumble.

And also make sure you noodle around the Challenger Comics site because it’s full of all sorts of really ace things. Some of my favourite short comics are on there, enjoy [LINK]

Order NEGATIVE SPACE tpb and CHUM #1 now!

Please :]

Screenshot 2016-01-23 16.02.33NEGATIVE SPACE gets a tpb collection of the whole mini from Dark Horse, feat. my writing, Owen Gieni’s art, and Ryan Ferrier’s letters. It’s the entire story for $14.99 the order code is JAN160171 and I think you’re going to like it. Hell, you might even love it.

NEGATIVE SPACE made the Best of 2015 list at Comic Bastards and Loser City, and reviewers have said:

Greg Silber at Adventures in Poor Taste gave us 9.5/10 [LINK], saying “Negative Space is the most promising new science fiction series I’ve encountered since Saga.”

James Ferguson at Horror Talk gave us 4.5/5 [LINK], saying “Negative Spaceis a damn near perfect first issue.”

Jason at Brutal Gamer gave us 9/10 [LINK], saying “Dark Horse’s newest foray into the world of horror and the supernatural comes along with one of the most interesting main character’s and plot lines that I’ve read pretty much ever.”

Raisa at Florida Geek Scene gave us 9.7/10 [LINK], saying “One of the most engaging, creative, and well-executed books I have read to date.”

Ian Dawe at Sequart stepped in with some love [LINK] saying “I’ve rarely seen a braver book about depression.”

Austin Lanari at Comic Bastards gave us a mighty 5/5 [LINK] saying “I can’t think of another book where the art is this unique and aesthetically pleasing.”

Emma Houxbois at The Rainbow Hub gave us 9/10 [LINK] saying” What they seem to understand better than most is that truly effective horror storytelling isn’t about succumbing to nihilistic impulses, it’s about how harrowing it can be to resist them.”

Gregory L. Reece at Pop Matters gives us 9/10 [LINK] saying “In the midst of all that sadness, however, I find myself laughing through the tears.”

I’m wildly proud of this book, it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done, and I hope you can get out there, tell your LCS how good it is, or how much you dug it, or how much you want it, and that would be greatly appreciated.

And if you want to know more about the book in detail, scope these interviews about it:

I chat with leo Johnson at Multiversity Comics [LINK]

I chat with Cardner Clark at CBR [LINK]

I chat with Polo Lonergan at Nerd Underground [LINK]

I chat with Alexander Lu at Comics Bulletin[LINK]

We also scored an ace interview with James Leask over at Comics Alliancewhere I got asked some very on point questions, enjoy [LINK]

And remember:If you are suffering from depression, please hit THIS LINK to see the access you have to support. No one has to suffer alone. We are here to help you.

Screenshot 2016-01-21 15.22.04CHUM #1 begins my surf noir miniseries at ComixTribe with Sami Kivelä art, Mark Dale colours, Nic J Shaw letters, Dan Hill edits, and a reg cover by Sami with a variant cover by Vic Malhotra —>

It’s a 22 page debut issue, with back matter by me, for $3.99 and the order code is: FEB161340

This book is my ode to old Gold Medal crime paperbacks and the sort of things Phillips/Brubaker, and Swierczynski do so well.

Summer Stanwyck is trapped. She tends bar on the island she grew up on, the local cop is about to become her ex-husband, and she’s wasting time screwing the local reefer kingpin. But when a bag full of cash and drugs appears, she sees a way out… and anyone who gets in her way is shark bait.

CHUM is “Pulp Fiction on the sand,” a surf noir story straight off the drugstore paperback rack that will ruin your faith in people.

If you are curious enough to check out more about the book, you can download a Preview Digital Ashcan that’s 24 pages of CHUM glory, feat. 7 story pages, all the covers from Sami, some process pages about inks, and other fantasticality that’ll prove you need this book in your life.

DOWNLOAD THE CHUM PREVIEW ASHCAN NOW – LINK

Plus, and let’s get personal here, ComixTribe is a nascent publisher, and one with a quality foot in the door with AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE… and OXYMORON: THE LOVELIEST NIGHTMARE and EXIT GENERATION among their back catalogue. I’m excited to forge ahead with them, and make new ground, and if we do things right I stand to become the best selling ComixTribe book in history. Please help me make that happen.

Get on the horn to your LCS, tell them that ‘surf noir’ is an insta-buy for you and your mates, show them pages of Sami+Mark on art and make them understand this is some pretty business. Or just preorder your book which gives your LCS enough information to know that if one person like it enough to preorder then 2 might dig it on the rack, so they order up.

Indie comics are a game of small numbers, and every damn reader on this book matters to me, so have a think, a cup of tea, and then know you will want this story of a femme fatale doing anything to get off this island.

LITTLE MAN IN THE BIG HOUSE – BIG Free to Read/Download

Just a quick blast to let you know that I’ve got a 12 page short on the Challenger Comics website with glorious art from Paul Tucker [of the recent TET with Paul Allor at IDW] and an Eric Zawadzki cover [my co-pilot on HEADSPACE at IDW], with Ryan Ferrier letters from a script by me.
And it’s free to read and download right now.
READ AND DOWNLOAD ‘LITTLE MAN IN THE BIG HOUSE – BIG’ NOW

Inline image 1The story is about Macbeth, once a superhero with the ability to manipulate size, now he’s a guard at a prison for supercriminals, and on his first day he has to quell a cell block riot. It’s a grand slice of grindhouse fun and shower beatdowns.
This comic/character have been brewing for a while and Paul brings it all to life in such a glorious manner. This comic is just fun, pure fun, and I hope people dig it [especially that one splash, whooo-boy!].
And Macbeth will be back, there’s another 12 page short being illustrated by another artist right now, so hopefully you’ll see more soon.
For now, I know short comics are little game, but I will say you should noodle around the whole site because there are some AMAZING shorts on there.

CHUM #1 in Previews

CHUM #1 is officially in Previews for an April launch. This surf noir from ComixTribe harkens to the old Gold Medal paperback era and is certain to ruin your faith in people.

There’s Sami Kivelä’s reg cover, and a variant by Vic Malhotra! Gorgeous Sami Kivelä art throughout with Mark Dale colours on top, Australia’s own premiere letterer Nic J Shaw, and edited by Dan Hill! Then there’s me writing.

Go to your LCS and ask them to set you aside a copy, it’s DIAMOND ID: FEB161340

CHUM_Cover_01

Sami Kivelä’s reg cover

CHUM_Cover_01B

Vic Malhotra’s ace variant

You can also still get the free 24 page digital ashcan featuring a lotta CHUMness right here [LINK]

aCHUM_AshcanCover_01Web

Summer Stanwyck is trapped. She tends bar on the island she grew up on, the local cop is about to become her ex-husband, and she’s wasting time screwing the local reefer kingpin. But when a bag full of cash and drugs appears, she sees a way out… and anyone who gets in her way is shark bait.

This is a huge launch for me and we aim to go strong with this surf noir mini so we all really hope you dig the vibe and preorder and tell your friends!

If you dug my work on NEGATIVE SPACE at Dark Horse, or HEADSPACE through IDW/Monkeybrain, then I want you to know this book aims to keep the benchmark just as high. Indie books like this live and die on the vine based around glorious peeps like you, dropping a preorder, spreading the word, and being ace. Thank you for stopping by, it is appreciated.

The Comic Writer’s Cookbook – a free download

I presented The Comic Writer’s Cookbook at the Goulburn Comic Con at the end of 2015. It’s a slideshow of process thoughts/links/tips for you to totally stew on and imbibe. It’s by no means exhaustive but if you are wondering where you should start to learn the name of the game, well, I’ve put together something I think you’ll love – I know I’d love to have gotten my sweaty mitts on this many moons ago. So, here it is, for free download;

THE COMIC WRITER’S COOKBOOK – LINK
Screenshot 2015-08-20 21.07.25

Take the pdf, read it, do some of the things in it, use some of those things on your work, and hopefully see something come of it. If you look at 10 tips and only use one, well, that’s a value add of 1 which is better than 0. Enjoy.

ymmv .011 – Top 10 Writing Swipes from the Books of 2015

I didn’t want to do a best of list [too subjective] and writing about my favourite 10 books of 2015 just seemed like a snoozefest [because it is one] so instead, in the flavour of the column, I wrote about 10 books from 2015 that I would wish to steal something from in my quest to make better comics. As such, I now present to you, for your consideration:

ymmv .011 – Top 10 Writing Swipes from the Books of 2015 [LINK]

If you read these books, then maybe you’ve already done some tracing from them, and if there’s something you haven’t yet dug down on , well, have at it with my Stamp of Approval.

Or if you think swiping is for losers, well, you’re probably right. I’ll just see myself out then.

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