Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

DEER EDITOR: HACK Kickstarter First Day Gift

Now there’s even more reason to set aside August 30 as International Antler Day in your calendar and mobile device reminders beyond just the fact that the DEER EDITOR: HACK Kickstarter campaign is launching.

Sami Kivelä and I have decided that anyone who backs our DEER EDITOR: HACK campaign [at the $3 pledge level or above] in the first 24 hours will be gifted a free pdf of issue #1 of our surf noir miniseries CHUM from ComixTribe.

CHUM_Cover_01

The moment trading closes on that first day, we will email a fresh download link to all backers instantly where they can redeem a pdf download of the first issue of a comic series described as “A book tailer-made for any fan of film noir or pulp novels.” by James Ferguson at Horror Talk, and Alice W. Castle says “Ryan K. Lindsay is channelling his best Raymond Chandler with writing that is pulpy and atmospheric.”

We want to launch our campaign with a bang, and that’s why we’re giving you a fortnight’s notice for our launch. We also know that whenever you back a campaign an email will be sent to all people who follow you and that’s just good opening day mojo for us. Let’s get us funded as quickly as possible so we have time to stew over the fun stuff that comes next, right?

If you dig Sami Kivelä’s work, and you want a double shot of it, then set your seventeen alarm clocks to all rattle your molars on August 30 so you can back and have a great new comic in your hot little hand by the end of the day.

Because little else goes with #antlernoir as well as #surfnoir.

CHUM

DEER EDITOR: HACK Kickstarter Campaign Details

Set aside August 30 in your calendar as International Antler Day because we’ll be launching the DEER EDITOR: HACK Kickstarter campaign that day.

DeerEditor_Hack_01

Sami Kivelä and I have set up a blistering 30 day blitzkrieg we think you’re all going to enjoy in order to get this latest and final issue of DEER EDITOR into that small gap your soul has been lamenting for decades.

We need to raise $2000 in 30 days to have this comic become a pdf reality in your world. Yesterday we revealed the basics and gave you a teaser trailer [LINK]:

  • The DEER EDITOR: HACK pdf will be $1
  • The pdfs for the first 2 DEER EDITOR issues will be available through the campaign
  • We have some really sweet Thank You and Stretch Goal additions to the campaign to reveal [some things you’ve all never seen before]
  • There will be a special bonus to those who back in the first 24 hours [TBA]

Today we’ll delve into the campaign pledge level specificities for you:

$1 – TABLOID PDF

The HACK story in a DRM-free PDF. Nothing extra, no distractions, just the whole story at an entry level price ready to read on your tablets.

~48 pages, + credits and chapter pages

This level might be my death because if everyone only chooses here I’ll need 2000 backers to make my goal. But I’m a firm digital reader who loves the $1 price point. So, here we are.

$3 – BROADSHEET PDF and the other 2 Tabloid PDFs

The HACK story, with back matter, sketches, pin ups, and script, in a DRM-free PDF, as well as the Tabloid PDFs for #1-2.

~110 pages, + other extras as we unearth them :]

~96 Tabloid pages

This Broadsheet is the deluxe package, this is the sort of PDF I’d lose my mind for. Process junkies, those wanting a peek behind the curtain, this is your place to be. I also think this price is fair but a gamble to get us across the line.

Inside you will find the entire story, plus some back matter written by me, then some sketches and thumbnails by Sami, as well as some pin ups of Bucky (by ???), some designed prints by me, at least one ink sketch by me, as well as the full script of this issue. You can see some examples of these things at the bottom of the page.

$7 – WEEKEND PDFs

Okay now, this is FOUR! PDFs. You get the BROADSHEET PDF for HACK, and also the RKL SCRIPT #3 PDF, feat. scripts of MANY of my other projects, as well as the Tabloid PDFs for #1-2.

The script PDF will contain scripts to:

NEGATIVE SPACE #2 – my book at Dark Horse with Owen Gieni – CHUM #1 – my surf noir mini with Sami – CAPTAIN HUMAN THE ROBOT: AFTER HOURS EDIT – a short story that’s for the adults in the room that I did with Jin Chan Yum Wai – and HEADSPACE #7-8 – the conclusion my book with Eric Zawadzki through Monkeybrain/IDW – and maybe anything else I might find that would be to your interests.

I love reading comic scripts, they certainly help hone my own writing, so I hope some process junkies out there really dig on this beast of a package.

$10 – TALKING PIN UPS

Select one of the pin ups by our amazing guest artists and I’ll write a word balloon/thought bubble/caption and I’ll dirty letter it myself and JPEG it to your inbox. Comes with the BROADSHEET PDF for HACK + RKL SCRIPT #3 PDF, as well as the Tabloid PDFs for #1-2.

You can choose from those available [which I’ll send to you in a detailed list at the end of the campaign but you can see them listed below]. I will then write something ghastly and superfantastic to be lettered onto the pin up and we’ll send this one of a kind digital keepsake straight to you. And I must admit, writing these is a great challenge and a whole mess of fun.

example Talking Pin Up 

$20 – AUDIO COMMENTARY

Ryan will record an audio commentary of the issue that you can listen to as you read the book in realtime. The audio files will be sent to you. Comes with the BROADSHEET PDF for HACK + RKL SCRIPT #3 PDF, as well as the Tabloid PDFs for #1-2.

I love audio commentaries on DVDs, and I love reading people’s annotations, so this is a lock, right? Well, also consider what backers at this level got last campaign in total by the end of the campaign [LINK]

$60 – TYPE PLATE EDITION – limited to 3

A copy of the DE HACK script, printed, with stains and red pen annotations through it by Ryan. Comes with the BROADSHEET PDF for HACK + RKL SCRIPT #3 PDF + AUDIO COMMENTARY, as well as the Tabloid PDFs for #1-2.

Because this sort of thing is special. From me, to you – and last time I did a little CHUM sketch cover on the back of the final page and it was fun!

IMG_7330

$80 – EDITORIAL ASSIST – limited to 3

A full issue script analysis by Ryan K Lindsay, with a one hour Skype rundown post-game. Comes with the BROADSHEET PDF for HACK + RKL SCRIPT #3 PDF. + AUDIO COMMENTARY, as well as the Tabloid PDFs for #1-2.

I’m no Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes but I have some mind for comic writing. I also know how important it is to get another set of eyes on your writing so I’m happy to help out, make some notes on a full issue script of 24 pages max, and chat them through with you. I also have a lovely bearded face for Skype, so, y’know, that alone might be worth it.

$90 – SAMI DEER PIN UP – limited to 6

Series artist, Sami Kivelä will draw a Deer Editor pin up for you at A4 size and also send it to you all for this glorious price. Comes with the BROADSHEET PDF for HACK + RKL SCRIPT #3 PDF. + AUDIO COMMENTARY, as well as the Tabloid PDFs for #1-2.

I mean, look at the gorgeousness he dropped last time this was on offer?

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IMG_6923

$140 – SAMI OPEN PIN UP – limited to 4

Series artist, Sami Kivelä will draw a pin up of any character for you at A4 size and also send it to you in the mail. Comes with the BROADSHEET PDF for HACK + RKL SCRIPT #3 PDF. + AUDIO COMMENTARY, as well as the Tabloid PDFs for #1-2.

——-

We hope you start to budget now, and set your sights on what you might want/need from us, and if you have any questions then please reach out and ask [twitter LINK // facebook LINK]

Tomorrow we’ll drop by and show you some of the pin ups we’ve been gifted so far in prep for the campaign. We really think you’ll dig them pretty hard.

DEER EDITOR: HACK – coming to Kickstarter August 30

Tell your friends and lock up your daughters.

The latest, and final, issue of DEER EDITOR from Sami Kivelä and me, with Nic J. Shaw on letters, is complete and ready to begin a wild September ride on Kickstarter for your entertainment. Here’s a quick teaser trailer for it.

DEER EDITOR: HACK needs to raise $2000 in 30 days to become a reality. We will reveal more tomorrow in specificity, but for now all you need to know is:

  • The DEER EDITOR: HACK pdf will be $1
  • The pdfs for the first 2 DEER EDITOR issues will be available through the campaign
  • We have some really sweet Thank You and Stretch Goal additions to the campaign to reveal [some things you’ve all never seen before]
  • There will be a special bonus to those who back in the first 24 hours [TBA]

We hope you’ll mark off Tuesday August 30 as International Antler Day in your calendars, join us for the launch, and stay tuned here or on the DE tumblr [LINK] where we’ll be filling your heads with information about the pledge levels, the special extras, the art teases, and why you need this comic in the lives of you and your loved ones.

DEER EDITOR #1 raised over $2k, and smashed its initial goal in ~25 hours

DEER EDITOR: FEARLESS raised over $3k, and smashed its initial goal in ~12 hours

Here’s hoping we can rally ourselves for one final digital-only campaign to smash the $4k ceiling, and hit our $2k goal in the first week.

In #antlernoir we trust.

NEGATIVE SPACE TPB Review Round Up

negative space 1 logoThe NEGATIVE SPACE comic from Owen Gieni and me [with Ryan Ferrier letters and edtied by Daniel Chabon] gets one last pick at the cherry as the tpb collection came out this past week.

The book has been a dream gig for me so it was nice to see it score some solid reviews on the bell lap.

Chad Waller at We The Nerdy gave us a 9/10 [LINK], saying “Perhaps the best part of Negative Space is its ending, which is absolute perfection.

Robb M. at Brutal Gamer dropped a 95% score on us [LINK], saying “We have a winner.

And we also got featured on Wicked Horror as one of seven horror books deserving of a tv/movie adaptation [LINK]

If you picked up the trade, thank you, I hope this book becomes an evergreen little piece of my history because I’m so proud of the work we did on it, 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.

CHUM #2 Review Round Up

CHUM_Cover_02CHUM #2 landed this week, a mere fortnight after #1, and I wondered if the double shipping would kill people. It did not. I wondered if the reviews would still love us. They did. I wondered if I would round up the reviews and drop the hot quotes here. I am/will/did [depending on your tense for reading this].

As always, all praise for this comic should point directly at the feet of Sami Kivela on inks, Mark Dale on colours, Nic J Shaw on letters, Dan Hill on edits, Tyler James on oversight, and Sami back-to-back with Joe Mulvey and Jules Rivera on covers.

Todd Young at AiPT! gave us a drop dead gorgeous 10/10 [LINK], saying “There’s an economy of space when you only have three issues to pull off a plot like the one laid out so far, but the story is tight and fast paced, with little wasted.”

Ed Garrett at TMStash popped us in with the 9/10 comics [LINK], saying “writer Ryan K. Lindsay ups that ante considerably in the second installment of his “Surf Noir” masterpiece!”

CHUM_Cover_02BMike Annerino at Big Comic Page gives us 3/5 with the winner of our lifetime pull quote [LINK], saying “It’s great toilet material.”

James Ferguson at HorrorTalk dropped a grand 5/5 on us [LINK], saying “CHUM is a book tailer-made for any fan of film noir or pulp novels.”

Indie comics burn on the oxygen your voice breathes into them, so thanks for the words, the tweets, the sidewalk banter, the viral graffiti campaign. You peeps are all the best peeps, and we will see you for #3 very very soon.

RKL Annotations – CHUM #2

CHUM #2 lands with a sickening thud as we scrape our characters through the middle of the story, taking all their promise, their possible glory, and ruining it by issue’s end so there’s nowhere left to go but down, further.

This little #surfnoir that could has gained some great attention, and I’m floored by the amazing readers and retailers and reviewers all getting some sand between their toes and enjoying the ride. I’ve also enjoyed watching the sunset love that is Mark Dale colours over Sami Kivela inks, with a soupcon of Nic J. Shaw letters, bringing this all to life. This issue is a haunting poem to the shit we do for desire.

For those new to the game, these annotations are a little look into what I was trying to do when I wrote this comic, and it’s also a place for me to praise my collaborators. In the end, I hope you get a little something out of it to make you smile, or give you thought for your own writing.

Also, if you haven’t sampled CHUM yet, here’s a free Digital Ashcan with covers, preview pages, and other art process stuff for you [LINK]

Okay, let’s talk #surfnoir!

COVER

Sami’s cover game is crazy. This white cover, putting Summer under the waves, the ever churning waves, is gorgeous, and heartbreaking, and everything I know I want to see on the stands. That blood trail, aw, yeah. Just a designed delight.

Sami has a long career ahead of him doing covers, and I hope they continue to be on my comics.

CHUM_Cover_02

VARIANT COVER

I mean, everyone already loves Joe Mulvey, surely, but this cover will make you L O V E him. Hardcore. His inks on this are so crisp, the idea and composition are so eye-catching, and then he brought in Jules Rivera on colours and she took this to a whole new level. That red/orange [I don’t know other colour names, sorry] sky is so inviting, and the water pops, and it all plays with the logo, and this is just one of my favourite pieces of art to look at. The colours make me think this’ll be a fun one, but then you see what’s going on – with that subtle splash of Summer’s hair down the bottom dragging it all together, and it’s beautiful. Truly beautiful.

CHUM_Cover_02B

PAGE ONE

Bobby Level got his name because of Brian Level – RKL: stealin’ names from Twitter since about 2014.

Though look at that first panel. Soak it up. Now imagine you are tasked with hiding that behind your stupid words. Getting the lettering draft ready for this script was arduous because I was staring down Kivela/Dale glory and just trying to hide.

And this story Summer tells is something an old girlfriend once told to me that a friend of hers did. She told me that in 2001 and here it is on the page. Because time is a flat circle, and all conversations are narrative fuel for writers.

I really went back and forth about whether to have Summer’s sister’s dialogue come out of the phone, but in the end I didn’t want to clutter, and I assume the reader can keep up, so this is how it plays out.

But the point of this page is, who is Summer? Issue #1 was a whirlwind, so I wanted to slow down and just unpack Summer for a second. It’s not much, but it’s also a whole hell of a lot. She explicitly states it: “I am what I am, never what they think I am.”

I’m glad to have started the story putting Summer front and centre, and we don’t know what she’s doing, right before …

PAGE TWO

I love the way Sami takes my script and interprets it structurally. Those tiled panels are not called for by my but he throws it in there, leading the eye across, down, and right, so we then bounce back down-left to pass through Summer and into the sharks. That’s the kind of thing I’d never script visually myself, but it works so well.

Though that sunset against Summer’s line of “Where am I going?” is so very specific for me. The sunset the horizon, is the endless possibility of the world. It’s this little panel that says the world is about to completely open up for Summer, but first she’s gotta take care of some shit – like taking the chopped up body of Swampy and disposing of it.

I also have to take a second to point out just how amazing Mark Dale’s colours are – that rusty water is just an insane choice and is so glorious. It emotes oppression, it represents the place Summer needs to leave. I love it.

PAGE THREE

Look at that bird right up front in that top panel, look at it. What a choice – and I feel like your eye runs across the bird’s wingspan in a straight line to the right, and then you duck down to the bottom left by following the diagonal line of its undercarriage. Sami, killing it as always.

I also really dig the way Sami tiled the panels to show the pieces of Swampy washing up on the beach.

Did anyone pick up on the fact John Marsh is called Swampy when he’s undercover? Marsh —> Swampy. Anyone? Bueller?

The bottom half of the page is a great moment between Standard and Hannah. She’s stuck straight into him, and he just walks off silently. I had something scripted for him to say, but when the art rolled in I just cut his line, the walk off is perfect to continue to show how these two operate.

PAGE FOUR

This page exists because I wanted Gus to come back and instantly know he’d fucked up, he’d hitched his wagon to the wrong horse. So Summer and Gus get down to it, and I rewrote the shit out of this page. I wanted it clear Summer has the power in this scene, she has complete agency and control, and I wanted it to give us a look into Summer a little bit. Every page needs to earn its keep, and every page needs to do something, so I rewrote this page until it was more than just set up for the next page. Summer lays herself a little more bare for us, and we also see Penny for the broken man he is. I didn’t want him to be a guy in control of himself, he has to know that’s he’s mentally problematic due to the drugs, and so we seed this here in a real moment that Summer just completely shrugs off.

PAGE FIVE

This is a slow page, three panels don’t happen a lot for me, but I wanted this whole lead up to Gus to really mean something. I wanted to give the emotion the space on the page I felt it deserved. If I respected Gus’ feelings then perhaps you’d feel and understand them, too.

I like the lines here, because you might think that it’s her and Penny ending so her and Gus can begin, and that’s certainly how he sees it, but this is really her not caring that Gus was obviously planning to come back and she didn’t respect that, or him, and so she needed that relationship to end now. Gus had served his purpose, he was barely a piece on her board anymore. There’s dual purpose to the page, and anytime you can do that with meaning, I say run to daylight, Barry.

I also ran this page past three females I know – some writers, some readers – and asked their thoughts because I didn’t want to write her sexuality as hollow, or salacious, or anything else that I possibly wouldn’t see but a female reader would.

PAGE SIX

Here, Summer flat out lies to Penny, tells him what he wants to hear and it’s the polar opposite of what she thinks/feels. And it shows a little in her face.

Then we get to the bottom and Gus echoes the line – because I can’t help myself. It’s a trick I attribute to BKV in my head, not because he invented it, but because he’s done it so much in front of me that he’s the first connection I make to it, and it’s a call back where the same thing is used again but with a different meaning. I know, I’m being obvious in explaining this, and derivative in using it, but…yeah :]

Also, I’d totally cut her “GAH!” line if I had my time over again.

PAGE SEVEN

First of all, I love how Nic’s caption tips just behind Gus’ back, that’s awesome. I love the way Nic layers the page sometimes.

Okay, so this page – it’s a woman being attacked, and it’s tense for a few panels, and that’s the point, because we don’t hold the tension, we release on that final panel as we take in Summer’s reaction. This isn’t an exact part of the plan, but she’s powerful enough to roll with it and work it. She’s certainly not worried. I could only write this scene knowing she was like that and could and would handle herself.

PAGE EIGHT

That moment where Summer hears the footsteps and instantly steers the scene into a different place where she can own it is a pure summation of Summer in my mind. She is born from Linda Fiorentino in John Dahl’s THE LAST SEDUCTION. She is malleable, but she is never what you think she is.

The black balloons as she just slices into Gus, and then the four panels for the one line and how Sami changes Gus’ face across them. That’s all comic synergy from the entire team.

PAGE NINE

I gave Standard this full page, a build up page, because he’s the hero of the story and we need to see inside his head, and marvel at his reaction time, and also ensure he sees the slap, so when we turn the page…

PAGE TEN

Summer has already taken care of things. In fact, she timed it perfectly so Standard would see the slap but she could take care of business before he got in the room.

And yet Standard has the temerity to say he’ll be the one taking care of it. Yeah, that look on Summer’s face is her way of saying “Bitch, please!” right behind his back.

PAGE ELEVEN

Here, we give Hannah a page because she’s not been unpacked a great deal yet. We’ve only gotten to know her through how she relates and reacts to others on the island, so I did want to delve into her – especially because of how she plays out in #3 :]

This isn’t the most EXCITING page, but it’s a brief moment and it builds to the page turn. It was a pain in the ass to write, and it’s not perfect, but I like that everyone on the island is getting something for their time.

PAGE TWELVE

That look on Summer’s face, even in such a small panel, is perfect/

The way the bottom panels thread together, each being part of a larger image of the woman on her side, was something I scripted and Sami just smashed out of the park. I wasn’t even sure I was making sense, but he thumbed it out perfectly, and it plays well here because it’s subtle but it’s definitely there. Especially with Summer’s head breaking through and over Hannah’s panel, giving that sense of layering.

I also put in a line where Hannah acknowledges all of the Gus stuff so we can then timestamp this scene because I didn’t use any non-diegetic captions to explain how much time skipped after the whole scene before this.

And everything in between was just housekeeping, the hospital for Gus, the paperwork for Summer and Standard, all that, who cares? I zoomed on, because the genre demands it.

PAGE THIRTEEN

This scene was about pushing Summer into that corner again, but this time she knows she’s leaving the island, so she’s reacting more openly. I mean, this is a stupid move. It’s a move that has to be part of an endgame.

The panel in the reflection of the sunglasses, yeah, you know I’m not smart enough to concoct that level of game myself. Nor, seriously, would I probably ask an artist to do that. It’s so specific and something I wouldn’t want to force on someone else.

PAGE FOURTEEN

I love the tilt on this panel, the way the horizon doesn’t match the car. Then you put Mark’s colours into that sky and it’s just the best, completely moody.

The whole “They would leave when they were expecting // But all they could expect was heartbreak,” was probably the closest I came to breaking the purple prose in half. It’s so close to being on the nose, but it’s also exactly what is true for the scene.

PAGE FIFTEEN

I love a good splash with a novel written on it. There’s something about that juxtaposition that relays feelings and thoughts well – the time on the page stands still, but the minds are whirring.

Then, and I bang on about this, you get that Kivela/Dale marriage on the page and it’s just jaw-dropping. And it plays perfectly into the duality between Summer and Standard. She got a small horizon, a quest of infinite possibilities laying out in front of her. He gets this wide horizon, an endless ocean, and it looks like everything, but it’s just all the things he won’t have. This is him looking, trapped, and knowing he’s being encased in amber.

Shout out to Ryan Ferrier’s caption placement on here, building to that small last one.

PAGE SIXTEEN

This back and forth between them is frosty. She’s trying to big out – drugs and money in tow – and not get caught with Hannah assaulted elsewhere. He’s drunk and just assuming she’s being her usual cranky self towards him.

This page is continued interaction and character interplay for them, but it’s also cranked up a bit so when she turns, trying another tactic, it stands out.

PAGE SEVENTEEN

Then Standard has this big conversation with himself, all the stuff rattling in his head since he got drunk in front of the horizon he’ll never touch, and he wants to vent it on someone. So he lets it out, and Summer lets him. She gets out of the way, she’s obviously used to dealing with this bullshit from him. I find her reaction here – to be silent and absent – says so much about them both and their relationship.

PAGE EIGHTEEN

We cut to a 3 panel page, something I don’t usually do, because it’s a three pronged turn.

Panel One – Standard gives up.

Panel Two – Standard sees the board, and the narrative shifts into the final reel.

Panel Three – Summer isn’t going to get off as easy as she hoped. So, what’s she going to do about it?

And look at Summer’s face, and that burnt orange background, this is the moment Standard fucks himself over. Poor bastard.

PAGE NINETEEN

In the first panel, Summer is so unemotional, she’s detached from the story she’s remembering. But in the second panel she sells it with sexuality. She can run diversion on a drunk guy long enough, you’d assume.

Then Standard gets his own burnt orange moment to stare, and it’s with final clarity. He’s no fool and he knows this isn’t about anything she’s saying it’s about.

PAGE TWENTY

I love the cross panel handcuff reveal. I actually did script that – a rarity for a visual moment.

Then Standard starts babbling, like a rat scurrying after the scent of cheese. He’s knows he’s supposed to want it, and he used to be able to get it quite simply. But now he’s old, and drunk, and confused half the time. He rarely even gets a whiff and yet here he is doused in the fumes. He needs a moment to consider what it all means.

PAGE TWENTY ONE

A moment of truth from Summer. That’s the moment you should be scared.

It’s a diversion tactic that works better than sex.

And as for the words on the page – I like the “My apology isn’t for what I’ve done…” set up, but it feels a little played. Whereas the “You let a girl like Summer too close…and she’ll break your heart.” page turn is something I feel I can have more ownership over. It’s a little bit sad, even though you know people in these stories are built up to sustain damage at every turn.

PAGE TWENTY TWO

This moment feels like a good issue break. You don’t know who lives or die, and you have Summer handcuffed to her victim, and you know it’s all got one issue to resolve itself. I hope this leaves you really stewing on what happens Page 1, Issue #3, because this is exactly the point. I know every issue should propel you to the next issue, that’s Obvious 101, but this time I think I did it well.

BACK MATTER

I wrote about my Peach Pit noir fic, “90210h, God, He’s Dead!” and I’ll never write anything as good again.

Then I point you towards THE LAST SEDUCTION. Man, that movie did weird things to Teen Ryan’s dna.

Then turn up the surf noir jams as peeps sub in for 6 words at a time. Glorious. And this is a good bunch. But I think I’ll single out Shaun Manning for my hatred because his is so good: “Tendrils of seaweed and of leviathans.”

I love that. So emotive, uses two great words, and chunks it up using ‘of’ twice, but totally to effect. Totally how it should be done.

Two issues in and two thirds of the story down. We hope it’s been a rocket ride and you are ready for the crash landing.

If you got this issue, thanks, if you dug it, aw shucks, and if you wanna stick around for the end then we’d be mighty happy to have you..

Sami produced a cover for #3 that’s been my phone lock screen for a while now:

CHUM_Cover_03

And the Justin Greenwood variant is gruesome and so fantastic.

CHUM_Cover_03B

We shall catch you all for our final spiral down in 30, until then, feel free to spread the word. Indie titles rely on word of mouth, and one red hot tweet don’t cost nothing but a smile.

Thanks for taking a dip, see you again some time.

NEGATIVE SPACE #4 Review Round Up

negative space 4NEGATIVE SPACE #4 landed a while back [and this post somehow got lost in the queue]. It seems people were happy with how we closed this tale and there’s a huge weight off my chest knowing that people dug what was a hard conclusion for us to come to – it’s not an easy place to leave your main character, or the audience, so it means the world that people allowed us that much rope.

The reviews were ace, and it’s just nice to still be getting some ink/pixels on the 4th issue of an indie comic.

Andrew McGlinn at Big Comic Page gave us 5/5, saying “an unstoppable tour de force that must be both read and experienced” – [LINK]

James Ferguson at HorrorTalk gave us 5/5, saying “This cements Ryan K. Lindsay as an expert storyteller capable of truly incredible character work.” – [LINK]

Chris Beveridge at the Fandom Post gave us a Grade A, saying “get into serious discussions with friends about [it] as there’s a lot to peel away and dig into with it. Very recommended.” – [LINK]

Jack Johnston at We The Nerdy gave us a 9.5/10, saying “a perfect send off for Lindsay and Gieni’s twisted tale.” – [LINK]

Johnny Hughes at the Comic Crusaders gave us 3.5/5, saying “the conclusion serves as its own metaphor about depression and mental health.” – [LINK]

Ian Dawe at SequArt gave us a thoughtful write up, saying “It does what not enough comics do: it leaves you thinking.” – [LINK]

And now the series is done. The tpb collection will be out on the 6th of July with a glorious Foreword by Christopher Sebela. Tell your LCS to order 1 million of them.

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.

CHUM #1 Review Round Up

Screenshot 2016-01-21 15.22.04CHUM #1 is upon us and it’s an exciting time for Sami, Mark, Nic, Dan, and me. We hope plenty of people dig the surf noir sound we are jiving to, and we were blessed with some good press and reviews so let’s round them up.

Ed Garrett at TMStash gives u 8/10 [LINK], saying “Given Lindsay’s penchant for making a unique premise work exceptionally well, I’m looking forward to the twists and turns CHUM has ahead of us.”

Iron Squid at Slack Jaw Punks gives us a 100% score [LINK], saying “Chum #1 is exactly what I wanted it to be and more…fun, bloody, exciting, and breath taking thrill ride!”

Brett Schenker at Graphic Policy gives us an 8.1/10 [LINK], saying “The first issue is a must get for noir/crime comic fans.”

And Brett made us a Pick of the Week [LINK]

LJ Phillips at Black Ship Books heaps a whole mess of praise on us in a review that’s so incredibly spot on that you’d think he had been reading my scripts and notes [LINK], with one top line being, “A primal, animalistic drive for bloodshed permeates the entire comic.”

Stephen Leitman over at Reading with a Flight Ring drops some lovely noise on us [LINK], calling it “the perfect storm for a story.”

Omnicomic had lovely things to say [LINK], “Each character is illustrated with a sense of purpose to their actions that force the reader to pay attention as the[y] thumb through the pages.”

Isaac Quattlebaum at Comic Bastards gave us a 4/5 [LINK], saying “You know you’ve got an interesting book on your hands when hours after you’ve put it down you’re still thinking about. Chum is one of those books.”

Johnny Hughes at Comic Crusaders gives us a spectacular 5/5 [LINK], saying “What Lindsay does excel at is writing the human condition.”

Nikki Sherman at Comicosity gave us a glowing 9/10 [LINK], saying “What [Sami] absolutely kills on this book is complementing the shiny exterior of the vacation locale with an overwhelming sense of dread.”

Alice W. Castle at Multiversity Comics gave us 7.9/10 [LINK], saying “Ryan K. Lindsay is channelling his best Raymond Chandler with writing that is pulpy and atmospheric.”

James Ferguson at HorrorTalk gave us 5/5 [LINK], saying “Chum presents you with intriguing characters, an interesting setting, and a riveting plot.”

Jonathan Winchester at Bag & Bored drops some kind words on us [LINK], saying “one of the best comics I have read in 2016.”

Matthew Box at Broken Frontier made us a Pick of the Week [LINK], calling it “an original, genre-blending story.”

Anthony at Comics Heating Up also made us a Pick of the Week [LINK], saying “this beach crime book looks excellent.”

I also had a chat with Alex Thomas over at Pipedream Comics and we spoke about the surf noir sound in detail [LINK]

And Wade from Mint Condish dropped a lovely vid into YouTube singing our praises [LINK].

And every word/pixel given to us and our little book is hugely appreciated.

CHUM #1 – Launching the Surf Noir Sound

And with the week of Wednesday the 18th of May, CHUM #1 finally launches.

Screenshot 2016-01-21 15.22.04

This surf noir comic miniseries with art by Sami Kivela, Mark Dale’s colours, Nic J. Shaw’s letters, and my writing from ComixTribe finally hits shelves digital and irl and we all really hope you dig it.

CHUMThe book is a comic about crime on the sand when Summer Stanwyck sees an opportunity for a bag full of drugs and money to pave her way off the island, and beware the fools who step in her way.

For fans of Philips/Brubaker comics, the Parker stories [prose or sequential], and old pulp paperbacks, this one goes out to you.

Hit up your LCS or ComiXology [LINK] and fill your fists with some blood in the water.

We appreciate everyone who takes a chance on this book, indie comics are a word of mouth business, and we hope you’re hooked by the last page and come back to #2 in June.

RKL Annotations – CHUM #1

 

It’s been a long time churning in the waves, but now CHUM #1 hits shelves on May the 4th and I guarantee it’ll be the best surf noir book you pick up this week [maybe even this year].

Sami Kivela on art is always one of my favourite things, and Mark Dale brings his beach colours to life. All that’s left is for Nic J. Shaw to wrassle my script into submission for letters and we’ve got ourselves a comic. So, let’s have a look at it.

For those new to the game, these annotations are a little look into what I was trying to do when I wrote this comic, and it’s also a place for me to praise my collaborators. In the end, I hope you get a little something out of it to make you smile, or give you thought for your own writing.

Also, if you haven’t sampled the book yet, here’s a free Digital Ashcan with covers, preview pages, and other art process stuff for you [LINK]

Okay, let’s talk #surfnoir!

COVER

We originally pitched with a different cover, with Marissa Louise on colours, and here it is.

coloured cover

I thought we should go with a style like old surf music vinyl covers and this was the glory Sami cooked up. It’s great. But Tyler James [the turtle who carries ComixTribe on his back] thought differently. He knew the elements needed on the cover and Sami took it in and this came out.

CHUM_Cover_01

Gorgeous.

The composition, the style, and that red. This came in and I suddenly knew what a sellable cover really was. I love this cover and it’s launched us well.

It even looks ace in white.aCHUM_AshcanCover_01Web

Having Sami rep us on the shelves, and in Previews, and in every piece of press we’ve done in such a manner has been huge for us.

Oh, and the logo – all Sami. And I love it. Took a few goes to get there but man does it match the art perfectly.

VARIANT COVER

ComixTribe kick in a variant cover for most issues and so I got to sit back and consider who I would want and could ask. That Vic Malhotra stepped up and dropped more red beauty on us was superfantastic. I love this dark shot, surf in action, and a focus on Gus who isn’t the centrepiece of the book so I’m glad he gets love here.

CHUM_Cover_01B

PAGE ONE

I remember inks coming through on this first page, and just looking at the first panel.

You very quickly realise how much more artists work on these funny books than us writers. And Sami is a beast for it, dropping little things everywhere just because he can. So much of this panel sets up the entire tone of the book for me. Beach/sand, lazy cars and surfers, and a brooding storm just slowly rolling in.

For a page with no narrative movement, I’m happy with how we introduce the three main characters of this story. I tried the linked captions [s/he was…] and went a little purple with it. I want to clearly indicate right off the bat that this book is pulp noir. And it’s an omniscient third person narrator, something I hadn’t done before, and it was as much fun as it was a challenge to nail it here.

We then slice a small panel to build for the page turn…

PAGE TWO

And then we drop Gus, as well as a small inciting incident.

Look at the way Sami tiles and builds these three panels. All Sami, and it’s genius.

That surfer joke was something I think I stumbled across online and the page wrote itself from there. Because it’s a dumb joke, but, for me, it feels totally right on the page, and it becomes way more intense when you get what he’s saying. Double entendre for the win, I guess.

PAGE THREE

Two interactions for Summer in the one page and I was sweating on the blocking and angles on this one forever. Then I remembered that time in the gutters can mean anything so I assume we can all believe she went from the outdoor balcony to the doorway and inside in a short amount of time.

Plus, that shadow of Standard in the bg of Panel 2, glorious. Gives the setting density.

With this page, I tried to set all three characters up more. Penny is an asshole. Standard is an asshole, and probs a drunk. And Summer manages to put up with these dickweeds being around her.

PAGE FOUR

This is about doubling down on the Summer/Standard connection, tying it to the island, making Penny the outsider – but then tying him in thick between these two.

It amuses me that Standard is calling her blind and stupid while she looks at him, like, “Damn, fool, dramatic irony much.”

PAGE FIVE

This was the last page of our pitch, you can feel how neatly it all wraps up into this sequence. All characters laid out, all lines drawn, all connections formed, all violence and feuds and lust hinted at.

Sami took this page and staggered the panels down, drawing us to a close. That panel of the flunky with his head underwater is amazing [those rain drops, his ‘lead singer of Crazy Town singing in despair’ face], and Mark Dale coloured the heck out of it.

PAGE SIX

There’s method to the madness on the page, I swear.

Gus starts isolated, a man in his own thoughts, so a man in his own white panel.

Then we draw the world in around him, he’s anchored to space and time once more. Sami and I are drawn into the right of this second panel. Awesome.

Then we put Gus into this hollow bar, again, he’s in the middle of a party, which is for him, and yet he’s alone.

Then Summer advances into his white world. She can break through to him, this is important, it holds much of the key for why Gus acts the way he does moving forward.

She is his sole focus, this is why he commits to so much of his stupidity moving forward.

PAGE SEVEN

Summer goes from setting Gus up, to playing him, to handling him all in one page. I don’t know if I’ve ‘nailed’ it, but this feels good. It’s a clear showing of how fast we want the narrative to move.

And that last black scratched panel is so indicative of a hangover that I can pretty much feel it already.

PAGE EIGHT

I feel like I dropped the ball on this page, he wakes, comes downstairs, and gets the note all in one fell swoop.

Either I need more room, or I needed to use this room more wisely. I don’t know, but I know this isn’t my Favourite Page of CHUM #1.

Hrmm.

PAGE NINE

Just to be clear, Summer doesn’t write this note quickly that morning. NO, she scribed this probably the night before. This is where her plan kicks in. The plan started the night before where she saw how useful Gus could be to her.

The way Sami draws Swampy looking and then not looking is so damn good. And we should have made his newspaper THE TRUTH.

That red bar across the page gets across so much info/feeling for me. How Gus is feeling, what he’s seeing, and what’s about to happen. I love a good page of tension mounting before we unleash…

PAGE TEN

…and, oh man, do we unleash.

I scripted this with a few action beats but then laid it out for Sami that if he wanted to go crazy on this page then he could. Sami’s level of design skill and ability to innovate is just intensely delightful and wonderful.

This page delivers on all fronts, it’s a bruiser. I love when comics does something fun/different, AND it pushes the narrative forward.

PAGE ELEVEN

This page is your first signpost to see that the character of Summer is not what you were thinking. And it’s a guide for how to handle her moving forward.

In the words of a better writer; this is her design.

And in true femme fashion, Gus had done all the work, his hands are literally dirty, and all she did was stand there, and yet she’s totally in control. She always will be.

Also, look at Mark Dale’s work on that first panel, man, I love the way he brings gritty emotion to the page.

PAGE TWELVE

Poor Gus, he’s the only character I feel sorry for in this whole book. He’s so earnest, and he just ‘wants’ so much. He finds this cash and feels like fortune is finally smiling down on him. Like Summer didn’t know about it all along.

He even tells her he’ll take care of her. Poor Gus, the fool.

PAGE THIRTEEN

And this is the moment the story escalates. A body, chopped up, two people wrapped into the betrayal. Sadly, only really one plan will be affected.

How Gus doesn’t see/feel it is testament to how blind a guy can get sometimes.

PAGE FOURTEEN

The jump in time is basically me skipping the boring parts. I don’t care how Summer cleaned her booth, I don’t care where people think Swampy has been. She’s got a few cans of Mr Clean, he’s a lowlife who no one cares about. I also wanted to skip over a few pieces of the Gus/Summer plan so they can be revealed later. Trickery or storytelling? You decide.

I like the interplay between Hannah and Standard. It was always fun to write. Maybe because there’s no sexual tension, and they both equally hate each other and kinda have reason to. Fun.

PAGE FIFTEEN

Penny finally looks and acts like a druglord. Albeit, a dumb reactive one. Emotional, probably paranoid, he’s to be feared because he’s bad at his job, not because he’s so effective.

I was constantly thinking about CARLITO’S WAY when I wrote this page.

This page is also one I’ve often shared because it’s such a visual shorthand for the #surfnoir sound we are trying to capture.

PAGE SIXTEEN

The transition of the flunky getting capped into the surf as chum and the boiling tomato sauce here on this page is a very tv sort of transition, in my mind. I actually wonder if most people will notice it. If you are reading on ComiXology with Guided View then I’m sure it pops, otherwise the panels aren’t near each other so I bet it doesn’t quite work like I want it to.

And Penny is back to being a tool and it’s almost, almost sad. It’s also interesting that he doesn’t realise what Summer is, either. Yet another blind guy around her.

That final caption still makes me laugh.

PAGE SEVENTEEN

The negative space in the knife panel is a great focus point, thanks, Sami.

Man, that Penny is going to go make her a sandwich shows exactly how much she’s got him on lock down. I can only imagine what all the other nights they’ve spent together have been like.

PAGE EIGHTEEN

I wonder how many people will connect the clothes and mobile phone here to later. I didn’t want to have Swampy all chopped up and displayed here like some EC comic because that would be crazy obvious.

Ah, subtlety, it always scares me.

This scene is all about showing how kinda messed up Standard is. The guy is unhinged, he’s no hero cop. Not at all.

PAGE NINETEEN

I specifically had Penny put down the knife here to show that he had it in his hands the whole time, and he didn’t use it, he never would have dared. Which interests me greatly, especially in this kind of story.

That look on Summer’s face as Standard drops the divorce papers off is heartbreaking. It’s not a huge moment, and we see this all play out in the coming narrative how she wants it to play out, but in this moment you can see it’s hitting her. This one little moment is getting through her barrier.

Enter, a new character for the page turn.

PAGE TWENTY

Standard, a dick AND manspreading all over this conversation. Again, he’s not our hero lead.

And right here I want people building to the finale. I hope it’s building.

PAGE TWENTY ONE

This opening panel and everyone’s taking a silent moment, everyone is recalibrating course whether they realise it or not.

I kept trying to get rid of that “Yep, go fuck yourself.” but Standard just kept saying it. It was his only response to her, no matter how many times I edited this page.

I like that Summer makes a quick-thinking power play to piss Hannah off and ditch her.

And everyone leaves the page in a very different way to the manner in which they started it.

PAGE TWENTY TWO

I’m still quietly fond of the ‘broken shards’ captions across the two pages. So sue me for being a fan of my own work :]

Man, this ending fucked with me for ages. It’s such a quiet beat, it bodes such ill, it’s heavy, lead lined, but it’s this very quiet moment and it was bugging me. Until I realised what I was doing.

Look at the page again, now, right as the phone starts ringing, just image that soft music they used at the end of every episode of THE WIRE playing us out to black. That’s what I want. I’m not certain I’ve nailed it, or if it works as well in comics [obvs, we don’t actually have the music], but this is the tone of the page. It’s playing us out with a gut punch. I hope someone out there is now pausing with no breath.

BACK MATTER

Man, once I came up with our back matter title, there was no turning back.

The Six Word Surf Noir Stories was an idea that came to me late in the game. I initially thought of getting some pin ups from art mates that were just of the beach. No characters, just the beach, but I was already chatting to mates about DEER EDITOR pin ups, so I didn’t want to wear any friendships dry. So I tried to think outside the box and then this appeared. And I couldn’t be happier.

Reaching out and getting six word surf noir stories from the likes of Christopher Sebela, Ed Brisson, and Duane [!!!] Swierczynski was a dream come true. They nailed it, and I loved doing it, and it was crazy fun. That we pushed it out to include many of the readers was pure icing.

And this brings to a close a story I started writing about 3 years ago and am just finally seeing in print. We’ve come a long, long way together, and it’s totally worth it to get this beast out into the world.

If you got it, thanks, if you dug it, aw shucks, and if you wanna stick around, well, #2 is right around the corner.

Sami pulled out all the stops for the #2 cover:

CHUM_Cover_02

And the Joe Mulvey variant with Jules Rivera colours is one of my favourite things ever.

CHUM_Cover_02B

We hope to see you back in the surf in a month’s time. Until then, feel free to spread the word. Indie titles rely on word of mouth, and one red hot tweet don’t cost nothing but a smile.

Thanks for taking a dip, see you in 30.

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