Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

What Is Best In Life? – 2012 Style

2012 was a cracker, let’s take a peek at what I dug.

Top Movie of 2012

The Grey

Man, I had a tough time making this choice. This choice could easily have been The Avengers, that movie made me so happy and was so pitch perfect. I also could have chose Looper because I dug that script hard and JGL is always a seller. I ended up, at least for today, on The Grey because it’s a film that’s really about something and I think that’s kind of important. The Grey is about men, masculinity, violence, and I think every dude should watch it and if the ladies can dig it then they’ll certainly learn something about us. Pacing, tenseness, acting, and script all come together.

Honourable Mention: Looper/The Avengers

Top TV of 2012

Breaking Bad S5

Natch. You really can’t fault this show and this season, though short, really dropped some great character moments Walt and Jesse. The train heist was boss and that final moment really has me hanging for more.

Honourable Mention: The Walking Dead S3

Top Podcast of 2012

Radiolab

I’m annoyed with myself for only having this past year discovered Radiolab. It’s smart, it’s incredibly well put together, and I’ve stolen like a dozen story ideas/moments from it already. Golden.

Honourable Mention: The Nerdist Writers’ Panel

Top Music of 2012

surf music

I’m hooked on as much as I can find right now. It started as inspiration for my beach noir project but now it’s just my summer jam. Rad.

Honourable Mention: not much else

Top Book of 2012

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

I haven’t finished this one yet but between my anticipation and now the glorious delivery of it all, I’m hooked. Non-fic about the golden days of Marvel, I was always a sucker for this before it even existed.

Honourable Mention: World War Z audiobook

Top iApp of 2012

Readability

This has been a new addition to my iPad but I’m loving it. There are three ways to add online articles to the archives to be read even when offline. I can use the tab on my laptop to send it to the app, or copy addresses and email them to myself to go into the app, or on my iPad copy the link then open the app and it adds them. I’m pruning down my online time at the computer for anything but working so stock piling articles is perfect. I love it.

Honourable Mention: ComiXology, my true north

That’s my 2012, what say you?

What Is Best In Life? – 2011 Style

SALVAGED FROM A ZEPPELIN DOWNED SEVEN CLICKS FROM HERE – PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

Here’s a brief look over the year that was.

Top Book of 2011

Fun & Games – Duane Swierczynski

I read this book within days of buying it. It helped I was on holiday, with a bit more time on my hands, but be damned if this thing didn’t rock my socks off. Swierczynski is a household favourite, he’s topped this honour before, and this time he earns it completely with an adrenaline shot of narrative that is uncompromising and completely fantastic. If you count yourself a fan of crime fiction, and you like a thrill, then get in on this book. First of a trilogy, bring on the next ones, I say.

Runner Up: 11.22.63 by Stephen King

Top Comic of 2011

Green Wake – Kurtis J Wiebe & Riley Rossmo

This comic is phenomenal. I wish I could buy multiple copies of the trade and give them to you all. It’s the sort of thing that feels like it was created to fill a void I was always waiting for. This Cronenbergian-Hammett mystery is brilliant. Purely brilliant and I have been telling you this all year.

Runner Up: Criminal: Last of the Innocent

Top Movie of 2011

The Ides Of March – George Clooney

Be damned if this movie didn’t exceed my expectations. The script is tight, the direction is superb, and Gosling is one very good actor. The first movie in a long time I have wanted to watch again as soon as the credits rolled. Golden.

Runner Up: Thor

Top TV Show of 2011

Breaking Bad

I finally got swept up in this show and I’m glad I did. I’m only just starting the third season but this is the sort of show I can get lost in and I WILL find the time to finish this off. Bryan Cranston is a beast as Walter White – seriously, acting like you haven’t even actually seen before. The storytelling structures are wonderful and it’s this sort of show why I keep faith in television as a medium.

Runner Up: The Wire S3 – I’m still catching up.

Top Podcast of 2011

THE PROCESS

I know, right, who knew I’d choose my own show? I’ve enjoyed recording this show every time. I also love listening to the show. I become inspired, I find my centre and focus, and I realise why I love comics and love writing them even more. This podcast is just the start, I’m sure, but I’m happy to dwell in these nascent days for quite some time.

Runner Up: 3 Chicks Review Comics

Top iApp of 2011

ComiXology

It wins again with its fantastic customer service and great updates. I’ve had the odd issue with the app and when I email or tweet about it someone is on the case within about 6 hours, or less. That’s good service. I also love digital comics as they represent a gateway to the past. Back issues are my dream on this thing and each sale day I eagerly await what they drop, and every Wednesday shows me some new and cool stuff in the just released section. Having an iPad helps but this app is just golden in most ways.

Runner Up: TweetDeck

Top Art of 2011

How To Choose…?

It’s been a busy year for my inbox. Daniel J Logan has dropped some stellar sketches and pages on me for two short stories. Shannon Ritchie has put together a very nice pitch for Heist. My man, Mal, has completely floored me with the pitch pages for A Love Supreme. Emma is all over my most personal and emotional tale, so far. So many good artists and no way to pick a top spot. I’ll just share my top panel from each.

Top Family of 2011

MINE!

This gorgeous woman and lovely little man provide my daily inspiration and support and I could not thank them enough for it all. They are everything to me and it’s kind of nice to know that if the rest disappeared, the books, the art, the podcasts, everything, I would still be sensationally happy with just our little world of three. This is my true success, and always will be.

Runner Up: Yours.

2011 has been one hell of a year. So many good things and I have an idea 2012 just might even be better. I hope your year has been just as good.

What Is Best In Life? – 2010 Style

SALVAGED FROM A ZEPPELIN DOWNED SEVEN CLICKS FROM HERE – PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

It’s been a very big year. It’s been emotional. Let’s see why.

Top Book of 2010

The Wheelman by Duane Swierczynski

Man, this book is just a rocket to your head. You know I loves me some Swierczynski but this thing just pops off the page. It’s a fast-paced novel and so very easy to make time to read. That’s a pleasure to come across. Sadly, I didn’t read many books this year – I just got caught up in far too many comics and far too little time for other stuff – but this book deserves it. You shold go out and read it. It’s bloody crime fun. <em>A little slice of 70s crime action slapped on the page.

Top Mention: The Dain Curse by Dashiell Hammett

Top Comic of 2010

American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, Rafael Albuquerque

I will admit it, I went into this comic because Stephen King was there. He was the main, if not only, lure. But then I will admit, even after just one issue, I kept on with this series because it’s all around brilliant. The entire team is dropping a top notch classic comic every month and even after the King left it has retained its high quality. I continually review it as being one of the best comics being produced right now, right up there with classics like Scalped, DMZ, etc. I just hope the word is getting out.

The best vampire fiction available right now and a comic that hasn’t had a dud issue. Impressive.

Top Mention: Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon

Top Movie of 2010

Inception

You could have set your watch to it. This movie was massively anticipated, it’s by the Batman film team, and it was pretty well hidden. This movie was a secret and you had to see it to believe it, or understand it. And it was awesome. So, you absolutely knew it would only take about a week before it became really cool to bash this movie. You had to point out its flaws to look smart. You had to scoff at certain moments. You had to be a fool, in other words. This film isn’t perfect, not much is, but it’s easily the best flick from 2010. It’s smart and interesting and funny and well acted and well thought out. It’s unlike nearly anything else you see at the movies these days. It’s a relaxing breeze in the world of cinema that is usually dominated by bland, lifeless weather. I loved it, and have no problem with that. <em>A smart and entertaining thriller that plays at your pulse and your mind.

Top Mention: The A-Team

Top Music of 2010

Glee Music

I’ll admit it, I’m digging the Glee albums. They’re fun, they’re easy to listen to, and they’re reliant on the success of so many others. I can acknowledge that and still appreciate it. I do not understand how people can get up in arms that Glee has more Number #1s than The Beatles. That not even comparable, Glee is like a Jukebox and while popular they aren’t actually usurping The Beatles in any way. People need to calm down, ha. I just like kicking back with these good looking, smiley people filling my ears. It’s reawakened my love for songs like Bust A Move and generated great mash ups like Young Girl/Don’t Stand So Close To Me. <em>Fun, man, just good ol’ fashioned fun.

Top Mention: Two things, not albums, just songs – Seu Jorge doing Life On Mars & Cee-Lo Green’s Forget You (yeah, I like the radio safe version, call me old…)

Top TV Show of 2010

The Walking Dead

This show is just a phenomenal work of adaptation. Not a surprise it’s from Frank Darabont, the master of making the visual representation of words awesome. It helps that The Walking Dead is based on one of my favourite comics and here is matched with a damn good cast and very good scripts. I will admit this show had its flaws, but why focus on them? They are well outweighed by the great stuff on screen. There’s violence, sure, and zombies, but much like the comic this is much more about the characters. This is a character study of what happens when the world ends and you’re left with not much else to survive on or with. I greatly look forward to the next season as this show could really have legs if it keeps it up. <em>A horror show that’s all about the drama and character moments.

Top Mention: Super Hero Squad – just always fun!

Top Website of 2010

Thoughtballoons

I hate to be self-serving but thoughtballoons has been a real experience for me. It was an idea I came up with. It was an idea I pushed forward. It was an idea I set up. And it was an idea I helped become pretty damn successful. The premise is, for those who don’t know, a team of writers that I assembled – my own nerd Avengers of the written word, and each week we pick a character. We each then pump out a one page comic script involving that character. We’ve been going for over half a year, we kicked off in May, and I have been one of the lucky ones who has represented with a script each and every week. I’m far too stubborn to take a break, that’s for sure. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of writing characters and love and ones I’d never heard of before. I’ve written over 30 one-page scripts, and so come up with over 30 different story ideas, and it’s cool to do so on a weekly schedule. It makes your brain set to constantly be thinking up story ideas, dialogue, panel descriptions, and that’s a setting I want my brain to always be on.

I look forward to doing this venture for quite some more time to come as there’s definitely plenty more characters to get through. <em>It’s a writing exercise that’s constant and fun and all about comics. Golden.

Top Mention: The Weekly Crisis – still fun to write for. Still fun to comment at.

Top Podcast of 2010

MOMBcast

This Pom podcast about comics has been a mainstay throughout my year. They just discuss their weekly hauls (spinning orders) and nerdery in general but it’s fun. The whole team, Nick, James, and the always lovely Jane, are the sort of people you get to know and like very quickly. They get on well and they make things fun each and every week. It also helps they’ve had me as a guest and plugged my work pretty well throughout the year and also become the podcast home for The Weekly Crisis. I always feel comic podcasts are a personal thing, you can’t listen to them all so you need to pick the ones that speak to you. These guys speak to me, every week. <em>A comic podcast that’s about positivity and fun.

Top Mention – The Splash Page podcast

Top iApp of 2010

Marvel – ComiXology

Man, every week that goes by this iApp gives me a few free Marvel comics. Now they’ve started having great little sales every Monday to shill a title or arc. Of all the ComiXology iApps, and most large publishers have one, the Marvel one always delivers for me. So much free content. I’ve just started dropping a few dollars into the digital pond on things I want to try. I have to read it on my iPhone, which isn’t optimal, but it’s still damn enjoyable. I look forward to still enjoying this in 2011. Comic in your pocket wherever you go. What more do you want?

Top Mention: TweetDeck – it’s kept me abreast at times, as has Gmail.

Top Art of 2010

Justin Greenwood’s Stuff For Me

Many moons ago, Justin Greenwood collaborated with me and this year he sent me some of the original art from that brain-meld. I loved the work he did, especially the cover, so it was nice to get it, frame it, and slap it up on the wall. There’s something about buying comic art that’s fun, but when it’s your own work then it’s just insane. He drew my characters and made them better.

Top Mention: Comic Twart – for always being awesome, and inspiring thoughtballoons.

Top Kid of 1010

My Little Man

I love my son. He’s only been around for a few months and yet I just love him so completely. I love holding him, changing him, letting him sleep on me, and I know it will never change. I always wondered how I’d go as a father but now I know I’ll be just fine, you can’t enjoy a job this much and suck at it. The heir to my throne. May I keep it warm for now.

And that’s been the year that was. Many highlights, and it’s always good to celebrate them.

What Is Best In Life – 2009 Style

SALVAGED FROM A ZEPPELIN DOWNED SEVEN CLICKS FROM HERE – PRESENTED FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

It’s the end of the year and I got a lotta problems with you people, and now you’re gonna hear about them. Yes, I’m celebrating Festivus, as usual, and the feat of strength is to find a top entrant for each arbitrary aspect of the year I feel like grieving about. Well, what are we waiting for?

Top Book of 2009

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon

This book is insanely well written and has taken the mantle of what I think is the greatest book ever written, and most certainly my favourite book of all time. It’s about, for those who didn’t read my review, two young Jewish lads in the early days of New York just after Superman is created. They set out to mark their own stamp on the comic industry and we follow this journey for a few decades. They have success, both professionally and personally, but they also experience failure in both realms. We get racism, assassination attempts, sexual discovery, borrowed children, Antarctic World War escapades, and someone leaping off the Empire State Building. But most importantly, maybe, we get a new comic character, The Escapist. When Chabon writes about The Escapist he changes his prose to feel pulpy and old school and he does a great job. We get the origins of his characters so well put that I would actually pay hard money for a novel just set in that world with that voice.

This book is fantastic, as enjoyment, as literature, as proof that man can still evolve. Enjoy.

Top Comic Book of 2009

Incognito – Ed Brubaker & Sean Phillips & Val Staples

This one was surprisingly easy, even though there were some great reads this year. Incognito is an old school pulp story with superpowered people, a history going back hundreds of years, back stabbing twins, hard boiled dames, and some fantastic art. Brubaker pits a story that could have come out of the first half of the last century, it’s a throw back to all sorts of paperback goodness, but it also mixes in some sensibilities of the new school with abundant blood, sex, and human depravity. We follow bad guy, Zack Overkill, as he is now in witness relocation, and presumably changed his last name. He’s on drugs that dampen his abilities, but when he starts to mess around recreationally with some drugs he finds that he can operate off the radar but he knows if he does anything wrong the Feds will link the locality to him. So, instead, he does a few good things. He just wants to feel above the common pleb crowd again, and he finds that he loves it. Once he starts working again he gains the attention of his old crew, led by criminal mastermind still running the shop from serious jail, Black Death. The crew come to get Zack and mayhem ensues. It’s a well paced story that has perfect art and colours to match. This was the sort of comic that brought out the childish fanboy in me because it was always a pleasure to read and look at. I know I’ll be rereading it again very soon. I also know that I rate it slightly above Criminal and cannot wait for the next Incognito mini that will be coming after this Criminal series, so if they go one for one til the end of time I will be the happiest man alive. Also, the back up essays from Jess Nevins were spectacular as they focussed on a different pulp character each month.

This book doesn’t reinvent a genre but it does reinvigorate it and does so almost pitch perfectly.

Top Movie of 2009

500 Days Of Summer

I just reviewed this movie, and it fortuitously came in at the last minute to save me from a year where I simply didn’t see enough good movies. So many awesome titles whizzed by me without getting a view, and that made me sad, but I didn’t miss 500 Days. I caught it on a plane on the way to my honeymoon and it blew me away. I’ve mentioned all of this, but I’ll be brief; Tom Hanson falls in love with Summer but she never really returns the favour, so over 500 days we watch their relationship and how it evolves and changes both people. It’s got laughs, it’s got tearily true moments, and it’s got my favourite dance routine from 2009 as well. The actors are great, but it’s the heart of the movie that will capture anyone who has ever been in love or desperately wanted to pretend they were.

This movie is a deconstruction of love after the fact, and it gets it right in every instance.

Top Album of 2009

Sarah Blasko – As Day Follows Night

I love Sarah Blasko, that’s been apparent before. She’s there with me many mornings as I write and I thank her so much for that. Her sound is simple and breezy, yet each song is actually so complex and fascinating. She’s perfect for writing, especially my latest melancholy-ish novel because she sounds like heartbreak and heartmending should sound like. She’s an ethereal dream and I find all her albums live in that perfect zone where every song is awesome. She’s not the girl I sing along to at the top of my lungs, I could never get near her sound, but one that I sway pleasantly with constantly. If you haven’t heard her yet then do yourself a favour and check out some clips on YouTube, she’ll be around.

Sarah Blasko sounds like my imagination at work, or at least she sets that wheel in motion down the long and dark hill.

Top Website of 2009

The Weekly Crisis

A fanboy comic website, but one with heart. 4 fellas update The Weekly Crisis a few times each week. They’re not journalists like on CBR but that’s what I love about it. It’s like a written podcast where you get people’s opinions, you get unbiased articles (except for personal like as a bias), and you get different perspectives on things. They review comics, and preview them, but only what they plan on buying, which opens great dialogue. They get up on Soapboxes and rant, when the time calls for it, and in the fanboy realm it’s always rant o’clock. They think up new ideas, like the recent fantastic article about back up story possibilities for Marvel that Matt wrote. It’s a fantastic site and all 4 guys have a different voice so you kind of know what they will most likely like, or not. I like the personal aspect, and when you comment they comment back , and the other posters are all regulars and nice people. It’s a site to hang out, not just catch the news, and it was a very cool find for me this year.

If CBR was a comic convention then The Weekly Crisis is a local pub filled with people who want to talk comics, and who doesn’t want that? Let’s all raise a beer…cheers.

Top Podcast of 2009

Fanboy Radio

It’s a radio show about comics coming straight out of Texas. The hosts are massive nerds, and they get actual stars to come on and answer questions and just talk smack in general. I like their vibe and it’s easy for me to listen to, I like everyone on there and I appreciate their highly enthusiastic and knowledgeable approach to comics, and nerd related media. They’re funny, they’re real, and they’re kind of like fanboys made good. This podcast is very easy to listen to as I exercise, and that’s always good news. I always make sure I’m up to date on this show, so that’s how I know I’m committed, instead of having all of those blue dots next to the entries.

Fanboy Radio, the podcast for comic lovers, and thos who love a good chat.

Top Art of 2009

Sean Phillips’ Australian Noir Essay Pictures

I don’t know if m any know about it but not that long ago I had an essay published as part of the back matter in an issue of Criminal, The Sinners Part 2. My essay was titles Australian Noir and dealt with crime in Aussie flicks. It was accepted by Ed Brubaker and put straight into his next issue. What a man! To be published, Sean Phillips had to draw a title page image, so he did up Guy Pearce in The Proposition, and in the article put Mark Brandon ‘Chopper’ Read in his most iconic pose. Both pics are great pieces of art, but the reason they have received enough buzz to create this new honour for the end of year round up is because I have the art sitting framed on my walls. Yeah, you heard me. I emailed Sean, because we were going back and forth, and asked if I could buy one piece, or even both. He emailed back and told me that I would have to wait until the end of the series run, but strangely enough the email actually come from my address. I asked my soon to be wife at the time about it and she said she had been anxious to hear his reply and gone into my email account (yeah, we’re pretty open and she knows all my passwords) and she read the email but something went wrong and she deleted it but there was still one there as forwarded by me. I know, the logic doesn’t fit, but with this girl I threw logic out the window ages ago. So I let it go, and didn’t realise that behind my back she had been emailing Sean and working on her buying both pieces for me. She wanted to keep it a secret, and had even altered his email to me (hence the need to forward and delete) to make it look like he was saying he couldn’t sell them yet. The pieces arrived and the wife framed them and gave them to me the day before our wedding as my present. I was gobsmacked and in love, with both of them (my wife and the art). I have Pearce in the living room, and Uncle Chop Chop in the office. I also have a short note from Sean wishing us both a happy wedding day, what a champion he is. So these two are easily my art works of the year that was.

Sean Phillips drew pictures for my words. ‘Nuff said.

And that, my friends, was the year that was. Oh, one more thing.

Top Wife of 2009

Mine

My wife is quite lovely, and at least two and a half points higher than me on the international scale. It’s fun to date up, every guy should try it, and now I get it for life, so that’ll be fun. She is a wicked chef in the kitchen, desserts being her specialty, she is a world record sleeper, once clocking up 19 hours in a day of sack time, very impressive, and she’s one funny bird. We laugh, a lot, and that’s always nice. But most importantly, she makes me want to be a better person, and she inspires me to write so often. She suggested I put one idea into novel form, when I had been toying with comic format, and now I have that first novel finished and shopping around. She is a complete inspiration on this latest novel, and she doesn’t mind that I get up at 5am each day and whittle away in my office with nerdy podcasts going. But my stand out love of my wife is the moment where I make her warm weet-bix for breakfast in bed and I take them in to her every morning, after having woken her maybe half an hour earlier so that she can then enjoy the ‘snooze button moment’ of getting back to sleep and knowing there’s more time to snooze and that food will arrive shortly. I love her smile, and could think of no better way than to work the rest of my life to continually see it.

She is the girl that I love, and always will.

I hope your 2009 has been just as merry.

Enjoy.

%d bloggers like this: