Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Month: May, 2013

Ryan K Lindsay on Vodka O’Clock Podcast

I was recently a guest on the Vodka O’Clock podcast with the fantastic Amber Love. You can get all her details, and details for the pod ep, here:

Ryan K Lindsay on the Vodka O’Clock podcast with Amber Love

vodka oclock

It was a really fun show to do and we chat all about GHOST TOWN, MLP, and THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS. We also discuss me cosplaying, my definition of noir, my supportive wife, and I get my filibuster on. I have to thank Amber for having me on, she’s awesome and so much fun to chat with.

Have a listen and enjoy.


3 Years of thoughtballoons

Three years ago I was no one with nothing to do. So I changed what I could.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. And I did write. Sporadically. Then about a decade ago I wanted to take it more seriously. So I tinkered. And it was fun.

But then I wanted more. I wrote short stories – even self-published two which was great fun. And then I worked on novels. My trunk runneth over. But comics are a lifelong love so I dabbled there, too.

Problem with comics is you need a partner. Or partners. These can be hard to find for a no one with no credits to his name at all. And I get that.

But I wanted to write and I felt held back, like I was waiting for permission. Like the validation would come first and then I’d tickle the keyboard.

I was doing it wrong.

If you keep waiting you’ll probably always be waiting. Keep doing the same thing and you’ll always get the same results, y’know?

I wanted to write comics. And I needed to get better. So I needed to just write. And I wanted to. So I gave myself the excuse and the permission.

I created thoughtballoons, a site where each week a character is chosen and everyone writes a one page script on that character. I invited some people to join, a few did. And we began. Three years ago.

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It was liberating and a hell of a lot of fun to write a page a week. Writing something that’s just one page and that needs to stand alone is a skill. It’s fun to plan a sixty issue opus but let’s all be honest and admit that’s a crazy place to start. You need to start by refining your craft and three years ago my craft was okay. Just okay.

Over three years ago I started putting raw writing online at thoughtballoons and I had to stand behind it and it would be judged by the other writers, and the few fantastic fans of the site, and I would receive feedback. You can’t get enough of that early in your writing career, before all the rough edges became permanent.

In addition, I’d also got to see scripts from a handful of other talented individuals each week. I could learn from them. You should learn from your peers.

Over the first two years, I wrote at least one script page a week. I never missed a week and sometimes I’d write more than one script. That means I presented 104 scripts over two years into the world. I am still immensely proud of that fact/effort.  Over that time I learnt many things. So many things.

Write every day. It was around this time I was finally starting to do this. Having anything to help motivate you to do this is perfect. Consistency is key. It’s like a muscle, exercise it.

Think away from the cursor. Don’t stare at the blank doc. Go for a bike ride, a shower, a walk. Cook a meal. Read a comic. Let your subconscious wrestle it into shape because it will. Some of my best breakthroughs came when trying to put the kid down to sleep. Just trapped in a dark room with your thoughts. Those were halcyon story breaking days – may they never return.

Revise. Your first draft is trash. Even if its good, it can be better. Tighten everything. Make two panels into one. Cut excessive words. Only prescribe panel layout where really necessary. Sometimes I’d finish a page, wait a day, then write it again from scratch. See which beats are so solid they are born whole again and watch the detritus dissipate. I always found when I polished a piece it got a better response.

Try a few different things. Write an idea three different ways. From three different perspectives. Use omniscient third person captions. Make it silent. Every story and character requires their own storytelling devices. Explore before settling.

Read scripts. I studied my fellow tenures. I sought out scripts online. I started sharing with people I trust and respect. My scripting style has evolved dramatically over the past three years. I’ve scooped things from Tyler James, Greg Rucka, the IDW house style. I’m still tweaking to get it just right. Even then, I recently sent a short to an artist in Marvel Method. Exciting but scary.

Writing for thoughtballoons was one of the best things I ever did. It made me a way better writer over time. I honestly believe it’s important to just write for fun and as a learning exercise. Experiment, innovate, study, learn, watch, listen, fail, write.

A year ago I sadly had to quit thoughtballoons. I just didn’t have the time. But I miss that weekly challenge. I miss the comments and the process chatter. I miss my friends. I’ll be catching up with Ben Rosenthal – the guy I handed the keys to the kingdom to – very soon at SydNova. I’m currently putting together a project involving three of the current thoughtballoons writers. It will always be my learning ground, a place special to me.

I needed to write every day so I made it happen. And now it happens for others well after me. That makes me incredibly happy and proud.

I hope you find your thoughtballoons. And appreciate it every day.


THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS: EXAMINING MATT MURDOCK AND DAREDEVIL is a book of essays all about Marvel’s Daredevil character. Published by Sequart, it is edited by me and features a rogues gallery of high quality writers. It is currently in May’s Previews and will hit comic shops in August.

The preorder code for the book is MAY13 1432 (it’s on page 379 of May’s Previews) or you can just ask your LCS to order you a copy. Many stores won’t order copies unless they think their customers want one – this is a critical text of a niche character so it could easily fall by the wayside. With your help, it won’t. The book will be $15.99 and it’s pretty damn fine, if I do say so myself. I edited the whole thing, and wrote two pretty long essays, but as a Daredevil fan it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted to read.


You can scope out some essay previews at the following links:

iFanboy runs an excerpt of my essay “Blind Dates and Broken Hearts”

Multiversity Comics runs an excerpt of my essay “The Only Way Is Down: Brubaker’s Saga as 70s Cinematic Noir”


And check some interviews with me at these links:

Kuljit Mithra at an Without Fear chats with me about the book

Matt Meylikhov at Multiversity Comics chats with me about the book

Tyler James at ComixTribe chats with me about the book


Here is a list of the essays and their authors:

‘Daredevil’s Origin’ by Will Murray discusses how Marvel came to publish a character named Daredevil.

‘Daredevil: Not Ready for Primetime?’ by M.S. Wilson discusses how Daredevil works better as a character on his own rather than integrated with others.

‘Daredevil and the Missing Father’ by Forrest Helvie delves into the concept of fatherhood in Daredevil’s creation.

‘Grabbing the Devil by the Horns’ by Matt Duarte looks at the early rogues of Daredevil’s crime fighting days.

‘Being Mike Murdock’ by Tim Callahan is an interesting take on the imaginary brother Mike Murdock.

‘The Life and Times of Foggy Nelson’ by Christine Hanefalk deconstructs the life of Matt Murdock’s best friend.

‘When Things Fall Apart in Hell’s Kitchen: Postcolonialism in Bendis’s Daredevil’ by Jon Cormier is an educational look at the role the location plays in the book.

‘There Will be Blood: Daredevil’s Violent Tendencies’ by Henry Northmore considers the effects of Daredevil’s violent adversaries.

‘Science Fact!’ by Stéphane Guéret, Manuella Hyvard, Nicolas Labarre, and Marie-Laure Saulnier considers the realistic possibilities of Matt Murdock’s unique medical situation.

‘Blind Dates and Broken Hearts’ by Ryan K Lindsay investigates the deep and treacherous love lives of Matt Murdock.

‘Daredevil: Intermediate Superhero Film Making’ by Geoff Klock is a discussion about the 2003 movie adaptation.

‘Daredevil and Spider-Man: Dark Alleys and Bright Lights’ by Vinny Murphy is an analysis of the relationship between Daredevil and Spider-Man.

‘What Fall From Grace? Reappraising the Chichester Years’ by Julian Darius looks over the much maligned Chichester run from the 90s.

‘Daredevil and Punisher: Polar Opposites? ‘ by M.S. Wilson investigates the themes connecting Daredevil and the Punisher.

‘.22 Caliber, A Girl’s Gun: Vanessa Fisk & Freedom of Action’ by Kevin Thurman discusses the role of Vanessa Fisk in the Bendis/Maleev run of the 2000s.

‘The Only Way Is Down – Brubaker’s Saga as 70s Cinematic Noir’ by Ryan K Lindsay analyses the Brubaker/Lark/Gaudiano run against the cinematic noir cornerstones of the 70s.

And a classy Foreword by Ralph Macchio


Here is Alice Lynch’s amazing cover and hopefully you’ll think about adding it to your shelf this coming August.

devil is in the details cover

You can also order another Sequart book all about The Filth in the same Previews. Check the details here.

And definitely don’t forget to order GHOST TOWN #2 from Action lab’s danger Zone in the same Previews. It’s my first issue on this action packed ongoing.


Ghost Town #2 in Previews

My ongoing time travel/terrorist/survival action spectacular GHOST TOWN from Action Lab’s Danger Zone imprint is in Previews right now for issue #2. Feel free to oogle and preorder through your LCS of choice.


This is billed as #2 but it’s my first issue on the book and it starts a very reader friendly jumping on point (though Dave Dwonch and Justin Greenwood did an amazing job in the #1 issue, out next month, of establishing the great complication of this grander narrative – I just pick it up a ways down the track).

Daniel J Logan is my co-pilot and his work is fantastic stuff, equally matched by the colours of Brian V Dyck. We are also graced with this kick ass cover by Justin Greenwood and Jordie Bellaire. It’s one hell of a way for my ongoing debut to hit the stands.

You can, and should, and maybe even will preorder the book through your local store because indie books like this thrive only on confirmed numbers. If you are digitally inclined, here’s a link to the ComiXology pulllist where you can give the book your stamp of approval.


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