Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Month: April, 2014

I Hate Ed Brisson – Sheltered #8

Screenshot 2014-04-29 22.09.07

This establishing shot opens SHELTERED #8. It’s so easy to script, too. You just have to know you need to script it. I think I suck at establishing shots. I forget them, or want to drop the location later as a moment, and I worry I lose the sense of place. I also don’t like to lose half a page without pushing the story forward.

But look at this shot, and tell me it doesn’t set the mood. Man, it helps Ed that he’s got Johnny Christmas and Shari Chankhamma dropping art/colour science here but big ups have to go to the man scripting it as well. That’s a 101 move but so often neglected. People, set your scene, set your tone, sink your readers into the tale like an old man getting into a warm bath. Allow a moment, it’ll last forever.

Pink Factory Lives!

PINK FACTORY is an all-smut adults-only NSFW magazine published through Crime Factory. Let’s get that straight, this is not for kids. You should be 18 to read this mag, okay? This is a magazine, so articles and stories, not straight up smut but it’s so smeared in smut and all that good stuff that you really need to be prepared for it.

Right, so with that in mind…

pink factory cover

“Trapped by Sexuality: The Downfall of Matty Walker in BODY HEAT” is an article I wrote for this issue and it looks at the standard noir accoutrement of sexuality but how BODY HEAT kind of flips it so instead of a tool, it’s a trap, and not just for the witless sap caught in the femme’s web. I’m really proud of the article, and I looove BODY HEAT, so this is something I really wanted to do and love that is now out there.

You can buy the book on the CRIME FACTORY site for a song.

You can also tell all your friends about it.

Then you can really just look at the contents page shaped like a peen and the real history of bukkake article and totally know this magazine was the best purchase of your week.

I hope you dig, responsibly.

Dream Writing Life

I know the writing life I ideally want.

I also know the one I have is intense and sometimes unhelpful and overall unforgiving. I used to wake up at about 4:30am and write until I’d leave for work. But now the kids wake earlier and this doesn’t seem as productive a time. Plus, getting up that early wouldn’t gel with how late I go to bed now. I usually stumble into bed about midnight, or after, and I do this because I take the 8-12 shift at night in the house. If any kid stirs, I’m Action Jackson on the scene to put the sleeper hold on and return the house to silence.

I take this shift so my wife can sleep because she inevitably takes the 12-4 shift which can get pretty hairy. My shift might be on average 2-4 skirmishes a night. Sometimes none (thank a lord) and a few times like 8-10 soul crushing walks to the kid’s door and then the wrestle for their sleep and my sanity begins.

So, 8-12 every night, that’s my kid shift and that’s my writing time. The house is quiet, at times, and I can work. Oh, that’s if I shunt the wife into bed instantly without any personal time to, y’know, keep the marriage alive at all. Sometimes the wife and I chat, sometimes we just appreciate the company of another breathing body that’s not crying (externally) for half an hour while reality tv dulls our senses for those precious moments.

That means sometimes I don’t even get the four hours of my shift to write. I might chill with the wife and only get 3 hours, some nights.

And if you are thinking I get those 4 hours from a 4 hour shift then you’re dreaming. I think you could safely wipe away a third of each night in my sessions in the baby sleep octagon. I’d wager, most nights, email aside, and a quick toast stop slowing things down, I’m getting maybe a lick over 2 solid writing hours a night. And that’s it. I get sporadic pockets of time around these but otherwise this is my writing schedule.

Wake, breakfast, shower, day job, home, play, dinner, showers, bedtime routine, night shift. Repeat.

This is what I have, and it’s what I work with, and it’s better than nothing. Hell, with the laser focus parenting has given me, I’m possibly doing 7 hours a night in those 2 hours. Possibly…

To add to this, I also try to sneak a little phone writing in here or there. Currently pacing with the sleeping daughter on the shoulder right now as I thumb type into notes. I do posts, press, and loose story stuff here. Sometimes real scripting if a great scene comes to me but nothing too hard. These moments can be found anywhere and will be seized, or sometimes just used to chat on twitter or get inspirado juice on tumblr.

There’s no way I could sustain great things with 2-4 hours a night. I’m getting by with my little works, though sometimes only just, but I wouldn’t want to test the relationship. In fact, I recently turned down a gig because I knew I couldn’t deliver with the orientation of my world like this. So;

What’s My Dream Writing Schedule?

Man, well, it’s obviously a full time gig, right? That’s the dream. I want to make money off my comics but only so it’s enough to keep me writing. I don’t need to buy that cruise ocean liner we all dream about because all I’d do on that ship was access wifi and write, y’know?

So, with my full day of writing, man, I’d be able to kill it. Here are the things I’d be fitting into let’s say a 9-4 writing day.

Read 3 comics.

Write 3-5 solid pages – and I mean solid.

Edit a little on other stuff

Weedwhack that inbox into shape.

Watch one episode of tv with lunch.

Go for a walk/run.

Prep future projects: research, story break.

That’s all I’m asking. It’s nothing insane, I don’t think, and maybe one day I’ll get close. I think with this schedule I’d be able to stay on top of a fair bit of writing and really make more ground than I have so far. And then I imagine a time when my nights are used for family time only – playing board games, actually watching full movies in one go, and not feeling like every waking minute needs to be used. And as for sleep, well, damn, who knows what I’d manage.

For now, I’m still stupidly happy with my children who make up my adorable family. I’m honored I get to devote any time to this dream of writing comics that actual other people from around the world read. And I’m making the most of what I have. I’m not waiting for the perfect writing schedule to appear before I start, I work with what I have because that’s how you get stuff done.

I’d love to know your writing schedule, be it morning, lunch breaks only, or you live off your parents and write all day between bouts of furious self-pleasure. I find writing schedules a fascinating part of the process so feel free to drop your on me.

Headspace #2 Review Round Up

Headspace #2 came out Wednesday April 9 and some really nice and sharp things were written about it. Here’s a round up of the links for your perusal.

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“Then suddenly half way through the book it takes a left turn. You can hear the tyres squeal yet you are still gripping on for fear of falling out. We get an explanation (of sorts). But in a book that deals so magnificently with deception and unreality you can’t be sure that this is in fact the truth. I won’t spoil this but it’s done deftly and with an almost fairy tale styling (looking behind the curtain at Oz the Great perhaps?)”

–Tony Ezmond has some lovely things to say over at his site Never Iron Anything

““Headspace” #2 is a briskly paced chapter that builds upon the strong foundation laid out by the debut. We now have a strong and determined protagonist with a clear goal; the only thing standing between him and redemption is his own physical intangibility and the demons of his past…. Should be a walk in the park.”

–Zac Thompson gives us 4/5 skulls at Bloody Disgusting

I can’t remember when was the last time I read and looked at something equally weird and subconsciously disturbing.”

–Senor Editor has nothing but nice things to say over at Trash Mutant

I really think thatHeadspace allowed for all of those allegories to intertwine with this scene.”

–Samantha Roehrig at Comic Bastards continues to love what we are doing with a 4/5 score

Lindsay maintains the somewhat frenetic and erratic tone of the first issue in a positive way.”

–Jonathan Pilley gives our issue a great talk up over at Omnicomic

“While living puppets are definitely not your usual method of delivering exposition, this is probably the most successful scene in the issue. Eric Zawadzki’s work is impressive here, implying a puppet-like looseness to Max’s movements while putting forth a disturbing character. And Lindsay makes a perfect choice as to the marionette’s first line of dialogue, unsettling us right off the bat and giving us a clue as to one of Shane’s later revelations.”

–Michelle White gives us 8.0 over at Multiversity Comics

 “It is a weird sort of sci-fi psycho-drama that will leave readers wondering, “What happens next?!””

–Forrest Helvie drops an 8 out of 10 on us over at Newsarama in the Best Shots

I have to thank everyone who dropped a review, or talked us up online, or had a serious sit down chat with friends, or emailed me about this issue. Hearing people say they liked it better than #1, or that this is where things really ramped up, made me proud. You put these things into the world, you’d hate to think you are quacking into the abyss and left waiting for an echo until the end of time and you turn to dust and blow away on the winds of the forgotten.

In short, you all rock hard, I am humbled, and #3 is right around the corner, and things only get better yet. I promise. Nay, I guarantee.

OH, and thanks to those who are rating the issue on ComiXology. That always makes me happy, too, because I am needy that way. So needy.

HEADSPACE on thoughtballoons

This week on thoughtballoons the chosen comic is HEADSPACE – this makes me greatly happy.

But let me back track, fill in the details, really make you care. HEADSPACE is the comic I’m writing at Monkeybrain Comics with Eric Zawadzki and co. I love it so because it’s my best work to date. Now thoughtballoons, well, that’s a longer story.

thoughtballoons is a scripting challenge website I started about 4 years ago. I was writing plenty at the time and getting nothing made and I found I wanted to get better and also wanted to stop screaming into the void. So I dreamt up thoughtballoons as a writing equivalent of Comic Twart or any of the other sketch jam sites that we all know and love. Iassembled a crack team of writers and each week we’d tackle a comic character/place/thing/title and each write a one-page script about it. The aim being, we’d be writing at least a page a week, and we’d have this forum to critique each other and get better.

I wrote 104 straight scripts over two years before I eventually had to bow out because of other work. And in that time I grew as a writer like crazy. I figured out what would work, what didn’t, where my strengths were, and what I could work on there in a safe environment and make a strength over time. I wrote some of my favourite things that I’ve ever written. I wrote some dreck. I helped establish the site with Ben Rosenthal who I tabled next to last weekend at a con, and I met a writer in our comments, who went on to join the site for a time, Dan. Hill. You’ll notice his name because he’s now my editor on HEADSPACE, as well as a few other upcoming things. The site did me well and I love that it’s still going strong.

So this week the crew of writers still honing their craft each week is going to tackle HEADSPACE. I look forward to seeing what they bring to the table and how they view the world and characters within it. Mostly, it’s just an honour to think people might care at all.

Head over to thoughtballoons now and see what the crew cook up this week with one page of script a day until Saturday in the world of HEADSPACE.

RKL Annotations – HEADSPACE #2

I am really proud of this issue and happy with how it came out. We drop more knowledge and we further warp the world of Carpenter Cove. For as much as we want you to know more, we want to confuse and discombobulate you. Let’s do a little of both right now.

And if you haven’t read HEADSPACE #2, then head over to ComiXology right now and hook in.

headspace02_CVR_140218

Cover

Man, when Eric dropped this one on me I was floored. Talk about capturing the tone of the issue and laying it out in one simple image. This cover is working on many layers and I’m in love with it. I like a good minimalist design sense and this uses it to drown Shane and really ratchet up the tension. The blood in his mouth is ghastly and really brings this to life. In a word: perfect.

Page 1

I wrote this page a few times. I knew what I wanted to get into, I knew the back story, but I was being passive. I wasn’t allowing Shane to really address the situation with fresh eyes. Once I got onto this final draft, I could see I was really baring Shane’s soul.

And it’s important to note, I’m theorising on this subject. I’m wondering how I’d feel if I were in his position. The closest I’ve come is what happens early on in RESCUE ME (spoilers).

Page 2

What greets you on Page 2 is indicative of how I want to throw this comic at you. I never want you to get comfortable, I always want to try and slip in the weird business as much as I can. And I am in love with Eric’s delivery on this piazza, and the dead men of Carpenter Cove are creepy as hell.

Page 3

That wave is crushingly good. Initially, I scripted what caused the wave but we didn’t really have room on the page so I wondered for a while what we could do and then I realised we’d just not tell you. It’s the Cove, man, anything can happen. Dead men having brunch, now a giant wave. It happens.

Page 4

Ah, Max’s brain cutting loose in the only way it knows how. It’s trying to cleanse his brain, it’s reacting but blindly and violently. This montage of sorts needed to feel brutal but also warped and with just a hint of the absurd. I think it ticks all those boxes.

Then there’s the captions. I like the flow of them, the slow pace of giving them out. I wondered if maybe the page might look and feel different with all the captions in the first panel, or in the last. These are the questions I ask myself forever and ever. In the end, I like words with images so I opt to put one in each panel. I’m not much for writing silent panels, pages, or sequences. It’s just not how I deliver narrative.

Page 5

Remember the alligator we show in the background and mention off hand last issue, yeah, CRUNCH. Which is not actually the SFX I scripted but Eric did his own thing and improved us as always.

Page 6

I found this page hard to script and it went through various incarnations. I finally settled on something I liked but sometimes, when you’ve drafted something a dozen times, you either end up absolutely nailing it or you just finally get to a place where you are happy enough. For some reason, this page was hard to write. I’m glad I went silent in that big panel. It’s not really a reveal but it is a lead up. And I dig how Eric makes the movement all work, over quite some ground, so quickly across a handful of panels.

Page 7

This is another turn point, another place where we fall further down the rabbit hole. These marionette Maxs were creepy to write but then Eric drew them and they came out even more disturbing. I love them. The puppets are talking about things, snippets into Max, and it’s important to his character what we see and more importantly hear here.

Page 8

The first panel is one of my favourite things in this book. The way everything flows together, the caption, the flag, the abyssal black behind them. It’s this brilliant quiet moment and then the gator destroys it again. I can only imagine this will slay in Guided View on ComiXology.

Page 9

Eric decimates this alligator with style and flair. And then we meet The Librarian. Does he look familiar to you? He was initially designed to look more like Mandy Patinkin in Homeland but then I had a vision and asked for him to be changed. Eric obliged. Also, that gun, I scripted it to look like that ridiculous beast Nick Fury comes with toward the end of SECRET INVASION. I dig how it looks on this dude.

Page 10

That little kid walking the marionette Max away in the background of Panel One was not scripted, and it’s so damn creepy. I love that Eric does things like this with the book. I also dig that he drew all those books. Note to self, and others: don’t script in a library because your artist will go nuts drawing shelves and filling them. And then you will feel bad, though the page will look rad.

Page 11

We get a talky page and Eric does well to make it work and mix up the angles. That reaction panel down the bottom certainly worked well.

Page 12

I love Eric’s reactions on the faces of his characters. Watching Shane break down a little is sad. That final panel could be its own splash, if I had more real estate and artists who would work for me on an unlimited basis, but I don’t think I’d ever write a face to say a line filling its own splash. That’s just not my bag.

Back Matter

I admit what a sick mind I have. I beg for forgiveness. You can see how behind on things I am as I read NORTHLANDERS and THE MIGHTY THOR while watching JUSTIFIED well behind the rest of the world.

Essay

Damn, Chris Kosek designed these pages too and he smashed them. I feel like we’re making some kind of online novel back here, I hope you all dig. Dan Hill is bleeding research and erudition on the page. These essays support the themes of the book as well as just fill a space with something I would want to read as a reader of this book.

So, thanks for picking up the book. I appreciate every damn sale and you are keeping my dream alive 99c at a time. By this stage, all the scene setting and first act malarkey is over. Next issue, we really get into the chase and broaden the scope of the comic. Next issue, it’s brutal, and Eric sends us out on one of my favourite panels of all time from a book written by me. It’s sublime and gorgeous and perfect and better than scripted. Stick around and you’ll see, and no doubt agree.

We’d also appreciate it if you spread the good word. Indie books live and die on the vine due to exposure and word of mouth. Hit up twitter with #headspacecomic to share your thoughts, and possibly end up in the back of an issue, too. Chat with myself @ryanklindsay or Eric @ericxyz and let us know your thoughts. We love to chat about the stuff we create. Or just about other stuff. Tell your friends about the book on Facebook, or in person, or actually phone a friend to talk about Headspace, or gift the comic to someone. It’s all appreciated.

We’ll see you for #3 soon to take a TOUR OF CARPENTER COVE. Til then, be safe.

HEADSPACE #2 Out on ComiXology Today

Headspace #2 from Eric Zawadzki and I lands on ComiXology today.

headspace02_CVR_140218

We’re really proud of this issue so we hope you go take a gander, you take the plunge, you dig it, and then maybe share the thoughts with your friends quietly in that staff meeting or on the social media platform you most dig (except for MySpace, we actively don’t want to be mentioned on that site, please ;).

This issue sees Shane journey deeper into the mind of Max in order to try and find his son, while Max’s mind offers up a multitude of horrors – the marionette men and alligator being my favourite – and then in the back I chat a little and then Dan Hill drops an essay all about THE PRISONER. The art from Eric is dynamite from cover to final page, Chris Kosek’s back matter design is stupendously good, and Dan Hill’s words are airtight. All for 99c, how could you go wrong?

If you have any thoughts feel free to hit me (@ryanklindsay) or Eric (@ericxyz) up on twitter, or use the #headspacecomic hashtag if you like.

Adelaide Oz Comic Con Round Up

My first ever weekend in Adelaide was a bloody ripper.

Huge thanks to OCC for wanting me at the show, and a mammoth thanks to all who came out to the show. The con floor was constant and awesome and totally relaxed. There was a great atmosphere the whole time.

The people who decide to spend their money on my four colour ideas always humble and delight me. Sales were consistent and strong and the people who buy on Saturday and give me feedback on Sunday of what they read are the best people ever. They are life’s good guys.

It was great to table next to Ben Rosenthal, he’s a good man and close friend. He also has the hook up on an insane burger place called Burger Theory where I scored a fistful of angus patty topped with salami chips, pickles, beautiful cheese, and dijonnaise. With fries and truck sauce on one side and a delicious cider on the other, it was one of the best con meals I’ve taken down in a while.

I find Australian comic people are always the greatest people and I thank them for their support and time at all times. It’s nice to have Tristan Jones pointing at me at odd intervals on camera – though I got him back with a patented Lindsay Oil Drill Press, never forget.

The panels I did both days were spectacular fun. Talking indie comics with Paul Mason and Dean Rankine was a blast, even when we didn’t really answer any questions and ended up in the weirdest tangents possible. Then talking Aus comics with Douglas Holgate, Tristan, Jon Sommariva, and David Yardin is always humbling and exciting. The crowd was huge, the questions well thought out, and the entire chat inspiring.

I love panelling, especially on a Sunday, because I find people then track me down at my table and want to talk process. I chewed many an ear for half hour stretches on the Sunday and I love that stuff. I could talk comics/writing/process/craft/breaking in for hours. And sometimes do. To those who are willing to listen, truly, I salute you. You are one of my most favourite things about con weekends.

I do need to thank the lads from Gifts for the Geek for putting on a great AFTERMATH party and keeping everyone entertained and revitalised after the final hours of the con. They’re a good store who know how to do good things.

And finally, thanks to my amazing wife for holding down the fort with both our kids while I earned a slim profit chasing my dream. The ability to FaceTime with the family while out of town is quite simply the best.

So if you had a chat with me this weekend, thank you. If you bought any of my stuff, thank you. If you came to my table at all, thank you. It was a rad weekend and that’s because of you.

Adelaide, I will definitely see you next time.

Oz Comic-Con Adelaide 2014 Plans

For the first time in my life, I am going to be in Adelaide. I’m looking forward to it but also know I won’t see much of Adelaide because I’ll be in the con, and at the bar, and back in the con. But I’m looking forward to it anyway.

Here is an update on what I’ll have for sale on my Table of Four Colour Delights! Though if you look on the map it’s only labelled as Table A6.

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THE MANY HAROLD HOLTS OF SPACE AND TIME – $3

Holt_Poster

The critically lauded short by Louie Joyce, Nic J Shaw, and me (which first featured in HBVB ONE) is coming to your grubby mitts as a little ashcan you are guaranteed to love, adore, and cherish until you’ve read it to tattered pieces and it crumbles out of your hands as you weep.

But seriously, this gonzo tale of sci fi Australian politics is exactly what you need. Plus, y’know, Louie Joyce art, the guy is a local god.

FATHERHOOD – $5

fatherhood_final1_cover

My one-shot comic with Daniel Schneider, Paulina Ganucheau, and Brandon DeStefano is an emotional tale of fatherhood that segues into a pulp crime tale but it’s really just about emotional breakdown. It’s also gorgeous and has some back matter by me. Enjoy.

PONY TALES: MY LITTLE PONY TPB – $30

MLP_microTPB-copy

This trade collection of the first 6 MLP Micro Series one-shots contains my Rainbow Dash issue with Tony Fleecs. It’s a sturdy beast and is sure to make a great gift for a brony or little friend (or yourself *wink*) so come pick one up. I only have so many left.

OXYMORON – $30

Oxymoron_Cover copy copy

This anthology of shorts about the Oxymoron – ComixTribe’s resident villain – is a boat load of fun tales of death and dismemberment, with one written by me. You’re probably a sicko, you’ll really love it. Oh, and these are the last 4 copies I own, so hook in quick.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS – $15

devil is in the details cover

A book of essays all about Daredevil. Sequart published this literary tome, I edited it, I also contributed two magnificent and long essays, and a slew of other sharp minds attack the character of Matt Murdock in ways that will excite and inform you.

I will also have copies of the smaller book, BLIND DATES AND BROKEN HEARTS, which contains one of my essays from the big book – it’s all about Matt Murdock’s love life. It’s a good read.

LEE – $15

lee cover

I wrote a short story about old man Lee Marvin racing death and it appears in this anthology of tales about the crime master. It’s a hell of a pulp read for any grizzled warriors on these endless roads we find ourselves on. Oh, and these are the last 3 copies I own, so hook in quick.

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HEADSPACE

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I won’t have copies of the book – it’s digital only through ComiXology right now – but I have little flyers and I’m down to chat about the book and will sign an iPad if you are down on that front.

PROCESS

I am also always keen to meet other creators and just shoot the process breeze. You will know where to find me.

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CON SKETCHES

Yeah, sorry, I can’t do them. But I’m happy to write a short one page script in your book if you so desire. For reals.

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I’ll pretty much be at my table all weekend. I like tabling. So drop on by, say g’day, let’s do this. Oh, and I might have a panel or something on the weekend. If I do, please feel free to drop in.

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