Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Month: July, 2014

Buy CMYK Magenta This Week

This week sees me become a Vertigo published creator. Pure. Insanity.

magenta cover

The CMYK anthology series from Vertigo Comics seems bent on injecting new creators amongst old favourites to tell short stories tied to some form of mild colour theme. This week sees the release of the Magenta issue, and within you can find the story GLOVES with Tommy Lee Edwards art, John Workman letters, and words by me.

I cannot tell you what a privilege it is to have a story with Vertigo. This is beyond a wild dream come true. Then to get this creative team, I’m a lucky man.

I hope you’ll consider picking the package up. It’s got 80 pages of superb stories – the brilliant Jody Hauser and Nathan Fox deliver what I think is the story of the issue, so buy for that alone. Our story shares an ink wall with Fabio Moon so that’s beyond comprehension in my world. There’s also a Michael Moreci story, and plenty others.

If you dig the stories then tweet or facebook the creative team, share with your friends, enjoy out loud. Anthologies for life, guys.

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Marvel 99c Digital – Fantasy Editor

Sometimes it’s fun to play ‘fantasy comics editor‘ and align creative talent with characters. It’s super lame, I know this, but it’s fun. It’s also a mental game that keeps you thinking and can be done on the side – while doing this I managed to cook up two little story ideas and also get a break on one I’m scripting right now. Any time you are using your brain, that’s good stuff. And for a guy with two little kids, I need all the mental gymnastics to stay in shape I can find.

So, I have to disclaim, the proceeding fantasy comics list is totally just for fun. I’m not pitching the publisher, I’m not being really all that serious, and I’m just having fun. Fun.

I also wanted to have this around for reference to check back on in 5-8 years to see what did happen to all these comic making peeps. So, yeah, just fun, I hope you enjoy.

The set up is: Marvel are doing a line of weekly 99c digital comics on ComiXology. Given my druthers, here’s a line up I’d put forward for the B listers using only up and coming talent. YMMV

THE DEFENDERS – Eric Zawadzki + Paul Allor

This would be the flagship title of the line. The team could be malleable but I’d want Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Spider-Woman on there to shifting degrees. Netflix tie in ACTIVATE, natch.

This is the big team book and it’s where the event type material would go. Paul has shown his chops on team books like TMNT and GI JOE so he seems like a superb fit, and Eric’s art is just so damn good, I’d love to see him cut loose with these characters.

Oh, yeah, if you couldn’t tell, this list will include plenty of my mates. Yes, I am biased.

DAREDEVIL – Sami Kivela + Ryan K Lindsay

Yep, biased. But I wouldn’t give myself this book if I didn’t have something to say. And I’ve got plenty of stories for ol’ Hornhead so this would be perfect fun. I’ve also worked with Sami enough to know that he knows how to elevate my scripts, and he’s great at some dark undertones. This would be the dream gig.

IRON FIST – Louie Joyce + Ryan K Lindsay

I’d want to tie Danny Rand in closely with Matt Murdock, and I know just how I’d do it, too. So to bring the fu, there is none other than Louie Joyce. His page composition, and ability to portray motion and fight in sequential form is second to none. He’d be the rock star of this book, by far.

LUKE CAGE – Johnnie Christmas + Matt Miner

Matt is a sharp dude, can bring emotion and intelligence to the page. Those are the two things I want from a Cage book. As for Mr Xmas, well, his stuff is just always great. Always. This book would be able to flip tone very effectively.

JESSICA JONES – Ibrahim Moustafa + Christopher Sebela

You take the HIGH CRIMES team and throw them at another fantastic female lead. Seems like a no brainer, right? Yep, that’s because it is. I’d pay good bitcoin to see this happen in any reality.

SPIDER-WOMAN – Mack Chater + Paul Allor

Allor writing a smart strong female lead. Mack’s work is so poised to break out that landing him here would be a coup. This would be a very on point street book.

DR STRANGE – Daniel Warren Johnson + Fabian Rangel Jr

Rangel Jr likes the olde school pulp fu. of DOC UNKNOWN and this new SPACE RIDERS malarkey. Let’s get him to really cut loose. Johnson is just magnificently brilliant. Imagine the composition, the insanity, the fun. Man, this is the sort of thing to make anyone giddy.

HOWARD THE DUCK – Valentin Ramon + Ryan Ferrier

If I have to explain to you how the D4VE team crush on this book then you have not been paying attention.

TALES OF ASGARD – Hugo Petrus + Ryan Ferrier

Go read GODDESS. Now imagine them doing Beta Ray Bill one-shots, and Sif arcs as she destroys Frost Giants. Anything Asgardian is game.

SHIELD – Michael Walsh + Ed Brisson

Brisson and Walsh together again. Street level crime with powers. No holds barred. Go.

THE PUNISHER – Christopher Peterson + Ed Brisson

Brisson doing a similar thing, and I’d love to see this crossover with the SHIELD book by having this anti-hero chase the same big bad the agents are in the other book. As for Peterson, yep, he’s ready for a stage like this. He does flowing action so damn well.

NICK FURY – Vic Malhotra + Dan Hill

Dan is a mate of mine (it’s all about who you know), he edits HEADSPACE for me as well as some other upcoming things, and his knowledge of war and espionage and writing is well above par. I’d kick and scream to drag him in on one title and this would be it, hands down, without fail. Plus, dropping Malhotra on art is going to cover up whatever newbie mistakes Dan makes because Vic’s art is just so sublime. Emotion, action, high levels of the fantastic – Vic has us covered.

SPIDER-HAM – Ramon Villalobos + Ben Rosenthal

C’mon, just imagine Ramon Villalobos doing Spider-Ham. Now try and chisel that smile off. Impossible, right? Then I’d hand the writing chores to Ben Rosenthal, a guy building his name doing puntastic books, but who I also know has great abilities at mining emotional depths. And while Howard the Duck would access the Nexus of all Realities and be spread across all space and time, Spider-Ham would be more intimate. In fact, it should just be in NYC. In fact, let’s put the little arachnid-pork bastard on house arrest in an apartment block. Now that could be fun.

THE INHUMANS – Ben Holliday + Michael Moreci

Galactic intrigue, familial intrigue, intrigued by all the intrigue? Holliday could rock some rad designs on this lunar family and really bring something to the title that hasn’t been done before. Moreci knows how to do sci fi, and strange goings on, and yet still always put character interaction in the fore. I would be buying this book so hard coins would spray out like Mario was punching the block.

GHOST RIDER – Justin Greenwood + Jeremy Holt

Greenwood on a flame-headed superhero riding a bike, and no doubt other transport. Yep, this is going to work. Bring in Holt’s knack for page flow and structure and you could really have something special here.

DR DOOM – Chris Mooneyham + Frank Barbiere

High fantasy Victor Von Doom. Across multiple worlds. Meeting a bevy of women. Angsting in a variety of tongues. Dr Doom presented as high art and with gonzo ideas coating a core of the analysis of one man. One great man. Yeah, the team behind FIVE GHOSTS can definitely do this.

TALES OF THE FRANKEN-CASTLE – everyone

Every second week would drop an anthology style book all about FRANKEN-CASTLE. Sometimes one-pagers, sometimes a multi-part story of 8 page instalments. Whatever took our fancy. I’d do this title purely because I’d want to read it, I think every creative team here could bring the thunder, and because it would be fun. You could just as easily broaden and offer a STRANGE TALES title but that might encourage people to make stories without Franken-Castle and I just don’t think I could bear that occurring. Not on my imaginary editorial watch.

——-

So, that’s how it’d go down.

I want to include more creative teams, and characters, but I also realise this list is bloated enough as it is. I also know I’ve been doing this during kid’s naps and before sleep, and it’s time to just put the piece to bed. And I also know I’m a massive nerd. I know.

I’d love to know what up and coming creative teams you’d throw at a Marvel B-lister. Hit the comments, or tweet me, whatever. I’d just love to know which characters you dig, and which soon to be superstars you think could cut their teeth on some Marvel stuff soon enough.

I hope you dug it. Later.

Parent Nightmare Fuel Conversation, July Edition

I’m the one who puts my nearly 4 year old son to bed every night. It’s a lovely time of day where I read books with him, give him kisses and cuddles, and generally load him up on my love that he misses daily while I’m at work. After I’ve read him two books, I turn the light off, lay on the bed with him, cuddle him, and we talk.

Lately, he’s been asking me if he can ask me some questions before I leave. We haggle on how many questions, and usually settle on 2-3. Mostly they are just ‘Dad, are there monsters in the house?’ or ‘Dad, are there trees in the house?’ or ‘Dad, are there worms in my room?’ Weird things for a 3 year old kid to wonder but who the hell knows how their crazy brains work, right. He’s usually concerned about possibly nefarious things being in the house that might cause him harm, but not too concerned. I always tell him those things not only aren’t in the house, but I would never let them in the house. I tell him monsters are just pretend, and that trees are out in the garden. The conversation nearly always ends in him laughing and telling me he knows monsters are just in books, etc. It’s all fairly innocuous.

Then, tonight he asked for only one question.

‘Dad, is Gary Loggins in the house?’

I laugh, what a funny name. He nervously laughs with me.

‘No, who is he?’

I can feel the room get colder as I say this. I put on my brave face but my feet are hanging off the edge of the bed, I’m on my belly, I could not be more vulnerable.

Vulnerable to Gary Loggins and whatever agenda he’s running in the dark hours of our lives.

My son then replies.

‘Gary Loggins is no one’s friend.’ – Oh, god, there’s an origin story right there – ‘He’s just a monster. 100 years old, I think. He knocks down houses and he’s a statue above the streets.’

I mumble something about Gary Loggins not being in the house, though pretty clearly my voice gives away the fact I can’t confirm this with hard data of any sort. I leave the room.

I start cleaning the kitchen and about five minutes later I hear three thumps come from my son’s room.

True story.

Throw It All Into The Pot Until You Have Jam

An artist I’ve been wanting to collaborate with for ages recently hit me up about doing so. We’ve been dancing for a while, slow old white man shuffling (maybe with me throwing in some of Elaine’s kicks) but now we’re grabbing hold tight and making some moves.
But, I had nothing in the chamber. I’ve got some pitch ideas being saved for…something. I just knocked another one-shot up a gear with a new artist. I actually just recently got into a space where all projects were kind of looking snug, at least for the time being. So we are chatting but I don’t have a thing to just whip out. Which is weird. I’m used to having a thing in my back pocket, all ready, to just conveniently display and from there it’s easy.
So, I just started chatting with him. What genres would he want to do? What do I think he’d be killer at? What could we make work? Real loose stuff. Reeeaaal loose stuff. Like “Action, yeah, crime, cool.” Loose. Well, not that loose, but loose. You dig?
And again, I can’t stress this enough, but I nearly always have something sitting around ready to sling. I’m never caught out without some ideas. And I haven’t done the whole “What story would you want to draw?” type question before because I can’t be certain I can yield a good story from that. Story, for me, can sometimes take time, so I like to preplan.
So we had our chat and I left to allow percolation to occur. I then promptly passed out at my desk with FEAR AGENT HC VOL 2 in my lap. A sure sign I was overtired.
Somewhere between sleep, being woken up to French toast and coffee, and driving to work, a few of the genres started to mash up. An idea bubbled, a character was trapped in that bubble.
The day might have looked like me teaching and being social to people but really I was just hacking away at the forest of story to find the one strong oak on which I could hang my hopes.
Tonight, in the living room while emailing and prepping an ep of ORPHAN BLACK, then at the desk, and then in the baby’s room with her on the shoulder going back to sleep and me pacing in pitch darkness, it all came together.
My mind is a bower bird and throughout the day it collected strands of things and by the time night came, I was ready to build with the assembled accoutrements.
The outcome: a one-shot with a character, a location, a world with a history behind it, a small supporting cast, a major conflict, an (I hope) interesting resolution, and an overall theme to the story. I never work like this but this has worked. Here’s why.
The Artist – I dig his style, so I broke story down through the lens of him. This helped refine story ideas, beats, paths.
Just Jam, Man – it was us just throwing genres and silly words and ideas out. My brain picked out the best and made them work. I have my storybreaking ways – questions I ask myself (and ask the characters) but that’s another post. For now, the tip is – just throw stuff to the wall, see what sticks. In this case, it started with two key words. Two words and I dreamt a world.
Here’s hoping we can build it. Stay tuned.

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