Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Month: December, 2014

2015 NYE Resolutions

I love resolutions, they’re the sure fire way to level up (ymmv). I dig ’em, and found 2014 to be a good time to add another arrow to my quiver. The big add on for 2014 was my goal to:

READ ONE COMIC EVERY DAY

In 2013, I found there would be days where I was working late, stressing about writing, writing for too long, and so never reading at all, and it just wasn’t a great idea. In fact, it was no doubt a fast track to burning out. Plus, I like to read, and I was missing it because reading is rad and fun and shouldn’t be seen as this devil taking me away from writing. So I set this goal so I would allow myself that spare 5-10 minutes to just pick up a comic, read it guilt free, and enjoy it. As such, I read well over 365 comics for the year, which is a lot of trades, and floppies, and digital copies, so I kept up on good stuff, and caught up on old rad stuff.

I know feel like I’ll make this part of my daily routine. It’s a lifechanger, and that’s part of a resolution, it shouldn’t just be for the 365, it should be for life. And I believe this is. Like in 2013, I dropped chocolate completely, and then in 2014 I ate chocolate maybe a dozen times, if that. I’m happy to have the very odd piece, but it was nice to eliminate it and feel that echo out beyond 2013.

And with such success, here we go for another round.

Continue to read, at least, one comic a day.

I crushed this in 2014 and want to consciously keep it rolling. Good things should not fall by the wayside, this kept me up on a few books, and made me feel it was okay to set aside this time.
I am thinking about making this part of the night’s warm up, but I also know I like having a little four colour reward waiting for me when I get to it – the problem lies in when I feel like I never get to it.

Read 10 novel pages a day

My novel reading is zero, let’s be honest. I have some rad novels sitting around, waiting, hoping – hell, my brother just wrote one, and I need to read that business – it’s time to crack into them. It’ll keep my brain sharp. It’ll broaden my horizons. I’m looking forward to allowing myself time to do this again. I was also gonna add on ‘read one article a day’ but think maybe that can wait…maybe until I’m full time (hahahahaha, so never :|).

Start the night with an hour of Internet free writing
Sub goal, this will require a list before those 60 minutes start so no time is wasted at all.

This one feels like it could be key. At night, I make my coffee, I sit down, and now I want to write. No email yet, no Facebook scrolls, no alt-tab to Twitter, none of that. Just time to bash out what’s been waiting all day to happen. I gotta stop writing until 1am and thinking I can teach the next day with a straight brain/face/soul. I need to be more effective, and early. This is my aim.

Surprise your wife – hopefully once a fortnight
Date nights, sleep ins, small gifts, sneaky messages – putting it here to remind myself, and show I’m not some remorseless process machine.

She deserves it, and I get wrapped up. Let’s change this.

Think of my kids – always
Get them gifts, call them up, leave them sneaky messages in their room and on Facebook for their mother to show them.

This I’m excited for, just to ensure I see the world differently – I see a range of opportunities to please them. Because that is my job.

Aaaaand, this is enough. You never want to go overboard on these ones. I’m keeping one that’s working, making it a lifelong thing. I’m adding a warm up of the 10 novel pages, and I’m hoping this hour right into the writing comes around.

Beyond that, just be a better person/man/husband/father. I should be doing these already, but we can all always do better. Make it happen, however you can.

Have a rad 2015, peeps, let’s tear a hole in the sun *fly kicks the air*

Recap of 2014 as a Year of Writing

This has been an amazing year. I’ll flat out call it, it’s exceeded my expectations. The writing has gone well and it has been fun.
In March, I launched HEADSPACE at Monkeybrain Comics, with Eric Zawadzki cocreating and on main art duties, Chris Peterson drew addition pages, with Marissa Louise on his colours. Dan Hill edits the whole beast, and Chris Kosek designs our back matter – which consists of me prattling on about myself and my work. Then from issue #3, Sebastian Piriz flew in and has taken over from Peterson on extra art.
The book is about Shane, the sheriff of Carpenter Cove who comes to discover he’s actually inside the mind of a killer. So he has to figure out how he got there, why he’s there, and how he can survive to get out when the killer’s mind discovers the town and wants to purge it with manifested fears and memories. It’s sci fi/PKD pulp/thriller fun for all.
I actually spent most of 2013 writing HEADSPACE so it was nice to see it finally land. The 22 page/99c download debut from ComiXology was well received with reviewers loving it, readers digging it, and me not entirely loathing myself in its wake. There are currently 5 issues available, with the last 3 coming thick and fast in early 2015, and another piece of good news to follow. Without a doubt, HEADSPACE is the biggest book of my career, so far, and it’s possibly the one I’m currently most proud of.

DEER EDITOR was an issue I cooked up with Sami Kivela over a long period of time, and in between his other art responsibilities. Once finally completed, I decided to throw my piss into the wind and Kickstart the comic. I was staunch on needing this Kickstarter to have minimal-to-no postage. This was a digital experience, hence why I set my goal so low ($1000) – because I legit didn’t ‘know’ I’d make it.
However, we did make it, we made it at ~230% of funding and got the book into a lot of people’s hands. It was a scary and humbling and awesome experience. I’d definitely do it again.
This book has been a special project for me, something a little different with the black and white aspect of the art, and I’ve been humbled by the feedback it has received.

I think the GHOST TOWN tpb landed early in the year. I did that with Daniel J Logan, and Brian V Dyck on colours, at Action Lab Entertainment’s Danger Zone imprint. The trade has the issue #1 in it with art from Justin Greenwood and words by Dave Dwonch. It’s got some beats I’m proud of. If you can find it, hook in. But good luck, it’s nowhere — except on ComiXology for $7.

At the very beginning of the new year, I was invited to pitch for the Vertigo Quarterly series and was steered towards the Magenta issue. I was stunned and honoured to get the look in and was also determined to not lose it, so I set aside everything else (it was right at the start of the new year, at a new school, in a new role, I felt mentally swamped, so I managed to wade through the first rejection to land with the second). The resulting story was GLOVES, a story I did with Tommy Lee Edwards on art and John Workman on letters, and edited by the fantastic Sara Miller. I am exceptionally happy with this story, if I was going to debut in the big leagues with one short I’m glad it was this one. It’s a boxing noir tale, so it shows more of my wheelhouse than less, and it’s got a twist that I think works, and it’s a character deconstruction as well. If you picked up the Magenta issue of the CMYK anthology then I thank you, and hope you dug it.

After the stirring success that was the OXYMORON HC on Kickstarter last year, I was keen to get into the world of Joe Mulvey’s SCAM. THREE CAR MONTE is my story in the Ultimate Scam Collection HC with Adam Masterman on art. It’s a tale about a scam with three possible leads to take. The pages were broken down to chase all three leads at once, and in different narrative ways. This was a nice short to experiment with and try new things.

I continued to write back up material by way of essays. I wrote in a fair few issues of SHELTERED where I wrapped up my investigations on the way the world will end and I started a series of interviews with preppers. These interviews were each written in fury storms of words and thoughts and feelings and I’m actually really bloody proud of how they came out. Alongside this, I also has my back up essays about cryptozoology and weird stuff as featured in modern fiction/media run to the end of the first arc of STRANGE NATION in issue #8. Those were also wicked fun.

Just the other week, a package arrived from IDW and I had no idea what for and I found inside MLP: ADVENTURES IN FRIENDSHIP, an MLP collection of 3 one-shot issues put into this little HC picture book-style book and my issue runs first, with gorgeous art from Tony Fleecs. Pretty cool. The issue is technically from last year, March last year, but this presentation was too cool to ignore.

And then, to be honest, with all that stated above, the year suddenly doesn’t look that impressive. I’ve got HEADSPACE, and DEER EDITOR. Then some shorts. Or that’s how my brain sells it. I mean, hell, I even look slack. But here’s the dirty little secret:
Most of these things from 2014 were written in 2013. And a lot of 2014’s writing has been in prep for 2015. I hope.
At present, I am:
-polishing the second issue script of a mini with a beyond rad publisher that’s not yet been announced (I’ve also looked at prelim colours for the cover, and thumbnails for #1, and I am very happy)
-art continues to roll in for HEADSPACE, it’s going to end strong.
-polishing a script for a spy short with an artist I’ve wanted to work with for years – at present, it’ll just be self-pubbed
-waiting for art on three one-shots that have been placed with artists
-have a script for a one-shot unattached to an artist – it needs the exact right one
-another one-shot script just waiting for the attached artist to come back and be available again
-another half-issue script where I’m just waiting for that artist to come back and be available again
-waiting for word on a pitch an editor at an insane publisher asked for – and which I’m very aware will get knocked back, and I’m cool pessimistically saying this because if you knew the publisher, you’d know I’m actually just being pragmatic – and I’m also just honoured to have been asked to pitch and that they dug it enough that they wanted to see more, that’s the big win in this situation, trust me
-waiting on art for another short to be self-pubbed/uploaded
-waiting on art for another short already with a cool anthology
-discussing with an artist which of two projects we have lined up we might want to kick into high gear in the new year
-there’s this gargantuan writers room/multi-artist book that’s been ticking over for about 18 months now that I’m hoping and thinking might just hit in 2015…maaaaaaaaybe
-talking with two publishers who both want non-fic books about comics from me – which I’ll do, if I ever get the time
-and there’s also talk (mostly in my house, but there’s talk) of more prose work seeing daylight in 2015

So, yeah, if even half this stuff makes it to the page it’ll make 2015 look rad even though it was 2014’s hard work.
Writing is funny like that. We are two days shy of the year and I’ve already written and attached artists to more pages than I completed in total for 2014. You just gotta sit tight and wait and hope it all plays out, and also know it ALL can’t and won’t play out. Which is cool.

And as for goals for the new year. Well, I generally keep those close to my chest. My goals for 2014 were these two:

1 – get some more short work out the door…and I did.

2 – set up the next mini beyond HEADSPACE…and I did. Oh, boy, did I.

So for 2015, yeah, I have just one goal. Beyond finishing all of the above, natch, I have one goal. But that’s just for me for now.
Anyway, I hope your 2014 was busy and productive. I’m off to go ensure my 2015 looks like it should.

Write, drink coffee, and be merry.

RKL Annotations – HEADSPACE #5

HEADSPACE #5 is a 99c goldmine of feels.

Poor bloody Shane. Things just tunnel deeper every issue like he’s strapped to a Technodrome 😦

headspace05_cvr

Here are some spot thoughts on a journey through the issue – won’t you join me?

COVER

I love this cover. The concept, the white, the orientation, everything. And I think it’s the little people in that brain/maze that make me smile the most. Lil’ Gil, I hope he makes it out, ha.

Actually, how interesting that this cover gives me kind of a smile, when nothing then in this issue is really geared to making you feel better or comfortable. Way to go for the sucker punch, Zawadzki.

PAGE 1

Hrmm, clearly how I think some cheating Valley girl type might sound on the phone with her cuckolded bf in the room. That central panel of her laughing is gorgeous and yet so cruel at the same time. And Eric slays on the 9 panel grid +1

PAGE 2

I don’t write many splash pages, but this moment just tickled me, and it relieves all the tension built up on that crowded Page 1. You gotta build, then release, that’s part of a good narrative. Plus, on Page 1, it all looks relatively normal, so this moment is to really throw you off guard, I want you to not quite know what’s going on. You need to be as on edge as the person watching this scene (as seen in the next page).

Also, I scripted this visual a few ways, mere ideas for Eric on possibilities, and then he just went and did this. Those birds are fantastic, but Max’s smile, and posture, in the background is the kicker.

PAGE 3

Then we take a page to breathe, set the scene, explain the first two pages, and build towards the next page. I worry about these type of pages. I worry enough isn’t happening, that they only exist as exposition (SOUND THE JAMES REMAR KLAXON) but in the end, and as I read this, I see them and how they serve as part of the whole structure, how this page pauses, allows the mind to settle, so we can do what’s next…

PAGE 4

Man, this page is one of my favourite things Eric has done, and is also a shining example of why I love comics. We get to do this, how rad is that? Very little else in this world – perhaps nothing – can replicate exactly what is on this page. I love that Eric could pull this off. I asked him to lay it out like a boardgame (I sent him a pic of the old Hero Quest board game top – olde school Hero Quest fans represent!) and then I asked for as many rooms as I could. Then Eric fit them all in.

This page totally raises more questions than it does answers, absolutely, but in all it tells us the one thing – Max’s mind is messed up, and is a scary place in which to be trapped. From fighting hobo dogs to crazy gf’s to whatever the hell is happening in that room full of water…this page is all tone, with a hint of scene setting/world building and I’m so thankful for having Eric around to pull this off.

PAGE 5

And now we finally have the main mission laid out for Shane.

Day Keene – fantastic man, superior smell.

PAGE 6

I’m really enjoying how the art here from Sebastian Piriz, with colours by Marissa Louise, juxtapose so well from Eric’s stuff that I don’t have to caption the change of location/reality at all. That’s the dream, less didactic/non-diagetic stuff if we can avoid it.

That panel of Lois blowing on her coffee is all Sebastian, and it’s beautiful.

PAGE 7

If I had to give information to some killer/hitman/spy/whomever, I’d totally put it on some burner smartphone – recon pics, files in Notes. Surely this is already happening in the world, right?

PAGE 8

That line Lios gives here “No, Max, this is surgery. You’re a blade not a bullet.” I was so damn proud of that line. Then, tonight, I was ready the Parlov/Ennis FURY MAX and there’s this line: “We were a stiletto in the heart, not a baseball bat the army kept swinging blindly at the head.”

Ennis 1 | Lindsay 0

😦

Love the panel border and muted colours when Max uses the duffel bag full of cash as a silencer of sorts. Just love it.

PAGE 9

Hrmm, another page of structure and important words. Shane has his plan, and he has his opposition, but then he gets distracted and while he wanders off, we wander into the next page…

PAGE 10

…and here we confirm a bomb – that Max isn’t a killer, he’s something more. I wasn’t initially going to obscure this fact, we were going to be upfront about his status as a USAgent, but then the ability to paint him as some killer came up and it felt too right. because here, even with what we know of Max and have seen, here we confirm he isn’t actually a ‘bad guy’ per se, and so that should muddy up all our thoughts moving forward.

Also, showing this memory set as a movie was an idea I enjoyed, and once again Eric nails it. I took the screening room aesthetic, with the projector light carving through the room, from the cover/preview for a 90s Robert De Niro flick – which after googling ‘De Niro commies’ I can confirm is GUILTY BY SUSPICION.

PAGE 11

This scene was a little hard to write. Ever since *SPOILERS* the kid in RESCUE ME was killed, the thought that it can happen anywhere/anytime/anyhow freaks me to my core. Then having to watch how that might happen, well, that’d break my heart.

The Librarian’s line here just shows that we really haven’t known who is good/bad/in-between at all this whole time. Except Shane, he’s staunch.

PAGE 12

This page was hard to write, and took me a few goes, but then Eric just slayed it with the art as usual. I got in the inks for this and choked up looking at them on my iPad. That’s the power of Zawadzki.

BACK MATTER

Listen to the CRIMINAL podcast.

Read THE BROTHERS JAMES.

Listen to Sarah Blasko.

All hail Design Fu Supreme Chris Kosek.

Don’t let your children die.

Fear Dan Hill’s understanding of the Nuremberg Code.

 

And that’s it for another issue. I hope you dug it, a lot of feedback that came my way said people thought this was our strongest issue yet. I like that kind of feedback. Though I can’t wait for you to see #6, because Eric and Sebastian both step up in two huge moments. You’ll see, and you’ll know instantly.

We at HEADSPACE HQ thank you for spreading the good word – RTs, water cooler chatter, WoW flaming – it’s all good and helpful and so insanely appreciated.

I also hope 2014 has been good to you, and you’ll meet us in 2015 ready to finish this tale. We know we are!

🙂

Are You a Mignola or a Liefeld?

Been listening to the LET’S TALK COMICS podcast recently, catching up on a few eps — and if you haven’t scoped the show yet with your earholes then get on that because it’s ace for comic creators just idly chatting the super secrets of their process and humble origin stories.
So, anyway, I’m catching up and I’ve just listened to two very different eps with one featuring Rob Liefeld, and the other Mike Mignola. And in each ep we see how wildly different the two are.
Liefeld blew up the scene as a teenager, his style dynamic, his enthusiasm electric, but admittedly his craftmanship was lacking in certain respects. Regardless, he shot out of the stratosphere quickly and then soon splintered off from Marvel to start his own imprint with a few other mates which you might have heard of, Image Comics.
Liefeld’s star rises meteorically, the coin rains, but he has now supernova’d somewhat as his carcass is slowly washing up on the sandy shores of comics. Despite all this, Liefeld loves his work, loves who he is, and will only pause talking about himself and his designs to drop a Todd Mcfarland impression (which is, admittedly, pretty ace).
Then we look at Mignola and he admits when he started he put out some inking work that wasn’t superlative. Then he bounced around various Marvel projects, most of which I rarely see mentioned among the ‘classics’ and then he just dropped out of favour with Marvel. He was good, never great. This is how he saw himself, he felt alright about some things, he loathed others. He’s incredibly humble.
But then, Mignola comes out with Hellboy and begins a four colour journey that will take over two decades, multiple titles, a slew of insane creative talents, and will slowly but surely prove Mignola to be a modern master of the craft.

Reading HELLBOY IN HELL recently showed me how dominant Mignola is as a tone setter and a storyteller. Reading HAWK & DOVE or THE INFINITE did not do the same for me with Liefeld’s modern work.
I found it fascinating that one of these men was the clear break out success, and that man probably did get, and still has, more money then the other, but the other has become a respected titan in the industry and he did it slowly, with missteps, but then huge leaps forward – not in money but in craft.
So it got me to think – are you a Mignola or a Liefeld? Which would you want to be? How do you think you could be either? What steps would you take?
For me, Mignola is the clear winner. I want to chip away at the craft and process and finally do something of deep meaning, something that’s clinically amazing. Because while it’s fun to get paid I would absolutely hate to be a flash in the pan. I am in this to tell stories, money is merely there to help me do it, I’m not doing it necessarily for the money, y’know? It’s also worth noting that one of these stories features more initial failure, and self-doubt, and will take longer, and be a muddied path. It’s not for the lighthearted, but tell me it isn’t worth it.
Hurm, which makes me think, Frank Miller most definitely sits squarely between these two at present. Make of that what you will.
These are the career thoughts that plague me while I clean the kitchen. I hope you dig.

GONE GIRL – A Study in How To Investigate 21st Century Film Noir

GONE GIRL really blew my hair back and here’s exactly why.

SPOILERS — natch.

All I knew about the flick was that the wife goes missing. Boom, that’s it. So imagine my pleasure when I’m presented with this LAW & ORDER style examination of the case, the details, the suspect, the cops, and it’s done in this beautifully intense and exhaustive way that made me love the depth of Fincher’s ZODIAC.

I’m right into this case, it’s fitting into the same headspace I’m currently listen to SERIAL with, and generally reading nice long true crime articles. This flick is doing good things. Then halfway through it gets very good. The twist hits (spoilers, right, we covered that already) – the wife is alive. It’s an intricate frame up. Now I’m really digging it. We follow the wife, we see her things go south, and all the while Affleck is rocking the homefront and showing what an oaf he is by us discovering his affair. It’s a dick move, no doubt, but a dick is not a murderer and yet society really trashes him for it. So did my wife, in our post-game analysis driving home, so make of that what you will.

So now we have this cool twisted story, maybe as intricate as something James Patterson would write, a top shelf John Grisham, yeah? Just good old fashioned narrative engine with all the bells and whistles dingling and dangling.

But all of the above means I would have enjoyed the movie. It’s totally solid, enjoyable, dare I say safe. But I truly loved this flick, and why?

GONE GIRL is film noir and I barely even realised it at first. I mean, it’s clear we have a femme in the house, this wife is koo-koo-kachoo, she’s the problem, she’s nuts, and yet whip smart and razor sharp. She concocts a slick plan but it’s how she reacts and rolls with it all as it unfolds that captivated me.

Once the wife calls up Barney (I’m butchering names, you all know who I mean), things take this crazy turn. We’ve gone from conniving wife scorned to cold blooded killer very quickly. Or so it seems for us. We only just discovered her ways, but she’s actually been like this for years. So then it should make more sense and be in character.

But then I started wondering why the flick levelled up like that, the box cutter is particularly gratuitous, but it’s that scene that sells it all for me. The third act of any film noir sees the plan go awry and people scramble to get back on track. Usually, violence ensues. Taking the flick as some sort of CSI: Affleck meant the box cutter was out of place, but as a film noir, man, that’s just femmes being femmes, right? She should be capable of anything before the light ends.

By the final moments, I’m seeing that real noir ending coming, the sinker tied to our lead, him slowly disappearing down and down. There is nothing he can do. It’s perfect, and so hidden. As I walked out I had to slow clap Fincher in my head for using two crime genres to hide each other and leave me thoroughly impressed.

Though, I thought that final reel, all the aftermath, would have worked much better interspersed in the credits and dropped thus more obliquely, and experimentally. But I guess Fincher isn’t the hungry young gun he once was.

Now, GONE GIRL suddenly stands next to BODY HEAT and THE LAST SEDUCTION as one of my favourite modern noirs. I did not see that coming, and a noir ambush is always welcome in my media.

 

HEADSPACE #5 on ComiXology

Chart a course for Carpenter Cove and set four colour phasers for insanity.

headspace05_cvr
HEADSPACE #5 is now available on ComiXology for 99c
This issue leads us on a tour of Max’s mind, messed up locale that it is, and then drops us into two interesting places by issue’s end, both in the Cove with Shane, and IRL with Max.
Sebastian Piriz and Marissa Louise finally close the first leg of Max’s journey IRL and we see who he truly is, and what his next step will be.
Then Eric Zawadzki delivers two very different and yet both astoundingly awesome splash pages to better let us understand where Shane is, and why it is indeed rocky terrain – and you can see both splashes in the preview Eric threw up on his site.
It’s this issue that slows everything down, for a breath, and then #6 begins the amped up descent into madness.
I’ll hopefully have some annotations up soon for this issue, I’m a little swamped with a script for another thing, so it might be late.
Otherwise, the usual rules apply, tweet it out, talk to your uncle on a long distance telephone call, gift a copy to your peeps, indie books live and die on the vine due to word of mouth.
If you’re scoping the book out, or just discussing its merits anywhere in the world, we thank you for your time.

Loathe, Need, Ignore, Rinse, Repeat

I see a weird cycle permeate indie comics – here goes 🙂

——-

People submit their newest comic to ComiXology Submit, their hearts aflutter with excitement.

People lament how long the approval process takes.

People shit on ComiXology for taking so long.

People get excited that their book is approved.

People gleefully share the link to their book on ComiXology.

People lament the lack of sales (against their lofty expectations).

People shit on ComiXology for offering this free global publishing option.

People submit their next comic to ComiXology Submit.

Rinse.

Repeat.

——-

I cannot understand what people are expecting will happen. I heard of one person who thought it would/might be possible to make a full time living from Submit Dollahs. Some people carry on because ComiXology did nothing to promote their title.

I cannot stress this enough — ComiXology gives up this privilege for free. They accept your comic, they change it into Guided View, and they put it out globally on the same front page as all the other titans of the publishing world, and they do it FOR FREE*.

I remember when this was announced, so I remember when it wasn’t an option. Trust me, this is good for indie books/creators. This is global outreach. Will you make much coin? Nope. *Will ComiXology take a big wet bite out of what you do earn? Yep. Should they? Absolutely. See above what they do/offer. They aren’t a charity, they need to have some reason to put someone in front of the screen to change your file to Guided View.

I’m not saying this is the future of indie books and we should all put down payments on yachts with quality names like “Wave Goodbye” or “Yacht Kippur” – this is just another avenue, but in the indie game, you need as many avenues as you can find. And you need to be grateful for every single one. And then you also need to pimp it out. Get the word out, send people there. It’s a huge international market, with convenience of readability.

And as for people complaining about their PDFs being knocked back. Yeah, that’s not ComiXology’s fault. Fix your PDFs.

All I ever want to hear from indie creators are two words for this service – thank. you.

Linkatron 3am

Iced coffee fuelled dreams and ending books while starting new ones.
Wild times to be alive.
‘Let her go!” – the action flick trope you didn’t even know you’d seen/heard a million times across all the flicks – man, once you start looking, you see really crummy things everywhere – I wanna write a female hero telling a villain to “Let him go!” one of these days – http://www.fastcocreate.com/3036966/this-supercut-of-action-dudes-saying-let-her-go-to-villains-is-a-reminder-of-how-action-movi
Be seeing you. – a collection of all the fond farewells in THE PRISONER – this is my jam –

A fascinating look into the mythos of the Joker over at SequArt – I dig the Joker, but he’s a character I don’t want to see stripped down and used in the works of others – there really is only one – http://sequart.org/magazine/52185/theorizing-about-the-joker-in-all-seriousness/

Kelly Thompson is a good friend, and a great writer – she’s someone I admire because she gets her ass in the seat – read this short interview with her about NaNoWriMo, Kickstarter, and just doing the doing of writing – http://www.popsugar.com/love/Tips-National-Novel-Writing-Month-36152230

A list of the 13 best flicks about newspapers – I will always love newspaper movies – I was super excited to write DEER EDITOR because it’s a newspaper story 🙂 – this link starts you at my favourite on, THE PAPER is quite simply the best – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/10017366/10-great-films-about-newspapers.html?frame=2546510

Storytelling/script advice from Joss Whedon – these 5 points are good stuff, hearty and true – http://moviepilot.com/posts/2014/11/21/the-avengers-director-tells-you-the-5-things-your-script-has-to-have-2444768?lt_source=external,manual

Download yourself some Oscan nommed screenplays – FOR FREE – I love this time of year – having a sneaky script on the iPad is always a good idea, somethingt o get lost in, it’s easy to read, you already watched the flick – so you’re just picking process apart, looking at the pacing and how it works with words – I wish all Eisner nommed comics did this 🙂 – http://gointothestory.blcklst.com/2014/11/update-award-season-screenplay-downloads-new-locke.html

Shared universes – for me, they’re problematic in the same way when someone creates a story and instantly wants to turn it into shirts and mugs and merch and swag – you gotta just tell a more than decent story first, let the rest come later – and you can see something like IRON MAN was set up to be just bloody good, the rest flowed out naturally after the initial success – just something to consider – http://toybox.io9.com/the-one-big-problem-of-the-shared-universe-boom-1662756721

An Ant-Man novel – it doesn’t even make sense that I’m this excited for such a prospect – it just feels so right – http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=57165

These Lando Calrissian novel covers are boss – ’nuff said – http://space1970.blogspot.com.au/2014/11/the-adventures-of-lando-calrissian.html

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK as a modern trailer is worthy because it got me to watch the old trailer again – I love old trailers – my youth was completely misspent with old trailers – I want to do an old VHS trailer for one of my comics one day – http://www.dailydot.com/geek/empire-strikes-back-modern-trailer/

I recently asked myself whether I’d like to write for tv or film, or which one I’d want my comic work adapted into, and strangely enough I found myself answering both questions with tv – this is because tv is episodic, much like comics, and can be parcelled into great little standalone morsels that also add up to a greater whole, like comics – I love both but tv is doing something right now much closer to my heart and my creative brain – this dicsussion coming out of a festival in Austin is good grist for the mill – http://www.spectator.co.uk/arts/arts-feature/9382612/how-hollywood-is-killing-the-art-of-screenwriting/

Mack Chater just pointed me towards this fantastic youtube mix of themes from John Carpenter flicks – enjoy while writing –

I can remember a few spinner racks from my youth, I always loved them – but my most common childhood comic memories were of riding my bike from suburb to suburb scouring for new comics at the newsagents – these were my saturday mornings with my brother, we’d pack food, get on the bikes, and just spend like 4 hours riding the neighbourhood looking in different newsagencies because each one had different stock at different times, it was crazy – I miss those days – http://panels.net/my-not-so-secret-history-with-the-comics-spinner-rack/

NaNoWriMo is always something I’ll dig – though I’ll most likely never do it – but what Wendig writes here is so true, do not rush these words out the door – November is the month for writing – take Dec through Jun to proof and edit and get feedback on those words before you slip them into someone’s back pocket and hope they care – http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/12/01/nanowrimo-doesnt-matter/

Joe Dante is often a spirit guide on my stories – The ‘burbs remains a staunch favourite – this is a quality chat about his work on The Twilight Zone (film and tv) as well as Amazing Stories – http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2014/12/03/joe-dante-reflects-on-his-trips-to-the-twilight-zone/

Is HOME ALONE a prequel to the SAW flicks? – I’m voting: absolutely – some might say internet conspiracy, I just call this good investigative journalism – http://grantland.com/hollywood-prospectus/did-kevin-from-home-alone-grow-up-to-be-jigsaw-a-deadly-serious-investigation/

Stand Against Hot Garbage Media

I kinda just wish more megacorps would take a stand against shitty media not because of any other reason than because they think it’s hot garbage.

The Kardashians are renowned oxygen thieves, so don’t stock them for that reason alone. Jersey Shore is gutter trash, leave it off the palettes. It’s not a moral high ground so much as it is we vote with our wallets. If we contribute to the circle of life that is money funding these machines then that’s what we’ll keep getting. We constantly remind consumers to put their money where their mouth is without expecting the higher ups to make any fine decisions at all.

If I owned a store, I’d happily take a dent in my quarterly just to take a stand and say I, personally, would not be participating in the proliferation in anything GTA V related. You wanna get it elsewhere, knock yourself out – literally – but I’d be stepping out of that hamster wheel.

These are my extended thoughts on the subject.

And I understand I grew up on video nasties and am certain people wanted them shitcanned for much of the 80s and if certain stores wanted to draw their line in the sand and not stock Troma flicks, that’d be fine, because others would allow a teen Ryan to hustle in and get himself some Toxie. Every store should be allowed that personal touch of making a choice to stock whatever the hell they please. I wish more would use some discretion rather than slowly adding to societal corrosion through the ‘hands up shrug’ excuse of “Money, y’all!”

What Level Are You On?

I often think – can I even write a Casanova level work? Do I have that level of talent to produce something only, statistically speaking, like 5% of all creators manage to do (5%, jeez, probably only like 2%)

Honestly, I doubt I do.

How many of ‘those’ books are ever made? They aren’t the benchmark, they are the stars.

But I stand by HEADSPACE as something at the very top of the rung below those works (it’s def on the ladder), and DEER EDITOR is loitering nearby. Neither are instant classics that’ll span millennia but they are not half bad. I think my next mini could/should get close. And who knows, maybe down the track I’ll level up, or something will just click. If you work long enough, and steep in enough process chatter, you are bound to value add.

I often consider when people write those beyond phantasmagorical works in their career. Y, Scalped, Casanova, Fear Agent, they all come early in a career. But they don’t come first. You gotta get out your Rex Mantooths, Ripclaws, terrible BKV Marvel work, that Captain Scrotum or whatever Remender made first, and then level up later.

Maybe I’m in that phase right now. And if I am, I gotta be happy with it, and I gotta work daily to inch upwards, ever upwards. And if I never crack the 2%, I think I’d still be happy to be creating work I’m proud of, work I enjoy, and work I stand by. If you can’t do that, man, this game’ll crush you for sure.

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