Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Month: May, 2020

Comics Curriculum Choice Board 2020 May

The idea is: click the link, see the live version of it, and all the hyperlinks will be real.
Each section of the board takes you to something I think can be a vital piece of the study arena for making comics and loving comics.
This was fun to put together – I tried to get an assortment of things: podcasts, videos, magazines, books. I wanted creators and people with different experiences and angles of expertise. I also wanted a little corner to shill my own business, because something has t pay the bills around here.
It’s nothing overly special, but if it exposes you to something cool, then I’ll be happy I did it.
I have no idea when/if I’ll make another one, but it was fun to tinker with, it let me think about curriculum materials I dig, and now I’ll try to keep my eyes peeled for more. I certainly only want to put in the things that really pushed my brain forward on thinking about the world’s finest medium.
If you want to make your own, click here for the Google Drawing and you can save it as your own into your Google Drive!
I originally posted this to my Patreon – if you want to support me making more strange little comic study devices, please click here and support me with a follow, or anything else you can afford.

Sometimes, You’ve Just Gotta Make Comics

A new comic is out, through Patreon, from Jacob Phillips and Chris Condon, titled BRUTAL DARK, and it’s pretty awesome!

You should definitely check out BRUTAL DARK and pledge $1 a month for a copy of each new mini-issue as they’re released.


What I appreciate most about this comic is how much it feels like the kind of thing where you just have to make it.

The creators already both have a book together coming out from Image Comics soon [once the world gets back online after it’s 2020 reboot]. They’ve gotten a very sweet level up, assisted by the fact Jacob Phillips is the son of Sean Phillips, but honestly slam dunked by the fact Jacob Phillips is a phenomenal artist. He might’ve got more eyes, but he’s earned their attention through talent and hard work.

With a grand horizon before them, albeit delayed, they still just have to make comics. So they’re putting this thing out through Patreon, for $1 a month, and they are short 8 page issues with a gorgeous cover and some back matter. I’m in – the issue is great, reall gorgeous art, really moody colours, and the framing/pacing is so beautifully done throughout. The pages flow very nicely.

Beyond the enjoyment of the comic, I love that idea that you’ve just gotta create, and then you scale it appropriately. There’s a great New York Times cartoon showing someone in a boat, maybe just one oar, they’ve survived a huge boat sinking, there might be a storm a-brewing, and the caption says “Now’s the time to finish that novel you always wanted to write.”

And I agree with the sentiment. These are wild times, there’s no expectation that we step up, improve our lives, when really we’re just trying to survive and continue our lives in whatever form they might crawl forward in.

But, I know some people just gotta do something to get through all this time. They want a distraction, they want to feel their hands move, they gotta swim or they’ll drown. And I think that’s where this stuff comes in. Keep yourself busy with some little stuff, something you can peck away at, something that makes you happy.

I don’t personally think drawing 8 pages a month is something little, but I can’t draw any pages at all, so that makes sense. But I’ve been setting small challenges. 1-2 pages of script a night. Chipping away at short form 300 word flash fic pieces for the Patreon. Getting 10 minutes for the guitar so I can master that Spider-Man cartoon theme song. If I cfould draw, man, I’d absolutely be working on little things – a book of themed sketches [like that Spider-Ham zine I picked up one time] or just weird one page comics].

Being realistic, I didn’t think Covid-19 isolation was going to suddenly yield a third draft on my novel. I’m not going to build a chicken shed. In fact, the first week of isolation, my mind was roadkill. It was really hard to concentrate, probably a mix of, well, everything, and my need to adapt to teaching online and all of the stress and anxiety that came with that.

I got little done in that first week. I tried not to beat myself up about it. Then things slowly got back on track, but slowly. Consistently writing 1 page of script a day is better than asking for 7 pages, only getting 3, but hating that i didn’t get 7 so the next night I get 0, and the spiral pulls me down.

Phillips and Condon are making this comic, it fills their void. I’m doing my best, too.

I have no doubt you’re doing whatever it is you need, and I’d love to know what that is. What are you creating during this time that brings you joy, maybe some piece, and leaves you with something productive you’ve done?

ONWARDS – Initial Thoughts and Pixar Downloads

I gotta tell you, I dig Pixar on most every level.
I just recently watched ONWARD – which I *loved* – and so I stumbled across a site linking to the dowload opportunities for most of the Pixar stable of flicks – there are some ommissions, and there’s no ONWARD yet, but these are all shared online, usually for awards season, and are for *educational purposes only* so I think there would be some people here who would dig on them.
May the link provide you with joy, insight, laughter, and tears – oh so many Pixar fuelled tears.
Oh, and here’s a mild ONWARD review I posted to my newsletter:
ONWARD – mild spoilers after the first two paragraphs
Hooboy, this flick was 100% for me. I’m not even in a place to analyse it from a storytelling/craft perspective, I loved it too much to be able to do that. I went into this thing ready to love it, ready to cry, and ready to enjoy myself.
I did all 3 things, but I didn’t realise just how much these things would happen. The flick is basically “What if people in the D&D world discovered electricity and realised it’s hella simpler than magic so they stopped being mystical and just morphed into lazy modern society, but with weird creatures?” and that set up is so simple and genius. I genuinely believe if we had magic on Earth, and it was difficult, then people wouldn’t commit to it in great numbers.
So right from the intro, I was in. But then we get the lead character/s – this is Barley’s flick as much as it is Ian’s – and they sell me on the throughline of someone missing their father who died when they were young, and I was more of a mess than the opening of UP [and not comparing/stating a quality difference, just saying my personal emotional buy in was 100%].
From there we get laughs, we get some awesome world moments, and we get the usual Pixar callbacks I’ve come to expect. I was so happy to live in this world and explore it with them, but in the end it’s the brotherly relationship that completely reeled me in. They nail the dichotomy of the two, the ways they relate, the ways they don’t. The fact neither starts as a seemingly aspirational character, and both need to grow enough to love each other and then transition to loving themselves is nice. Although, with thought, Barley seems to love himself and his brother pretty unconditionally frmo the start, he’s very inspirational in that regard.
I won’t dive into deep spoilers, but I will say if you dig Pixar flicks, D&D, and/or emotionally resonant storytelling – ONWARD is most definitely going to be up your alley. I want to story clock this thing really badly – which means I’ll make any excuse to rewatch it again very soon.
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