Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Category: comics

Making Things in 2019

They say you should start things the way you want to finish them, so I guess I want to end 2019 doing a whole mess of work.

Here’s a quick visual guide for how I played the first week of 2019.

MAKING COMIC BOOK STUDY GUIDES

I read BEOWULF by David Rubin and Santiago Garcia and it is just utterly stunning.

I instantly knew I had to write a Comic Book Study Guide about it for my Patreon, so I launched into it with vigour, the above image showing what the front cover will look like.

I’ve enjoyed running the Patreon to create study guides to help thinking around comics, and explicit use in the classroom, and I’m putting together some plans and ideas for 2019 which should make it an exciting place to be and thing to do.

Support my Patreon now to help me make study guides, podcast episodes, and lesson resources for bringing comics in the classroom!

 

WRITING AN UNDAD ANTHO STORY

I’ve been brought in by Shane W Smith to contribute a story to his UNDAD series, whic is aces, and so I’ve been breaking all kinds of thoughts on this, circling around the exact thing I want to say with this idea of a suburban dad becoming a zombie and trying to reconcile that with the man he still is.

Oh, Newsletter, My Newsletter!

Every week you’ll find me writing my newsletter, in which I discuss my writing week, my process, my thoughts, fears, ideas, everything. I also dive into links for other good things for other good creative brains, some Kickstarter love, and hopefully you think about something differently, or get a smile from each weekly missive.

Subscribe to my email newsletter about this writing life right now!

A Novel, My Novel

Dipping my toes back into prose, just to feel that power once more, and I’m enjoying the change of pace this brings. I don’t know where it’ll go, but I clearly don’t know where anything goes.

This story is always going to hit the back seat for the other comics writing, but it’s nice to have in my back pocket.

The Shiny New Project

I write lots of shiny new projects, but this one has really caught fire and spread throughout my brain. I can see and hear the lead character, which I’m loving, and it’s been a genuine treat to write this past week. You never know where that feeling comes from, or for how long it will stay, so I’m off to enjoy the good vinez.

Cubby House Library Fort

I took the kids to the local library, and we stocked up on all kinds of goodness, and then we returned home to tidy the cubby house and decorate it as a reading place. I need to get to hiding up in here way more often.

Every child deserves a reading space in their lives [so do most adults].

So, that’s been my first week, roughly – I didn’t want to screencap all of the many emails I’ve dealt with, and sundry other things.

For now, enjoy your first week into 2019, may it be productive, or restful, or relaxing…or whatever it is you need.

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What is Best in Life? 2018 Edition

Nothing like an end of year round up. A time to reflect, a time to take stock, and a time to project.
Overall, 2018 has felt like a year of building pressure. Whether we get a glorious wave into 2019, I don’t know, and whether I have the balance to ride that wave and not get crushed I also do not know. But I’ve done my best to stay positive and keep wheels behind the scenes moving, so while I didn’t publish a lot this year, I did prep 4 pitches, and put the scripts for one project to bed, and wrote a tonne on another one, and have lined up a few one-shots with artists I’m excited to bring it all together with.

If everything I worked on in 2018 came out in 2019, it would be a stellar year. So we shall see.

And while I said I didn’t get much out in 2018, what did come out was stuff I’m crazy proud of. The BEAUTIFUL CANVAS tpb landed in Feb, collecting last year’s acclaimed mini-series, and the month before it we started the year strong with ETERNAL, and I’ve been saying if you only publish one new thing all year, but that thing is ETERNAL, then it’s been a good year. Eric Zawadzki and Dee Cunniffe deserve all the praise this year.

Now, onto some things we can list!

MY TOP COMIC OF 2018

I really dug some good good stuff this year. Image tops the list with so much quality: GIDEON FALLS was something I got caught up on recently, and that book is very fine, as is CEMETERY BEACH, for totally different reasons. SHANGHAI RED was my jam in the same way SINK at ComixTribe is. PAPER GIRLS and SAGA and DEADLY CLASS continue to be masterpieces, and I really enjoyed MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES, but the top book really has to go to something that’s one of my very favourites from my very favourite creative team:

KILL OR BE KILLED

Just a stellar end to a wicked story where both Sean Phillips and Ed Brubaker were on superbly fine form.

MY TOP NOVEL OF 2018

Man, THE OUTSIDER from Stephen King could have run away with this, if I’d only stopped before the final hundred pages. It’s not *bad*, but it is not as blistering as the first half of the book. That first half is pound-for-pound King at his dark criminal best.

I also really dug PLATO WYNGARD AND THE ARMOUR OF THE GODS, the second novel from my two brothers, Marc and James Lindsay, but that feels a bit nepotistic, and would make them far too happy.

I took a few weeks to smash through HANGMAN, where Jack Heath writes such a ballistic crime novel that you can’t help but be impressed with the layers of familiarity he builds into his characters alongside the wild intricate puzzles and violent moments.

But there can only be one, so, I’ll lay this one at the feet of:

WE RIDE THE STORM

This fantasy epic from Devin Madson was something I bought because she showed the opening line on her table, and it’s a banger:

I honestly hadn’t read a fantasy book since my David Eddings days in high school, but I was keen to try this out. It’s Book One of a bigger story, so the opening hundred pages is a lot of table dressing, but by the final hundred pages it’s just fistfuls of food being slammed into your mouth faster than you can chew. And I mean that in a good way. The action and character drama continue to rise, and I was hooked on all three plot threads as they wind ever closer.

There were also two particular chapters where I finished them and thought…damn, that’s some good reading.

If you get the chance, track this down, it’s bloody, glorious, and bloody glorious.

MY TOP TV SHOW OF 2018

THE GOOD PLACE came so so close to running away with this one. The third season has been just as good as the rest, and in a way that’s different from S2, which went about it different from S1. The show is a titanic force, and I’m a better writer for having watched it, but something else from this year jumped ahead of it through sheer force of will. And it wasn’t DAREDEVIL S3, or GLOW S2, or THE KOMINSKY METHOD S1 which came out of nowhere to absolutely thrill me, nor was it my marathon catch up of three seasons of THE LEFTOVERS, which I’m discounting because it’s an older show. No, the top gong is kinda easily held onto by this one which should be absolutely obvious when you really think about it:

ATLANTA S2

This show good, this show real good. Some of these episodes, mostly in the middle in and around the Teddy Perkins ep are just A+ analyses of the modern world as told through gonzo noir small screen cinema. So so perfect.

MY TOP MOVIE OF THE YEAR

It’s one thing to announce a tie, and it’s another to give that tie to two polar opposite things. Both of these flicks did what they needed to do nigh perfectly, and they left me in very different places, and I can barely separate them. One will be endlessly rewatchable, one will be a hard watch again, though I will. One is high pop bubble gum joy, one is brutal art house insanity. Both, though, are long. I can’t separate it, so I’m letting the chips fall where they may – the top flick[s] of 2018 are:

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR and SUSPIRIA

Watching the Marvel Cinematic Universe come to this big break moment at the end of Infinity War was something to behold, a truly special feat. The movie is top notch event comic action fun. It’s *BIG* and it’s wild and it’s a smile injected into your lips. It’s not high art, and it shouldn’t be. It’s not a great character study, and it shouldn’t be because there are about 500 principal hero cast at play – though it is a study of Thanos, which is both as bold as it is brilliant, and it’s for that reason it crossed the line at the top.

However, across the aisle, SUSPIRIA does everything different, and is most likely the more true superior flick. It is high art, it’s weird, it’s a character study, or more of a location study, a look at witch hierarchy in dance schools. It’s unsettling, and everything holds huge gravity – which is funny when you consider the death count in Suspiria must be about 0.0000001% of the other cape-inclined movie. I feel like Suspiria is more likely to sit atop Best Of lists when we look back in 20 years, but Infinity War will be more remembered, and more wildly remembered, and will sit on its own Best Of lists, too, for its own reasons.

MY TOP PODCAST OF 2018

I’ve gone deep into WOW IN THE WORLD and STORY PIRATES with the kids on all commutes, and they’ve fed my brain in wonderfully small ways. SERIAL returned and was interesting, but lacked that central narrative engine that makes it a binge-worthy podcast. I also found it crazy depressing, to the point where it almost felt like it was inducing anxiety in me after listening for an ep, and maybe that’s a huge point: if listening to it all give me the shivers, imagine living it ­čśÉ

I’ve caught up on a tonne of the GOOGLE TEACHER TRIBE PODCAST just to keep my dayjob game tight, and it’s worked a treat, making me feel energised about all kinds of things for work, especially going into 2019.

But, I think this year goes again to OFF PANEL, the comic interview podcast where the creators are well picked and always get down to real talk. I still love this podcast, and still get a constant stream of quality inspiration and joy from it.

MY TOP MUSIC OF 2018

There was new Sarah Blasko this year, I got DEPTH OF FIELD and it’s a great writing record, but it lacks the punchy catchiness of her other albums, so I think sneaking in at the top might be the SUSPIRIA soundtrack.

And I think that’s a wrap. 2018 had some good stuff, and it also felt like mental quicksand. But walking into 2019 will feel like walking free, so I better make the most of it.

Here’s to building a better stronger list of live in yet another year.

ETERNAL Hits Best of 2018 Lists

2018 saw me publish only a small amount of comic work, but it was inspiring to end the year with one of those books getting a lot of attention in people’s lists of favourite work from 2018.


ETERNAL was created by me and Eric Zawadzki, with Dee Cunniffe on colours, and Dan Hill editing, with Black Mask Studios publishing it and it obviously stuck in people’s minds:
Paste Magazine lists us in the Top 25 Comics of 2018
Villain Media lists us as the best comic of 2018
Pipedream Comics lists us as one of the best comics of 2018
Big Comic Page gave us some end of year love
DoomRocket lsts us one of the best comics of 2018
Comicon puts us near the top of the list of best graphic novels of 2018
The Off Panel website rated us as one of the 20 best comics of 2018

If you want a copy you should talk to your local comic shop, they can still get it in, or it’s here on Amazon. Or if you dug it, drop it a quick star rating on GoodReads :]

Thanks to everyone who already bought a copy, loved it, or told a mate – this book is something I’m really proud of and it made 2018 a memorable year.

Give the Gift of Comics

Over on twitter, I decided to do a little sharing of comics I think make great festive season gifts for others.

It is, by no means, an exhaustive list – it’s just some good stuff I know I would have loved under the tree, so maybe someone else will, too.

CHECK OUT MY TWITTER LIST OF HOLIDAY COMIC GIFT IDEAS

If you find something for a die hard comic fan in your life, or someone else who loves great stories, then I’m glad the system works.

Movember Missive + A Great Comic/Art Deal

Hi all,

A quick line about Movember – a global movement aimed at promoting awareness about men’s health issues, the reason why I’ve spent this month growing a mo, and a great opportunity for you to buy a comic and get an exclusive art print by┬áRiley Rossmo┬áfor a good cause.

I believe in Movember because men’s health issues are an insidious seething mess. Depression, suicide, an inability to even go to the doc to get your prostate checked out. It’s rampant bullshit, housed in the septic tank of toxic masculinity, and I’m sick of the stench. I don’t want to be caught up in it, and I don’t want it wafting around for future generations.

The beauty of Movember is that it’s a visible cause – you see a mo this month, odds are it’s in support and solidarity of this great cause. We’re raising money for BeyondBlue, and other places, but we’re mostly just raising awareness.

Movember is personal to me – and let’s face it, there are thousands of good charities and causes to support, but we can’t do it all, so why this one? My father was a victim of the silent killer amongst men, and not a day goes by I don’t think about it in some respect, and it’s been 30 years. I wish Movember had existed back then, I wish men allowed themselves to talk more freely about their feelings back then.


I grow the mo for my dad, and also for my kids.

If you want more information about Movember, you can check the site via my mospace right here!

Or, maybe you want some sweet comics in support of a grand cause?

Right now, you can buy ETERNAL, my ogn with Eric Zawadzki and Dee Cunniffe from Black Mask Studios, on ownaindi.com and an exclusive Movember Viking print with art by superstar Riley Rossmo for just $30, with a portion of proceeds going to the Movember Foundation.

YES PLEASE, GIMME THAT MOUSTACHE SHIELDMAIDEN AND BEAUTIFUL BOOK DEAL!


And if you buy anything else from me at any stage for the rest of Movember, I’ll be sharing money with Movember from all sales – so help yourself to some script downloads, or the BEAUTIFUL CANVAS issues, all for a good cause!

But, if you just want to spread the word about this great cause, maybe talk to the men in your life and see what’s up, then I’d be just as appreciative. I’m growing a mo to save a bro, and we should all let our love show.

CURRICULUM is live – sci fi webcomic 3 times a week!

Exciting times to be alive [and reading comics on the internet].

CURRICULUM is the story of an intergalactic class trying to get home from a field trip that goes, well, it goes pretty bad.

It’s got a wide cast, big ideas, and a rotating roster of writers and artists. The world/cast was created by me, Dan Hill, and Sami Kivela, and the first issue has Marissa Louise on colours and Ironbark on letters.

After us comes a cavalcade of talent, including: Danny Djeljosevic, Josh George, Ben Rosenthal, Daniel J Logan, Bryan Coyle, and more to come even after that. This comic has been years in the making, bubbling on the back burner a long while. Now, it is free.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE OPENING PAGES OF CURRICULUM

This comic is a love letter to old EC Sci Fi comics, with hints of Runaways and other insanity mixed in. We hit the ground running, and we’ve done our best to constantly throw new things at you, have fun, and give you every reason to return 3 times a week for new pages, or sign up for email blasts on the sidebar of the site.

CURRICULUM – a sci fi periodical slice of madness. Enjoy.

Patreon Launch – Comic Book Study Guides

Okay, I’m now officially in the business of making Comic Book Study Guides

YOU CAN SUPPORT MY PATREON HERE FOR THE FIRST SEASON OF THIS DEEP THINKING RESOURCE

RKL Patreon 1

I’m excited.

I want to see comics taught in more classes, I want people thinking more deeply about what they read. I want to guide people to bigger questions and themes, but ultimately I want them seeking these things out and finding them without me.

These Comic Book Study Guides are documents that offer up guides for discussion and rich analysis, as well as some specific tasks students/readers can complete.

Support at the basic tier and you get two guides a month for $1.50 each.

I’ll also create one podcast episode a month unpacking one of those Study Guides and what’s in it, so that could also be a decent teaching/thinking resource.

I’ll open up my Comic Script PDF Library to backers, and I’m also offering a One Page Script Commission where I’ll type/print a one page script and mail it to you, so this is for those who really want to support and give me something to chew on.

But if you just want the guides, well, they’re affordable for a reason – hook in. I’m just making these for one year, a full season, and come what may after that.

HAVE A LOOK AT MY PATREON

If you support, or share the link, or do anything that sends good waves to me, and good education about comics into the world, then I greatly appreciate it.

Comic Book Study Hall Patreon – Coming Soon!

I’m writing Study Guides for comics worthy of being studied, because everyone should study comics.

I’m launching a Patreon where you can get 2 Comic Book Study Guides each month for the next year, and I’m hoping to be able to add a podcast to the campaign you can use in the classroom.

I love comics, and I love teaching them, and I’d love nothing more than to see some more classrooms around the world use this opportunity to push a few more quality pages in front of students and those with wide open minds.

This is 100% aimed at teachers, but I also know as a reader and someone who just likes to study, these guides would be my jam anyway. I want these to be used for brains in flight, and that isn’t always in the classroom, it can be solo as you hone your craft.

I’ve written well ahead and have got guides for works from the likes of Fraction, Telgemeier, Rosenberg, and more – not to mention my own work, because I’m unbiased like that – you can buy the Guide for ETERNAL here – and buy the Guide for STAIN THE SEAS SCARLET here – but they’ll be much cheaper in the Patreon :]

I’ve been online for a decade now thinking about comics and writing and talking about them, and now I want to give something concrete out into the world.

The Patreon should launch next week. I think you’re gonna dig it, so be sure to get in and don’t miss a guide [it might even expose you to some ace new stuff to find] and if you know others who would use this in the classroom/life, then send ’em my way. I’ll help them out.

Here’s to a quality season of giving back to comics for the next generation.

Example Klaxon|

ETERNAL Study Hall Guide

I have finally done something in that cross section of comics/teaching/learning/process/nerdy/insane in which I desire to live.

I have written a Study Hall Guide for ETERNAL, and you can buy the digital copy right here!

Screenshot 2018-06-29 22.42.01

This guide helps you unpack the comic I created with Eric Zawadzki, Dee Cunniffe, Courtney Menard, and Dan Hill through Black Mask earlier this year.

I want it to be used by teachers, but also by interested readers, and by people who want to write and are considering how much thematic stuff to layer into their work.

I’ve really enjoyed making this study guide, and there will plenty more to come. Hold onto your butts, because we aren’t finished delving into the curriculum of comics just yet. But I hope you’ll start with me here, and maybe have a little educational fun.

HEADSPACE Has Launched on Kickstarter

HEADSPACE is on Kickstarter, and I think you should check it out because the odds are you’ll dig it a great deal.

SCOPE OUT HEADSPACE ON KICKSTARTER NOW AND CHOOSE A PLEDGE LEVEL

For those who don’t know:

HEADSPACE is a comic created by me, Eric Zawadzki, Sebastian Piriz, Marissa Louise, Dee Cunniffe, and Dan Hill. It’s about a sheriff of a small town who comes to realise he’s trapped inside the mind of a killer.

From there, things go sideways. Should Shane figure out how to leave, or should he stick around a while and see what happens? It’s a tale of dark responsibility, but also a gonzo trip of dog-headed robo-bartenders, and ships armoured in dead bodies, and all kinds of metaphysical fun.

We made this book back in 2014, and now we’re collecting the whole damn thing, plus a tonne of back matter and scripts and annotations and fun in this Digital Omnibus and we can’t wait to get it out into hands.

HAVE A LOOK AGAIN AT THE KICKSTARTER

We think you’re going to find something fun that you’ll like!

 

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