Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Category: links

Writing is Therapy – Why an Online Scratchpad?

I’ve started a separate site, somewhere to hack out weird ideas and thoughts and stupidity. It’ll lack the structure and finesse of this site [don’t laugh]. You can follow my there by clicking the link in the image below.

This site will remain my professional home, home to announcements, essays, and other more structured things, but tbe will have the shortform, the undercooked, the mental shards and slivers. The other site will be my madness, while this remains [what’s left of] my sanity.



NEGATIVE SPACE #4 Review Round Up

negative space 4NEGATIVE SPACE #4 landed a while back [and this post somehow got lost in the queue]. It seems people were happy with how we closed this tale and there’s a huge weight off my chest knowing that people dug what was a hard conclusion for us to come to – it’s not an easy place to leave your main character, or the audience, so it means the world that people allowed us that much rope.

The reviews were ace, and it’s just nice to still be getting some ink/pixels on the 4th issue of an indie comic.

Andrew McGlinn at Big Comic Page gave us 5/5, saying “an unstoppable tour de force that must be both read and experienced” – [LINK]

James Ferguson at HorrorTalk gave us 5/5, saying “This cements Ryan K. Lindsay as an expert storyteller capable of truly incredible character work.” – [LINK]

Chris Beveridge at the Fandom Post gave us a Grade A, saying “get into serious discussions with friends about [it] as there’s a lot to peel away and dig into with it. Very recommended.” – [LINK]

Jack Johnston at We The Nerdy gave us a 9.5/10, saying “a perfect send off for Lindsay and Gieni’s twisted tale.” – [LINK]

Johnny Hughes at the Comic Crusaders gave us 3.5/5, saying “the conclusion serves as its own metaphor about depression and mental health.” – [LINK]

Ian Dawe at SequArt gave us a thoughtful write up, saying “It does what not enough comics do: it leaves you thinking.” – [LINK]

And now the series is done. The tpb collection will be out on the 6th of July with a glorious Foreword by Christopher Sebela. Tell your LCS to order 1 million of them.

And remember: if you are suffering from depression, please hit THIS LINK to see the access you have to support. No one has to suffer alone. We are here to help you.

What is Best in Life? – 2015 Edition

2015, I believed.


DEADLY CLASS by Wes Craig and Rick Remender

Just loved every single panel in this crazy messed up book. It’s a wild idea, wrapped up by a wide array of intriguing characters, in a $10 intro trade, with some of the most nuanced and superb comic making I’ve seen in a while. Just an utter joy to behold – well, in a sense of how it is made…most of the actual narrative is as bleak as leftover coffee the next morning.



Just the best in show for everything, really. This year was S3 and it closed out the show and did it so masterfully that I’m still in awe. This is one of the few things I just keep bringing up to people and gushing to them about. It’s a show I want to share because it represents so many things about storytelling I love, and I wish I could do.

I’d love more seasons but I also love how tight and wonderfully this is all stitched up. This year, everything else paled in comparison.



And I mean hands down, best flick of the year. I crazy loved the idea but the execution was better. With a simple narrative throughline, they then explore emotions in such a deliberate and delightful way that my 5yo man dug it but I was floored by it. I cried twice in the damn flick and then when I got home and tried to explain it to the wife I started tearing up again. She thought I must’ve had a stroke. So good, and who knew we needed HERMAN’S HEAD the kid adaptation so bad?



Yes, a new Sarah Blasko album dropped and she’s still amazing. ETERNAL RETURN has fuelled some words in the last few months.



Every time I listen to this podcast about using Kickstarter for making comics it inspires me to make some more comics. I just get the fire in the gut again. You need to have that fire, and stoke it, and shift it, and kick it, if you’re going to survive this stupid ride we repeat again and again making comics.

The ComixLaunch podcast is just gasoline all up in my bonfire of life. I was also on an ep, dig it, it’s all about kickstarting DEER EDITOR and doing a digital only campaign from Australia [LINK]



This ebook was like two bucks or something stupid and it was a tight, short, very interesting read. And I’m finding it hard to hang on to novels because they are taking me crazy amounts of time to get through so short novella stuff is just right and this book was aces [LINK]

Are there other best things from this year I should be considering? No app jumped out at me this year, and no way could I single out all the cool art I’ve been able to scope in my travels with collaborators, so I think this is it.

2015 was a building block year, and it built in me patience. Hopefully I can use it to calmly slaughter 2016.

thoughtballoons Cracks Half a Decade

thoughtballoons is the writing challenge site I created 5 long years ago [LINK]

tb logo1 - 700

There, we would choose a character for the week and then each write a one-page script around that character somehow. An opening splash, a dense fight scene, the penultimate page of an imagined issue. Anything was fair game, just one page, that’s all. Get in, get out.

I started this writing commune of experimentation and collegial feedback because I needed a reason to write. It was hard to find collaborators, and I think deep down I knew I was still chewing on my 10k of pages of dreck like a slab of gristle between my grinding molars. I wasn’t ready and the only way I’d get there was by working my ass off, regardless of being published or having it finished or [CHOKE-GUFFAW] getting paid.

For two years, I wrote at least one 1 page script a week. I spent time plotting it, writing, editing, and I took it seriously. I wanted to put up my best, where possible, and sometimes the deadline drew and I was typing into blogger to see what I had. It was exhilaring, and it was 104+ script pages I wouldn’t have without the site.

I am the writer I am now, 5 years later, because of thoughtballoons. I went from a guy who knew nothing and have now levelled up to a guy who knows he knows nothing. It’s a step in the right direction. I improved because I was producing, I improved because I got feedback from the other writers on the site, as well as some randoms. I improved because by offering feedback to others it got me thinking about process and craft and different four colour aspects a lot more. For those two years straight, I loved this site and the very good friends I forged within it.

But eventually I had to bow out, finding the time was hard, I had to keep pushing real comic pages out, and I know I had t go but be damned if I don’t miss it a lot. So for this anniversary week, I’ve written a text piece about what thoughtballoons meant to me [LINK] and then I try a one pager for a subject I missed in the past 3 years, which is the brilliant D4VE [LINK] – and it’s funny, my script isn’t perfect, but it’s a start. You always have to start somewhere.

I cannot stress enough if you are looking to break into comics as a writer, and you need the practise, and trust me you do need the practise, then you should hit thoughtballoons up. It was something really special for me and I love seeing it bounce through the lives of others.

Also, if you are an artist looking for practise, find some scripts here and have a lash. I guarantee the writer won’t mind if you run it past them. Have fun.

Write, feedback, enjoy, repeat – thoughtballoons [LINK]

Daredevil Reading — LINKS

I’ve spent a good deal of my adult life writing/talking about Daredevil. I have no regrets.

With the Marvel/Netflix show fast approaching, avow yourselves of these words/columns/books/interviews/chats/lists by me and get caught up on the Scarlet Swashbuckler. Go buy some new trades, go read some old friends, go gift some knowledge to a peep, go online and ask some questions, go become a hornhead like me/us.

Below I present to you a series of links to stuff I’ve written or been a part of about Daredevil. Read the links below and get caught up on the best Daredevil stuff right before the show starts so you can settle in, know the lay of the land, appreciate the no doubt myriad easter eggs coming, and get down with my favourite character in all of literature.

BUT FIRST, BUY MY BOOK ABOUT DAREDEVIL HERE – The Devil is in the Details: Examining Matt Murdock and Daredevil – edited by me, with essays by me, Tim Callahan, Julian Darius, Kevin Thurman, Forrest Helvie, and more – available from Sequart

Okay, here’s the Daredevil links, enjoy.

THE DAREDEVIL DIALOGUES — a longform discussion I did on CBR way back when with Tim Callahan who invited me in for a guest column to chat with him about Daredevil and we ran long. Way long. So for a month, Tim posted all about us and Daredevil and we got through all of the first volume.

PART I – PURPLE MEN AND HEPCATS – In which we discuss the Stan Lee era, gush over Mike Murdock, and wonder if Daredevil really is a noir character or not.

PART II – THOMAS, CONWAY, AND GERBER IN FRISCO – In which we discuss the post-Stan era, with DD in San Francisco, his dating times with the Black Widow, and why Steve Gerber’s run is a spectacular failure.

PART III – FRANK MILLER RISES – Yep, the Miller works, and it’s all important, do not miss this one.

PART IV – TECHNODEMONS FROM FRANCE – In which we discuss Nocenti’s run, I get way down on my love for Typhoid Mary, and her ‘final’ issue which is an insane piece of cape debauchery, and it becomes clear I am the only person who dug on Laurent Levassier.



In which I discuss 6 Daredevil books that get little to no press, no one knows about them, even less people gush about them, and you need to track them down post-haste.



In which Dan and I spent a long time discussing one panel from the Lark/Brubaker run on Daredevil (SPOILERS – my favourite run of all time) and we discuss how this very first panel of their run sets everything up tonally.


ManWithoutFear.com Interviews Ryan K Lindsay

In which I discuss my love of Daredevil, and I generally feel honoured to be among those interviewed by this Daredevil fan site – PROTIP: click through to the site and just read it all, every post, thank me later.


ComixTribe Interviews Ryan K Lindsay

In which, I drop a little more knowledge about my book [sorry, peeps, always be closing], and I discuss what Daredevil would look like if I got a chance to write the book.



In which I let you know which 10 runs I dug the most, in order, and why. It’ll tell you just as much about me as it does our man Murdock but it’ll also give you some ideas of what to buy or reread as we get closer to the show.


The Spire Discusses Daredevil with Ryan K Lindsay

I had a big chat with Steve Morris after the first pieces of this show dropped on us. A good chat centred more around the specifics of the show, or what we then knew of it.


I am pretty insanely excited about this show. I hope you are too, and if not, again, read the links above, you soon will be.

Let’s do this.

daredevil cox poster


Crime Factory is a superb online crime mag you have to get down on.
CF 17 just went live. Do it.

I wrote an article in it about FLETCH the movie and the way it mashes up crime and comedy in this perfect weird blend.

T’was truly a blast to write and I think you’d dig it.
No, not you, the one in the back. “You, there! Why don’t you ever comment or share the link? You are here every week, I assume you have reasons, yes? Oh, no. Oh…well then, good day, sir.”

What is Best in Life? – 2014 Style

It’s been a good year, let’s steep in the high octane feels.

Best Comic


This book is just an insane process bonanza near on every single issue. I enjoy this book, but also feel I’m learning from it. That’s exactly how I want to spend my time right now. And I bought in mainly for Aja’s art so it says a lot that Annie Wu’s issues are just as pleasing for me on every single level. This book is a true bruiser, you need it in your life.

Best TV


Love everything about this show. The chaacter performances/arcs, the writing, the slowburn pacing, the way it does not ever pander, and even the messed up horror. This show always makes me want to go out and create.

Best Movie

winter soldier flick

Didn’t see this on a lot of Top 10 lists and was floored by the absence. This flick rocked me so hard I actually saw it a second time. In a year where I only really watched like a dozen flicks, I watched this twice. And did it in black and white the second time and it was superb.

Best Book
WORDS FOR PICTURES by Brian Michael Bendis

words for picturec over

Not so much levelled at actual craft but moreso at all the other parts of the game that fall in between the cracks. Dealing with editors, writing for artists, etc. Book is supremely readable and just flat out great. I’d put this in my #makecomics 101 basket every time.

Best App



This news aggregation app really helped me keep in contact with the world at times (for the little things and thoughtpieces twitter failed me on) and it broadened my scope a little. When I go to bed, I get my zite and my tumblr on. It’s good stuff.

Ha, just realised, with all the swiping on articles and such zite is pretty much the tinder of articles.

Best Music


A lot of my 2014 writing output was scored to this soundtrack. The Lemurian Star track just tells me to SUMC (shut up and make comics)

Best Decision

A Career…Deviation

For years, I’ve been in and out of teaching at an executive level (as an assistant principal). I have decided, for 2015, to step away from that level of work. It’s a step away from money – but one project lined up will cover a little of that missing moolah, thankfully – but mostly it’s just a step away from having a cluttered brain. Being a classroom teacher AND having to organise other school ventures and things is a lot of work, plus wanting to be an engaging husband, and have two kids, and y’know, the whole writing dealie.

So, for 2015, I’m stepping back to just being a classroom teacher – a gig I can do standing on my ear – and the rest of my mind can focus on the writing a little more. Which, again, is starting off well with an announcement of a sweet book coming at some stage which I think you’ll all dig, and see why I wanted to give it as much grey matter as I possibly could.

As for going writing full time – a-hahahahahahaha – yeah, that might take a little while longer. Maybe if I lived with my mother, leeching her wifi, and had no lady options, then I could afford such fancy things. For now, writing is not coming close to teaching money so we’ll just keep the kids in new shoes, okay?


I hope your 2014 was full of many ‘best’ things. Here’s to all the best things – huzzah. And roll on 2015 – believe.

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/

Linkatron 2

Writing a second draft, trying to get my second wind, giving these links a second chance.


I love CRIME FACTORY – their zine is pulp perfection – they’re good dudes – and I’m proud to have articles and short stories with them – check out this great interview of Cam and Liam discussing how they roll – then go visit the site and get yourself into some of their business – http://www.spookmagazine.com/projects-crime-factory-publications/

Starting stories is really important to me – that right moment, that right very first scene/image, the right words – it’s such an important thing and this discussion here on it by Chuck Wendig should give you enough food for thought – http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/11/05/the-breadcrumbs-at-the-beginning-of-the-story/

A discussion of HELLRAISER as a noir – it’s this sort of analysis, quick, sharp, and out that is exactly what I dig right now, it’s all I’ve got time to read, it’s all I want to write – HELLRAISER is one of those flicks I dig, it certainly felt formative to me as I discovered Barker, devoured his works, and found the flick passable if not perfect – has a perfect Barker flick been made? Perhaps not – though this is kind of perfect in that sense of it being an artifact of what it is, a video nasty, something to be on VHS, something to be a little grimy, unperfect – a remake would most likely be terrible, as were the sequels – http://maxrennblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/hellraiser-and-the-noir-fantastique/

An interview with a guy with a micropenis – this article is usable in that it’ll le you peer into the mind of someone who is so clearly broken by what they see as their major flaw – look at what he says, how he says it – then use that for motivation/dialogue/reference next time to make some character – how are they defined by something? Hoew does it make them think/feel/react to the world? – interesting stuff – http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2014/11/what-its-like-to-have-a-micropenis.html

Ferrier makes a mix tape – always read Ferrier – http://www.eatgeekplay.com/make-me-a-mixtape-ryan-ferrier/

Aronofsky talks about TV being the better medium for stories in today’s world – he says other things, too – http://www.indiewire.com/article/what-we-lose-when-film-dies-how-storytelling-is-changing-and-more-from-darren-aronofsky-20141026

All the Foo Fighters’ songs ranked bottom to top – yes, EVERLONG deserves that spot – yes, The Colour and the Shape is their best work, but I’ll always love how the second half of In Your Honor makes me feel – http://www.spin.com/articles/foo-fighters-every-song-ranked-sonic-highways/

Interesting piece about comics journalism – definitely food for thought, on a few levels – http://www.newsarama.com/22691-jim-mclauchlin-s-panel-discussions-here-s-everything-wrong-with-comics-journalism.html

Paul Allor talks STRANGE NATION – as well as some of his process – http://multiversitycomics.com/interviews/alien-invasions-and-personal-sacrifice-paul-allor-discusses-strange-nation-8-interview/

Linkatron 616

Read widely, think deeply, click hard.

Bruce Springsteen lists some of his reading habits – he’s a hardboiled guy – and a classic dude – yes, I shall dig him forever – http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/02/books/review/bruce-springsteen-by-the-book.html

Fascinating and insightful discussion about the Marvel Phase 3 flicks logo set – every time I read about logos I realise how much I still have no idea around them – but I am learning, and taking notes, and am still terribly behind – http://kleinletters.com/Blog/marvel-movie-logos-a-new-trend/

Man digs up girls’ bodies and turns them into dolls for his apartment – he put music boxes in their rib cages, lipstick on their mouths – he wanted to keep them around until science could bring them back – not only is the world a sicker place than we know, it is a sicker place than we can know – http://metro.co.uk/2014/10/28/grave-robber-dug-up-29-girls-and-turned-them-into-human-dolls-4924735/?ito=facebook

Twitter activist is murdered and the Mexican drug cartel uses her phone to send out messages about her murder, and to scare off her followers – intense and sad stuff – http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/21/she-tweeted-against-the-mexican-cartels-they-tweeted-her-murder.html

Classic Aussie bogan beer dresses down, sneaks in, and wins craft brewery award – edgy judges distance themselves from their decision without ever addressing the fact they loved the taste of something they no doubt mock to others – makes you wonder what makes something ‘good’ or ‘cool’ is it objective or complete social construct – http://www.betootaadvocate.com/uncategorized/vb-goes-undercover-to-win-surry-hills-craft-beer-festival/

Pat Grant is a complete dude – and TOORMINA VIDEO is beyond amazing – and so is the new thing, AMBIENT YEAST – you can read them all free online, follow the links – Pat’s work is just like nothing else – enjoy – http://www.broadsheet.com.au/melbourne/art-and-design/article/comics-con-men-and-cultures-yeast

I don’t generally get down with motivational lists or anything but this one is right on point – people are their own worst enemy – and this all goes for creatives, absolutely – http://thoughtcatalog.com/tim-hoch/2014/06/10-ways-youre-making-your-life-harder-than-it-has-to-be/

Stephen King is a dude I could listen to all day long – and he gets some jumping random questions here – and also manages to drop a little process chatter – http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/stephen-king-the-rolling-stone-interview-20141031?page=6

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