Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: 2014

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.

My Comic Plans for 2014

This is not a post of comic resolutions. This is a plan moving forward.

I wanted to write down some plans for 2014 to keep me focused, to show me I’m on the right track, and just as an open process thing to see what someone on my level (Dante puts me down on the 8th circle) is doing. Here’s what I want to achieve in 2014.

What I Hope 2014 Can Do

My Best Work Yet – I’m dropping a series in the first half of this year that is the best long form thing I’ve done yet. I want to spend the time to do this right and show growth. I have something to say and my art team are beyond compare so I’m looking forward to this happening. I also have another series and two one-shots in the works and the aim is for these to bring the thunder in new ways. There is no room to rest on your laurels, you need to be charting up constantly.

More Shorts – I’d like to add a few more shorts to my list this year. I have a few sniffs in places so we’ll see what happens. I also want to collaborate with some cool people for kooky DIY 5-10 pagers we can just throw up online. Fingers crossed.

One More Greenlight – In a dream state, I’d like to get one more mini greenlit before the year is out. The ball always needs to be rolling and it can only be greased with the carcasses of previous comics work completed. This one will be the real test of the year but I have the faith.

Yep, that’s it. Other than that, I’m not going to ‘aim’ insanely high. No Daredevil gig just yet, or Image mini, or anything like that. I want to be realistic and set a plan I can reel in and stuff an air tank in its mouth before pulling the trigger.

This is my battle plan for 2014. I want to do what’s set already as well as I can, I’ve got lead time so I’m working my ass off to make every script really pop. I also want to aim for the next stuff with precision rather than with a scatter shot approach. Hopefully I’m doing it right.

What are your comic goals for 2014?

Resolutions for 2014

New Years resolutions are the best.

There are two kinds of people: those who scoff at the idea of resolutions because they are stupid because you shouldn’t need to change things on some arbitrary date, and there are those who can write their own destiny and actually change things in their world.

This year I vowed not to eat chocolate for the whole year and as I sit here on the 31st of December, I have managed this feat. I made the resolution partially as a health thing but mostly just to see if I could do it. I like chocolate chip cookies, and brownies, and chocolate milkshakes, so I knew this would be hard enough to be a test. And it was. I had to turn down offers pretty consistently but now that I’ve done it, holy cats do I feel good about it. I know that I control my world, I am the master of my desires. The fact I could do this has become this insane mental victory that you can’t pay for in this world anymore. I have bested temptation; come at me, bro.

Though I didn’t exactly go the ‘whole’ year without chocolate 😦 — at a work function I bit into what I thought was a blueberry muffin but upon first bite discovered it to be chocolate chipped. I didn’t want to look insane so I swallowed my small bite and then tossed the rest in the trash. I hope when I reach the pearly gates that St Pete doesn’t pull this on me and cast me down.

So, looking ahead for 2014, I had a big hole to fill. 2013 saw me master my fleshy temptations, what could I do for 2014 that would best this? In the end, I’m not being negative and redacting something from my world (I know I can do this now), so instead I’m going to value add. In no particular order, here are my 2014 resolution.

Read A Comic A Day – this should seem easy but some days get hectic and I don’t read anything and it bums me out. I’m busy and blah blah blah but if I’ve got time for someone’s facebook status/tweets, then I’ve got time to finally read the Jason Aaron GHOST RIDER omnibus I’ve ignored for far too long. This year, I read at least 365 comics.

Exercise 10 Minutes Every Day, 6 Days A Week – the usual standby resolution of ‘this year I’m going to get fit’ is dumb. It’s not clear what you’re going to do and so you’ll most likely fail. Because people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan, and ‘get fit’ isn’t the tightest term and once unloosely defined you’ll never rein it in and then you’ll find it unattainable. I’m beating that by making mine specific AND achievable. Hence, just 10 minutes a day. It can be walking, riding, stretching, bridging, sit ups, arm workouts, whatever. Considering I’m starting teaching at a new school that is closer and I plan to walk/ride most days, this will hopefully be a lock. But I’m hoping the 10 minutes becomes infectious and leaks out into more. I also think the break day every week is just smart planning. But for now, start small, achieve, and move on/up later.

List My Input – I’m going to keep lists on the comics/books/movies/tv I consume. I have a notepad all set out for this. Why am I doing it? Well, to help me keep on track with the aforementioned #365comics challenge, but also to just look at what I’m doing, see patterns, and have something that will replace my Swiss cheese memory.

Write Harder – I’m going to settle into tasks quicker, I’m going to go social media free while writing for a few nights a week, and I’m going to ensure I keep my productivity high. This one is a little loose, I will admit, but I feel happy with how I’ve been going in 2013 on this one (which is an every year event and constantly improving/evolving) but I always want to up my game so for 2014 the ‘net free nights is what will help me out. So will the deadlines on real gigs with real publishing schedules.

These are my resolutions. They will make me and 2014 better things in this world. I hope you have resolutions, I hope you crush them, and if I can help in any way just let me know.

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