Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: black mask studios

EVERFROST #1 Launches Today

Okay, this is a big day.

Everfrost has been so long in the making, I’m now wildly excited to see it finally hit the shelves, and there are all kinds of emotions coming to the surface. The usual excitement mingled with fear is natural. Relief, pride, maybe even contentment. I’m really proud of this book, and it coming out heralds another new complete story I’ll have put into the world.

Getting the chance to tell a story is no small feat. I don’t want to brush over this, I never want to brush past this. Creating a full world, populating it, and finding some moments worth a damn that you want to share – that’s the alchemy of writing.

I really hope you like Everfrost, but honestly, I hope any of you get a chance to love it as much as I do.

Comic shops will have their copies this week – whatever day you head in, I hope you find a copy on the shelf [or you wisely preordered so they’d put one aside for you and you have no risk of missing out]. Buy it with a smile, tell your comic shop retail magus how excited you are to read it – I bet they love hearing that kind of thing. Comic shop peeps aren’t in it for the millions of dollars, either, they just love seeing stories connect from one human to another.

This sci fi heartbreak is full of passion and creativity and hope and lived experience and desire and energy and I could not have asked for a better team than Sami Kivela, Lauren Affe, Jim Campbell, Dan Hill, and Matt Pizzolo at Black Mask Studios to help bring it to the page.

Thus begins our 4 issue miniseries, each issue packed with fun back matter pages, and our whole walking hearts. Keep your eyes out for this cover, and if you get a chance let us know what you think.

It’s time you had a chat with your LCS this week.

This week has two very important things going down straight outta RKL HQ:

EVERFROST #1 – FOC is Monday!

The Final Order Cutoff is the date where retailers lock in any tweaks to their orders, so you still have a chance of securing your copy for June 02, when we land on shelves.

Please tell your comic shop you want this comic preordered and waiting for you because then you are guaranteed it, and won’t be subject to possible sell outs on the day. Retailers tend to order less indie comics than they do the latest X-Event [I know, insane business model] and every preorder tells the shop it’s a winner, so they’re more likely to order an extra 1-2 for the shelf. Every preorder actively helps to move our initial sales much higher than just your 1 order. Here’s what you can say, or email:

“Hey [INSERT SHOP NAME, or employee name if you’re really something special], can I please preorder a comic, it looks amazing. It’s called EVERFROST, from Black Mask Studios, the order code is APR211533 – I’d like all 4 issues set aside, please.”

Yes, in fact, tell your shop you want all 4 issues, because this is a 4 issue mini, and you don’t wanna get started and then get shorted on future installments of this, trust me. Here’s a look at the first 2 covers from Sami Kivela:

And also…

BLACK BEACON is in Heavy Metal #306 – THIS WEEK!

I have a shelf debut this week, my sci fi collaboration with Sebastian Piriz lands this week in the pages of Heavy Metal Magazine – pick up #306 when it lands from Wednesday and find the opening 22 page chapter of BLACK BEACON!

This is a huuuuuge sci fi story, and we’ll be in the next 5 issues of the magazine. Here’s a look at the first page:

You can pick up a copy this week, or tell your LCS to put it aside for you while you are talking to them about EVERFROST :] The cover looks like this:

Or, if you really wanna commit: BLACK BEACON is also getting a single issue release later in the year, and the first issue is up for preorder, so you can tell your comic shop to preorder BLACK BEACON #1 for you, it’s from Heavy Metal, with order code MAY211491 – here’s the cover:

It’s a lot to remember – maybe keep this newsletter open while you have the chat, if you need the support. I am, if nothing else, always here for you.

To summarise, here’s the date list rundown:

Here’s the rundown, because the list is bigger now:

May 12 – HEAVY METAL #306 – sees the start of BLACK BEACON with me and Sebastian Piriz

June 02 – EVERFROST #1 lands – this miniseries starts here from me and Sami Kivela

June – HEAVY METAL #307 – the second chapter of BLACK BEACON lands in this issue, I assume, at this date

July 14 – EVERFROST #2 lands

July [insert number here] – BLACK BEACON starts to get a solo single issue release here, so if you missed the magazine, you can get our first chapter, with some back matter, right here.

EVERFROST runs for 4 months, BLACK BEACON will run for 6. Really excited about both of these, so hope you find your copies, set aside time to read, and know that I appreciate your support an insane amount.

EVERFROST #2 Cover Reveal – Preorder Now!

EVERFROST #2 is up on Previews – click here for the details!

You can preorder this issue with your LCS – or just ask them to set aside all 4 issues as they come in – and I guarantee after everything we lay out in the first issue, you are going to be dying to come back to see where Van and Eight go off to.

Here’s the cover from Sami Kivela!

So. Gorgeous.

I could make comics in the snow with Sami all day long.

Here’s the official solicit info, just to wet your whistle – at this stage, I’m just having fun writing these things.

Van and Eight have stepped back into the bustle of the Precinct to discover her son is still alive, there’s an epic war between the Bloom and the Warlords bubbling over, and time has become a little fluid since she went out to live on the ice. She needs a whole mess of answers, so she goes to the one person she thinks might be able to help…her mother.

Join us for a tale of echoes through time we could only call ‘Bootleg Fidelity’ as two key characters meet untimely deaths!  

Ryan K Lindsay, award-winning writer of ETERNAL and NEGATIVE SPACE, teams again with Sami Kivelä, the artistic juggernaut behind ABBOTT and UNDONE BY BLOOD, alongside Lauren Affe, the colourist of THE WITCHER, STRANGER THINGS, and FIVE GHOSTS, as they drop an absolute bomb of sci fi insanity and heartbreaking emotion in the grandest Black Mask tradition.

EVERFROST #2 hits shelves July 14 – you know what to do.

EVERFROST #1 – 5 Page Preview on The Beat

We have an exclusive 5 page preview of EVERFROST #1 up on The Beat

CLICK HERE TO SEE HOW WE OPEN OUR ISSUE AND INTRODUCE OUR STAGE AND THE PLAYERS UPON IT

The start of an issue is the Opening Contract and it establishes everything the creative team is about to attempt across and throughout the story. We give character, the world, the tone, the style – it’s an indication of the ride you are in for, the way we wish to connect with you.

In these 5 pages, you will find awesome page layouts from Sami Kivela, beautiful world building colours from Lauren Affe, the balanced and thoughtful placement of lettering items from Jim Campbell, and a flow of prose and ideas from my writing.

If you dig what you read, then you’ll need the subsequent 21 pages when issue #1 lands on June 02 – talk to your comic shop about securing your preorder, they will finalise their orders on May 10.

For now, enjoy the free taste, have a great day, and we’ll see you on June 02 for more :]

Here’s the second page because I love it so much – Sami nails it, natch. The angle, the moon, this is Van Louise. Lauren Affe gives us this haunted feeling of cold and isolation. And look at those captions from Jim Campbell. Utterly perfect in alignment with the art and the tone.

What They Say About Me & Sami – BEAUTIFUL CANVAS #1 Review Quotes

Sami Kivela and I have a new comic coming out in June – EVERFROST is being published by Black Mask Studios – we think you’re going to dig it!

The last time Sami Kivela and I made a comic together, it was also through Black Mask Studios, and it was called BEAUTIFUL CANVAS.

This was a comic about a hitwoman who is contracted to kill a small child and in the same week finds out her girlfriend is pregnant. It’s an emotional tale soaked in blood and Sami and I loved making this comic with Triona Farrell, Ryan Ferrier, and Dan Hill.

We were given many amazingly thoughtful reviews, so I thought I’d pluck out a few key quotes that will prepare you for what you are in for now that Sami and I are back together again for a new comic – EVERFROST launches in June.

Here’s what they said about us last time in some reviews for BEAUTIFUL CANVAS #1

“Aiding and amplifying this is Sami Kivela’s artwork, which is nothing short of fantastic.  It’s not just the great details and exquisite imagery. – While Lindsay definitely creates some relatable characters, it’s Kivela’s artwork that makes them real.”

James Ferguson – Horror DNA

“What really sets the art apart is the scenery in the scenes, the half splash panel of the ferris wheel with a half buried animatronic clown head look beautiful and reminiscent of something that was once vibrant”

Ben Snyder – Comic Bastards

“Sami Kivela shines on the art.  He takes a scene I’ve seen hundreds of times and makes it sublime; I’m talking specifically about page 4, where Lon enters a house to carry out a hit and Kivela’s staging of the scene, page layout with the inset panels, and the discrete moments in time he captures on the page really emphasize the artistry involved in telling a comic story.”

Bob Bretall – Comic Spectrum

“The first action sequence in which Lon encounters conflict and she has to make use if her gun is very short, but also very effective in showing you 1) Lon is good at her job and quick with her hands, and 2) artist Sami Kivelä masterfully pulled this short burst of action off using one entire page and it’s a testament to an artist who knows their way around some damn panels. Throughout the book, Kivelä is manipulating panels and cutaways to really maximize the action scenes and ensure the pacing is good enough for the scenes with more emotional weight. He also has a really solid art style that helps keeps the reader stay invested visually.”

Carrie McClain – Black Nerd Problems

“The issue is written by Ryan K. Lindsay and drawn by Sami Kivela, and both turn in excellent work. The script is smart and always one step ahead of us, and the art shows great design skill, with strong characters and vivid environments on display.”

Chuck – Chuck’s Comic of the Day

“Sami Kivela, whose slick, expressive style sizzles alongside Lindsay’s story, creating an effortlessly cool aesthetic.  A little bit David Aja, a little bit Tyler Boss, Kivela throws in some fantastically inventive panel layouts, including one particularly brilliant page where snorting drugs off a carrot leads seamlessly into a brutal ‘hit’ from Lon.”

Craig Neilson-Adams – Big Comic Page

And this is a big beautiful slab of love for Kivela!

“Sami Kivela delivers tasteful, sleek modern art that fits the issue’s tone perfectly. The first page, which may very well be the single best page in the issue, is a great example of the blend of normal and strange that is yet to occur in the book, and Kivela blends the two elements like they were simply meant to be. Kivela includes telling details in the background of the room – things that indicate a normal, modern household like small plants by the window, a bottle of vodka, star-patterned cushions and a desktop computer. Yet, at the focal point of the page, a body lies dead, with blood splattering from a bullet wound to the eye. Lon herself sits on the couch next to him, looking just as astounded as you, the reader, are at this visceral scene. It’s a perfect opener, giving readers the low down on what to expect from this book.

“Kivela draws refreshingly normal looking humans, like David Aja’s style if you read his seminal “Hawkeye” run a few years back. Lon displays a wide variety of emotions as she reacts to all the strange events during the issue. A scene occurs in which she talks to her lover Asia on the phone, and a panel depicting each person sit opposite each other. Each panel can only show one emotion, but are drawn with subtle detailing that make them feel more real than they are. The way Kivela draws Lon looking down her shoulder, the way her eyes look away in doubt, and her just-ajar mouth are more telling about her emotional state talking to Asia than the words themselves are. Contrasting to this, it’s almost funny how Kivela draws the bad guys with the fashion and looks of models and super-stars. Milla, the limb-gardening psychopath, is a slender blonde clad in makeup and a bold red dress. It’s a reversal of roles that makes the portrayal of these characters so engaging.

“Kivela’s sequential action is great when established. A sense of movement is always established when necessary, so that the flow of the comic is easy to follow. Right from the start, Kivela guides the reader’s eye around a boxing ring with multiple camera angles as Lon moves around it. It’s a small touch here, not noticeable only because it makes the reading too smooth to make it obvious. The first scene in which Kivela’s talent is immediately obvious is during the shootout with Julie, in which reading time is slowed down to having three seconds play out over three panels. Each big panel is intersected by smaller close-ups of each sudden movement – the carrot flinging, the gun firing, the collision of objects – it’s so wonderfully constructed that you can’t help but stop to take it all in.”

Rowan Grover – Multiversity Comics

If this is what they thought a few years back for BEAUTIFUL CANVAS, then I know you’re all going to love the level up we’ve got with EVERFROST.

Speak to your LCS now to preorder before April 18 so you’ll have a copy waiting for you when we hit shelves on June 02.

EVERFROST – Meet Van

I love creating new characters with Sami Kivela. 

In EVERFROST, we’ve created a leading character in the mold we love. Van is battling herself inside, she’s looking backwards as much as inside as much as forwards. She’s driven and determined and absolutely destined to make some bad choices, but they’re the best choices she can make in any given moment. She’s never going to stop, and she’s going to fail, and the beat will march on.

I think you are going to love Van and what she does throughout all we put her through in this comic. 

Going back a step, it’s important to think about why Sami’s characters are so good. His designs are always so visually engaging, they are well thought out. He puts emotion into every face and into every line. 

We first put together the pitch for CHUM, and his clear understanding of who these characters were sat me down in my chair. This was a guy instantly as invested and intelligent about our story as I was. Looking back at his Summer Stanwyck, I still love how he nailed the pulp paperback femme fatale I was going for. 

He rounded out the cast with the blood simple cop, and the shark cunning dealer, and the simple sad muscle. 

Next up was DEER EDITOR, and his design of ol’ Bucky still sits behind my con table at every show. I wanted Robert Redford in the news pool with antlers and Sami nailed it. The book lived on that keen eye for detail. 

When we made BEAUTIFUL CANVAS, I wanted someone I could understand within the layers of the complex lead. Lon Eisley is a hitwoman struggling to know if she’s creator or destroyer when she’s contracted to kill a small child in the same week she finds out her girlfriend is pregnant. Sami brought every facet of thought and life into her design. 

Now, here we are, nearly a decade after making some pulp archetypes and I’ve asked for something different again. 

Van is a brilliant mind. That intelligence comes with a cost: she sees the world for what it is. She’s lost all hope. But that hasn’t stopped her. Brutal determination is her food. Not giving up is the outcome. But she wasn’t always this way, so we hint at this past, right before it slams back into her.

After working in isolation for a long time, Van finally finds a way off planet. Success. With one task left to complete, she is distracted when she sees her son again. And she hasn’t seen him since he died in her arms as a child. 

Things are going to get a lot worse before anything gets better, but the question is: what’s the worst that can happen?

Well, you’ll find out some of that on the final page of the first issue. 

EVERFROST #1 is in Previews Magazine for a June 02 release – Order Code: APR211533

Talk to your LCS about preordering the comic, and ensuring you get a copy set aside for you when it hits the streets in June! This is our fifth book together, and we just keep getting better, that I can promise.

EVERFROST – A New Sci Fi Comic In Previews

EVERFROST is a brand new sci fi miniseries from Sami Kivela and Ryan K Lindsay, the smash hit team behind BEAUTIFUL CANVAS, CHUM, and DEER EDITOR. And I gotta tell you, it’s great to have the band back together again. I’ve been making comics with Sami for nearly a decade, and it’s always exciting and makes me a better writer.

This futuristic story follows Van, a scientist who retired to the ice coast to die, who has finally figured out a way to escape from Earth. Here we will find her walking through the snow, and she’s carrying a big sword, and even bigger loss in her heart. But first she needs to work out how and why she just bumped into her son who she hasn’t seen since he died in her arms when he was a child.

Everfrost is a 4 issue miniseries published by Black Mask Studios

Artist: Sami Kivela [Abbott, Undone By Blood]

Writer: Ryan K Lindsay [Eternal, Negative Space]

Colourist: Lauren Affe [The Witcher, Stranger Things, Five Ghosts]

Letterer: Jim Campbell [Giant Days, Wasted Space]

Editor: Dan Hill [Beautiful Canvas, Metropo]

#1 is in Previews for a June 02 release – Order Code: APR211533

This comic is a mix of icy Frank Frazetta imagery over Blade Runner science and is a perfect fit for readers who love SAGA, ODY-C, BLACK SCIENCE and DESCENDER.

Everfrost has interstellar giant alien skull-whales, emotional flashbacks, sky fights, clones, and a giant fucking sword. It’s wild, it’s absolutely stunning, and it’s designed to also make you feel a little, too.

If you read ETERNAL or BEAUTIFUL CANVAS or NEGATIVE SPACE, then I think you know what I’m aiming to do with this one. Each of those comics sold well, gained stellar reviews, and got me to a place to write EVERFROST. I’m trying to marry the scenery of big epic genre pieces with the heart of weird smaller character studies, and hopefully find a sweet spot in between where your new favourite comic lives.

Talk to your LCS about preordering the comic, and ensuring you get a copy set aside for you when it hits the streets in June!

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.

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.

ETERNAL OGN from Black Mask in January 2018

I’m insanely excited to announce my latest project, a shieldmaiden ghost story ogn one-shot with Eric Zawadzki at Black Mask.

This book is a serious milestone for me because it’s completely something different. It’s an oversized one-shot – both in page count and page dimensions, with it running oversized like a bande dessinee album – and it’s another chance to collaborate with Eric Zawadzki, from our HEADSPACE.

Here’s the official solicit copy for it:

Order Code: NOV171290
(W) Eric Zawadzki, Ryan Lindsay (A) Eric Zawadzki

A group of isolated shieldmaidens protect their village against a tide of men who think they can take their land land from them. Vif takes her band of women off viking to quell the advances of a loitering mystical scumbag, Bjarte. But some battles rage on inside us long after the field is empty, and some opponents won’t ever stay down. Eternal is a haunting story of how vulnerable you make yourself when trying to protect everything around you.

This oversized bande dessinee graphic novella is a love letter to brutal violence and eternal emotions. With hyperdetailed art and gorgeous fluid motion from artist Eric Zawadzki [hot off THE DREGS], this story will be one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking things you will read this year. Written by Ryan K Lindsay, known for marrying emotion to genre in BEAUTIFUL CANVAS and the award winning NEGATIVE SPACE, this self-contained story is aimed to be a boutique item for your shelves, and a gateway gift to others you know and love.

The book is running a super sweet price of $7.99, and it’s hitting shelves January 31st, 2018.

SCOPE OUT THE COLOURED PREVIEW PAGES HERE!

This is perfect for your shelves [we have a spine], and for you to buy for friends, and stow away as that awesome and affordable stowaway present for when celebrations arise. This is a book to be absolutely adored as Eric’s art is completely wild in it, and Dee Cunnife colours it all with mood and intent and this book really is going to look something special.

Tell your LCS to preorder a stack of them now, because this is going to be 2018 opening with a bang.

ETERNAL – a shieldmaiden ghost story – enjoy.

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