Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: black mask studios

EVERFROST gets a Foreword by Lonnie Nadler

I am really psyched, and genuinely honoured, to announce that the EVERFROST tpb lands in December with a Foreword written by one of my favourite modern writers Lonnie Nadler!

You can still preorder the trade collection of all 4 issues of EVERFROST at your LCS so it’s ready for you when it hits shelves in early December! Here is all the info you’ll need.

We got two lovely pages of erudition from Lonnie Nadler for this collection, and I asked him along for the ride because he’s someone I massively admire, but he also fit the sensibilities of this book perfectly. It’s a big sweeping sci fi epic told in very specific and formulated chunks across 4 issues. It’s got structure, and huge ideas, and meaning behind it all and that all made me think of Lonnie.

To recap the brilliant work Lonnie has done, which I’m sure you’ve read, let me go through my highlights!

Before any comics were made, I met Lonnie at the Seattle Sheraton in 2013 and he instantly stood out as a Good Bloke. That kind of introduction is something you always file away for later use. And so, later, in 2017, when I’d meet him again, it would be as I tabled at ECCC with Eric Zawadzki who was in the midst of producing THE DREGS with Lonnie and co-writer Zac Thompson [another Good Bloke].

Now, I loved THE DREGS, it’s this insanely smart and disgustingly beautiful homeless noir story that grabbed me by the collar and shook me awake with each issue. So, naturally, I was stoked to make time with Lonnie throughout that weekend to talk comics, movies, and life alongside some burgers or just the buzz of the showfloor.

Since then, Lonnie has continually ascended in comics opportunities and quality. Putting out a few more creator owned books eventually led to some Marvel opportunities for him and Zac, which they both ran with through some wild storylines, and the whole time I could see Lonnie putting meaning into his writing, wanting everything to matter and be quality and use comics as part of the story, not just the final delivery method.

It’s then that Lonnie wrote BLACK STARS ABOVE with Jenna Cha co-creating as artist, and the book absolutely floored me. It’s eerie and beautiful and such a delight for the brain to read. It might be Lonnie’s masterpiece, which says something as it stands atop an already hugely impressive career.

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So, yes, when it came time to think of someone to write a Foreword for EVERFROST, there was only one name I thought of. Lonnie had already read the first few issues and given me some lovely feedback in am email, so I took my shot and was grateful he said yes.

The way I work with Forewords is I think of the one right person for the project and then I ask and hope. With every book I’ve written so far, I’ve asked just one person, and have usually been lucky enough to get them. If the book has no Foreword, it’s because that one person declined, or didn’t manage to make it in time. I was lucky enough to have Lonnie agree, and step up well before the deadline.

As such, this EVERFROST tpb now has this extra reason to buy it, so you can get more erudite words from Lonnie Nadler into your brain. You can also do this by subscribing to his amazing newsletter, so go do that now.

Thanks for choosing to preorder the tpb, indie comics are a small gig, and every single order matters, and tells stores that this book will sell, so then they’ll add another order for 1-2 for the shelf, particularly important as this lands right at the start of the holiday buying season. Thanks for telling your mates, or sharing my good word about the story, or for just being awesome. It is all appreciated.

EVERFROST the trade collection lands in December, preorder from your LCS today to get this epic sci fi tale from me, Sami Kivela, Lauren Affe, Jim Campbell, and Dan Hill, all through Black Mask Studios!

The EVERFROST tpb Is All You Need

This has been a year of me hyping EVERFROST, so it makes sense we’d close the year with a trade paperback release of the whole story in December.

If you are a trade waited, we got you covered — if you dug the issues, well, it’s just in time to buy a copy for a mate as a holiday season gift [I swear, more people need to give random comics as gifts – gifts aren’t about finding exactly what someone needs and filling that gap, they’re about finding something they didn’t know they needed and then expanding that pocket for them; normalise giving random things you *think* they’ll love].

Anyway, EVERFROST, our sci fi story of heartbreak and a big sword, is being collected in a tpb and it lands in stores everywhere in December and you need to preorder your copy now to ensure your store has one for you!

The tpb has the same cover as #1

EVERFROST

Written by Ryan K Lindsay

Illustrated by Sami Kivela

Coloured by Lauren Affe

Lettered by Jim Campbell

Edited by Dan Hill

Published by Black Mask Studios

I’m crazy excited about this story dropping in one book. I’ve worked so long on it, and I’ve loved it so deeply for that entire time, so getting it in its final form is going to be a heartwarming pleasure.

I’ll post more about it in the coming month – about our excellent reviews, and why the story is a banger, and the awesome Foreword we got written by an absolute genius – but for now, short and simple: tell your local comic shop you want a copy and prepare yourself to read and enjoy when it drops in december [or to not read but gift it like a boss]. Here are all the details you need!

ETERNAL Returns to Stores!

ETERNAL is coming back to comic shops in Ocotber, you can preorder a copy through your LCS now!

I love this OGN I created with Eric Zawadzki, and Dee Cunniffe on colours. It’s a haunting tale of a shieldmaiden, Vif, who kills a sorcerer and then a small magical hell breaks loose in her world. This is a squarebound OGN, with high quality paperstock, and a bunch of back matter included. It was originally released in 2018, and now it’s hitting the shelves again so people can get another look at it.

The work Eric put into the art on this book is next level/god tier stuff, and Dee is the perfect partner for every page and emotion we delivered.

If you’ve been enjoying my writing this year – EVERFROST with Sami Kivela or BLACK BEACON with Sebastian Piriz – then I implore you to check out this book as it’s got that same melding of emotion, violence, landscape, and a killer artist!

It was a huge honour to be rated on a whole stack of Best Comics of 2018 Lists – in fact, I’d almost forgotten ust how deeply loved this book was.

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 lists 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

When we released in 2018, our sales were strong, but since then comic shops have continually told me what an evergreen title it’s been for them – they dip in for a few copies each month, they sell a few copies each month, repeat. Well, this is a chance for a surge.

If you slept on this book so far, let your LCS know you need a copy. If you are looking for the perfect holiday gift, well, this is a graphic novel for $7.99 – I cannot express the value you are getting for that.

If you need a little nudge, here are all of the reviews that loved us:

Comicosity gave us a 10/10

Doomrocket gave us a 10/10

Big Comic Page gave us a 5/5

Multiversity gave us a 9.3/10

Comicverse gave us an 8/10

Black Nerd Problems gave us an 8/10

All-Comics gave us an 8/10

Women Write About Comics loved the book

Pipedream Comics loved the book a whole lot, too

Super Serious Comic dropped some thoughtful notes

Comicon was one of the first to give us some love!

And if you’re in the market to see my spoilery thoughts about every page, YOU CAN READ MY ANNOTATIONS RIGHT HERE!

Okay, now it’s time to just trust your own peepers and marvel at the preview pages!

Preorder ETERNAL with your LCS now so you’ve got your shopping and reading needs sorted!

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!

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