Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: depression

NEGATIVE SPACE #1 News and Reviews

If you took the time to buy/read NEGATIVE SPACE #1 from Owen Gieni, Ryan Ferrier, Daniel Chabon, and myself from Dark Horse comics this past week then thank you X one exact million.

negative space 1 logoThis book means the world to us all so it was insane to see it garner a lot of advance praise [LINK] – where we got 19 glorious reviews pitched at 8/10 or above and matched with some spectacular words of praise and criticism.

Over the past week, we’ve also got some press, reviews, interviews, and such, so here is the round up, which landed us an aggregated 9.0 on Comic Book Round Up [LINK] and made us the second best reviewed comic in th land for our week, beaten only by the ARCHIE reboot from Staples/Waid.


Nick Hanover dropped a straight up smart review of the book over at Loser City [LINK], saying “Negative Space is well on its way to proving itself as a far more emotional and profound high concept work than the bulk of its competitors, making it a more than worthwhile break from the sad and lonely pits of your Facebook feed.”

Patrick Hess gave us many sound words to ponder over at Nothing But Comics [LINK], including “Negative Space is nothing like you’d expect, even after you’ve adjusted your expectations and there is something really special about that.”

Pierce Lydon over at Newsarama gave us 8/10 [LINK], saying “Negative Space is another great comic book from a couple of creators who should soon be household names.”

Ed Garrett at TMStash gave us 8/10 [LINK], SAYING “You really need to check out NEGATIVE SPACE – it’s a wild ride very well worth taking.”

Matthew Jent at The Comics Beat dropped some considered words [LINK], saying “Every place is distinct, even when changing locations panel to panel, and in a story about the harvesting of emotions, Gieni wisely lets facial expressions reveal the intricacies of the characters’ inner lives.”

Jack Johnston at We The Nerdy slays us with a flawless victory score of 10/10 [LINK], saying “I’d like to say that this issue managed to successfully set expectations for itself at the beginning then shatter them by the end for me. I’d highly recommend this series to anyone and I highly look forward to reading the rest of the story as it come out.”

Ross Sweeney at Big Comic Page gave us 4/5 [LINK], saying “there’s a beautiful, dream-like quality to Gieni’s gauche visuals.”

Steve Morris at Comics Alliance blessed us with ace words [LINK], saying “It’s a really careful story, and one that plays off the considerable strengths of the creative team.”

Miz Caramel Vixen at Vixen Varsity dropped insanely glowing words on us [LINK], saying “As I read Negative Space, the tears didn’t stop”

Ray W at Review Brew dropped 4.5 out of 5 Kindreds on us [LINK], saying “The art helps with the tone of the issue and keeps you engaged the whole time.”

Chris Beveridge at The Fandom Post grades us A- [LINK], saying, This opening installment doesn’t give us easy ideas of what the world is, but there are tantalizing clues to be explored as it progresses and that’s exciting to think about.”

Robin Burks at Tech Times gives us 5 stars [LINK], saying “What makes this story work are the characters, very deftly written by Ryan K. Lindsay.”

Ian Simpson at Geek Syndicate gives us 4/5 [LINK], saying “There is no wasted space here.”

JAdam at Comic Buzz scores us a perfect 10/10 [LINK], saying “From the first page, an immediate sense of hopelessness blankets the reader.”

Over at the Rorshach Rant blog we get 8/10 [LINK], with them saying “the book has a rare spark of creativity, of originality about it, has hooked me.”

Mike at Fellowship Geeks enjoyed the issue [LINK], saying “The art goes a long way toward setting the mood”

Chris Melkus at Destroy the Brain spread the good word [LINK], saying “If we need (and we do) a comic book version of a Spike Jonze movie, Negative Space does the job nicely.”

Austin Lanari at Comic Bastards gave us a stellar 10/10 review [LINK], saying “Rarely do a writer and artist come together to present such a singular vision.” and “That all of this was achieved within a first issue borders on upsettingly fantastic.”


Sam Wildman at Nerdophiles gave us a 5 star reviews titled NEGATIVE SPACE IS KIND OF THE GREATEST THING EVER [LINK], saying “I might have my new favorite Dark Horse series here, people. It’s that good.”

Walt Richardson at Multiversity Comics gave us a 7.5 [LINK], saying “it is rare to see a serialized comic these days with as few solid-background panels as this one, even a miniseries. This extra touch brings the dour world of “Negative Space” to life in a way that few comics manage to reach in debut issue.”

The team over at Comics Bulletin rave about our issue [LINK], saying “one of the most affecting books I’ve read this year.”

Kazmataz at Talking Comics said you need to pick this up [LINK], saying “Lindsay’s writing is breathtakingly harmonious with Gieni’s visual portrayal of Guy.”

Magen Cubed at ComiConverse gave a stellar review [LINK], saying “Negative Space is raw, honest, and respectful in its portrayal of depression, in ways rarely seen in comics with similar themes.”

And we got a great talk up by Tor Athena on her YouTube channel, so hit that stuff up and enjoy [LINK]

We featured on the Comics Should be Cheap feature on Multiversity twice [LINK], with Leo Johnson saying “there’s a small moment that will break your heart.” and Jessica Camacho flooring me with “It’s a beautiful debut that sets up what could easily be the best miniseries of 2015.”


Amy Brander took time to chat with me about the book at her site The Frog Queen [LINK]

Edward Wendt sat down with me to discuss how the donuts got made at Graphic Policy [LINK]

Nick Hanover and I got deep into this whole malarkey over at Loser City and it was a hell of a discussion, in two parts – I [LINK] II [LINK]

And if you need to be tipped over the edge, soak up this video trailer on the DH instagram [LINK] – so pretty and moody.

negspace2coverAs always, if you’re going to follow us down the rabbit hole on this crazy story, I have to thank you. Independent comics live and die on the vine based on word of mouth and preorders. If you spread the word in cake writing, sign language to the blind, or anything else, I’m grateful. All good things are great things to us.

#2 is right around the bend so I hope it’s on your pull order and you’ve told your LCS al about it, and #3 and #4 are right around the bend, too.

And finally, 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.


We Are Here To Help You

Depression sucks. Let’s kick it in the balls, together.

So, I’m writing this book called NEGATIVE SPACE, it’s a comic from Dark Horse Comics with art by Owen Gieni and words by me, and it’s about Guy Harris, a depressed man who sits down to write his suicide note but gets writer’s block.

From there, we tell a tale of depression, and responsibility, and the grit of the human spirit, while also weaving in ancient emotion eating creatures, a flat out terrible corporate giant profiting from the melancholia so easily created in our world today, and ultimately we look at the prospect of whether we can save people, and who gets to decide what saved looks like.

It’s an emotional journey, but with a brutal high concept, and while it feels like a Philip K Dick book, meets a Springsteen song, within a Polanski flick, at the end of it I want to also comment on something so incredibly human. Because fiction is great at subversively tackling things that matter through narrative engines of things that don’t matter, or aren’t even real.

But just to be certain, I also want to tackle this depression malarkey head on, because it deserves to be tackled daily by all of us.

Y’see, years ago, decades ago, depression kicked me in the face. I was five years old. Short story – my father killed himself. I was there to find him. Easily the worst thing I ever saw in my life. Horrendous. Life altering. He’d obviously gotten to a point where this was the only option he could see for himself. With a loving wife, three kids between 5 and 16, he was feeling something so oppositional that he had to end it all.

For years, I honestly didn’t know what to feel. You hate, you’re confused, you ignore, you wallow. It’s so insanely difficult to process. Hell, look at my work, I still am processing it. There’s no accident my writing so often veers into the territory of fathers and depression and sacrifice, and now suicide. My mind is a whirlwind started by that one storm. I don’t think the winds will ever die down, but I’ll learn how they turn and how to keep them blowing all my worldly goods away into the bleak horizon without a thought. NEGATIVE SPACE is most definitely another step of me processing certain things through one of those narrative3 engines that can fool you into thinking it’s about another thing. I find writing this sort of material cathartic, it helps. I have a lot to process and I like to think my writing might just help someone else with another step forward, another inch into the light.

Because to me my father proved that depression is invisible. This was a man who was a towering influence on my life, a booming laugh, a loud singing voice, a smile wide as a canyon. No one saw this coming – why? How’d we not see it? Why’d he not show it?

The answer is – depression is an illness, and it’s a sneaky bastard.

Especially in men. We don’t have any sort of real talk about our feelings, we don’t like to show weakness. We let problems fester, we bottle up, and then when it goes bad, it goes terrible.

I’m a firm believer that we stop this garbage now. I’m a firm believer that there is help for everyone, but it’s not going to be easy. I’m a firm believer in opening up the discussion, even if it only works for one person. That’s one less person gone if things were to go pear-shaped. As such, I’m going to curate a little list/link farm below. I’m going to link to this page a lot as we prep NEGATIVE SPACE for launch, and as we travel along making the book. I figure if I’m bringing suicide/depression into a spotlight, I might as well try to use it for good, especially if my story [which I know will be confronting] triggers anything in anyone anywhere. If all this helps someone, that’s fantastic. If it opens up a dialogue somewhere, brilliant. Depression works best in the shadows, let’s shine some sunlight on the bastard.


Depression Resources/Links

But if you are feeling suicidal, please talk to someone right now! A hotline, a friend, family, a mate on twitter, someone, please.


Wiki page of Suicide Crisis Lines in 13 countries [LINK]

BeyondBlue – an Australia depression/anxiety organisation with a multitude of aspects [LINK]

Black Dog Institute – an Australian organisation involved with promoting peace of mind and aiding in mood disorders [LINK]

Headspace – an Australian organisation working with youth depression and mental health [LINK]

PANDA – an organisation for post and antenatal depression [LINK]

Fantastic link farm for mental health resources and assistance [LINK]

Mental Health America is a great resource of links and advice and information [LINK]

Anxiety and Depression Association of America – an organisation dedicated to treatment and help for a variety of mental health issues [LINK]

Partners for Mental Health – a Canadian organisation providing access to further resources dealing with mental health issues [LINK]

If you know anything supremely helpful I should be linking to please drop me a line and I’ll edit this post.

Find what works for you, but know there’s something that will work for you. There is help, someone cares, there are alternatives and opportunities and options, this I believe.

We are here to help you.

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