Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: fatherhood

NOIRVEMBER 028 ~ The RKL Trilogy

Haven’t you always wondered why people make the worst decisions sometimes? I have. I also desperately want to avoid walking their paths. So, for me, writing is therapy and through it I figure out the world and my place in it. There is truth in fiction and storytelling doesn’t have to be pain free.

In the stories I tell, I want to dig deep into the darkness and spend time analysing the things my hands hold but my eyes can’t see and my brain can’t yet comprehend.

This is why my characters are often broken and even more regularly stupid. Baring their flaws to the world and justifying them helps me to understand them.

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In FATHERHOOD [with gorgeous art by Daniel Schneider, colours by Paulina Ganucheau, and letters by Brandon DeStefano], I was writing through the demons of being a new father, so we got sad pages of a fatherhood noir. I was terribly afraid of making the wrong decisions so I followed one father down a series of bad decisions. A bad day that breaks the man until he’s completely screwed.

This one-shot was my way of working through things, pouring it onto the page, and then I’d be fine. Because that’s how it works for me.

When the father – he is scripted with no name – finally snaps, he enters a delusion but what he’s really doing is not filtering his choices. He’s acting irrationally, he’s lashing out in action, and it’s all in service of the one job he feels is left to him and that’s to provide for and please his estranged daughter. The problem is, he’s doing it all wrong.

Whenever I hand sell the book at cons, I always say “It’s about a guy who tries to get the doll for his daughter and doesn’t and so he snaps. And we show his mental breakdown through a crime lens. So it’s like JINGLE ALL THE WAY except instead of turning into a terrible flick it becomes SIN CITY.” And this always gets the point across but then if the customer is pausing still I knock them over with the real talk, which is: “It’s also about how far would you go to please your kids, and could you go too far?”

Because what crazier and sadder way is there to script your own noir ending than in service of the only people who need you to stick around. It’s heartbreaking purely because it happens, all the time, and I’m determined to not fall that way. So far, so good.

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My next foray into the spiral was a suicide noir called NEGATIVE SPACE. Because it sounds like an oxymoron of sadness and who doesn’t want that, right?

But this series with insane art from Owen Gieni, letters by Ryan Ferrier, and published by Dark Horse Comics, is about depression and choice and megacorporations controlling our emotions and it is exactly the sort of downward spiral I want to inspect. At its heart, it ponders over the problem that if something/someone else is making us depressed, and so our depression is fabricated by an external force, then does that invalidate our feelings at all? Aren’t all feelings caused and informed by external forces? Don’t they merely unlock a hollow chest already inside us?

It’s a quagmire to peer into and once I drag in underwater creatures and countercultural happiness cults, you can feel the PKD vibe wash over it all. And at the centre, just like he did, I have one man searching for the truth. Even if it’s just to know specifically what to obscure.

Guy Harris is our lead and when he sits down to write his suicide note he gets writer’s block [yes, you are allowed to smirk at that, he’s not real and it is funny] so he goes for a walk to clear his head and from there things get funky. Like ‘what if AFTER HOURS was directed by David Cronenberg?’ funky.

It’s then my job to drop, between the funk and the nasty, I have to drop globs of melancholia which lead Guy all the way down. And he has to be his own downfall. This isn’t a story where he blames the corporation. This isn’t a story where he gets the guy and runs into the sunset holding hands and is cured of his depression. This is not a happy tale and I like to pride myself on the fact I’ve found a new way to make suicide sad. At present, half the series has come out and I look forward to breaking hearts over the next two issues as I deliver on the premise of suicide noir in a way that’s a true bastard act.

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My final noir in the trilogy [surely I’ll move onto some romcoms now] is my BEACH NOIR PROJECT. It’s a pulp paperback crime tale with Sami Kivelä on art, Mark Dale on colorus, Nic J Shaw on letters [and will be announced soon] about a bunch of people on a beach island caught up in each other’s webs and you know it’s not going to end well for the femme, or the cop, or the hulk of a boy toy, or the drug kingpin. This is my chance to play with tropes from the oldest noirs and twist them through a relatively modern setting that’s also timeless and then work out how to best make everyone ruin their lives while helping cause the ruination of all around them.

It’s been fun to write a story that’s a true web of only black threads. A town of characters who are not nice people and all they do is drag down the good people or else grind them under their heel. There is little good happening in this book but there are levels of depravity and mischievousness at play.

Here’s hoping I stick the landing because noir is all about that end. You don’t drag out, you don’t miss a beat. The effectiveness of every line before it hinges on the end. You have to swing that haymaker around like you are knocking out Galactus. And you have to land that impossible punch.

So far, I’m usually happy with my endings. I try my best to completely earn them. I build to them like I’m erecting a temple and it all needs to align. Even in HEADSPACE, which would be a responsibility noir if I felt like stretching things, Eric Zawadzki and Sebastian Piriz and I worked our asses off to make an ending that wrapped everything and had heart. With these three noirs, they all hinge on that very last beat.

From here, I think I need to write some happy endings. I need to try and let my characters have a win. But there’s something so much more satisfying in planning to have it all fall to pieces on them in the final moment than having it all come together. It feels more intricate, like you can do anything.

Or maybe I’m just an asshole.

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Celebrate My Back Catalogue in Pixels

I just realised if someone were to stumble upon me and my work and wonder what I was all about they could drop a tenner on ComiXology and scoop up nearly everything I’ve done so far. That’s pretty insane and pretty cool.

I love finding a new creator and then wanting to dive into more and more of their work. I can remember when Duane Swierczynski took over THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST and I super dug his run so I looked into his back warehouse of words and found a slew of novels, man, I was in heaven chasing them down and devouring them.

I figure, maybe, y’know, it’s possible this might happen to me. Someone sees me on twitter, they get curious, they wonder where to start. Well, here’s the battleplan, and for under $10.

Hit up the Ryan K Lindsay creator page on ComiXology. Then my suggestion is:

HEADSPACE #1-4 – buy ’em all. This is half our expected tale and it’s a steal for $1 an issue. This book is my calling card, it is exactly what I want to be making and leaving in the world as my legacy. It’s a sci fi/crime/gonzo mash up of pure emotional kindling.

FATHERHOOD – this is a $1 one-shot, self-contained, and it shows my emotional heart. I’m constantly surprised by what a perennial seller this is, online and at cons, and it’s nice that it continues to find the right audience and punch ’em in the aggats.

GHOST TOWN TPB – get this four issue intro arc, of which I wrote issues #2-4, for just $4, a bargain in anyone’s ledger. Daniel J Logan drops some great action in this high energy thriller.

For $9 that’s a complete arc, half a massive story, and a one-shot. That’s over 140 pages of my love for $9. Or you can pick and choose for less money and sample with more vigilance.

In all, I’m really happy to have this place where you can binge straight into what little work I’ve done so far.

Not to mention, if your wallet is fat and luscious with the skins of prior hunts:

OXYMORON #3 – the Oxymoron anthology was broken up into parts for digital consumption and I was stoked to land in with Aaron Houston and Paul Allor for this $1 issue.

MLP RAINBOW DASH – if you want to see me get my all-ages anarchy on, get this Rainbow Dash issue for $2.

SCAMTHOLOGY – the entire SCAMthology was uploaded in one chunk, so it’s more doubloons, but it’s more pages and more talent. Get into it.

VERTIGO CMYK MAGENTA – again, a whole antho, so more expensive, but here you get the Vertigo quality. And my tale has Tommy Lee Edwards art and John Workman letters. I can’t think of a reason you shouldn’t buy this.

So this is a way to digitally work out who I am, what my work is, and if you dig it. Buy in $1 at a time, if you like, in the order given.

And once you’re done with me, hit up other creators, other books, bounce around. Find fun stuff, try new stuff, get into some good stuff.

Digital comics are a great low cost/low risk way for you to test the waters on people you are discovering. Get into it, and enjoy.

Oz Comic-Con Adelaide 2014 Plans

For the first time in my life, I am going to be in Adelaide. I’m looking forward to it but also know I won’t see much of Adelaide because I’ll be in the con, and at the bar, and back in the con. But I’m looking forward to it anyway.

Here is an update on what I’ll have for sale on my Table of Four Colour Delights! Though if you look on the map it’s only labelled as Table A6.

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THE MANY HAROLD HOLTS OF SPACE AND TIME – $3

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The critically lauded short by Louie Joyce, Nic J Shaw, and me (which first featured in HBVB ONE) is coming to your grubby mitts as a little ashcan you are guaranteed to love, adore, and cherish until you’ve read it to tattered pieces and it crumbles out of your hands as you weep.

But seriously, this gonzo tale of sci fi Australian politics is exactly what you need. Plus, y’know, Louie Joyce art, the guy is a local god.

FATHERHOOD – $5

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My one-shot comic with Daniel Schneider, Paulina Ganucheau, and Brandon DeStefano is an emotional tale of fatherhood that segues into a pulp crime tale but it’s really just about emotional breakdown. It’s also gorgeous and has some back matter by me. Enjoy.

PONY TALES: MY LITTLE PONY TPB – $30

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This trade collection of the first 6 MLP Micro Series one-shots contains my Rainbow Dash issue with Tony Fleecs. It’s a sturdy beast and is sure to make a great gift for a brony or little friend (or yourself *wink*) so come pick one up. I only have so many left.

OXYMORON – $30

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This anthology of shorts about the Oxymoron – ComixTribe’s resident villain – is a boat load of fun tales of death and dismemberment, with one written by me. You’re probably a sicko, you’ll really love it. Oh, and these are the last 4 copies I own, so hook in quick.

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS – $15

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A book of essays all about Daredevil. Sequart published this literary tome, I edited it, I also contributed two magnificent and long essays, and a slew of other sharp minds attack the character of Matt Murdock in ways that will excite and inform you.

I will also have copies of the smaller book, BLIND DATES AND BROKEN HEARTS, which contains one of my essays from the big book – it’s all about Matt Murdock’s love life. It’s a good read.

LEE – $15

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I wrote a short story about old man Lee Marvin racing death and it appears in this anthology of tales about the crime master. It’s a hell of a pulp read for any grizzled warriors on these endless roads we find ourselves on. Oh, and these are the last 3 copies I own, so hook in quick.

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HEADSPACE

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I won’t have copies of the book – it’s digital only through ComiXology right now – but I have little flyers and I’m down to chat about the book and will sign an iPad if you are down on that front.

PROCESS

I am also always keen to meet other creators and just shoot the process breeze. You will know where to find me.

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CON SKETCHES

Yeah, sorry, I can’t do them. But I’m happy to write a short one page script in your book if you so desire. For reals.

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I’ll pretty much be at my table all weekend. I like tabling. So drop on by, say g’day, let’s do this. Oh, and I might have a panel or something on the weekend. If I do, please feel free to drop in.

Happy 68th, Dad

Today would have been my Dad’s 68th birthday.

Couldn’t help but wonder what he’d make of all this writing malarkey I’ve got going on.

He wasn’t the world’s biggest reader – a few Wilbur Smiths and some old cricket travel/joke books were about all in his meagre library – but he was a good man and a supportive bloke. I like to think he’d dig some of the weirder stuff I’ve written. HAROLD HOLT and the upcoming CHUM and the stuff I’ve written for CRIME FACTORY would be right up his alley.

I’m also sure he hasn’t failed to see how much I write about fatherhood. I bet he’d take the credit for that, cheeky bastard.

I don’t remember much about the old fella – certainly not enough – but I remember his laugh always made me smile. It still does. On a day like today, that laugh is all around me. That laugh reverberates through my words.

I remember my father by hugging my son.

I hope the view’s good up there, Dad. And I hope you dig my words, I wouldn’t have any without you.

1982 Followers

Besides maybe 10k and 1mil, there’s only one twitter follower milestone I care about. 1982.

The year of my birth, my spirit number, this is the promised land.

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I’ve never been one to set a specific follower goal and goad people into getting there falsely so instead I wanted to organically celebrate this one highlight with you. So, for me hitting 1982 followers, please accept the following process swag:

I gift to you, the script to my one-shot FATHERHOOD and see how I communicated myself to Daniel Schneider and Paulina Ganucheau. You can buy the comic through ComiXology here, or as a PDF at Challenger Comics here.

Download: Fatherhood noir – Draft 5 – Jan 2013

I also gift to you a script to the best short story I have written thus far, trip into the mine shaft that is THE MANY HAROLD HOLTS OF SPACE AND TIME and see the love letter I penned for Louie Joyce. You can scope the finished tale in the HBVB Anthology here.

Download: Harold Holt – Draft 2 – August 2013

I hope you dig the scripts, maybe get a process tip out of them, and if you dig them share them around. There aren’t enough comic scripts available for download, especially because they are all so different, so I aim to be the change I wish to see in the world.

Ryan K Lindsay at PonyCon Melbourne 2014

I am very excited to be at PonyCon in Melbourne this weekend, the 1-2 Feb. The venue is the Arrow in Swanston. We will be making with the good times all day Saturday and Sunday, doors open at 9am and close at 5pm.
You’ll be able to find me at Table 31. I will be selling a few rad wares.

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MLP PONY TALES Vol 1 – $30
This trade collection features the first 6 MY LITTLE PONY MICRO SERIES issues, of which I wrote #2 featuring RAINBOW DASH, which has awesome art by Tony Fleecs. The book is relatively new to shelves and I’ll be signing them for free. And if you’re reeeaaallllly nice I might sketch a cutie mark in the book. I will only have a certain amount of copies so get in before I sell out.

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MLP MICRO SERIES #2 RAINBOW DASH MINI COMIC – $10
This miniature sized version of my Dash issue is awesome and I’m only bringing 4 of these to the con so get in first and brag all weekend long.

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FATHERHOOD – $4
This one-shot comic I wrote, with art from Daniel Schneider, colours by Paulina Ganucheau, and letters by Brandon DeStefano is a personal tale from me about a father estranged from his daughter who would do anything to make her smile. It’s more mature and is certainly aimed at discerning readers and possibly the parents of little Pony fans.
And that’s what I’ll have at the show. If there’s anything else of mine you want you’ll have to ask me to bring it, the Pony booms will be weighing me down. But feel free to stop by, have a chat, and make this PonyCon be the raddest weekend ever. You might even consider catching me at my panel:

Writing Panel on the Main Stage – 11:30-12:30 Saturday

Myself, two fanfic writers, and an MC will discuss writing for the Ponyverse.

I look forward to seeing you all at the show.

FATHERHOOD – 99c Digital Download on Challenger Comics

FATHERHOOD is now available digitally on Challenger Comics.

Go to Challenger Comics and for 99c get yourself a shiny DRM-free digital version of the one-shot book I have written. Daniel Schneider slays it on art, Paulina Ganucheau’s colours are off the charts, Brandon DeStefano’s letters are magnificent, and Christopher Kosek’s design work is THE best, hands down.

Just look at this cover, how could you possibly resist?

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Download FATHERHOOD now!

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