Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: idw


headspace boxedThe HEADSPACE tpb from IDW landed last week and I’m insanely happy with the product and proud of the job the whole team at HEADSPACE HQ did to get this out.

I am also happy with the trade reviews we got, so here they are:

Holly Interlandi @ Famous Monsters of Filmland [LINK] gives us 9/10 and says – “It’s like Oscar Wilde took a trip into Dante’s Inferno and emerged with creepy scientists and puppeted madmen.

Ed Garrett @ TMStash [LINK] gives us 9/10 and says – “... the conclusion to HEADSPACE was the perfect finale to an excellent series.

Jorge Solis at Bloody Disgusting [LINK] gives us 4.5/5 skulls and says – “With a truly dynamic mix of story and art, “Headspace” delivers a compelling read that raises questions about human nature.”

Dan Tres at FA Comics [LINK] gives us 4/5 and says – “Headspace is a head trip.”

Polo Lonergan @ Nerd Underground [LINK] gives us 9/10 and says – “It’s not a book to read once and later abandon; it’s one that you should pick up, learning something new with each re-read.”

Callum Webster @ Big Glasgow Comic [LINK] gives us 4.25/5 and says – “Now, with hindsight, there are multiple reason for this title to be called Headspace, as it has certainly rearranged mine as the story progresses.

tim Finch @ Geek Chic Elite [LINK] gives us 2.5/5 and says – “Much like Inception and Lost did to viewers, Headspace asks a lot of questions and gives a lot of clues for which the reader never gets resolution.” – :[

I am humbled by such positive response. It was insane to see people dropping their FCBD swag haul pics online and having our book be among the fun they then bought. This book has been the gift that keeps on giving as readers have loved it and reached out to us, reviewers have supremely dug it and the average score is always high but the words accompanying are always erudite and on point. In short, thank you to everyone that had a crack at the book this past week and we hope you dig it upon rereads as well.


HEADSPACE #8 on ComiXology

HEADSPACE #8 – the final issue! – is up on ComiXology now for just 99pence [LINK]


See the art and colours from Eric Zawadzki!

Screenshot 2015-04-07 21.14.19

Feel the art and colours from Sebastian Piriz/Dee Cunnifee!

Screenshot 2015-04-07 21.13.33

This is the end of the whole mess. Everything has been building to these 12 pages. We hope and aim to satisfy. Our solicitation text reads:

Shane V the Id in a blood red Carpenter Cove. Max and the kids under a slow dull sky. Surely, in our final moments, we all wonder if there are other worlds than these.

I cannot stress how immensely proud I am of this book. The whole team has rallied to bring together something special and I feel like, a whole year after we launched, that we’ve done it. But only you can tell us all.

So, please, buy the issue, enjoy the book, give us a rating on ComiXology, let your friends know, tweet up a storm.

Also, preorder the trade paperback collection from IDW which drops on the 29th of this fine month, just days before FCBD! Through the link you can see the actual trade cover before we’ve officially announced/released it – go run 😀

And if you’ve even read this far into the post, no less read up to issue #8, I gotta say thank you. I wouldn’t be doing this from 8pm-12midnight daily if it wasn’t for you. Well, that’s a lie, I totally would, but you def make it more fun. Thank you.

Thank you.

I Hate Paul Allor – TMNT Utrom Empire #1

Paul Allor gets to write in the TMNT U. Repeatedly. And well.

His Shredder micro from the other month was this tight exploration on the mindset of war which though philosophical in tone could not have featured more fighting, and TMNT: Utrom Empire #1 starts a 3 issue intergalactic epic. Seriously, Allor can blow.

Oh, and he makes Fugitoid interesting here. Actually, kind of heartbreaking. The suicide attempt, and the flat way of Fugitoid thinking about it, kind of got to me. Man, who the hell can make Fugitoid anything but a chore?

And don’t get me started on the intergalactic war and prison island intrigue. Just don’t. I’ll start writing about the cool toys Allor is being given and the fun he’s having with them – which by proxy means all the readers get to have fun, too. Or I’ll rant about how this issue is tightly plotted. Like, Allor most likely sold his grandmother’s soul for this level of game.

Allor also annoys me by getting to work with Andy Kuhn and Bill Crabtree. I dig their style together. That is all.

Oh, and those covers. Man, those covers. Those. Covers. These three covers are some of the best things – as art but in a collective design sense – I’ve seen in a long while.

TMNT: Utrom Empire #1 is just fuel for me to burn the Allor effigies in my mind.

I hate Paul Allor.

RKL Annotations – MLP Rainbow Dash

I’m a process junkie. I cannot get enough of it and while absorbing it and incepting myself is always fun sometimes you have to give back. I’ve read plenty of these issue walkthroughs and while I’m merely aping the best, and late to the game, too, I know I’d want to read this so I’m doing it for those three people out there who feel the same about this issue. In that spirit, I deliver here my thoughts on MY LITTLE PONY MICRO SERIES: RAINBOW DASH #2, an issue I scripted, Tony Fleecs illustrated, and IDW released in March of 2013. You can buy it here on ComiXology.

These are my thoughts, your interest and mileage may vary. Spoilers may abound.


I wanted to start with some fun action the sort of Saturday morning cartoon in media res stuff that reels you in. I love the flow in the middle two panels. Also, the ‘Summerfell Festival’ is a nod to GoT’s Winterfell – which I actually haven’t read or seen.

The lead in description for Dash I did with the same style and tone as Stitch Jones is introduced in HEARTBREAK RIDGE.

And Tony Fleecs killed that Sonic Rainboom.


I wrote that ‘20% faster’ line as an obvious nod to the ‘20% cooler’ meme and it was interesting to see fans react as either loving it or really not digging it. Some pony fans like the meme stuff, some do not. Me, I do. Dash going into the cloud works so well, because of Tony, and I love the spiralling line of the guitar falling.

Notice how Dash’s goggles constantly move and are shifted by her (look for it throughout the entire issue)? I told Tony to treat them like Giles treats his glasses in BUFFY. He nailed it.

This cloud sequence is one of my favourite things I’ve ever written because it’s ‘kid creepy’ while still feeling light but it also has a superb page turn that Tony nailed…


I was so pleased with myself for coming up with the ‘nightmare’ punchline. And Tony’s cloud face and electricity is so damn fine.

The bottom is the TANNHAUSER GATE speech from BLADE RUNNER turned Pony. A geek dream to do and I’m pleased with how well it fit the narrative as it explains a lot of the villain motivation. This is the official complication in two ways.


Tall panels on the left will always make me think of Frank Miller.

The infamous TV panel. We ran this past Hasbro who approved it but putting TV, and a live news bulletin no less, was a big deal for Pony fans because it represented something new in the Pony world. I will say, it’s their world and I’m just allowed in it so I give them full credit. I just hope they come to dig it.

Also, that reporter’s name is Redford (name checked in the script only, never in panel) and he’s styled after Robert Redford’s character in ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. No major reason, I just liked it.

“Your wings look like linguini” is the erudite Pony version of “Legs like linguini” – a Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories shout out from the Chappelle Show.


Tony nailed the montage and it was super amazing to see Fortress of the Fantastic panel blow up on Pony forums.

Ah, the gremlins. These guys were my favourite part of the issue. They were so much fun to write – i aimed for a Stan Lee kind of vibe from them; loquacious, verbose, ridiculous. Also, sneaky Shakespeare quote steal.


Kiwis was originally feijoas but was changed because no one knows what feijoas are. Also, both grow well in the shade, hence the reason to use them here.

“My Granny Smith would turn her shiny green cheek…” – not a line I ever thought would get past. Sometimes, kids, it pays to try.

I’m also pretty sure I put in this sequence, and the montage before it, because I got Paul Allor to read the script and he said I needed to have Dash fail more before finding the path to success. He was totally right and he saved my ass.

The line that crosses this page turn is stolen and Ponied from TOMBSTONE, the boss Earp western. Matt Meylikhov picked up on this which I was astoundingly impressed with.


I’m happy with ‘epic fail’ being broken between the caption and an SFX.

I also like how this sequence reads as a little scene. It felt for me like something you’d see in the show.


I asked Tony to ape the style and structure of Miller’s DKR on this page and he mammothly delivered. One of the prettiest pages in this issue.

In an earlier draft, old man pony turns up later and talks about wearing an onion on his belt.

I snuck the phrase ‘blood simple’ into a Pony book.  A Hammett/Coen Brothers reference to always make me smile.

I flat out stole the final lines here from Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.


I originally just had the gremlin say “Like Sun Tzu says in ‘The Art of War’…” but Bobby sent me back a note simply saying “There is no Sun Tzu in Equestria. Greatest editing note ever. Feel free to make it your neck tattoo tomorrow.

I also fought for there to be a beat between what the gremlin says and then him landing and the FACE SFX. Did I make the right choice? I still feel I did.


PLANET OF THE APES reference turned Pony and made a little safer for tiny ears.

Panel 4 – FIGHT CLUB line reference, toned down slightly.


Ball lightning is a real thing. I just wish I’d maybe used it a little more, it’s cool and it turns up and then it kind of does nothing.


I love these gremlins on this page. This is where I show them having complete and confident dominion over her. I like that they are winning and so easily. It really put Dash into the corner.


I got to write a KRAKKA DOOM SFX. Comic writing bucket list become one step closer to fulfilment.

Applejack saying “Pork chops and apple sauce” is a Peter Brady line steal. Also, someone somewhere pointed out that this means Equestria has pork chops which means they eat pigs – and this made me laugh heartily. I guess Orwell wasn’t right after all, the ponies will really reign supreme.

Look at that watering system Tony drew on Tank the turtle. That thing is insanely amazing.


Tony decided to draw Tank as being all inside his shell. Brilliant move.

Some people, the meme haters as I call ‘em, didn’t like the BROHOOF. When i told this kid at my book signing that there was a BROHOOF in there I got a BROHOOF from him. And it was pretty awesome.

Dash talks a lot at the end of this page. Sorry.


The turn, where Dash finds out how to get the victory. This is her major character level up. Yet she’s still hella arrogant/self-involved through it all which makes me smile.

I was happy that Dash sees the truth in the flag which you’ll notice was in the very first panel. You know why it was there? Because I went back and wrote it in. That’s why first drafts suck, they rarely have the presence of mind to completely anticipate the end and then seed it in.

That last panel has a very oblique CHASING AMY line steal/mix up.


Looking at it now, it feels like I’m just padding a page so I get the page turn for the big moment. I mean, this stuff needs to happen, and it’s nice to see one last moment of confident from the gremlins but otherwise this page is just moving us to the reveal…


SONIC DOUBLE RAINBOOM – this was the whole reason I came up with this story. This was the very first thing that popped into my head and then I built a character piece around it. Truthfully.

I asked Tony to draw the cloud exploding like Alderaan does in STAR WARS. Again, he nailed it.


Simpsons reference which tickled a lot of people from the response I got for it.

I love Redford’s V-Day speech here.

I made Applejack say ‘Darlin’’ which is apparently a faux pas on my behalf. Sorry.

Wait, go back one panel, I only just noticed Tank galloping in that second last panel.l Look at him, a little turtle, and he’s booking it. That’s hilarious.


I started this final sequence with the CODA caption. I’m really glad they let me keep this because it is a coda and I hope some kid out there now knows what a coda is.

Originally the orthotics was a pedometer.


Look at the name on the apple cart – RAINBOWIE’S APPLE ODYSSEY. Tony nailed the David Bowie design on this thing. A shame the letters cover up the great shot in Panel 1 for it.

I’m happy with the spacial movement between the final two panels.

Tony fit an astounding amount of story, movement, and dialogue into this page. All hail Tony.


Full cart reveal, enjoy.

I generally write noir so my usual tendency would have been to leave Dash flightless forever but instead it was nice to write a little cartoon ending happiness for once.

They are literally leaving the story off into the sunset, you guys 🙂


This issue was so much fun to write. It took a lot of drafts, and Bobby Curnow is an amazing editor to work with and he helped with quite a lot of story beats and character moments, and Tony Fleecs is the ultimate to collaborate with because he’s a wicked smart storyteller and he brings amazing skill and craft and presence to the page. In the end, I did a final pass on this issue like I was filling in dialogue for a 5 year old girl and it worked because it then came through flighty and fun. I also seemed to do little but steal lines from other cool stuff so that’s interesting to note…

I would absolutely work in the Pony world again. When writing becomes this much fun, why wouldn’t you?

Thank you and good day, sir.

The Round Stable Interview About Rainbow Dash

The Round Stable were good enough to chat with me about the MY LITTLE PONY MICRO SERIES: RAINBOW DASH one-shot I’ve written.

This chat was a load of fun and we get into the nuts and bolts of working on a licenced property and aligning with a tv show. Hit that link above to read it – and even see a rare photo of me. Gah.


As always, pre-ordering is just loving with more thought put into it.

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