Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: music

What is Best in Life? – 2015 Edition

2015, I believed.


DEADLY CLASS by Wes Craig and Rick Remender

Just loved every single panel in this crazy messed up book. It’s a wild idea, wrapped up by a wide array of intriguing characters, in a $10 intro trade, with some of the most nuanced and superb comic making I’ve seen in a while. Just an utter joy to behold – well, in a sense of how it is made…most of the actual narrative is as bleak as leftover coffee the next morning.



Just the best in show for everything, really. This year was S3 and it closed out the show and did it so masterfully that I’m still in awe. This is one of the few things I just keep bringing up to people and gushing to them about. It’s a show I want to share because it represents so many things about storytelling I love, and I wish I could do.

I’d love more seasons but I also love how tight and wonderfully this is all stitched up. This year, everything else paled in comparison.



And I mean hands down, best flick of the year. I crazy loved the idea but the execution was better. With a simple narrative throughline, they then explore emotions in such a deliberate and delightful way that my 5yo man dug it but I was floored by it. I cried twice in the damn flick and then when I got home and tried to explain it to the wife I started tearing up again. She thought I must’ve had a stroke. So good, and who knew we needed HERMAN’S HEAD the kid adaptation so bad?



Yes, a new Sarah Blasko album dropped and she’s still amazing. ETERNAL RETURN has fuelled some words in the last few months.



Every time I listen to this podcast about using Kickstarter for making comics it inspires me to make some more comics. I just get the fire in the gut again. You need to have that fire, and stoke it, and shift it, and kick it, if you’re going to survive this stupid ride we repeat again and again making comics.

The ComixLaunch podcast is just gasoline all up in my bonfire of life. I was also on an ep, dig it, it’s all about kickstarting DEER EDITOR and doing a digital only campaign from Australia [LINK]



This ebook was like two bucks or something stupid and it was a tight, short, very interesting read. And I’m finding it hard to hang on to novels because they are taking me crazy amounts of time to get through so short novella stuff is just right and this book was aces [LINK]

Are there other best things from this year I should be considering? No app jumped out at me this year, and no way could I single out all the cool art I’ve been able to scope in my travels with collaborators, so I think this is it.

2015 was a building block year, and it built in me patience. Hopefully I can use it to calmly slaughter 2016.

NOIRVEMBER 007 ~ Sea of Heartbreak

When it comes to music, I tend to steer to the saddest shit possible and I don’t even know why. There’s something about that aural connection that makes my office need to soak up all the sads.

Maybe it stems from my father. His favourite band was The Platters. My lords, they are amazing. One of his favourites was ‘The Great Pretender’ and as a family we all loved it. Especially as Freddy Mercury also sang a version and we were and continue to be a huge Queen family.

Now imagine me, many years after my father’s suicide, really contemplating the fact this was one of his favourite songs. It’s kind of gutting. And yet I still love the song.

I also love ‘Twilight Time’ and ‘Harbor Lights’ and pretty well their whole damn ‘Best of’ album, which we owned on CD and spun goddamn daily in enjoyment, then in tribute.


For something more recent, I find myself in a crazy ear crush on Sarah Blasko because her music sounds like it’s scoring someone’s downfall. It is the perfect score to me writing, both my inner process as well as what comes out on the page.

But when it comes to a great noir song, I’ll always stop at ‘Sea of Heartbreak.’ Why?

The lights in the harbour

Don’t shine for me.

And with those opening words, my heart breaks. This song brings out the very best in noir in that it’s someone’s eternal turmoil over love lost. Because noir isn’t always death as opposed to life, sometimes it’s death inside as opposed to living. These lyrics paint a picture of a million words and only really talk about the emotion and the distance. It’s not a classical narrative story, it’s a response.

And you are allowed to fill in the gaps. Which is always the worst because my mind will always reach further than it needs to in order to destroy itself. I’ll imagine something so bad that it’s near impossible but that doesn’t stop its possibility being a complete curtain over my brain. So this song utterly stalls my brain and sets it floating on ‘this seas of tears.’

I am now certain you can only imagine what then occurs when you double-bill this song with ‘Teen Angel,’ an actual narrative song and the very saddest thing you’ll hear on this fine day.

‘Teen Angel’ is about a young picaresque high school couple whose car stalls in front of an oncoming train, and, well, it’s easier if you just hear it.

That fateful night the car was stalled

Upon the railroad track

I pulled you out and we were safe

But you went running baaaa-aack.

From there, the train hits, the girl dies, and when the young buck investigates to see why, oh why, would she go and do something so stupid, he finds his ‘high school ring, clutched in your fingers tiii–iight.’ We then follow him to her funeral and we know he’s broken for life, as you would be.

It is horrific.

It is also a song that featured on a 50-60s double cassette album of rock and roll hits that my father bought and loved and I listened to a million times as a kid. From ‘Rock Around the Clock’ to ‘Blueberry Hill’ to ‘Chantilly Lace’ these tapes had it all, and yet I never knew they held this piece of lovesick noir. And I knew the words to the song, I sang along, and it wasn’t until one day, in my late teens, I was in my car, tape jammed in, jamming along, when I paused and took stock of the words coming out of my mouth. I was floored. I rewound, I listened again. Why the hell was this even a song?

I took the tape home and played the song for my brother, he had also never really ‘heard’ the song before. We both stood there, paused, and that feeling that death is all around you, has always been around you, finally soaks in as you realise how comfortable you’ve become with it. How inured you are to things ending before they should. How much your brain protects you from the darkness all around.

All these songs, as bleak as the other side of the moon, and yet I can’t get enough.
As I write the downfall of so many characters, you’ll find these songs scoring their trip to the underworld, across the sea of heartbreak.

NEGATIVE SPACE Coming Out Your Boom Box

NEGATIVE SPACE has a Spotify list [LINK]

Screenshot 2015-06-02 22.38.40

So if you wanna know what kinda jams bring me completely low enough to write a suicidally depressed guy then get down on it.

For those wondering about purpose, I often use music to get in the writing zone for certain projects. When writing HEADSPACE I found listening to ‘Harbor Lights’ by The Platters instantly put me in Carpenter Cove. For Guy Harris, I find hearing ‘Everyday’ by Buddy Holly puts me in this weird place where I feel his pain but also desperately want it to feel better for him. It’s heartbreaking and perfect to get in the right place to bring him to live on the page.

From there, the highlights of the list so far are:

EVERLONG [ACOUSTIC] – Foo Fighters – because this song is amazing and when done acoustic and slow, my lord, it’s soul rending stuff.

THE GREAT PRETENDER – The Platters – imagine your old man was a huge Platters fan, then imagine this was one of his favourite songs, then imagine he kills himself, and then imagine years later you suddenly see the saddest irony ever that your childhood was spent with him singing this song like it was something grand when it was the most subtle cry for help you ever missed.

IN YOUR HONOR Disc 2 – Foo Fighters – because Dave Grohl is my depression spirit guide, haha. This second disc of the album is one of the best things to Fooeys ever did. It’s gorgeous, crazy, insane, and I could listen to it on repeat forever.

Sarah Blasko – seriously, anything she’s ever done, haunting. She’s always writing fuel but for NegSpace she was a supreme goddess.

And I’ll continue to add to it over time because even just writing press [or this post] it helps to keep the brain in laser focus.

As 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.

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.

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