Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

Tag: owen gieni

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.

REVIEWS

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.”

^WOW.

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.”

INTERVIEWS

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.

Advertisement

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.

NEGATIVE SPACE Issue Titles

negative space 1 logoNEGATIVE SPACE is coming. In July, Owen Gieni and I are going to bring the sombre tones and wild trombones with our tale of Guy Harris, the poor sap who sits down to write his suicide note and gets writer’s block.

You can find more information about this book here [LINK] and you can preorder this book now at your LCS using this order code: MAY150012

While you wait for the book to finally drop, I thought it might be nice to gaze ahead – but not into spoilers – so today I’m bringing you a little discussion about comic issue titles, and the ones I came up with for the 4 issues of NEGATIVE SPACE.

I love comic issue titles. Though I find titles hard, titling an issue has less stress. It won’t be on the cover, it won’t even be noticed or remembered by a portion of your readers. It’s a thing where you can experiment, and go long, and steal, because it’s just an issue title, it’s nothing real/important, it’s an extra you don’t even have to do. Right?

I went for titles on this because they helped me handle the ever-shifting tone/scope of the story as we cook through the issues. So, here’s what I came up with, and a little on why – no spoilers.

#1 – ATLANTEAN HEARTS

This title is a huge homage to Stephen King’s HEARTS IN ATLANTIS, and by that I mean the novella with that title within the collected book also holding that title. The other stories aren’t superb but this story is one of my favourite things ever. It’s about this kid at college, and he’s wasting his time playing the card game Hearts, and he’s falling in love on the side. But like all things at college, it’s in flux and it’s transitory. Ugh, just thinking about the relationship in that story is getting me all weird right now. King might be the master of horror but he’s also really the master of characterisation and he uses that here to tell this amazing love story.

I chose this title for this issue because it reflects the aim of #1 – like any good horror story, like King himself knew perfectly, the terror only works if we care about the people being terrorised. This issue is here to set up our characters and then really make you care about them. We open on Guy Harris trying to write a suicide note, you don’t just then walk away from that and throw him into the shenanigans because, quite honestly, why would you care? His suicide isn’t shorthand to deliver a generic character cliche outline, it’s structurally important to the integrity of the tale right up until the last page. As such, Owen and I are working hard to seed it all throughout this issue so it matters and so you care.

King wrote some masterful things in his story and they are:

Hearts are tough, Pete. Most times they don’t break. Most times they only bend.”

Hearts are tough, she said, most times hearts don’t break, and I’m sure that’s right . . . but what about then? What about who we were then? What about hearts in Atlantis?

Damn story crushes me every time – if you haven’t read it, go, now, feel. And while NEGATIVE SPACE is a weird horror/sci fi, none of that matters if we don’t first make you care, so here, in this issue, we make you care, and we also mess you up. At least, that’s the plan.

#2 – THEATRE OF WAR

The title alone tells you we’re past the character introductions, we’ve hopefully made you care, and now we are going to put them, and by proxy you, through hell.

I mostly love the double entendre of this title/phrase. It’s mostly used to denote a specific playing field upon where combat and operations will take place. I wanted to allude to the theatricality of war. The stripes and bright lights we use, the shock and awe factor, the way it goes above and beyond anyone’s semblance of daily life. Or, at least, the war waged in these pages does. It’s all a big show, it’s all OTT, it’s all hyperreal.

This issue takes our grounded characters and throws them well into a subreality that should never be real.

#3 – THERE’S A REASON THEY CALL IT EXECUTING A PLAN

Again with double entendre. I am a hack. But this title came to me and I stuck with it. Because it’s true, sometimes you execute a plan, and sometimes you execute a plan. You never know what’s gonna happen because a plan by definition is theoretical. Practical application holds all kinds of rubbish variables.

But in short, this is the issue where things get real. There’s renewed focus, a level up right as we delve down, and things get crazy/nasty. This is some pay off as we expand scope and put people into the weirdest situations they’ve ever found themselves.

#4 – ALL THE PIECES GO BACK IN THE BOX

I had this title before I wrote the script. I heard it in a TedTalk, and it’s one I cannot for the life of me find [because my memory is about as useful as an open toed sock – and whenever people recall stories from decades earlier with crystal clarity I wonder if that’s even possible, or if they’re making it up, or if I’m just a guy with a noggin full’a cottage cheese and a fat lazy rat slowly consuming it all]. This title kinda sums things up nicely, and there’s still the idea that the pieces might go back, but they can be broken, their safety is not assured, we just know their final resting place. And if the pieces go back, in what state are the players left? It’s an absolute statement but leaves blank so many qualifiers. Much like any good story should.

This issue is where we’ve let the scope and sound expand for 3 issues and now it all rachets back in, like a star dwarfing. All good things must come to an end, and maybe all bad things go on forever and ever. I guess you gotta lay down the money to find out this year.

So those are our issue titles. They don’t spoil a thing but they maybe paint a blood splattered silhouette.

As always, if you’re going to follow us down the rabbit hole, I have to thank you. Independent comics live and die on the vine based on word of mouth and preorders. If you can tweet it to your friends, that’d be ace. If you wanna slip the title into your next care package to your off-shore accountant, go for it. Actual watercooler chat at work, aw, yeah. 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.

NEGATIVE SPACE Page 1 Script/Art Leak

NEGATIVE SPACE is coming. In July, Owen Gieni and I are going to drop some emotional bombs on the world with our tale of Guy Harris, the poor sap who sits down to write his suicide note and gets writer’s block. Only Dark Horse Comics would take a chance on such a story, gobbless ’em.

You can find more information about this book here [LINK] and you can preorder this book now at your LCS using this order code: MAY150012

So to tantalise your riveted and emotionally nasty synapses, we found this leak of the first page script and accompanying coloured art. We hope you dig.

——

Screenshot 2015-04-20 23.26.26

INKS BY OWEN GIENI – this is the part where he takes my ramblings and turns them into something special. Go back and forth, see his detail, see the world he crafts. Purely amazing.

Y’know when writers say they work as hard on the comics as artists do – yeah, ha…HA.

negspacepagepencils

COLOURED ART BY OWN GIENI – for me this is when the page comes to life. Like Owen moulded the clay above and here he breathes into it once and it’s a real world. And all that sadness becomes real :[

negspacepage01colour

That poor bastard, and we’re only going to make things worse in some really weird ways. He’s stuck in a Polanski adaptation of a PKD book with a Nick Cave score and del Toro visuals, because the genre demands it.

We also hope you dig Owen’s hard work here, you can tell he spends the time on the pages to get them just right. He is the best to work with. I mean, I gave him some words in the script but he turns each word into three dozen lines. This whole book works that way with a script:awesome ratio off the charts.

To those preordering, thank you. Indie comics live and die on the vine based on preorders so you are making a huge difference in our lives.

And to those who identify closely with the thought of depression or suicide, please HIT THIS LINK and see all the resources and places available to you. You are not alone. We are here to help you.

NEGATIVE SPACE #1 Cover Process

negative space 1 logoNEGATIVE SPACE is a creator owned miniseries with Owen Gieni published by Dark Horse and the #1 issue debuts in July.

You can preorder the book through your LCS right now, or whichever other channels you score your four colour funnies through. The preorder code is: MAY150012, and all the details are at this [LINK]

NEGATIVE SPACE is about Guy Harris, a depressed man who sits down to write his suicide note and gets writer’s block. He goes for a walk to clear his head and soon uncovers a century-old conspiracy dedicated to creating and mining the worst lows of human desperation. Think of a Philip K Dick book adapted to the screen by Polanski, with del Toro visuals and backed by a Hermann score. If that sounds like your jam then you’re gonna love this book at the same time as it kicks you in the nethers.

This book means a lot to the whole creative team so we knew we had to lead strong with a high quality cover that brought everyone in. As such, Owen, Daniel Chabon [our editor supreme], and I spitballed a lot in the discussion process and finally spiralled down into the sublime cover you see above.

I wanted to share some of this cover building process because I think it’s good process. We hope you dig.

——-

Owen is amazing and starts with a wide variety of options. He said some of which were inspired by [LINK]. He thumbs them and sends them through.

negcovs

I love Owen’s cover thumbs, the way he ties in colour quickly and loosely really builds the image for you to decide upon, and the variety he offers. He’s a man with ideas. He said #5 came to him in a dream.

So from this set of thumbs, we thought #1 and #2 looked best [though #3 is amazing and I kinda hope it resurfaces somewhere], so then Owen fleshes them out a little and we get these sketches, plus other thoughts.

negtest1

 

^Super creepy, and sombre. I feel this underwater silence, this sense of being stared at, stared through. This is tonally perfect, if a touch subdued. We needed something just a bit more kinetically grabbing.

negtest2

 

^We discussed the idea of doing split covers but thought it might end up more confusing than helpful. I dig the idea, because I like something different, but it wasn’t right for this book. Plus there’s the rub of finding decent logo placement on these things.

negspac6

And I’m certain these same problems come from ^ this cover, but be damned if it isn’t still beautiful.

negtest3

^Then Owen threw this in just to scare the crap out of us, I assume :] – dig that white empty around him. And those eyes. Damn.

And while we dug all these, our eyes instead came back towards the thumbs for the other cover idea:

negtest4

^I like that this sketch got us to this background, but…

negtest5

This thumb quickly became the real winner. Creepy, in your face, and those colours, even at a thumb, we knew Owen had something special. Daniel especially told us this was the golden egg, and be damned if he wasn’t right.

——-

So then Owen scurries away and a day later has somehow sold his soul to produce these pencils.

negpencils

Look at the level of detail on that. It’s absurd what Owen can do on the page. I also dig that separation of foreground/background by the level of intricacy. I remember it’s when this turned up that I really knew what I was in for. I’d seen some of Owen’s pages, and his character/cover sketches, but this was the moment I absolutely knew he was going to crush minds with his work here.

But this was all prelude until the actual cover dropped and we all slow clapped our screens [well, I can’t vouch for the others but I paused and tried to start a moment – I looked crazy]. But seriously, just look!

Negcover1colour

I spent a lot of time just staring at this and I came to the following thoughts:

Man, I couldn’t even think of this, no less script it, Owen deserves every $ on this gig.

Look at the guy in the opening of that building. Super creeper.

Look at the apex of the building – I often find myself wondering if that’s a real guy, a human, dragged down and mummified. What an end.

And look at the top of those columns – that’s gotta be Guy’s face, right?

H.R. Giger is a spirit guide to this book, for sure, del Toro, too.

Oh, look at those little fish swimming around down there.

And seriously, again, look at that detail. This right here is the image we needed to launch and lead a campaign. In Owen we trust.

——-

To those preordering the book, thank you. Indie comics live and die on the vine based on preorders so you are making a huge difference in our lives. The publisher sets the print levels to match the preorders and change.

And to those who identify closely with the thought of depression or suicide, please HIT THIS LINK and see all the resources and places available to you. You are not alone. We are here to help you.

Preorder NEGATIVE SPACE from Dark Horse Now!

NEGATIVE SPACE is a creator owned miniseries with Owen Gieni published by Dark Horse and the #1 issue debuts in July.

You can preorder the book through your LCS right now, or whichever other channels you score your four colour funnies through. The preorder code is: MAY150012

negative space 1 logo

I spoke with Cardner Clark at CBR all about it [LINK].

I also chat with the Behind the Panels crew about it on their podcast [LINK].

NEGATIVE SPACE is about Guy Harris, a depressed man who sits down to write his suicide note and gets writer’s block. He goes for a walk to clear his head and soon uncovers a century-old conspiracy dedicated to creating and mining the worst lows of human desperation.

This miniseries is about depression, and the reality of emotion in a manipulated world, as well as the superdense core within responsibility. How much do you serve yourself over serving others, and vice versa?

This is an emotionally concentrated storyline wrapped up in the spectacle of wicked visuals Owen Gieni cooks up for our antagonists, and their underwater masters.

Like AFTER HOURS if directed by Cronenberg, if you dug my work on HEADSPACE [an emotional journey of fatherhood and responsibility amidst flying monsters, club-wielding ogres, government killers, and a fridge full of crows] then this book will kick you in the same places that story’s end did. Somewhere between a Philip K Dick book, a Hermann score, and a Polanski flick with del Toro visuals, NEGATIVE SPACE is something I hope will make you sit back to take in the scope while feeling the pinpoint white hot infinite feelings within it.

If you’re going to follow us down the rabbit hole, I have to thank you. Independent comics live and die on the vine based on word of mouth and preorders. If you can tweet it to your friends, that’d be ace. If you wanna slip the title into your next care package to your off-shore accountant, go for it. Actual watercooler chat at work, aw, yeah. All good things are great things to me.

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.

ECCC Announcement: NEGATIVE SPACE from Dark Horse in 2015

NEGATIVE SPACE is a 4 issue miniseries from Owen Gieni [art/colours] and myself, with Ryan Ferrier letters, and edited by Daniel Chabon. It launches at Dark Horse Comics later this year.

Negcover1colour

 

Guy Harris sits down to pen his suicide note and gets writer’s block.
He goes for a walk to clear his mind, and only finds a world more confusing.
Thinking along the lines of a Cronenberg/PKD mash up, this emotional story delves into corporate greed as we observe Rick, a superior agent of Kindred Corp, having Guy tailed and anxiously awaiting his final note. For what reason, well, it’s worse than what you could imagine. This warped tale packs in deplorably low lows and insanely chaotic highs.

I spoke with CBR all about the book, what it’s about, why I want to write about feelings all the time, and how much Owen Gieni is crushing on the art.

The creative team for the book is this emotional heist crew:

negspace2coverOwen Gieni is the colourist for SHUTTER, MANIFEST DESTINY, and DEBRIS at Image Comics.
Ryan K Lindsay is the writer on HEADSPACE [a Monkeybrain original collected into tpb at IDW and out on April 29th with art by Eric Zawadzki and Sebastian Piriz], DEER EDITOR [a one-shot at his own Four Colour Ray Gun imprint he kickstarted to great success and featuring Sami Kivela art], and FATHERHOOD [a one-shot at Challenger Comics with Daniel Schneider art].
Ryan Ferrier is everyone’s favourite person in comics.

Stay tuned for more news on NEGATIVE SPACE over the coming months as we prepare to launch.

%d bloggers like this: