Tag Archives: ryan k lindsay

Preview: Beautiful Canvas: Collected Trade


Written by: Ryan K Lindsay
Illustrated by: Sami Kivela
Colored by: Triona Farrell
Lettered by: Ryan Ferrier
112 pages | $14.99

Beautiful Canvas is 2017’s smash hit warped crime miniseries about Lon Eisley discovering the similarities and differences between her job as a hitwoman and her new role as a mother-to-be when she finds out her girlfriend is pregnant.

Going from destroyer to creator/protector is a major swerve, but parents still have plenty of violent and brutal moments to contend with, especially when the world is full of pyrokinetic sleeper agents, animal/hybrid muscle-squads, and one hell of a nasty boss pulling your strings.

From the creative team of Sami Kivela (Abbott) and Ryan K Lindsay (Eternal, Negative Space, DC Writers Workshop) comes this gonzo world of future noir, where the story aims to deliver a brutal blow to your heart and piss in your brainpan.

Preview: Eternal


Illustrated by: Eric Zawadzki
Written by: Ryan K Lindsay
Colored by: Dee Cunniffe
Wallpaper Design by: Courtney Menard
DCD# NOV171290

A group of isolated shieldmaidens protect their village against a tide of men who think they can seize land from them.

Vif takes her band of women off viking to quell the advances of a loitering mystical scumbag, Bjarte. But some battles rage on inside us long after the field is empty, and some opponents won’t ever stay down.

Eternal is a haunting story of how vulnerable you make yourself when trying to protect everything around you.

This oversized bande dessinee-style graphic novella is a love letter to brutal violence and eternal emotions.

Illustrator Eric Zawadzki (The Dregs) delivers a heartbreaking and beautiful world of brutality and legacy underscored by the emotional narrative engine developed with writer Ryan K Lindsay (Beautiful Canvas, Negative Space) and laid out with a delicious palette by colorist Dee Cunniffe (The Dregs) and elegant book designs by Courtney Menard (4 Kids Walk Into A Bank).

This self-contained story is a dream project for the creative team in how it connects with the reader, and what it shows the comic medium is capable of producing.

Three Days to Get Alex Cormack and Ryan K. Lindsay’s Stain the Seas Scarlet

Stain the Seas Scarlet is a sci-fi revent comic one-shot about resistance, shitty robots, and spacesuit noir from Alex Cormack and Ryan K. Lindsay.

Running until November 30, the Kickstarter is for the complete 22 page full color comic by artist Cormack and writer Lindsay as a digital release.

When Yelena’s planet has just about been successfully driven beneath the bootheel of the scumbag robot terraforming army, she throws a Hail Mary play. She takes the fight to them, via her diplomatic sell out sister, and she fails.

Or does she?

What comes next is a wild ride of spacesuit noir that’s my take on a 70s revenge flick with our wandering hero loose in space.

The comic is 100% made and ready to go so with the Kickstarter project already funded this is a comic you’re guaranteed to get for as little as $1.52.

Eric Zawadzki, Dee Cunniffe, and Ryan K Lindsay, and Black Mask are Eternal this January

Hot off back-to-back breakout books The Dregs and Beautiful Canvas, three MVPs of Black Mask‘s 2017 roster are joining forces to kick off 2018. In January, Eric ZawadzkiDee Cunniffe, and Ryan K Lindsay will release Eternal, a powerful blend of action, characterization, heart, and bloody swordfighting.

A group of isolated shieldmaidens protect their village against a tide of men who think they can take their land from them. Vif takes her band of women off viking to quell the advances of a loitering mystical scumbag, Bjarte. But some battles rage on inside us long after the field is empty, and some opponents won’t ever stay down. Eternal is a haunting story of how vulnerable you make yourself when trying to protect everything around you.

This oversized bande dessinee graphic novella is a love letter to brutal violence and eternal emotions. This self-contained story is aimed to be a boutique item for your shelves, and a gateway gift to others you know and love.

Eternal is out January 2018, will feature 64 pages, and retail for $7.99.

Preview: Beautiful Canvas #3

Beautiful Canvas #3

Written by: Ryan K. Lindsay
Illustrated by: Sami Kivela
Colored by: Triona Farrell
Lettered by: Ryan Ferrier

It’s been a big week for Lon Eisley as she’s transitioned from accepting money to kill people, to saving one kid’s life, to now having to save an entire city from the machinations of a billionaire wannabe Bond villain just looking for a way to vent her desire for more street art featuring burnt skin and boiled blood. When there are no good choices left, your only option is to look good making the worst ones, right?

From Sami Kivela [CHUM] & Ryan K Lindsay [NEGATIVE SPACE, and DC Writers Workshop] comes a gonzo dystopian tale of pyrokinetic sleeper agents, bitter exes, and beautiful art.

Preview: Beautiful Canvase #1


Written by: Ryan K Lindsay
Illustrated by: Sami Kivela
Colored by: Triona Farrell
Lettered by: Ryan Ferrier

Lon Eisley is a hitwoman hired to kill a small child a few days after discovering her girlfriend pregnant. In a bold declaration of uncertainty, she saves the boy and hits the road, despite the fact her boss clearly wanted him dead for a reason. This warped crime dystopia delves into the emotional dichotomy of creator/destroyer as Lon tries to connect the two very different worlds she now inhabits. From Sami Kivela (Chum) & Ryan K Lindsay (Negative Space, DC Writers Workshop) comes a gonzo tale of personal discovery, animal/hybrid hit troupes, and reactive pyrokinesis.

Ryan K. Lindsay Talks the All-Ages Comic Ink Island

Ryan K. Lindsay is an Australian writer who has written the EIR all ages one-shot he Kickstarted with Alfie Gallagher, the critically acclaimed Negative Space miniseries at Dark Horse with Owen Gieni on art, the upcoming Beautiful Canvas from Black Mask with Sami Kivelä, the CHUM mini with Sami Kiveä, and he also made Headspace at Monkeybrain Comics/IDW with Eric Zawadzki + Sebastian Piriz/Marissa Louise/Dee Cunniffe on art. He wrote a short story for the Vertigo CMYK anthology and was blessed to see Tommy Lee Edwards illustrate it, his Fatherhood one-shot was once one of the top selling ComiXology Submit titles, and he once sold out to write a My Little Pony Rainbow Dash one-shot.

He has a brand new project, Ink Island, currently running on Kickstarter. I got a chance to talk to him about the all-ages comic.

Graphic Policy: Ink Island just went live on Kickstarter. Could you describe the project a bit?

Ryan K Lindsay: INK ISLAND is an all ages one shot comic that’s about two children – my own two children – who are the caretakers of a lighthouse whose function is to keep the monsters in the dark away. So when the globe breaks, they have to scramble to fix it, and in that moment, my daughter is kidnapped.

From there we have a story that’s about conquering fear, and gender roles, and sibling relationships. The book has some beautifully funny moments, mostly because my co-creator/artist Craig Bruyn brings an extremely expressive and cheeky art style to this book, but we also want to drop some real emotion in when we can.

Our campaign is allowing us to fund a print run of the book, and get Craig paid, and get a set of teaching resources into the hands of people who want to read and then analyse this comic.

GP: Craig Bruyn’s art is great! I know you’ve referenced Skottie Young when talking about the art, but it also reminds me of Justin Bleep, who has this really dynamic style. Besides gorgeous art, what does Craig bring to the story?

RKL: Craig brought a lot of heart to the story. The way he brings out the character moments, whether they be human or Inky, was such a delight to unfold. And then there’s his story capabilities, his knack for being able to take a page of story/information and tell it in a coherent and dynamic way. Craig knows from page layouts, and you can see he’s always working to get the right angle or showcase the best panel.

He’s also just the biggest gentleman to work with. He’s stupidly humble, he’s insanely reliable, and I love that the final beat of the issue was actually all his idea.

GP: In addition to the plot, what sets this story apart from other books aimed at a similar audience? In other words, are there things missing from the genre that you wanted to include?

RKL: I’d feel arrogant to say I’m crushing the all ages funk in a totally new way and better than others, but the things I wanted to focus on in this book were the ideas of overcoming fears, and what gender roles look like as presented to small children.

The main act change of the book revolves around Parker realising his sister, Elliot, has been kidnapped and then having to step up to mount a rescue mission. But we never see what Elliot is doing so we can’t confirm whether she really needs rescuing at all. It’s a big aspect of the comic I wanted to unpack in general, but also very specifically between my two children. My son is very thoughtful and empathetic whereas my daughter is a UFC-level weapon. But they both crossover in that they’d each help the other whenever they thought it was needed.

But I think, for me, it wasn’t about bringing something incredibly new to the genre because it was more about proving I can also play in this genre. Most of my other work is so dark and brutal, I wanted something my kids could read. Something my class could read.

GP: You’re also no stranger to Kickstarter–this is your fifth! For you, what is the draw of a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter?

RKL: I love Kickstarter. That ability to connect with your readership directly is amazing. I specifically love it because for one month you can offer a slew of special items that will only ever be available for that month. I’m doing an Audio Commentary for this comic, and have done so on previous comics, and those have never been available again.

You could sell the comic on your site forever and a day, but there’s no excitement, there’s no necessity. With Kickstarter, you create the excitement and immediacy through a well-run campaign, and readers respond fantastically well.

GP: How does your experience as someone who teaches comics influence how you create them?

RKL: It influenced me many years ago because I didn’t just try to write comics, I studied them first. I studied, I learned by doing through dozens of unpublished [and unpublishable] scripts, and then I started branching out from there.

Now that I’ve written a few things, I do try to write with an eye for the things I like to analyse in the works of others, but I try not to be too obvious about what I’m aiming for. You want it to feel natural, not forced. And I don’t want to be didactic in my narrative approach or explanations. My stories better not read as lessons, they should grab an emotion before they then slip up into your brain.

GP: That’s really fascinating–the balance between writing comics that can be used as a teaching tool and comics that are interesting and gripping, plot-wise. On the flip-side of this, why do you think comics make such a great teaching tool?

RKL: Comics are exceptionally great tools for teaching reading because there’s so much reader engagement required. It’s a great medium to have story/information presented – through text and images, and how they interact – but then there’s the subtle stuff that’s there, so it’s not blindly inferred, but it’s still up to the reader to analyse, such as colours or how much is skipped over in the gutters. There are so many elements to a comic that you can spend a long long time pulling the threads apart.

I also think there’s the aspect that comics don’t feel confrontational. They are inviting, they’re pretty, and people mistake that for meaning they are for struggling readers, and while you can see why they’d appeal to someone who doesn’t want to stare down a wall of text in a novel, that does not necessarily equate to comics having easy or simple stories.

GP: Do you have favorite comics to teach?

RKL: I teach young kids, so I love using books like HILDA, because man-oh-man do I love Hilda. That book is phenomenal, and so easy, and yet so textured and layered. I also dig BONE, and THE SMURFS and certain superhero books if they aren’t too violent.

If I’m teaching adults, you can’t go past BATMAN: YEAR ONE. I’d love to teach THE IMMORTAL IRON FIST, or PAPER GIRLS.

GP: I took a class in college where BATMAN: YEAR ONE was on the book list, but not required, and I always find it interesting to see which books people choose to teach because it varies so much. Are there certain things you think we can learn from superhero books versus creator-owned books?

RKL: I believe the only thing you learn from comics is how to makenglod comics, so cape or by shouldn’t matter – however, having just completed the DC Writers’ Workshop with Scott Snyder, there is one big difference.

Superhero books can play more operatic, the stakes can be elevated. There’s nothing like the literal fate of the world to make a comic sing, whereas sometimes you don’t need that and you just need a personal take.

Consider THE VISION against DAYTRIPPER. Themes crossover but one book gets to play against the might of every Marvel hero, whereas the other is real that it can better grind your heart up.

GP: What’s the biggest challenge of creating an all-ages comic?

RKL: Not killing a bunch of characters off at the end. I love noir, and my mind skews to warped endings, so that’s a big one. Then there’s the matter of making it engaging, having some big “Oh, cool!” moments, because I never feel like I do that part all that well.

I want to use rich language, and I’m happy if kids have to pause to ask a parent what a word means, but I don’t want the verbosity to drive anyone away. There’ a balance, and I’m sure I’ll find it one day.

GP: Ink Island is also a huge departure from many of your other comics. Do you have a preferred genre? Do these different genres allow you to experiment with different types of storytelling?

RKL: My preferred genre is a sci fi/crime blend. It allows me to play with broken noir characters, but in a world that incorporates the fantastic. I love shattered endings and I love creating my own tech that I can explain however I want without being tethered to actual real world limitations or research.

I try to experiment with my storytelling all the time. I’ve used first person narration captions, omniscient third person, and no captions. All are different muscles for me. I like fracturing timelines, or using unreliable narrators. It often truly depends on the lead character and the tone I want to set. Those are the two keystones to lock in that inform all choices beyond that.

DC Announces their 2016 Writers Workshop Class

More than 1,500 applied and the DC Talent Development team has announced the eight individuals who will be participating in a 13 week Writers Workshop course lead by bestselling writer Scott Snyder.

Members of the 2016 class include Owl Goingback (Bram Stoker award winner for Crota, Sealed With A Kiss), writing partners Erica Harrell and Desirée Proctor (writers of MTV’s Happyland and The Walking Dead: Michonne for Telltale Games), Al Letson (Planetfall, Imperfect, Peabody award winner for NPR’s State of the Re:Union), David Accampo (Lost Angels, Sparrow & Crowe), Aaron Gillespie (LadyDemon, Bionic Man), Ryan K. Lindsay (Ghost Town, Negative Space), and Tony Patrick (X’ed, writer of short film Black Card).

The writers represent a diverse group of men and women and varying experience in the comic industry. All have shown talent already. Congrats to all!


DC’s Talent Development Workshop began in 2015 with pilot program that resulted in several participants receiving new assignments from DC editorial. The upcoming one-shot comic New Talent Showcase, set for release on November 30, features stories from writers and artists who completed the inaugural program.


(via DC Comics)

Review: Chum #1

Chum #1 CoverAn unloved triangle on a small island leads to blood in the water. The series tells the story of Summer Stanwyck, a woman who feels trapped. She tends bar on the island she grew up on, the local cop is about to become her ex-husband, and she’s wasting time screwing the local reefer kingpin.

But when a bag full of cash and drugs falls into her lap, she sees a way out… and anyone who gets in her way is shark bait.

Written by Ryan K. Lindsay with art by Sami Kivela, Chum is an interesting new series from ComixTribe that immediately feels like a solid crime noir with a surf setting.

The surf noir reminds me of the line of crime comics Vertigo published a few years ago, and that’s beyond a good thing, because I loved those graphic novels.

While I definitely would rather read it all at once, the first issue is a solid start that has me wanting to come back for more and see where Lindsay takes it all. The characters are scummy. The crosses and manipulation is straight out of the noir playbook, and the setting is fresh. It’s a lot of fun in other words.

Kivela’s art is solid as well. Each character is unique in their look and design and have personality that you can read just by how they look. It’s some great art that looks fantastic and adds to the indie vibe cred.

The first issue is a must get for noir/crime comic fans and I can’t wait for the next issue.

Story: Ryan K. Lindsay Art: Sami Kivela
Story: 8.15 Art: 7.95 Overall: 8.1 Recommendation: Buy

ComixTribe provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Monsters & Mental Illness: Negative Space #1-3

NEGATIVE SPACEReading Negative Space feels deeply weird and deeply familiar all at the same time, in all the right ways.

I was instantly sucked in, right from the first issue. Scary squishy aliens, existential dread, grand conspiracies, and pink tentacle monsters in ugly orange sweaters? I loved it. And I loved how the art was somehow sketchily impressionistic and horrifically detailed at the same time. Owen Gieni’s pretty colors and artful composition are always walking that uncanny line, whether he’s drawing adorably gangly bodies or weird, disgusting gore.

And I loved Guy, the protagonist, right from first sight. Fat, self-depreciating, tender Guy, with his big nose and small, sad eyes. In just the first few pages, Guy is a complete person who it seems like I know intimately: a frustrated writer, disabled, lonely, brave and suicidal and in love with a barista named Woody.

Guy’s name seems to indicate that he’s a stereotypical “everyman” kind of hero–you know, just a “guy.” But Guy isn’t the bland, unremarkable kind of everyman who usually appears in this kind of story. He certainly doesn’t look like everyone else: he’s big, he’s Native, and he’s gay. He’s idiosyncratic, but deeply relatable at the same time. He’s not special in spite of being normal–he’s relatable because he’s so vividly unique.

I also really loved that from the first issue, Guy’s supernatural powers and existential weaknesses are all wrapped up in the same big package. The same capacity for feeling and understanding that make him a writer are inherently linked to his illness, and to his supernatural, maybe-messianic empathy.

Guy’s depression is the catalyst for the entire story. He’s not just sad and desperate before he gets whisked away on a grand adventure. Negative Space is a story about mental illness on a grand, cosmic scale–and it’s not a symbolic story about mental illness, either.

Negative Space #2You know that mad feeling that the entire universe is being engineered just to fuck with you personally? Well, in Guy’s case, it’s actually true. A shadowy organization called the Kindred Corporation is monitoring and manipulating his life, making sure that it sucks as much as humanly (or inhumanly possible), because they’re working in collaboration with the Evorah, an alien race that feeds on negative emotions.

There’s nothing particularly innovative about making illness into monsters. In the wrong hands, fiction that externalizes disability into something that can be fought and destroyed can be deeply unhelpful or even harmful to neurodivergent people.

But it can also be extremely comforting. In a recent episode of This American Life, a guy named Paul Ford describes how he programmed an “Anxiety Bot” to send him nasty emails about himself. This certainly isn’t the kind of thing that’d work for me, but it worked for Ford–by creating an artificial voice that mirrored and replicated his anxiety, he was able to recognize how “stupid” and alien and robotic that voice really was. The terrible thoughts he was having about his life? Those thoughts weren’t really him–they were his anxiety talking.

In my experience, being able to externalize my disability was a crucial step in learning to live with it. That’s not me–that’s the illness trying to get me is something I had to tell myself hourly and then daily and weekly to survive. A lot of people find it very helpful to imagine their illness as something other than or outside of themselves–as alien or “mean” or “stupid” or monstrous or evil, or whatever else works for them.

But, paradoxically, surviving with a mental disability is also about acceptance. I’m more than my illness, but I am also chronically, permanently, inherently ill. I’m disabled. As much as I’m able to convince myself that That’s not me, that alien thing is definitely here to stay.

So, basically, my personal strategy for coping with and recovering from mental illness has been a paradoxical balancing act between externalization and acceptance. It’s confusing and contradictory, but the important thing is that it’s a trick that works (for me, at least). So who cares if it doesn’t make a lick of sense?

In Negative Space #2, Guy sets off on a grand adventure. He teams up with a group of resistance fighters, including Woody and a turncoat alien named Beta, to arm and detonate an “emotion bomb” that might harm Kindred Corp. and the Evorah. Guy also finds out that he’s a powerful empath who could play a crucial role in both the resistance and the Evorah’s global takeover.

But it’s in Negative Space #3 that Guy starts to make his first big stand against humanity’s oppressors. And it’s also in Negative Space #3 that Gieni and writer Ryan K. Lindsay pull off their big emotional and artistic masterstroke.

As Guy takes command of his newfound powers, it doesn’t mean shedding his depression, or no longer feeling suicidal, or by suddenly becoming happy. He does it by feeling sad. In one hazy, beautiful, purple-pink splash page, Guy remembers his father; he feels angry and deeply sad, and that’s what fuels his big, badass moment against earth’s alien enemies.

I’ve never really seen anything like this. I’ve lived with mental illness for years (pretty satisfactorily, I might add!) by tricking myself into accepting that awkward paradox between externalization and… well, acceptance. But Negative Space #3 pulls off a weird magic trick: making that paradox seem effortless and honest to me for the first time.

It sounds false and cheesy when you write it out: Guy uses The Power of Feelings to fight his internal (and external) demons. But it sure doesn’t feel false on the page.

Story: Ryan K. Lindsay Art: Owen Gieni
Story: 9 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

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