Tag Archives: ryan lynch

Good News / The End of the Tunnel

So – Sorry about the delay between posts, but I’ve been a little busy for the past two months. (Also, the Steelers are currently 6-2. Good times!) Mostly, I blame the comprehensive exams (which are happening next Saturday), a limited budget, and trying to take on too many projects at once.

But, there are some great things afoot in Lynchitania. For instance, observe what has arrived in the mail today:

My first published-in-paper work!

My copies of Survival Stories, the much-ballyhooed anthology put out by The Sleepless Phoenix, have arrived. My story, “Fury” – with art by the indomitable Ben Bates, who’s recently made his big pro debut handling the pencils for Sonic The Hedgehog #217 and #218 – is in there, and gets a nice little mention in the introduction as well!

Just a quick note, though – even though the book has me as Ryan Lynch everywhere else that matters (index, cover, short biography), in the comic itself, the writer is my old pen name, Brian St. Claire. It’s still me, and I apologize for any confusion. But honestly? It’s a minor, insignificant detail, compared to what Michael Moreci, Nic Wilkinson, and everybody else responsible for bringing this book to print had to go through to make this happen. So what if it’s under my old name? It’s still my name, my work, it’s finally on printed pages, and this brings me no end of delight. I should also add that “Fury” has the distinction of being the single best story in an anthology filled with great stories.

(No, I’m not biased, not at all; how could you accuse me of something like that?)

Also, I have a children’s book making the round with publishers and agents alike, and I’m 55,000 words deep into a Philly-centric Urban Fantasy novel that’s part Buffy The Vampire Slayer, part Starship Troopers. My hope is to get the brunt of it done before NaNoWriMo ends; I’ve got about 17,500 words towards my NaNo Total so far, but studying for the comps has taken priority, and will continue to do so for the next week. Needless to say, after all that studying’s done, I still won’t have much of a life, but I promise the blogging will be done far more frequently.

And before you ask, half of my copies of “Survival Stories” are already earmarked for friends and family. Perhaps I’ll hold on to the leftovers and keep them for a future contest? Who knows. But this is a happy day.

(The Artist Formerly Known As Brian St. Claire)


Daredevil, and Why I Love Him.

In preparation for a novel I’m writing, I’ve written a Daredevil comic that takes place during Matt Murdock’s teenage days, shortly after being blinded.

I can’t explain why, but I’ve grown attached to Daredevil over the past few years. Some people prefer Spider-man, or Wolverine, or the X-Men, but I have a soft spot for The Man Without Fear. I think it’s because his problems are generally less cosmic or ridiculous, and have a strong root in emotional trauma. It could be because he’s got a boxing background, and he’s essentially the Rocky Balboa of the Marvel Universe – the guy who gets the piss beaten out of him by life, and, at the end of the day, is still standing, still fighting, and still won’t give up. (I know I said Spidey was the Rocky Balboa – which is true – but so is DD. Maybe more so.)

I love that never-say-die attitude. I love that he’s not a super-scientist, extra-strong, or loaded with money. Sure, he’s got reflexes, heightened senses, radar, the clubs, and ninja training, but that’s it. Personally, I think he’s the most human of all the characters in the Marvel ‘verse.

Anyway, check the story, “The Kid’s All Right”, out here.


PS, started up a Scribd account. Don’t know what to put there yet. Suggestions?

Writing for Comics – Don’t Leave Me Hanging!

First; a quick apology for the missing entry last week.

I apologize.

This week’s entry deals with something very specific to modern comics; very few comics today are “one and done” adventures. This practice used to be far more common. In fact, I’m hard pressed to think of any – outside of “Brave and the Bold” and “Jonah Hex” – that are single-issue adventures. The reasoning is simple; at some point, it was realized that even more money could be made with serial adventures.

As a writer or creator of comics, you’re fully aware of the effect a good cliffhanger has. But knowing isn’t enough; you have to be able to use it.

The standard approach will be something tantalizing left to close out the issue. A secret threat, perhaps? Or a new twist that “will change everything forever!”. You know the type.

Let’s think about this, though; you’re using the natural end of the format to create tension. This is effective, but let’s face facts – we can do better. There’s multiple ways to accomplish any given task, and a cliffhanger is no exception.

We are taught to think, “The end is the perfect place for a cliffhanger!” But, in reality, a well-done cliffhanger can take place in any part of an issue. (Don’t take this to mean that an issue should be filled, beginning to end, with cliffhangers; while I’d love to see something like that work, it’s probably best to decline that challenge) For example, an abrupt plot change in the middle of the issue, accompanied by a new perspective (following a different character in the plotline, perhaps) can be a cliffhanger. A truly bold move? Tossing in a cliffhanger in the very beginning of an issue.

Don’t doubt that it’s possible. But let’s brainstorm, shall we?

Say we have a hypothetical adventure comic about a teenage boy, his treasure-sniffing dog, and a loveable greedy uncle. They’re in the Louisiana Bayou, searching for a lost shipment of Confederate gold – racing against time, a paramilitary group, and rival treasure hunters. What are potential cliffhangers we could place at the end, middle, and beginning, respectively?

Brains at the ready? Go!