The Return of NONPLAYER

Do you remember Nonplayer? How could you forget?

Well, it has been four years, so I will refresh your memory.

In 2011, Nate Simpson released the first issue of what is planned to be a six-issue series about a girl who spends most of her time in a “full-immersion” virtual reality game called “Warriors of Jarvath.” The comic is exquisitely drawn, and the story is totally engaging. It was a huge success, critics and fans were effusive.

If it was so awesome, why haven’t we seen a second issue? Continue reading

Nate Simpson on ‘Nonplayer’ and the art of creative perseverance

In the spring of 2011, “Nonplayer #1” (Image Comics) generated the kind of excitement that independent comics creators dream of. Written and illustrated by videogame concept artist Nate Simpson, the series introduced readers to Dana Stevens, a tamale delivery girl who escapes her mundane reality through the full-immersion online game “Warriors of Jarvath.” The praise for Simpson’s story and drop-dead gorgeous illustrations was immediate and plentiful, making it one of the most critically lauded comics of the year. By the summer, Warner Bros. had acquired the film rights. Simpson, a newcomer to comics, had a huge hit on his hands and a highly anticipated second issue to finish.

Then, that fall, Simpson crashed his bicycle — an incident that could have been fatal if he hadn’t been wearing a helmet. As the right-handed artist wrote on his Project Waldo blog, “Every bone connecting my right arm to my torso was broken.” His arm in a sling, he was physically sidelined. But Simpson began to write candidly about the other obstacles he had to confront, namely, the enormous pressure he felt after “Nonplayer #1” hit the shelves, and the moments of frustration and outright panic while writing the second issue. Continue reading