By Nate Simpson
Okay, yes, Nonplayer #1 came out in April of 2011 (according to all the copyright blah at the start of that issue) but have you read it? Have you see the intricate details and the blood, sweat and tears that went into that issue? It’s a thing of absolute beauty and easily could have been read every few months just to keep the dream alive. The job here is not to talk about why there was such a gap between the first and second issue because, frankly, that’s Nate Simpson’s business. The job here is to discuss the fact that, yes, we do have a second issue in hand and yes, it was absolutely worth the wait.
The world that Nate Simpson has created is vast, seemingly endless and extremely detailed; everything is so clearly planned and thought out, likely to OCD levels, that it’s impossible not to get sucked in. Add to that the fact that he’s created two worlds running on top of each other and you not only have an extremely unique book, but you have one that is constantly keeping you guessing. Simpson’s commentary on where the world very well could be headed adds even more layers to the intrigue of the characters he’s placed into this situation. The level of disconnectedness from the real world to the virtual one (though with something this complex, that term feels outdated and probably not sufficient enough to really explain it) is staggering, but it doesn’t feel far from the truth.
The visual side of things is nothing short of breath-taking. Nate Simpson is an absolute beast on all levels of this book; his backgrounds and the world building done is intense and intricate and his characters, real or otherwise, never waver in look or feel from page to page and really present an uncanny individuality that a lot of books might not be able to achieve. The scale that Simpson has built this world on is massive and beyond mere words to explain to you just what kind of bar he’s setting. Nonplayer is the kind of book that you really just need to see and experience for yourself because it’s something else. Sort of grunting in excitement and somehow expressing drool in this review, there might not be another way to get across the world that Simpson has done here, on every conceivable level.
Assuming everything is back on track, even forgiving the odd break here or there because, come on, look at that art, Nonplayer should most certainly be hitting the top of your pull lists as it builds back the momentum that was started with the first issue. For people to care for so long about a single issue has to say something about what Nate Simpson started here and for fans who have been waiting patiently—or not so patiently in some cases—this is like winning the comic book lottery. For those that haven’t picked this up and let the first one slip past their radar well, hey, it’s back now and there are no excuses. If you’re still not convinced, go pick it up. It’s only $2.99 and at that price, it absolutely feels like you’re stealing it.