Whatever happened to Nate Simpson’s Nonplayer?


Digging through the long boxes a few weeks ago, I came across Nonplayer #1 and wondered what was happening with the second issue, why the delay?

The short answer: life happened. Like all too many personal projects, Nonplayer took a back seat to creator Nate Simpson’s work and family life. But apparently issue #2 is nearly complete.

For those unfamiliar, here is a brief description of the book:

The future kind of sucks, and that goes double for Dana Stevens – she’s stuck in a dead-end tamale delivery job, and she’s way too old to be living with her mom. But in the online fantasy world of Jarvath, she’s an elite warrior. When she slays the wife of celebrity game character King Heremoth, her fame seems all but guaranteed – that is, until the game spins totally out of control.

nonplayer_issue_1_page_6_by_natesonofsimp-d3bchjdNate Simpson is the creator and writer/artist. He works in the gaming industry.

The first issue, released in April 2011, earned tons of acclaim. Simpson even won the Russ Manning “Promising Newcomer” Award at the Eisner Awards in 2011. High praise for someone who has only put out one issue of a comic. You can buy a digital version of it here to read what people were talking about.

So what happened in the last two-plus years to delay issue #2?

To be fair, Simpson was forthright from the beginning, this series (intended as a six-part mini) was going to roll out slowly. But between then and now, two things happened as Nate writes on his website:

  • In 2012, he took on a full-time job with a casual gaming company
  • And perhaps more important, in May of this year, he and his partner/wife celebrated the birth of their son

As a result, Nate has stumbled upon one of the harsh realities of new parenthood the rest of us have also learned:

The last several months have been a blur of diaper changes and burping accidents — it’s weird how early parenthood compresses the flow of time.


Anyone who is a parent knows having a baby is like taking on a second full-time job especially in the beginning. But it gets better eventually. Comic Book Junkie progresses in fits and starts due to competing priorities in my work and family life. But I find oases of time to punch out a few articles. I can’t imaging what it must be like tackling a big project like a full-length comic.

On the plus side, Nate is nearing completion of the next issue.

I am making steady progress and nearing a big milestone, and I hope that things will accelerate a bit after I cross that threshold. I have showed the unfinished book to a few people now, and the reaction seems pretty positive.

But here is a real reality check he’s struggling with:

As far as what happens after #2 comes out — to be honest, I have no idea. It is not easy to find time to work on the book. When I think that I’ve got five more issues to go, and I multiply that number by the number of years I’ve spent on the current issue, it’s hard not to despair. Faced with this yawning abyss, all I can do is focus on getting this issue done in the hopes that its arrival may trigger some miraculous reordering of my work situation.

I wouldn’t blame Nate if he were to shelve the project for a few years until he can reclaim some free time to focus on the comic, especially if he and his partner are thinking of having a second baby.

But let’s hope he can find time to squeeze out at least another issue or two. I am eager to see where this is going.



Filed under Comic News

2 responses to “Whatever happened to Nate Simpson’s Nonplayer?

  1. Fleet_Commander

    Wowzers. I don’t think I’ve seen a more superb use of line-weight since Frank Quitely. Seriously reminds me of Moebius or Winsor McCay. And the shadows being cast on their bodies in that top page…I’ve never seen anything like that in a comic before. Astounding! Hard to believe this guy isn’t a full time comics illustrator. Also, just found out about this blog and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Cheers!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s