Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nonplayer #1

w/a by Nate Simpson

The cover to Nonplayer has been catching my eye in Diamond's Previews magazine for months now. Look at that dinosaur-thing. All wrinkly and what not. All harnessed up and shit. What is that about, I wondered? But the description didn't do anything for me; something about video games, angsty chick, blah blah whatever. I consciously allowed the book to flush out of my awareness. "Be Gone!" I said, and forgot about it and probably ambled toward my next food.

And then there it was, today, new comic book day, sitting on the olde New Release Wall. And man, what a great fucking read it was.

Image is on a tear! So many good books! Bad Dog! Morning Glories! Chew! Undying Love! Who IS this publisher? And now, with Nonplayer, the hot-streak continues.

Nonplayer IS about an angsty girl and video games, but in a really good way. It's also about the future, maybe a little video game culture, escapism, violence, dinosaurs(?), violence, and, I think, artificial intelligence. Anyone who reads comics or watches movies knows the danger of written video-game-speak--this kind of dialogue almost always comes off as forced or nonsensical, filled with real and made up jargon to compensate for writers having no idea what they are talking about.

does not suffer from this problem. The book is one of the few titles that references technology (games, in this case) in such a way that it isn't cloying or silly. I am genuinely curious about the world that's being fleshed out here and I genuinely want to play the sweet-ass game these characters are obsessed with.

And the Frank Quitely impersonation that Nate Simpson is pulling off here? Very nice.

8 out of 10 Non-Playable Characters (or are they...?)

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