Thursday, October 2, 2014

It has been nearly a year since I posted here. Holy canolis. It feels like it's been about three weeks. Fatherhood, amirite?

So, you are maybe wondering (or maybe not wondering) where things stand with Nonplayer right now. Shockingly, the second issue is not yet complete. I have continued to wake up between the hours of 3 and 4 in the morning to place art-pebbles on the pile, and that pile is now looking very much like a complete book. There is some polish yet to do, but I'm far enough along that an untrained, partially-blind observer might think it was done.

It has seemed at times like my toddler is not a fan of this book, because the closer I get to finishing it, the more he plays Old Harry with my scant sleep allotment. Drawing your dream comic is a wonderful gift, but it turns out that drawing your dream comic on zero sleep is kind of burdensome. That said, I have decided not to give myself too much leeway in this matter, as I fear that a prolonged recess may result in the extinguishment of my creative pilot light.

But it's almost done, so that's good. A couple more months, maybe? See, that wasn't so bad. It only took eight thousand years. Who's ready for #3?

Oh, I know something new I can talk about! I got a job with a company called Uber Entertainment, and they let me pitch a new game on my first day there. And now we're making it! Well, we're Kickstarting it, so it's probably premature to use the present tense there. But I'm very happy with the way the pitch came out -- I'm surrounded by people who are amazing and talented and boundlessly enthusiastic about making games. I really hope this game gets funded. I think you will like it. Here is the video:



The pitch is pretty simple: the Singularity happens, robots are running amok destroying the world, and human scientists try to head off the machine apocalypse by using the Necronomicon to invoke Lovecraftian squid monsters from another dimension. I guess the reasoning is that the two adversaries will sort of cancel each other out. But of course shit goes sideways and now we've got two apocalypses instead of one.

The twist is that you play as one of the apocalyptic factions. The humans only exist as a consumable resource (and the name of the game, which still makes me giggle, is "Human Resources"). So you get to enjoy destroying whole cities and eating lots of folks. It's cheerier than it sounds, partly because we've figured out a way to render the game in a clear-line style redolent of my French comics heroes.

Concepting the factions has been a treat. Once again, I have weaseled my way into drawing noodly organic stuff and giant robots in the same project. Here are some samples:





Anyway, if games are your thing, please pay a visit to the Human Resources (hehe) Kickstarter page and look at all the cool stuff you can get. Who knows, if this game becomes some sort of runaway success, maybe I can retire to a life of full-time comic making! Which would reduce the time it takes to draw an issue of Nonplayer to a mere decade or two!

Okay, back to drawing. Have a nice day!

PS. A special hello to my compatriots in the Holy Order of Viking Draftspeople. I am surprised how many of you are still in the trenches every day before dawn. I know a guy who built a whole video game in the wee morning hours. And lots of awesome comics getting drawn. It's an exciting time to be not sleeping. Catch the fever!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Irons in the Fire

Nonplayer #2 has passed another milestone -- both linework and first-pass color are now in place, and I'm doing the polish pass now (adding shadows, gradients, highlights, and other atmospheric stuff). It's far enough along that I've been able to show it to a few compatriots, and the response so far has been a unanimous "it's better than the first one." Assuming they're not just telling me what I want to hear (and there are quite a few really mean people in the bunch, so I think I'm getting good data), all this toil may not have been in vain after all.

Building cathedrals over a span of centuries is all well and good, and I look forward to jumping right into bricklaying for #3. That said, I have been nurturing a second story in my spare (ha!) time, and it looks like all the pieces are in place to launch a new web comic around the end of the year. This one is going to be a lot faster than Nonplayer, chiefly because I'm not drawing it! I've found someone much better than myself to handle the art duties so that I can focus on improving my writing (with a tiny bit of concepting on the side). And this artist -- I can't wait for you to see his stuff. He's amazing.

I can't get into too much detail about the project because I'd like it to be a surprise, but I am at least as excited about it as I am about Nonplayer. It's got alien monsters in it. And muffins, lots of muffins.

Why a web comic? Partly out of curiosity. It's the 21st century and all, and I wonder whether this new story may appeal to readers who might not normally cross paths with a print comic. There are a lot of eyeballs on the internet, and I'd like to see if I'm able to grab a few of them. I like the idea of gathering the content at the end of each year and funding the printed collections through Kickstarter. I like that it feels like we're setting sail in our own little pirate ship, and there's nothing but uncharted water ahead.

More than anything, it feels great to have a second iron in the fire. I know that web comics are rarely a path to riches, but a second book means twice as many chances for me to finagle my way into a career as a full-time comic creator. I have a fantasy that this new comic will help me find more hours to work on Nonplayer, so that the bricklaying can happen at some other time than 3am (yes, I've moved my daily drawing time forward to 3am, which means that I now see dead people).

2014 is shaping up to be a lovely year -- full of robots, swords, monsters and muffins. Life is good.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Nonplayer Goes Hollywood

The cat's out of the bag: Nonplayer has been picked up by Warner Bros.!

From Variety:

Warner Bros. has acquired feature film rights to Nate Simpson's comicbook "Nonplayer" from publisher Image Comics and has set up the potential tentpole project with producers Roy Lee ("The Ring") and David Heyman (the "Harry Potter" series).
"Nonplayer" is a sci-fi/fantasy story about Dana Stevens, a brilliant young woman who retreats from the dismal workaday world of the future into the digital fantasy realm of Jarvath, where she's a fearless warrior.
First of six issues went on sale in April.
Prior to "Nonplayer," Simpson worked as a videogame concept artist.
Heyman most recently produced WB's "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which has grossed more than $1 billion worldwide since opening last month. He's in production on Alfonso Cuaron's Sandra Bullock starrer "Gravity," which WB recently skedded for release on Nov. 21, 2012.
Lee recently produced Lionsgate's upcoming Taylor Lautner thriller "Abduction" and served as an exec producer on CBS Films' Daniel Radcliffe starrer "The Woman in Black." He's developing a remake of the South Korean classic "Oldboy" for Mandate Pictures.

In other news, my interview with Ben Peirce over at the NEAR MINTerview podcast went up today. If you're interested in hearing the details about how Nonplayer evolved from pictures on a blog into a full-on Image comic, you may find our chat illuminating! We also talk about the reasons for the issue 2 delay, as well as what's being done to get it finished. Plus lots of other stuff. Thanks for the great interview, Ben!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Nate Won the Russ Manning Award!


From the Eisner Awards Website:
Nate Simpson, artist of Nonplayer(published by Image), was the recipient of the 2011 Russ Manning Promising Newcomer Award (commonly referred to as The Manning Award) as part of the 2011 Eisner Awards held Friday, July 22nd, as part of Comic-Con International: San Diego, North America's largest comic book and popular arts convention.
The Manning Award has been given out annually at the San Diego Comic-Con since 1982. It is presented to a comics artist who, early in his or her career, shows a superior knowledge and ability in the art of creating comics. It is named for Russ Manning, the artist best known for his work on the Tarzan and Star Warsnewspaper strips and the Magnus, Robot Fighter comic book. Russ was a popular guest at the San Diego convention in the 1970s. The first recipient of the award was former Manning assistant Dave Stevens. Other past recipients include Jan Duursema, Steve Rude, Scott McCloud, Art Adams, Eric Shanower, Dan Brereton, Jeff Smith, Gene Ha, Alexander Maleev, Goran Sudzuka, Eric Wight, David Petersen, Cathy Malkasian, Eleanor Davis, and Marion Churchland.

The 2011 nominees were:

  • Janet Lee, artist of Return of the Dapper Men (published by Archaia)
  • Adam Hines, writer/artist of Duncan the Wonder Dog (published by AdHouse)
  • David Marquez, writer/artist of Days Missing and Syndrome (published by Archaia)
  • Paul Roman Martinez, artist of Adventures of the 19XX (published by Kopetkai)
  • Nate Simpson, artist of Nonplayer (published by Image)
Thanks guys!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Nate at San Diego Comic Con

I've been making noises like I wouldn't be making it to San Diego Comic Con this year, but it turns out those noises were inaccurate. I'll be at the Image booth next Friday from 3:45 to 4:45. Feel free to swing by and say hello -- I'm happy to answer questions, talk shop, smile at babies, sign stuff, talk with babies, shop for questions, quest for answers, and sign babies.

See you there!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vancouver Comic Con

I'm in Vancouver -- Canada's life-sized Sim City map! You can find me at the Vancouver Comic Con today from 11 am to 5 pm. I've brought a few stacks of Nonplayer #1 to sell, as well as some new posters (the first four pages of the comic are now available in poster form). My studio mate Moritat (The Spirit, Elephantmen) will also be attending. If you're in a gift-giving mood, I quite enjoy donuts, while Moritat prefers alfalfa sprouts.

See you there!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Free Comic Book Day Signing at Arcane Comics

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday, May 7, and I'll be making an appearance at Arcane Comics from noon to 4pm! I will be selling and signing advance copies from the second printing of Nonplayer #1, as well as selling some very handsome little posters. Please drop by to say hello!

Arcane Comics is located in Ballard:

5809 15th Avenue Northwest
Seattle, WA 98107-3006

Hope to see you there!

-Nate