I’m not sure where to start on this one, which is a good thing I swear. Walking into my local comic book shop today, I spied two amazing covers sitting on the shelf. Something about them made me pick them up, flip through the pages, and immediately decide to buy them. Those covers belonged to Image Comic’s Nonplayer by Nate Simpson. I don’t know how I missed issue #1 the first time, but with it on it’s Fourth (yes, fourth) printing, I knew I could not pass these two up.

All of us here at Nerds Doing Stuff are fans of gaming. We find ourselves spending our weekends online gaming, or sitting at one of our consoles, playing the hours away. Because of that, we can find a connection to Nonplayer, which takes place in what is essentially a giant MMO. If you are thinking in anime terms, think of it as something along the lines of the technology in Sword Art Online or Log Horizon.  Here is a brief synopsis of Nonplayer:

Mid-21st century America doesn’t have much to offer Dana Stevens, but there’s plenty for her to live for inside Warriors of Jarvath, the world’s most popular full-immersion online game. In the real world, she’s a tamale delivery girl who still lives with her mom, but inside the game she’s an elite assassin. When she gets the drop on King Heremoth, a celebrity non-player character, she thinks she’s finally got a shot at fame. But when she slays Queen Fendra, the King’s reaction is disconcertingly realistic. Something’s amiss in Jarvath, and the effects may reverberate well beyond the boundaries of the game.

Readers are able to capture a glimpse into the world of Warriors of Jarvath within the first issue, Simpson throwing you head-first into the middle of the action. Lush settings, characters filled with intrigue, and the idea that you know it’s all just an illusion, the immersion merely what you are seeing before your eyes (and that of the characters too!)

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If the goal of the art within this book was to be as lifelike as the game described within it, it succeeds in leaps and bounds. Every turn of the page made my eyes widen and made me want to look over every detail I could find before moving on. I often found myself over the course of the two issues in my hands not even reading the text at first, but taking in the art behind it. You know you are doing something special when that is the case.

That does not mean we didn’t read the text! Oh boy did we read the text and we loved it. Reading felt like I was playing a game, talking and planning with my fellow players how we are going to take out a world boss or a gang of rival players. Heck, it made me want to play right after I finished! Even the parts of the dialogue that were out of the game world within the story still felt fantastical and had this sense of whimsy about it. It was just refreshing to see on the page.

Reading through Issue #2 brought a new side of the world introduced in Issue #1, and it will be plenty interesting to see where it goes. Seeing as the second issue just hit stores today, I don’t want to spoil anything. Just know you should get yourself to your local comic book shop and get these books!

Head over to http://www.nonplayercomic.com/ to catch up on the blog, check out their great store, and just support this awesome comic!

Nonplayer is by Nate Simpson and is from Image Comics. Get it on stands or digital copy now for only $2.99.

One of these Nerds doing Stuff. Can be found drinking cider on the weekends, and attempting to sing any Disney song in his brain that he can come up with in the shower. Thinks albums sound better on vinyl. Collector of useless trivia and references. Puns a plenty.

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