The GeeksverseNonplayer #1 – Advanced Review

Nonplayer #1 – Advanced Review
Published on Monday, April 4, 2011 by

Created/Written/Illustrated by: Nate Simpson

At first glance, first read of the solicitation, this sounds like a copycat of Felicia Day’s The Guild. And it does. It’s about a female who seems to substitute a game life for her real life. Except this one takes place in the future. In the future, Dana, can order up “lifeskin” changes and the world appears differently to her eyes. At the end of the issue, after we’re shown how her real life is, she orders a lifeskin change and makes the real world appear like the fantasy world.

Similarities aside, and there are alot, this was a gorgeous book and deserving in it’s own way to stand apart.

The characters in the game world, called Jarvath, have a life of their own. They act like they are living a true life. The “major” (which I take means a major character in the game world), who is the ruler is telling his wife that he had to kill a friend of his because the friend made accusations about the his wife, the queen. A secondary character is the queen’s brother.

We’re then introduced to two players. Their conversation is interesting. They don’t treat the gameworld as real, they know it’s a game and act accordingly. There’s no fear about attacking heavily armed forces. Dana makes reference to her mount about not fighting because she can’t afford the charge to resurrect the creature. And when they die, they respawn at a neutral point.

It’s an interesting dynamic, and we see that the encounter may not have been normal. The NPC characters didn’t react the way they normally would.

This is why Nonplayer deserves to stand on it’s on, to not be singled out as a copycat, and allowed to be judged on it’s own merits. Yes it’s extremely close to The Guild, but it seems there’s more to the story then just “female hides in game world”. Simpson probably could have done more to hide the similarities, but the story is strong and interesting enough to stand on it’s own.

The art is simply gorgeous. It’s extremely detailed. The characters move fluidly and gracefully. The pages are stunning to behold.

There are some issues with the storytelling, some of the panels not flowing as smoothly as they could. But Simpson has obvious talent and the storytelling issues will be solved with practice and experience.

Nonplayer #1 receives
4.5 out of 5

Extremely detailed and gorgeous pages with an interesting story.

Go to the Pryde’s forums and share your thoughts on this issue.

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