You may know the name David Heyman from the Harry Potter film franchise (he produced all eight parts, which is, technically, one more parts than J.K. Rowling), but you’ve probably never heard of the Image comic book miniseries Nonplayer, much less it’s creator Nate Simpson, so it’s understandable you may not be as convinced that this adaptation is the “proof” that I am. The comic, which only debuted this April, is sort of like The Matrix if the Matrix was a lush, colorful high fantasy realm and Mr. Anderson’s real world people purposefully plugged themselves in to escape that reality, like a Scotch after a long day of work. Also, robots.
In full disclosure, I’ve only read the first issue, but, speaking as a (just above wannabe) comic book writer, I absolutely loved it and was awed, inspired, and jealous of its auteur creator, so the idea that the guy who reared the creative development of the Boy Who Lived is taking this particular project under his wing excites me in a way that yet another Marvel or DC adaptation simply cannot. In fairness, Image isn’t really missing out on adaptations, what with “The Walking Dead” and all, but the continued elevation of NonPlayer is almost unprecedented. Nate Simpson is a true original, in that his art style is incredibly unique in the industry and that this story is his first real comic series — he’s basically gone from zero to hero in six months. If that isn’t proof of “things could certainly be worse,” I don’t know what is. Admittedly, it’s a rather low bar.
For your further education, and to incite you to check out Nonplayer, here’s some of Nate Simpson’s work on the series:
Whoever Heyman gets to direct this thing, I just hope they find a way to translate Simpson’s vision stylistically. Considering he managed to keep the Harry Potter book fans happy, for the most part, I think Nonplayer is in damn good hands. Maybe we can have nice things, after all?
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and is part of the Indie Comics Alliance (#NDCA) on the Twitter @RobOfWar. He wishes he could draw at all, not least half as good as Nate Simpson.