Nate Simpson's 'Nonplayer' #2 gets a cover, likely May release

It turns out that Nate Simpson's long-awaited Nonplayer #2 is not only finished, it has a tentative release date -- and, as you can see at right, a cover.

Following up on last week's announcement, the artist reveals the issue likely will be listed in Image Comics' solicitations for May, a little more than four years after the critically acclaimed debut of Nonplayer #1.

In an FAQ posted on his website, beneath the headline "Halley's Comic Returns," the artist also elaborates on the factors that led to the lengthy delay between issues (in addition to the previously mentioned shoulder injury, new child and day job, Simpson reveals he also helped to care for his mother, who passed away last year).

"... I ended up having to throw out the original first six pages of #2," he writes. "They felt like they had been drawn by somebody whose eye was not on the ball, which they were. When I finally shook off the brain-fog and gave the first pages an honest read, it was clear they'd have to be redone. Super bummer. On top of all that, I had contrived to switch from Photoshop to IllustStudio to streamline my pipeline. Not only did it take me a while to get comfortable with the new interface, the work I did with the program felt lifeless because of the way the linework was automatically stabilized. I finally found the right settings to replicate the feel of the first issue, but that took time. And then time ran out."

Simpson is admirably forthright in his lengthy post, in which he expresses frustration, embarrassment and now, finally, happiness (and maybe a little shamelessness, as he points out the Warner Bros. has let its film option lapse, meaning those rights are available). Heidi MacDonald uses the piece as a springboard for a discussion about trying to make a living as an artist, one that continues in the comments, where Simpson himself chimes in.

"The problem here is this: how do I make enough money to work on Nonplayer full-time?" he writes. "That’s the big unanswered question, the dimensions of which are well-described in this article. I’ve kicked around ideas ranging from Kickstarter to old-style patronage to illustrating comic covers. And of course, there’s always been the potential deus ex machina of something getting greenlit in Hollywood. There’s also the Brandon Graham method, where you write and art-direct a book like Prophet, and use your take from the monthly book to fund your other project. I am working on a similar project right now, in the hope that diversification will make it easier to move into comics full-time."

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