Thursday, August 4, 2011

Everything's Different But Everything's the Same

At around 1 p.m. PST today, Variety magazine reported that Nonplayer had been picked up by Warner Bros., which is a company that makes moving pictures. We (or at least I) had not anticipated this leak, so I was a little unprepared for the new experience of sailing Nonplayer out past the sheltering breakwater of the comics world and into the choppy seas of the Internet at large.

Over the past twelve hours, Nonplayer has become something of a lightning rod for certain angry constituencies inside and outside of the comics world. Probably most common is the "one and done" critique, which suggests that I have cynically created a single comic book with the express intent of selling it off to a movie studio, never to draw another comic again. Some see a dark portent in Warner Bros.' eagerness to sign on the strength of a single issue -- is this the moment when Hollywood's comic book strip mine hits the water table? And still others just think Nonplayer isn't developed enough, or good enough, to deserve this sort of attention to begin with.

So that I am not tempted to waste hours defending myself on the Internet, I want to lay out a few facts here and then leave this whole topic alone for the rest of time.
  • I will finish the Nonplayer story arc. It may take years, but it'll get done.
  • The second issue will not go slower because of the Warner deal. If anything, this deal makes it easier for me to devote myself completely to the comic.
  • I am very excited to see Nonplayer adapted as a live-action film. And because the producer behind the Harry Potter franchise is overseeing it, I think it stands a very good chance of being a visually striking, intelligent, and emotionally nuanced film. I don't see how the existence of a Nonplayer movie in any way effects the quality or meaning of the comic I'm drawing. I want to see Dana ride Pookie into battle on the big screen. That's going to be sweet, and you know it.
  • The deal was not made on the strength of the first issue alone. Warner was shown a very detailed breakdown of the entire story, and they liked what they saw.
  • Warner Bros. has shown a heartening eagerness to swing for the fences, creatively. Inception, Harry Potter, and the Dark Knight have taught them that there's a market for thoughtful fantasy, and I think you're going to see a number of unprecedentedly cool movies from them in the coming years. Yes, there have been too many superhero films lately. Does that mean that we should pooh-pooh every idea that finds its first expression in the medium of comics? It's a pretty broad medium, guys.  
Anyway, I hope that if you like the comic, you'll keep reading it as it (slowly) comes out. I'll be doing what I always do -- trying to figure out how to tell a story with pictures. I'm still wrestling with page composition and clunky dialogue, still using every blend mode to try and surprise myself with new color combinations. This morning, I spent way too much time trying to make a utility pole look good. Nothing has changed here at the studio.

This was all supposed to be fun, remember? 

32 comments:

  1. This is fantastic news, all-round. And I'm quite surprised to read that there's been any of the criticism you describe.

    Best of luck with the ongoing story; you've got a fan here. And best of luck with the potential film, too! What a fantastic break for you.

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  2. Haters gonna hate...

    Awesome news, Nate, and very well-deserved!!

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  3. Fun and the love of comics overcomes all hate and negativity!

    Stick to your guns Nate and very, very good news! :D

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  4. Sheesh! there are some idiots out there! Even if it were a one off I think it's most impressive achievement is the development of your unique process and the artistry of it's style. This is a major accomplishment and all that hard work really paid off. Very inspiring. Perhaps Da Vinci was no good as he only did one Mona Lisa? ;) Now if only we could get non-player online so UK fans could get their hands on it. Good luck with the merchandising, looking forward to more posts.

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  5. I'm pretty sure anyone that's met you Nate knows that you're a cynical, money grabbing hack, with no passion at all for comics, art or storytelling. I even heard that you forced children with Leukaemia to draw the leaves and dirt in Issue 1. And you're fat and only smoke cigars made of cremated puppies.


    Congratulations, I can't wait! Is the film going to be developed before the book's finished, do you think? Will that effect how you make the story in the later issues?

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  6. Sounds like a whole lot of people that don't even know you projecting their own shit on you and your work. Fuck 'em. You know what the comic means to you and that's all that matters.

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  7. The internet is a ridiculous place sometimes. This is nothing but good news, and I'm looking forward to seeing the film just as much as I am to forthcoming issues of the comic.

    Congratulations!

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  8. That is such great news! I'm sure the negative arguments are only because of jealousy. If anyone could come even close to doing what you are doing and got offered the same deal they would jump on it too.

    I simply can't wait to see this on the big screen. Especially knowing how it started. Congrats Nate!!!

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  9. Congrats dude! This news was so surprising but deserving as well. I knew from the moment I finished issue 1 that this was going to take off. The story and the art have life and show dedication and patience. You never skimped out on the details and I think that's really where it paid off. I'm excited to see what happens next in the story and will patiently wait, no matter how long it takes to get the issues out. Keep up the great work and I hope I'll get to see you again sometime soon. Take care, and again congrats!

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  10. Great news and looking forward to Nonplayer in whatever form it takes!

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  11. I'm sorry it's brought out the jealous bog-dwellers. :/

    They can take nothing from your stellar achievements, but I know it's still harrowing.

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  12. congrats! hope to see more issues soon.
    do you color NONPLAYER, or do you have a colorist?

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  13. That's incredible good new man - really excellent to hear. You've cashed in on many nights of sweat and doubt! I'm really happy to hear it working out so well. I hope the project gets an awesome director!

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  14. And I don't mean "Cashed in" like that sounded lolz :) - you know - got some nice affirmation you're doing some solid work kind of 'cashed in' hahaha

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  15. Congrats on the movie deal. I don't see why anyone is upset at the possibility of a cool fantasy movie.

    Do you plan on releasing Non-Player on Comixology, or other digital online edition? Paper comics are so out of style. :)

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  16. Holy shit, Nate! That's all I have to say... Congratulations! You have made it! I have every reason to become a hater since you are living my dream... But despite my best efforts to try and find some reason to hate I can only think this couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

    Through out your work and your posts it has become clear that you do what you do because of love for your craft first and foremost. This makes you legit in my book.

    Don't get me wrong- I'm jealous, exremely jealous! but I gotta tip my hat to you. Well done, sir!

    I hope you'll be able to shed some light on the goings on behind the scenes at warner brothers for those of us who still haven't had their passion projects blow up and conquer the fantasy world...

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  17. Im seriously happy for you, having followed your blog for sometime before the book was published, and seeing you go through the same issues i (& others) who try to make a comic. and to see the work explode with recognition is really great. sure the first issue of nonplayer gave very little away, but im patient enough to wait and see what happens. and if the story is as well considered as your art, then im confident the final product will be enjoyable.

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  18. Ignore the naysayers, this is nothing but envy. This is beyond awesome! Especially that you are now all set and don't need to worry about anything other than Nonplayer. The only thing that worries me is what is there left for you to look forward to ;)

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  19. Awesome News! Its been amazing reading this blog and following your progress. Hope to hear more on how this deal developed and all the exciting craziness that'll continue to happen!

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  20. Just keep being yourself and you will never go wrong.

    Congrats ! Can't wait to see this Utility Pole ;-)

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  21. Congratulations! Don't worry about criticism. Stick to your creative guns.

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  22. First, congratulations again Nate!!! Good news from you keep coming in!!!!

    People like to criticize others!! They're probably jealous of your talent and great story!!! Nate, don't let these people ruin your drawing mood!!

    And I am so with you on using every blend mode to surprise myself while I draw haha ;P

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  23. Congratulations Nate! This is great news. its cool to see there is still room for fresh creator owned stories to be given a chance by the big studios. I would love to see nonplayer blossom into something potentially bigger, allowing your story to be told to a much wider audience.

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  24. This is awesome. This is your dream and you're seeing it through, and everyone else is just being jaded, which I've recently had to realize is a poor way at looking at the world. But still, make sure WB doesn't turn your art into trash. I hope you managed to get a big say in what goes on with the movie.

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  25. that's amazing! congrats!!! now if i could only scrape up a copy of Nonplayer #1 from my deadbeat comic shop. >:(

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  26. Awesome! Congratulations. It's awesome when you see someones hard work and sacrifice really pay off. If anyone has followed this blog they know how much of a risk you took doing this. And it's awesome that you have a great wife and family that have supported you. I'm sure that they're not surprised at all :) Just awesome man.

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  27. Never mind, it is on Comicsology. I just read it in my iPad. Amazing work man! I can't wait for more.

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  28. Sweet.
    Gonna take years eh?
    Well if you get your timings right last issue of non-player might come out when the film comes out!
    Yeah that sounds good.

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  29. Hey, I (and I believe most-everyone else here) am completely behind you, Nate. You've worked to get your comic made, and it's payed off for you. I see no problem with this new development, and look eagerly forward to seeing the flick!

    Will you get any kind of creative input beyond what being the creator, and (hopefully)your comic designs warrant?

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  31. Congratulations! I picked up NONPLAYER without knowing about this site and it was one the most satisfying reads I've had in a very long time. Really beautiful work. The Warner deal might not of been sold on the strengths of the first issue but it could have. I kind of see movies based on fiction as the world's greatest form of advertisement for the original work. Awesome stuff, you figured out a way to do your work 24/7. I'm looking forward to seeing more NONPLAYER and I feel lucky that I picked up a copy of the first issue. (For some reason my user name isn't getting listed, I go by PulpTrash)

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