Nonplayer by Nate Simpson -- a series we recently dubbed the next Image Comics classic -- hit stores yesterday, and is already heading back to press and popping up on eBay for up to twenty dollars a copy. But Nonplayer wasn't Simpson's first foray into the world of comics; as he mentioned in his recent interview with ComicsAlliance, his first attempt in the comics medium was a sci-fi comic called Gordon and the Stareater that "ran out of steam" before completion.

It may not (ever) be finished, but it still looks as beautiful as you'd expect from the man who draws things like this. Simpson was kind enough to tell us a little more about the comic he started five years ago while living in South Korea, and gave us all ten pages to preview below.

In the summer of 2005, I had just quit working for a game company in Korea called GoPets. Having recently met my wife-to-be, I decided to stay in Seoul and live off my savings for as long as I could. What resulted was three months of friendship-straining couch surfing at a former coworker's house. Every morning, I rode the subway to Seoul National University, where I'd draw comic pages at one of their air conditioned libraries.

I started drawing these pages without a real story arc in mind, and that lack of a plan eventually brought the project to its knees. I look at it now and see lots of stuff I'd change if I were working digitally -- as it was, I erased some areas so vigorously that my eraser broke through the page. But I do like the girl on the second page.

All in all, it was a great summer. I can still remember the humidity, the sound of cicadas, and the blissful anonymity of being an American artist surrounded by preoccupied Korean biology students.

(click pages to enlarge)

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