Nate Simpson is a concept artist who has worked in the gaming industry since 1993. He has worked for companies like The Dreamers Guild, Taldren, GoPets Inc. and Gas Powered Games.
According to a short note on his site, Simpson is “…currently taking year off to learn how to make comics”. Judging from the sample pages he has posted, particularly those in the section of his site for “New Comics“, which are for a an endeavor Simpson calls “Project Waldo”, he is learning quite well indeed.
Simpson’s comic art sensibilities are distinctly European, having a feeling in keeping with some French and Belgian comics artists (which is a Good Thing in my book).
When clicking through the galleries on his site, click on an image to make it larger and then step through with the arrows. Much of the appeal is in the rendering and contrast between levels of line weight in the inks. This is again more in keeping with European (or Japanese) comics than mainstream American comics, in which line weight is frequently varied throughout the delineation of every figure.
You can find even larger images, including inked pages prior to the application of color, on Simpson’s blog, which is named for and devoted to Project Waldo.
His tagline for the blog reads “Follow along as I learn how to make a comic by making a comic. I hope you’re not in a hurry.”
Those who aren’t in a hurry, and can take the time to go back to the beginning of Simpson’s posts and follow through, will find a good deal of insight and valuable information that he has accrued in his learning process, and offered up in the course of the past year.
The image above shows page two of the story, along with detail crops below of inks and final color from the lower center portion of the middle panel. (See the original large image on Simpson’s blog here.)
Simpson puts a great deal of detail into some elements, leaving others open to be carried by the application of color. His background landscapes have more in common with Bruegel’s landscape drawings than with mainstream comics.
The color itself is in the style of European comics albums, bringing to mind the work of Moebius in particular (when he is coloring his own work, not handing it over to someone else to bury under inappropriate Beltran-like over-rendering, but I digress; that’s a topic for another post).
Word is that Simpson has gotten expressions of interest from some publishers, but there are no specifics yet, and it has now been a year since his first post on the Project Waldo, and he is only up to page 8 (out of how many pages total, I don’t know). It looks like those of us who, like myself, are looking forward to reading the finished story, will also have to not be in a hurry.
In the meanwhile, whether in concept art or comics, Simpson is a artist to watch.