Well here is some news that couldn’t make me happier.
User, a book originally published by Vertigo around the turn of the century, is finally being collected at Image. It’s coming in May.
I was an editor on this book (although Joan Hilly did all the heavy lifting) and I can say with a little pride that it’s one of the best comics (if not the best) that Devin Grayson ever wrote. And it’s got art by Sean Phillips and John Bolton, fer crissake. And it’s a sensitive, suspenseful portrayal of gender identity, gaming and how the real world and fantasy worlds collide. Why has it never been reprinted before? Beats me.
The story involves a female gamer goes into a MUD as a male player, a girl falls in love with her and…complications ensue. A classic set up but it’s beautifully played out. And still timely, although the tech of the time also makes it a nice 90s nostalgia piece
Editor nit pick: this glitch cover is a little odd when you have art by Bolton and Phillips!! (Bolton drew the fantasy sequences, Phillips the IRL stuff.) I was going to show an excerpt but there’s almost none of the art online, so you are in for a surprise treat!
Image Comics is pleased to announce that the groundbreaking three-part Vertigo miniseries—USER written by Devin Grayson (Batman: Gotham Knights, Doctor Strange: The Fate of Dreams) and featuring breathtaking art by Sean Phillips (KILL OR BE KILLED, THE FADE OUT) and John Bolton (Batman/Joker: Switch, Shame)—will find a home at Image with an all-new hardcover collected edition set to hit stores this May.
USER explores sexual identity and online role-playing in the text-based MUDs of the nineties. The series was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for its authentic portrayal of gender fluidity when it was first published, and it remains as relevant and powerful today as it was when first created.
“I would have thought that in this age of stunning MMORPGs no one would bother with text-based role-playing anymore, but that just isn’t the case. There’s a primal magic in collaborative storytelling that none of the customizable avatars, talented voice actors or gorgeously rendered worlds have managed to replace. Evey time gamers see an “about you” prompt they’re off and running; there are RP communities in every fandom and on every social media platform in existence,” said Grayson. “The chatrooms where the action in USER takes place are no longer active, but the adventures described in the story continue to unfold every day in every corner of the internet.”
USER HC (ISBN: 978-1-5343-0159-7, Diamond Code MAR170839) hits comic book stores on Wednesday, May 17th and bookstores on Tuesday, May 23rd. The final order cutoff deadline for comics retailers is Monday, April 17th.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.