Originally published as a groundbreaking three-part Vertigo miniseries, User explores sexual identity and online role-playing in the text-based MUDs of the nineties. Featuring breath-taking art by Sean Phillips and John Bolton, User--which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for its authentic portrayal of genderfluidity--is as relevant and powerful today as it was when first created.

Hardcover, 176 pages

Published May 23rd 2017 by Image Comics


My Review:


Published in 2017, this graphic novel may bring some nostalgia into the awkward beginnings of virtual communities and gaming to the gamers heart. Remember those days of Doom or Diablo around the change of the millennium? Well, this novel is filled to its brink with old gamer lingo, interfaces, chatrooms and graphics.

In two story line format the reader of this novel experiences the main character’s life situation, as she is introduced to the newest role-playing chatrooms and online gaming community. Seemingly uninterested at first  but unable to cope with her mundane situation, this seems to be a great way to chill and loose her every day troubles.

Setting up a completely fake profile and being someone, she is not, is one of the themes in this book. It also addresses issues of violence, escapism, addiction, sex and abuse. As gaming becomes more and more important and overtrumps daily responsibilities, the situation is bound to derail big time. But as the seemingly amazing gaming world seems to fall apart as well, it is destined for the players to uncover other players’ secret identities and Muns “mundanes”. Perhaps there is a saving grace in all this?



I remember those days, although I never was a gamer….only the person to look over the shoulders of those gamers. So, this was somewhat interesting as it made the point both for and against gaming. Decked out with graphics in color and black/white, they definitely lend ambiance to the era of the millennium. The storyline was at times heavy due to the issues mentioned above, which made this graphic novel pretty solid rather than a shallow portrait of early gaming. Therefore, I thought it to be a well done piece of nostalgia with depth. Worth a try 😊.