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Thirty-six questions. Six answers. One random number generator. Welcome to Robot Roulette, where creators roll the virtual dice and answer our questions about their lives, careers, interests and more.
Today we are joined by Sam Humphries, writer of Uncanny X-Force, The Ultimates, Our Love Is Real, Sacrifice, Fanboys vs. Zombies, Higher Earth and more.
Now let’s get to it …
1. Was there a particular point in your career when you realized you’d gone from wanting to be a comic creator to knowing you’re a comic creator?
Yes — it’s when I first started getting pages back on Our Love Is Real and Sacrifice. I knew I wasn’t just writing comics, I was creating comics, from the ground up. Me and my collaborators — we were raising them from inanimate clay and throwing them into the world. No one else could have made those comics. They weren’t just gigs or jobs, they were things that only existed in our heads, and then they were reality.
2. What was the last good book (not comics) that you read?
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion, which has been a powerful influence on Uncanny X-Force.
15. What’s the worst part of being a comic creator?
Saying no. You have to say no to a lot of wonderful things in your life, big and small, to be a comic book creator. But if you do it right, it is worth it. You might even say it takes…SACRIFICE.
18. What’s the last thing you ate and drank before answering these questions?
Green tea and Pepto Bismol, unfortunately. Paaaaaaaaaarty.
24. What did you dress up as the last time you dressed in a costume (whether that’s Halloween, a convention, etc.)?
Have you purified yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka?
26. What is your best childhood memory?
I had a happy childhood, it would be impossible to pick “best.” But the other day I got nostalgic about the pizza parlor of my youth — Olde Piper Inn, in Wayzata, Minnesota, within spitting distance of, yes, Lake Minnetonka. They had a massive jukebox, thin crust pizza cut into squares, fizzy fountain soda, and this majestic, beautiful monster: a Williams electo-mechanical two-flipper pinball machine called AZTEC.
I will never eat pizza that good again…but life is supposed to work that way, I think. Once delivery pizza became a thing, Olde Piper Inn went out of business and shut down. How many people even remember it existed? Less than a thousand? Less than a hundred? An office building now stands in its place. Financial services or some bullshit.
Olde Piper Inn was ground zero for my enduring love of pinball and pizza. But not the Aztecs. My obsession with the Aztecs started on a lengthy hangover drive back from Vegas after an infamous bachelor party weekend — a memory that definitely did not occur in my childhood.