Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
In interviews I typically stay away from the “how did you get started in comics” question, but periodically I’ll delve into a question about a book dedication, hopeful for an interesting answer. I was hopeful with good reason with this week’s interview with writer Sam Humphries about the new Dark Horse hardcover collection of Sacrifice, by Humphries and artist Dalton Rose. To learn the death of his father was the push Humphries needed to pursue writing comics was a moment that gave me pause.
In fact, the book itself — about Hector, who through an epileptic seizure departs from modern time and space, back to when the Aztec civilization was in its prime — stopped me in my tracks. Storytelling that maps a psychedelic journey in a coherent and fascinating manner is no easy feat, but Humphries and Rose have accomplished it. Dark Horse’s collection of the self-published series will be released Wednesday.
Tim O’Shea: On a most rudimentary level, let’s talk about the logo design for Sacrifice. Who designed it, [comics designer] Dylan Todd or Dalton Rose?
Sam Humphries: Dylan Todd. Sacrifice largely takes place in the past, but it’s not a stodgy period piece. I wanted the design to reflect a modern sensibility without ignoring the core of the story, which is the Aztec Empire. It was a difficult balance but Dylan killed it. He gave Sacrifice a “face” to people who had never seen the story.
Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. It seems like we only just finished Comic-Con International, and now we’re heading into another major event: Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, the third-largest pop-culture convention in North America. But that doesn’t begin until Thursday, giving everyone plenty of time to squeeze in a trip to the local comic book store.
To see what ROBOT 6’s contributors have at the top of their Wednesday shopping lists, keep reading.
Dark Horse has provided Robot 6 with a first look at the cover for its upcoming hardcover collection of Sacrifice by Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose, announced this afternoon at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle.
Debuting in December 2011, the self-published fantasy/adventure centers on a troubled Joy Division fan named Hector who’s plucked from the 21st century and thrown into the middle of an Aztec civil war. After a nearly year-long delay, the series returned in January with Issue 4; the final issue arrives March 20.
Humphries, who has gone on to write Marvel’s Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates and Uncanny X-Force, told Robot 6 in September that self-published projects like Sacrifice and Our Love Is Real “always on the table for me, when the time is right.”
Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose have provided ROBOT 6 with an exclusive sneak peek at Sacrifice #5, the penultimate issue of their fantasy/adventure, which goes on sale today in print and digital formats.
Debuting in December 2011, Sacrifice centers on a troubled Joy Division fan named Hector who’s plucked from the 21st century and thrown into the middle of an Aztec civil war. After a nearly year-long delay, the series returned last month with Issue 4; the final issue arrives March 20.
Sacrifice, the self-published fantasy/adventure comic by Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose will return Jan. 16 with Issue 4 after a nearly year-long delay. The final two issues of the acclaimed series are scheduled to arrive in February and March (or, in the words of the teaser, “Now Monthly Until the End of the World!”).
“The whole Sacrifice team has been working hard this year to allow us to return to Sacrifice without additional delays,” Humphries, whose first issue of Marvel’s Uncanny X-Force goes on sale the same day, said in a press release. “Issue 4 is ready to go to the printer, issue 5 is completely drawn, and Dalton is hard at work on issue 6. We’re well within schedule to ship the final issue in March. The book is looking better than ever — we thank our awesome retailers and devoted readers for their patience!”
Think of the shelves of your local comics store as a crowded room where everybody is shouting for your attention. It’s difficult to rise above that din, and that’s why being unique — in tone and in presentation — makes you stand out quickly in the market. Writer Sam Humphries got his start in comics in summer 2010 with shorts for anthologies like CBGB: The Comic Book, and then self-published his first book Our Love Is Real the following year. Fast forward 14 months, and he’s writing two of Marvel’s top titles in Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates and Uncanny X-Force. How does that happen?
As I learned in my interview with Humphries, a lot of it has to do with his background but also his drive and know-how to tell stories. Humphries initially crossed paths with the industry when he oversaw marketing for MySpace’s comic book portal, which lasted for several years. From that, he began participating in the comics community on podcasts and through contributions to anthologies. After being turned down by more than a dozen publishers, Humphries decided to self-publish Our Love Is Real with artist Steve Sanders and found a way to cut through the noise to become a prominent new voice in comics. He followed that with the first issue of Sacrifice, and then was quickly pulled into other publishers like Marvel and BOOM! Studios to tell stories on a larger platform.
The newly announced writer of Uncanny X-Force, Humphries is also at the center of the buzz surrounding the development in Ultimate Comics: The Ultimate‘s making Captain America president of the United States (Comic Book Resources has a preview of Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates #17). CBR spoke with him in-depth about those issues, allowing us to talk about Humphries’ career and his whirlwind of success.
Digital | Archie Comics will begin selling its comics through its Facebook page, which connects readers with Graphicly. With almost 120,000 fans, the page does seem like fertile ground. “It’s really a major move toward connecting the potential reader to the product,” said Archie Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “We make it easy and hopefully create a new, lasting part of our fan base.” [The Huffington Post]
Retailing | Matthew Price takes the temperature in the room at ComicsPRO and says that retailers want stability — they credit the consistent shipping schedule for the New 52 for part of that line’s success — and creativity. The overall mood seemed to be optimism, with Diamond Comic Distributors reporting that comics sales were up slightly in 2011. [NewsOK.com]
2011 was a great year for writer Sam Humphries; he and artist Steven Saunders self-published and self-distributed a successful one-shot called Our Love Is Real, which sold out several times and eventually was picked up by Image Comics. From there, he teamed up with artist Dalton Rose for a six-issue, self-published and self-distributed series called Sacrifice. The first issue came out last month and told the story of Hector, a time traveler/Joy Division fan who finds himself in the middle of the Aztec empire. The comic includes not only references to Aztec culture, but also pop music and the culinary delights of Rancho Peñasquitos.
Humphries has guest-blogged with us several times in the past, so when it was time to send out invitations to the big Robot 6 birthday bash, I put him at the top of the list. He brought gifts, too, in the form of a rundown of the various references included in the first issue of Sacrifice, a look at the Jade Edition cover variant of issue #2 by Wonder Woman artist Cliff Chiang and critical information on the healing powers of tacos. You can pre-order a physical copy of the second issue through TFAW.com, or you can find it at several comic shops. The first issue can be downloaded now via Graphicly or comiXology.
Now let’s hear from Sam …
Earlier this year writer Sam Humphries and artist Steven Saunders had a cool little success story with their science fiction comic Our Love is Real. It was released digitally, sold via their website and a few select comic shops, and eventually went into multiple printings before finally being picked up by Image Comics. (Sam spoke at length about his efforts to market and distribute the book during a panel we were both on at the San Diego Comic Con).
It worked out so well for him the first time that Humphries is trying it again. He’s teamed up with artist Dalton Rose for Sacrifice, a full-color, self-published, self-distributed, six-issue mini-series that debuts Dec. 14. It’s about Hector, a time traveler/Joy Division fan who finds himself in the middle of the Aztec empire.
And courtesy of Sam and Dalton, we’re pleased to bring you a look at the comic, which you can find after the jump, along with the book’s many variant covers. The comic will be available for digital download through comiXology and Graphicly, or you can buy it in print from several comic shops or through online retailer Things from Another World.
Addition: If you are in L.A., Collector’s Paradise will host a release party on Dec. 14 for the book, and you can also purchase their exclusive edition from their website. The cover for the “Shadow Edition” they have can be found after the jump.