PASADENA, CA – On a cold December evening, Sam Humphries emerged to share his new book with the good people of Los Angeles County in a monumental crossover with Collector’s Paradise. Donning his partially concealed and appropriately worn Joy Division t-shirt, he met fans with smiles and cheer as he signed their copies of Sacrifice.
Without a doubt, the night was a success. The modest sized store was comfortably crowded, allowing Sam to still make that personal connection with anyone interested in checking out his work.
Anyone aspiring to be a comic creator needs to understand this fundamental concept: comic stores are a sacred place to many people. It’s a place for them to be with friends and talk about their loves and their interests without fear of ridicule from mainstream culture (although that’s becoming less and less of an issue). Independent comics writers like Sam who take the time to actually interact with fans reach people in a way that celebrities never will. People who follow writers and artists will always pay more attention when they know said creator doesn’t have too big of an ego to give them the time of day.
The book itself is quite interesting. Every page seems to bring a new question into mind. The parallel that is being established between The Aztecs, Joy Division fans, and the Post-Punk/Goth scene is something that may seem absurd at first to those who are unfamiliar with this particular subculture, but it really does make sense. It’s nice to see this kind of thing represented by a writer who actually knows what they are talking about. Usually the closest underground music fans get to being properly represented in pop culture is a teenage kid with spiky hair and poorly applied eyeliner.
Sacrifice may just be setting the stage with the first issue, but I can already tell that Sam is taking it in a good direction. To me, what instantly makes the book so attention-grabbing is how far from formulaic it is. Even the first words in panel one stir up the good ol’ sense of wonder; “Seven hundred and sixty-two years later.”
Some things do seem like they are only at the very beginning of being explained, but at the same time it’s clear that it will make sense in the next issue. Even with the concepts that had me ever so slightly scratching my head (which Sam probably intended), the absolutely stunning artwork by Dalton Rose (and especially the colors by Pete Toms) kept my interest intact.
Above all, it’s evident how much time and research went into Sacrifice. I don’t want to spoil too much, so if you want to read something that feels dark, close to home (for me anyway), and delightfully original, be sure to pick up Sacrifice!