Word to the wise: Sam Humphries’ Our Love Is Real, while hysterically funny, is centered around material that is best left to mature readers, and those who aren’t easily offended by, um, alternative sexual preferences. REALLY alternative sexual preferences (not that there’s anything wrong with that). If you can handle it, get ready for an excellent interview with Sam Humphries–as well as preview pages–after the jump!
Our Love Is Real is Sam Humphries’ hilarious satire of sexual mores and relationships, set in an undetermined future where almost anything goes. This one-shot, set for release by Image Comics November 2, features art by Steven Sanders and has caught the attention of Wolverine scribe Jason Aaron, MTV Geek, and more! We had the chance to send some questions to Humphries–read the resulting interview, below!
TFAW.com: How did the idea for this book come about?
Sam Humphries: There was a notorious website years ago at dolphinsex.org. It was a one-page memoir, very explicit, by a guy who claimed to have a romantic relationship with a dolphin. It was a mind-blower.
TFAW.com: This is clearly a satire–how do you feel about our current attitudes about relationships, sex, and sexuality?
SH: Well, part of me wants to plead the fifth on this–someone’s experience of Our Love Is Real shouldn’t hinge on my personal attitudes.
On the other hand, I’m totally in favor of equal rights for gay people, I feel pretty wretched about our current attitudes, and I don’t feel like staying quiet about it. I believe it’s a civil rights issue and the current state of “equality” in this country is an unforgivable double standard. There’s been some great advances, but there’s still a long way to go.
TFAW.com: There are a lot of unusual sexual preferences in Our Love Is Real: vegisexuals, who have sex with plants, zoosexuals, who have relationships with animals, etc. In our society, we still have issues with gay marriage–how did everyone get here in your story?
SH: A lot of sexual attitudes these days come from a place of fear–for example, a fear of AIDS, which forced everyone to make a direct, literal connection between sex and lust and disease and death. It’s absolutely necessary to be sexually responsible in the face of AIDS. What if that fear was lifted? What if everyone was able to take fear out of the sex and lust equation? And Steven Sanders was there to make it all look gorgeous?
TFAW.com: Our main protagonist, Jok, is fine with being a zoosexual, but later in the story he worries about being gay, which seems ironic. What’s your take?
SH: If I was Jok’s friend, I would tell him to relax and stop being so uptight. Don’t worry about fitting into a rigid, pre-defined category and just follow your <3. And I would buy him a beer.
TFAW.com: What struck me is that people are choosing to become intimate with, er, entities that can’t talk back: plants, animals, crystals. It seems like a power issue to me. What’s your response?
SH: I see it as people yearning for a romantic and sexual connection with something outside the human experience. A relationship where being human isn’t the star of the show. Most of those people would disagree with you that these entities can’t talk back; they just speak differently. But I think you may have given me a new story idea.
TFAW.com: The book has gotten a lot of good buzz from writer Jason Aaron and MTV Geek, among others. Did you think it would make this much of a splash?
SH: Haha–not at all. It’s a smutty sci-fi book. I had high hopes, but I figured about half of the original print run would go to friends and acquaintances, and the other half would go to curious perverts. I guess I underestimated the size of the latter.
TFAW.com: Are you planning any more stories that take place in this universe?
SH: If this wide release of the one shot does well, who knows what could happen? I’ve written the first page of Our Love Is Real, Volume 2, I know what happens next with Jok and Brin . . . but there are no current plans to publish more stories, no.
TFAW.com: Our Love Is Real is pretty different from some of your past work, which includes Fraggle Rock. What kinds of creator-owned work would you like to do in the future?
SH: I’d love to do a romantic period drama.
TFAW.com: What’s next for you?
SH: I’m self-publishing a new comic. It comes out in December. There are zero dogs in it.
We want to thank Sam for taking the time to answer our questions! Make sure to pre-order your copy of Our Love Is Real today.
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