For Humphries, who says he had comic book ambitions back when he was 10, this is a rare and amazing opportunity. He'll be working alongside with Hickman, a writer he admires, and he's a longtime Marvel fan. Humphries says he's acquired an impressive amount of knowledge about Avengers, X-Men, Spider-Man and Fantastic Four since childhood.
"The Marvel universe feels like home to me," he says.This year is shaping up to be a busy one for the local up-and-comer. He's also been working on Marvel's John Carter: Gods of Mars with artist Ramon Perez (who's been generating some good buzz with his work on the Archaia's adaptation of Jim Henson's A Tale of Sand), due to hit stands next month. Then there's Fanboys vs. Zombies, a Boom! Studios series about zombies taking over San Diego Comic-Con, which launches in April. The following month, Boom! Studios will release Humphries' creator-owned science fiction epic Higher Earth. And, if that weren't enough for the first half of the year, he's still working on his self-published series, Sacrifice.
It all started with a self-published, one-off comic called Our Love Is Real. Humphries had been published before that, having contributed stories for Boom! Studios' CBGB: The Comic Book and Archaia's Fraggle Rock anthology, but his first self-published, creator-owned effort was a little different. Our Love Is Real is a sci-fi romance that pairs people with dogs, plants and minerals. It's weird enough to have riled up the comic book crowd on message boards, garner some stellar reviews and sell out of its first print run in a matter of hours.
Humphries says that self-publishing was "the most solid strategy" he had for breaking into the comic book industry. He had the contacts, and he had already received a positive response when shopping around Our Love Is Real and Sacrifice, but he was still a n00b in the creator world, which meant people were less likely to take a chance on him, even if the idea was there.