Photo courtesy Sam HumphriesBack in February, Marvel Comics announced that they were instating Sam Humphries as the head writer of The Ultimates, the alternate-universe version of The Avengers. The notable thing about this was that Sam began his career with a self-published comic called Our Love Is Real that takes place in a future where people are having sex with dogs, vegetables and even crystals. The unexpectedly tender story of a violent, dog-loving cop falling in love with a “mineral-sexual” hippie became a cult hit and seems to have launched a brilliant career. Pretty soon, he’ll have to deal with salivating fan-boy interviewers asking him all kinds of questions about the minutiae of what happens when Iron Man has to take a dump in the middle of a fight, but before he ascends to respectability I wanted to ask him a few questions about a topic near and dear to both of our hearts: bestiality.
VICE: What inspired you to write a story about a dog-fucking cop?
Sam Humphries: It came from a logical place. I used to read a blog called dolphinsex.org. It was written by a guy who claimed to have an ongoing love affair with a dolphin in the Gulf of Mexico. Two things struck me: a) How do you go about having sexual intercourse with a dolphin? and b) Was this a two-way street – a physical and emotional relationship between two intelligent mammals? This was a point of view that blew my mind and led to Our Love Is Real. So where do you come down on the question? Is it OK to be in love with dogs or crystals?
It’s wrong to start a relationship with somebody that can’t talk back. Does your character’s controversial sexual relationship with minerals serve as a commentary on how society views sexual minorities?
No. Our Love is Real is a story about love as a transformative force in our lives. AIDS no longer exists in the world of Our Love Is Real. Why did you include this element in the story?
I came of age in an era where AIDS dominated the conversations about sexuality. As I grew older, I realised that it wasn’t always this way; in the late 1960s and early 1970s, sexuality wasn’t always connected to disease and death. I wondered what our society would be like without AIDS – and not just in a future where people fuck dogs. How would the 1990s have been different? How would our society and culture look? I used the sci-fi genre as a crowbar to examine the present. Are any of these – we’ll call them strange elements – going to manifest in Ultimates?
No! Marvel has characters who are literally worth a billion dollars. I’m not going to propose a 12-issue series where Captain America becomes a heroin addict. That’s a shame because I’d definitely read it if you did.Want more weird science? Check these out:Whoa, Dude, Are We Inside a Computer Right Now?Don’t Eat Those CarnitasFuture Dude