Sam Humphries on the secret life of <i>Sacrifice</i>

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 ...


The secret life of Sacrifice by Sam Humphries

"Every time I see you falling..."

While waiting for Hector, Violet is jamming to "Bizarre Love Triangle" by New Order. One of the greatest singles of the 20th or 16th centuries:

You can hear it for yourself here.

Rancho Peñasquitos

Take the Ted Williams freeway east from the 5, and you will find Rancho Penasquitos, aka the PQ, aka the Jewel of the Black Mountain. Hector's 21st century hometown is a real-life suburb hidden in the hills of north San Diego county. It is one of my favorite places on Earth, and not just in July, when it is about a 30 minute drive from Comic-Con. Home of the infamous Ladies of the PQ. I will never reveal its secrets.

Golden Bagel

Sorry Violet, Golden Bagel is actually the finest food in all of Rancho Peñasquitos. You can find it next to the Vons grocery store on Black Mountain Road. Ask for the "Al's Special" (bagel with cheese and tomato, toasted). #promoted


The Aztecs can't actually lay claim to Quetzalcoatl. The Toltecs also worshiped him, and they did it first by a couple of centuries. Quetzalcoatl got around. Playa gotta play.

"Thirty days to get out here..."

You could conceivably walk from San Diego to the Valley of Mexico in 30 days. OK, so I didn't try it myself. Prove me wrong, if you dare!

Aztec stone calendar monument

Hector's tattoo and probably the most famous piece of Aztec art of all time. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a functioning calendar, although it does display the glyphs for days of the month. The purpose of the design is in dispute, but the stone itself (12 feet in diameter) was most likely used as a sacrificial altar.

Photo credit: gripso banana prune/Flickr


The capital city, and the economic, military, political, and religious center of the Aztec Empire. When the Spaniards arrived and conquered Tenochtitlan, they built their own city right on top of it. Today it is called Mexico City. At the time of the Spanish Conquest, it was the third largest city in the entire world.

Sacrifice artist Dalton Rose and colorist Pete Toms absolutely crush it in their double page spread of the city. What, you thought I was just gonna give it away here? Go buy the book! #promoted


In medical terms, this is a catch-all designation for any neurological condition associated with chronic seizures. It can be caused by any number of things, from genetics to childhood fevers. Epilepsy affects over 50 million people (including yours truly) but we understand very, very little about it. The brain is a messed-up and confusing place to be.

"It was your ability to go into the spirit world..."

As with many religious cultures, the Aztecs revered epileptics as shamans who could travel between this world and the next.

99 cent tacos from Jack-in-the-Box

They really do cure everything, including hangovers. This one I have tried myself. Trust. #promoted

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