Even allowing for all the ongoing Nü 52 hype, the hottest comic this week was definitely OUR LOVE IS REAL by Sam Humphries and Steven Sanders, a self-published tale with a laded look at a futuristic world where people have sex with animals, vegetables, and minerals — but still want something more. Of course it sounds prurient, but it’s really a thought-provoking SF tale with some lovely art by Sanders. If there were an intelligent version of HEAVY METAL in existence, this would be the lead story.

Following some good reviews, all 300 print copies sold out in a flash — like nine hours. But you can still buy the digital version from comiXology. Response has been overwhelming from readers and retailers.The little self-published comic that could.

A second printing with a variant cover is now on its way. PR below:

OUR LOVE IS REAL, the self-published, self-released, creator-owned “twisted sci-fi” comic book by Sam Humphries and Steven Sanders has sold out its initial print run in less than nine hours!

OUR LOVE IS REAL is going back to press with a limited run of the “Vegisexual Edition”, featuring a new variant cover by Sanders. The Vegisexual Edition is available for immediate pre-order online at ourloveisrealcomic.com and will begin shipping to participating retailers early next week.

Available simultaneously as a digital download via Comixology, and as a print version via mail orders and a select number of direct market comic book stores, the first edition is now unavailable at the distributor level. Some copies may still be available at participating retailers, although many experienced same-day sell-outs.

“I haven’t seen this much interest in a book since Marvel bumped off Cap. Impressive numbers,” said Portlyn Freeman, owner of the Eisner award winning pop culture superstore, Brave New World in Newhall, California.

The acute demand was fueled by the small-scale print run, as well as the controversial storyline and early positive reviews. 

“A splendidly-perverse and eye-poppingly gorgeous fistful of futuristic fun,” said Jason Aaron, writer of Scalped, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider.

“It’s funny, it’s poignant, it’s clever, it’s intriguing,” said Rich Johnston of Bleeding Cool. “It’s a really fun comic book that could get quite a following.”

“It’s equal parts shocking and hilarious and the kind of out there thinking comics can do best,” wrote Ryan K. Lindsay of the Weekly Crisis.

“[It] may shatter your doggone senses,” wrote Caleb Goellner of Comics Alliance. 

OUR LOVE IS REAL continues to be available without interruption on Comixology, the online comic book service available on a variety of digital devices. Despite the day-and-date digital release, the print version was an early success for comic book stores.

“The people who ran through our doors & jammed our phones today displayed a passion that is seen all too rarely in comic buying circles,” said Chris Rosa, store manager of Meltdown Comics & Collectables in Hollywood. “They were there because they were legitimately pumped up to read a comic book.” 


  1. 300 copies of a self-published book, with little notice, sells out in nine hours. Not at a convention or small press show, but online and via a handful of stores.

    Yeah, I think that’s pretty incredible. In the year 2011, where self-published print comics are almost non-existant, a small indy title with a very non-mainstream theme is successful.

  2. Torsten – If you think self-published print comics are nonexistent, you are just not looking very hard. Have you been to MoCCA? SPX? Self-published print versions of their comics is a way of life for many, many independent cartoonists.

  3. Mike T – the second printing is apparently another 300 copy run (which strikes me as a silly decision given the temporary high demand). So, probably not unless you’re near one of the handful of shops with hard copies.

  4. Thanks Heidi!!

    Mike T. — you can pre-order individual copies the second edition NOW on the website, ourloveisrealcomic.com.

    Or they will begin shipping to retailers early next week.

  5. Oh, does this mean comics new sites care about self published books now?

    If this book was given the usual amount of attention that self published books are given it would have sold like 20 copies.

    I mean, I’m glad it did well. I’m happy for the creators. It just would be nice if self published books were covered with such zeal all the time.

  6. “If you think self-published print comics are nonexistent, you are just not looking very hard. Have you been to MoCCA? SPX? Self-published print versions of their comics is a way of life for many, many independent cartoonists.”

    Ah… I see…
    ” where self-published print comics are almost non-existent”
    …let me clarify.

    I meant titles which appear in Diamond Previews. “Self-Published” meaning the definition from the 1980s and 1990s, when Aria, Cartoon Books, and Aardvark-Vanheim published 32-page comics and were carried at a wide variety of comics shops. They appeared on a somewhat regular basis, just like titles from Eclipse and Marvel and Dark Horse. This was the third wave of black and white comics (undergrounds, B&W implosion, self-publishing).

    What you refer to, what generally appears at MoCCA and SPX, I would consider a “minicomic”. Hand-crafted (usually photocopied and stapled). Not part of a series. Aimed at a specific niche audience (literary comics). Usually not available in comics shops. Usually not a 7×10 comic with a glossy four-color cover (although Ka-Blam does offer this format at a reasonable cost).

    Perhaps the phrase “self-printed” would be a better descriptor. A publisher hires a printer to produce the works, such as Ka-Blam or Transcontinental or Lightning Source. If the creator prints it themselves, that means there is even more control and involvement.

    Whatever the definition or the actual comic, I’m always glad to see creators selling their titles at shows like MoCCA or SPX.

  7. Tom,
    Do you consider webcomics to be self-published comics? Because those get a lot of attention. [Insert Kate Beaton meme here.]

    Some creators don’t publicize their titles very well. Some don’t sell or advertise outside of their own websites and convention tables.

    As for this site, Heidi has been an active supporter of independent creators since her days writing for Fantagraphics back in the 1980s. (I first met the Beatrix at the second SPX in 1995.) Click on the red “Indies” tag above the comments to see related posts.