Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of your graphic novel! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the graphic novel’s premise?
Jeremy Holt: Max, a former child star and now divorcee becomes the virtual boyfriend of Eva, a career-driven woman in need of fake love to alleviate real family pressures of settling down. This story highlights all of the wonderful aspects of the rom-com genre, while updating the story for the dating app generation.
BD: How would you describe your shared creative process in bringing this story to life with co-creator/artist Elizabeth Beals, and what (or who) were some of your creative influences in terms of the characters and tone?
JH: The shared creative process with Elizabeth was immensely enjoyable. We complemented each other’s workflow quite well. My scripts tend to skew heavily on reference images, especially if the story is set in a real-world place. In this case, New York City is absolutely a vital character to the story of Virtually Yours. While Elizabeth was able to capture locations I had selected with uncanny accuracy, showcasing even the smallest of details, she went ten thousand steps further with the fashion design of this book. Beyond the main characters, I had made no notes fashion-wise for everyone else. New York City is a bustling place, so not only did Elizabeth factor in outfits for every single extra, but she also had the additional challenge of shifting seasons. As readers will no doubt notice, she executed this with beautiful precision. Her stunning art captured and translated the details and depth of my script to a degree that I will remain in awe of. As for influences, I’ve been a long-time fan of Nora Eprhon, Nancy Meyers, and Richard Curtis’ work. But it was Jennifer Kaytin’s Robinson’s Netflix Original film, Someone Great, that inspired me to embed personal truths regarding my own heartbreak and trauma from toxic relationships. Instead, I decided to shift focus on exploring two lives that exist outside romance itself, but also make it cute and fun.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Eva and Max’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
JH: I am confident that what sets this rom-com apart from the pack is that it doesn’t follow the traditional plot points. This story is less about falling in love and more about two people navigating the aspects of a relationship that is rarely explored in a rom-com: an abusive marriage and chosen independence from the dating scene. It was important to Elizabeth and me that we showcase a cast of characters that possess an emotional intelligence, which enabled us to tell a story of the more complicated facets to adult relationships. This story is a mediation on expectation versus reality of romance in the 21st Century. The advent of the dating app has transformed courtship at its core. I think people will resonate with the fact that this story does not shy away from the darkness of heartbreak, but also the brightness of genuine friendship.
BD: What makes ComiXology Originals the perfect home for Virtually Yours?
JH: ComiXology was the perfect home for the book based on the fact that they are one of the leaders in the digital comics platform. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely plan to have this book printed, but with a current global pandemic, we couldn’t have asked for a better publisher to back this book.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
JH: I have a few projects currently in production, but I can’t divulge much more than that at the moment. If readers enjoyed Virtually Yours, they’ll be getting a lot more comics from me in 2021.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Virtually Yours?
JH: Anyone that’s interested can follow the book’s social media accounts. We plan to update readers on various news, interviews, reviews, and hopefully future signings. You can follow on Instagram (@virtuallyyourscomic) and on Twitter (@VYComic). Thanks so much for taking the time and interest to chat with us!