The following is an interview with cartoonist Jessi Sheron (Monster High, Ever After High, Princeless) regarding the recent launch of the crowdfunding campaign for The Sea in You in association with Spike Trotman and Iron Circus Comics. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Sheron about the creative process of adapting The Little Mermaid for new readers, what readers may connect with about the story’s characters, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent launch of your crowdfunding campaign! What are you most excited for readers to experience with this adaptation of The Little Mermaid?
Jessi Sheron: My favorite thing in this story is the relationship between the two lead girls, a sweet lonely goth girl and an adorable deadly mermaid. Their dynamic always made me smile to write and draw. I think a lot of people will relate to Corinth, and I think everyone will love Skylla as much as I do.
BD: The creative process of approaching an adaptation of a prior work – especially one as well known as The Little Mermaid – can be a daunting experience. How would you describe your approach to breathing new life into the story, and what did you find to be most rewarding/challenging about the process?
JS: Honestly, it was challenging but EXTREMELY fun. I’m a Virgo, can you tell? We like difficult things. In my mind the Hans Christian Andersen story, The Little Mermaid, was like a map, but I could go anywhere I wanted on the map. I wanted to maintain the spirit of the story but in a fresh way that spoke to me, and, hopefully, other people in modern times. The thing I love the most about the original story is the raw emotions—you really feel for the little mermaid, your heart aches for her to be happy. I wanted the readers to feel that love for Skylla and Corinth, too, and to deeply understand their feelings. The story has a lot about communication. The most rewarding part was drawing and writing their relationship, every time I drew it I had so much fun. I really love my two lead characters, and I hope everyone else will love them too!
BD: What makes Iron Circus Comics the perfect home for this story?
JS: YA Stories like Shadoweyes and As The Crow Flies are wonderful graphic novels that convey the vivid feelings and heart that I believe The Sea in You shares. I love comics so much, and I think every single comic published by Iron Circus has that passion for comics that I have in it.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that The Sea in You’s story will connect with and impact readers?
JS: I hope that people connect with Corinth and Skylla and the way they care about one another, and bring out the best in one another. I also hope that if people struggle with things like Corinth goes through I hope they know it’s okay to reach out and get help, and that they deserve to be happy.
BD: What are some of the incredible backer rewards that you would like to highlight for those who support the crowdfunding campaign?
JS: The campaign is solely about the book! But the book is beautiful, full-color and over 200 pages.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Sea in You and your other work?
I’ve had a wonderful time chatting about my book with you! Thank you so much!