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The following is an interview with Ype Driessen regarding the recent release of his graphic memoir, The Last Gay Man on Earth, through Street Noise. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Driessen about his creative process in bringing the story to life through photo comics, what he hopes that readers may take away from the story, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: This month saw the recent release of your graphic memoir.  What inspired you to share your story with readers and to utilize the unique approach of photo comics to detail your own lived experiences?

Ype Driessen: It’s an autobiographical story. For a long time, I had been wanting to make a full-length graphic novel, or a photographic novel as I like to call it. Then, my boyfriend Nico asked me to accompany him on a trip to the U.S. This filled me with a lot of fear and anxiety. I decided to investigate where those feelings came from and to make that search the topic of my book.  As for the use of photo comics, I’ve been making short photo comics about my own life for fifteen years now. I used to draw comics, but I switched to photos once I realized I wasn’t that good of an artist. But more importantly, I feel photo comics have a very direct impact on the reader. And I feel as an art form they are criminally underexplored.

BD: In balancing the writing and artistic duties of the project, what can you share with us about your creative process in bringing this personal narrative to life?

YD: From a practical point of view, photo comics is kind of a cross between making traditional comics and making a movie. I start with an idea. Then, I make a story board of that. Then, I produce the shoot, find my actors and locations, et cetera. I take the photos myself, using a tripod and a remote control. Then finally, I make up the pages.  As for the narrative, I’ve been sharing a lot of my daily life with Dutch readers for a long time, but always in short comics of four panels. I wanted to dig deeper into my own psyche. And I wanted to see if you can tell interesting and personal stories using photo comics. I hope I’ve succeeded.

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 story – and your willingness to confront struggles with social and emotional anxieties – may connect with and impact readers?

YD: I think a lot of readers will recognize themselves to a certain degree. At least, that’s what I usually hear back from readers. And it works two ways: The reader can take some comfort from the book, but it’s also comforting for me to know I’m not the only person struggling with these issues.

I want to add, by the way, that although these are serious topics, I hope the book is funny and entertaining.

BD: What makes Street Noise the perfect home for this story?

YD: Street Noise is all about publishing books that make a difference. They champion diversity and representation. That aligns perfectly with what I’m trying to do with my stories. I’m a gay man living with my boyfriend in Amsterdam. And although this is supposed to be an open-minded and peaceful city, even here we sometimes feel threatened and marginalized. I’m not taking anything for granted, and, with my work, I want to add to the visibility of the queer community.

BD: Are there any other projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?

YD: Currently, I’m writing a novel to try something different and recharge my battery. But once I’m finished with that, I intend to start work on another photographic novel.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about The Last Gay Man on Earth and your other work?

YD: I continue to make short photo comics, once or twice a week. I publish English versions on or

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief



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