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Fanbase Press Interviews Brenna Thummler on the Upcoming Release of ‘Lights,’ the Conclusion of the ‘Sheets’ Graphic Novel Series, with Oni Press

The following is an interview with Brenna Thummler regarding the upcoming release of Lights, the conclusion to the Sheets graphic novel series, with Oni Press. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Thummler about her creative experience in bringing the series to a close, why these characters have resonated so strongly with readers, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming conclusion of your graphic novel series with Lights! Having been with these characters for such a long time, what can you share with us about your experience in witnessing these characters change and evolve with each new installment?

Brenna Thummler: Marjorie began her story in grief and Eliza in depression. It’s been comforting to illustrate not only to my readers, but to myself, that mental health is a complicated force, and that it’s okay to not heal perfectly. Self-growth takes time and it’s messy. Marjorie especially continues to make mistakes and treat her own friends poorly at times, and she, more than anyone, must be willing to evolve. Because Sheets and Delicates were focused almost entirely on Marjorie’s and Eliza’s emotions, Wendell never got the space to heal. That’s what Lights is for.

BD: Tonally, the series shifts to a bit more of a somber note with Lights as Wendell receives the greatest focus of the three characters. Do you find that there are any challenges that exist in navigating this tonal shift for younger readers?

BT: Lights does become a bit more somber, but that tone was always present. Younger readers are the best readers for this—they are curious and eager to be exposed to the truth. They want to know things! Every human already knows what grief feels like, and you can’t try to shield them from it. Books are a fantastic way to show how people can overcome hardship, and libraries in turn become the most exciting kind of emotional toolboxes. I’d say the biggest challenge was not in writing the sad parts, but balancing them well with the humorous, joyful moments.


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 Marjorie, Eliza, and Wendell’s stories have connected with and impacted readers?

BT: The three are each dealing with very different problems: loss of a parent, grief, employment, bullying, depression, being dead. Many readers will feel a kinship with one or more of the characters because sadness is universal. But I think what is most impactful is the relationship between the three. Despite all their individual problems, they find ways to lift each other up and focus on the friendship, even when it isn’t easy. That’s something we all should focus on.

BD: What has made Oni Press the perfect home for this series?

BT: It has been wonderful to work with my editor, Grace Scheipeter. We met back in 2015, when we both became interns at the same publishing company in Kansas City. We had no idea that one day, we’d be working on my books together! She, too, has grown emotionally invested in the characters and stories, and thus has treated them with great care and attention. I have been thankful to have her by my side.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

BT: Absolutely! I am working on a new original graphic novel called Gumshoe with HarperAlley. I call it a “post office western.” It follows mailwoman-aspiring Willa, an eleven-year-old with social anxiety, who unexpectedly finds herself trying to catch an outlaw with a dynamic gang of girls. It’s a story that balances loyalty to oneself and the struggle to connect with others. It’s also a silly and rowdy adventure.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Lights, the Sheets series, and your other work?

BT: I post all book-related news, sneak peeks, and personal/process work on my Instagram (@brennathummler), and I share lots of articles on what-used-to-be-Twitter. (Same handle.) You can also visit my website,, to see my past work and read more about my books!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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