The following is an interview with Éloïse Marseille regarding the upcoming release of her graphic memoir, Naked: The Confessions of a Normal Woman, through Pow Pow Publishing. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Marseille about her creative process in bringing the personal narrative to life, how she feels that the story may connect with readers, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: In balancing the writing and artistic duties of your graphic memoir, what can you share with us about your creative process in bringing this personal narrative to life?
Éloïse Marseille: This project has an interesting genesis. At its beginnings, I actually never thought it would ever see the light of day. It started as a project I did in University during a drawing class. I’ve been drawing comics my whole life, and I wanted to produce a longer comic since I was used to doing shorter projects. At first, I thought this project was going to be just a funny retelling of silly stories that happened to me during my sexual discovery when I was a teenager and a young adult, and it slowly turned into a very emotional experience where I analyzed my emotional evolution through my younger years. Through my work, I actually discovered a lot of things about myself, similar to journaling, retelling these stories forced me to deconstruct the events and how they made me feel and even how they’ve affected the person I am today. It was very therapeutic actually to create; it did me a lot of good.
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 topics including sexual politics and body issues – may connect with and impact readers?
EM: The feedback I’ve heard so far from readers is that my stories are very relatable. People project themselves into the stories I share, which is both beautiful and a little sad. I’ve also been told that my book made them feel very “seen.” Like they are less alone in their sexual and romantic experiences. I feel like sex can be a subject that is not often addressed, and seeing someone speak very openly about their experiences can help people feel less alone, and maybe even understood. At least, I hope so.
BD: What makes Pow Pow Press the perfect home for this story?
EM: Pow Pow is the most wonderful publisher ever. They offer complete creative freedom to their authors which, in my opinion, makes the end results way more raw and real. In my case, I think this is very important. I believe that censorship would’ve hurt my storytelling and made the entire tale feel less authentic. Pow Pow is also composed of an incredible team that are very present for their creatives. As a first-time author who is slowly discovering the crazy world of publishing, their presence was reassuring. They held my hand and offered a kind ear during the whole process. If I could do it all over again, I would want to work with them!
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are working that you are able to share with our readers?
EM: The main project I’m working on right now is the second volume of Naked, which will be sharing the life story of another person. It will be quite similar to my first book in how the story is told in small chapters by a narrator and that it’s all autobiographical, but we will be exploring an umbrella of new themes all linked to sex, love, and self! So many interesting facets of love that weren’t talked about in my first book.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find out more about Naked: The Confessions of a Normal Woman and your other work?
EM: The best way is to follow my social media on Instagram on my comic account (@eloisemarseille) or my tattoo account (@moo.tattoo.mtl). (I am also a tattoo artist based in Montreal; helps to pay the bills.)