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Fanbase Press Interviews Jordan Morris on the Upcoming Release of the Graphic Novel, ‘Youth Group,’ Through First Second

The following is an interview with Eisner-nominated writer Jordan Morris regarding the upcoming release of the graphic novel, Youth Group, through publisher First Second. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Morris about his shared creative process in working with artist Bowen (Bones) McCurdy to bring the world and characters to life on the page, what he hopes that readers may take away from the story, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of Youth Group! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the story’s premise, and how much of your own experiences influenced the narrative?

Jordan Morris: Youth Group is the story of a bunch of teenage demon-fighting exorcists who are also part of a goofy Bible study group that does cringe-y things like sing abstinence-themed parodies of popular songs. I was part of a similar teen Bible study growing up, so, regretfully, some of the more embarrassing details are pulled from my real life.

BD: The story deftly balances the horror and comedy of its narrative, providing three-dimensional characters that you’re genuinely rooting (and scared for)! What can you tell us about your shared creative process in working with artist Bowen (Bones) McCurdy to bring these characters to life on the page?

JM: Bowen was a dream to work with. One of the things they asked for early in the process was a playlist of music for each character. This is a genius idea that I will be stealing for future collaborations. Our main character Kay is a little goth-y so her playlist has stuff like Nine Inch Nails, Tool and L7. Cortland is a chill stoner-bro so his was stuff like 311 and Sublime. If you haven’t figured it out yet, our story is set in the ’90s ☺. Since the playlists were YouTube-based, we got the added benefit of getting to relive some of the awful/amazing ’90s fashion that made its way into the book.

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BD: What makes First Second the perfect home for this story?

JM: I love working with First Second. I’ve been a fan of theirs since long before I started working with them. Their books are so special because they really let creators run with their imaginations and create stories that don’t fit neatly into one genre. Their recent book, Lunar New Year Love Story, is a great example. It’s part rom-com, part family drama, part ghost story. It’s totally unique and totally special. I think Youth Group is a similar kind of genre odd duck. It’s a little too joke-y to be a pure horror story and a little too horrific to be a pure comedy. I like the kooky stew we’ve created and am so thankful they let us use our own recipe.

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 Kay’s story may connect with and impact readers?

JM: As a teen I often went along with stuff I felt weird about (church, for instance), because it felt like what everyone else was doing. And then I felt weird about feeling weird, if that makes sense. The characters in Youth Group (the villains included) are all feeling out of place. I think it’s a story about finding the right fit for yourself and realizing that everyone has a different path and that’s okay.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects – whether comic book titles, TV, or scripted audio – on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?

JM: If you read my writing and think “I wonder what this guy sounds like talking?” I do a couple of podcasts that I think are a ton of fun. Jordan Jesse Go is a totally nonsensical chat show with Jesse Thorn from NPR. Free With Ads is a deep dive into the weird world of free streaming movies with comedian Emily Fleming. Both those shows are on your preferred podcast app or

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

JM: Youth Group is available on 7/16 wherever you get your books! Check it out anyway you can, but I’ll recommend asking for it at your local comic shop or indie bookstore. Links to my social media, podcasts, etc. are at

Thanks so much for this great chat! I’m so excited for folks to see Youth Group!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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