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Interview: Shayna Marchese, Creator of Voids

Adam York from The Flowfield Unity posted this interview he conducted with Shayna Marchese, creator of the webcomic Voids.

OK it's time for an interview. Before I start with the questions about your comic, let's find out a little about you. So, first question: How do I pronounce your name? I imagine you get this a lot, but there's no good in me telling people to have a look at your comic if I'm getting it wrong.

My first name is pronounced just as it's spelled: Shay-na. (Of course, people like to add and reverse letters so I'll get called things anywhere from Shanya to Shanaya to people giving up all together and trying things like Sharon.) Last name (Marchese) is pronounced Mar-kay-zee. It's Italian so 'ch' is always pronounced as 'k.' So no Marcheesey.


I'm glad we've cleared that up. Now tell me a little about your comic Voids...

Hmmm. I started Voids in January 2005 (which makes it almost two!). It's my first real comic endeavour. It's basically about being 20-something, done with college, and feeling lost in the world; my characters' world being New York City. All the characters are lost in their own way; some more so than others.

I get asked a lot if the main character is me and if the comic is autobiographical. The answer to that is yes and no, but mostly no. Certain characters look or act like people I know (Frances, for example), but their situation in life is totally different. I use places I've lived and worked as reference a lot, like I'll think, "I want Sara to move somewhere crappy because she can't afford anything else... hey, I'll use that apartment I lived in a while back and hated but make it worse."


You just pre-empted my next question and, quite rightly, highlighted it as obvious. Have you done many interviews before?

Nope, this is the first interview I've ever done! I get asked the autobiographical question by people I know somewhat that have read the comic and know certain things about me (such as that I've worked in a bookstore or lived in Brooklyn), but not much else.

Oh, and, things that happened at the very beginning of the story were much closer to being autobiographical than anything that's come since. I probably won't admit to which things, though.


How about a quick-fire question? The guys/gals from marketing are here, they want you to summarise Voids in a single snappy sentence, what do you say?

Wow, I'm terrible at "snappy!" I've used this one as a description elsewhere but I'm not going to think of a better one, so:

After getting dumped, quitting her job, and moving to a new neighbourhood, Sara's a feeling a bit lost in the black void of New York City; but at least she keeps finding pennies.


That's pretty snappy, and I admire your use of the semi-colon, possibly the most neglected of the punctuation marks... I guess it's time to wrap up this interview. It's been nice chatting with you. Thanks. Do you have any final words?

No final words, just thanks for the interview!

Nice interview, Shayna.

Wiz Rollins's picture

Nice interview, Shayna. The back and forth helps me put a voice to your work.

...but at least she keeps finding pennies... Love that.

writer @ yirmumah



writer @ yirmumah