The following is an interview with editor Cassandra Jones regarding the final days of her currently running Zoop crowdfunding campaign for the comic book anthology, Let Her Be Evil. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Jones about the Murderers’ Row of creative talent involved with the anthology, what readers can anticipate in terms of backer rewards, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the success of your Zoop crowdfunding campaign for Let Her Be Evil! For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you share with us about the premise of this collection?
Cassandra Jones: The premise of Let Her Be Evil is to provide space for femme characters to be truly evil, rather than redeemable antiheroes or moral paragons. It features seventeen stories in a variety of genres including Western, horror, fantasy, and sci-fi.
BD: This project has a Murderers’ Row of comic book talent! How would you describe the process for bringing these individuals together, as well as your thematic approach to crafting a complementary collection of villainous stories?
CJ: The biggest asset for getting the word out about LHBE was Twitter. (X, I guess.) There was a massive response from the online comics community to my call to submission. I also shamelessly DM’d people I admired and politely asked if they would be interested in joining in, while also effusively fangirling. A lot more people responded than you would think! It pays to take a chance.
My approach to the villains was to avoid any inciting incident that involved pain born from men or from child loss. I wanted the villains to have their own reasons for being evil, and to allow them the space to go after their most horrible ambitions without being infantilized in the last act. If male characters can be evil without cause—because they are greedy, power-mongering, or bloodthirsty—then women can be, too. We don’t need to “save” them or make them likable for them to be worthwhile characters.
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 this collection of wonderfully wicked women may connect with and impact readers?
CJ: My hope is that it will enable people to see the bad habits writers have gotten into when it comes to writing about evil women and to be inspired to write complex female villains with loads of agency. I think women will feel seen in all the glorious messiness and desire found in the characters represented in LHBE.
BD: In light of the crowdfunding campaign, are there any particular backer rewards or tiers that you would like to highlight for our readers?
CJ: The buy three bundle is a great deal! When your friends ask to borrow your copy, you can give one away without fearing that it’ll never come back. (You can always hunt them down, find them, and take your copy back through whatever means necessary—I won’t stop you.)
BD: Are there any other projects on which you are working that you would like to share with readers?
CJ: I wrote a story for WildStar Press’ forthcoming anthology Coiled To Strike. It features an old-man cowboy who learns a thing or two from a young non-binary person just starting out on their life of adventure and intrigue. The campaign launches in April 2024, so be sure to keep an eye out!
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about the Let Her Be Evil Zoop campaign and your other work?
CJ: You can follow me on Twitter @CassAnnJones, on Bluesky at @sercas.bsky.social, or on Instagram @hellocentral4212. You can also check out my portfolio site here if you’d like to contact me directly or work with me on your creative project!