Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kickstart This!

So you say you want more women in comics who break out of the "strong female character" trope? Maybe some queer women who are complex, fully-human characters? Well, Cassius is the comic for you!
Cassius is a fun twist on a classic hero’s journey with some kickass queer female characters, all inspired by Julius Caesar! It follows our main character Junia, whose ordinary life comes to a grinding halt after a terrifying event alters the course of her fate forever. That one event forces her to become the bearer of a mark that identifies her as Cassius – a legendary figure said to bring about great change.

Written and illustrated by real-life couple Emily Willis and Ann Uland, Cassius tells the story of Junia, our kickass lesbian heroine.
Inspired by Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and the events of history, Cassius is set in a Roman-esque universe centered around the collection of states know as Latium. The story follows our heroine Junia, who belongs to the Latium state of Cyrentha, and believes herself to be no more than ordinary. But one single act of violence suddenly thrusts Junia into a world of politics, betrayal, greed, bloodshed, and fate - and Junia must overcome it all if she is to survive.

For in this world there is the legend of Cassius, one person who bears a cursed mark that will bring about great change. Such change will either be for Latium's benefit or lead to its complete destruction.

It is Junia who now bears this mark, and she is about to take part in something that is much more than any one person can bear alone.
I think what I love the most about this project is that it's a re-telling of a classic story, with a decidedly feminist twist! There's a reason these stories have stayed with us over the centuries -- they're human stories. It's high time we started telling them including a wider cast of characters! I just heard about Cassius today, and already I'm in love. The feminist history nerd is me is doing a happy dance.
Cassius has so many fun plot threads to it. I loved reading a good adventure story that kept building the stakes higher and higher and got me invested in it – that’s what Cassius aims to do. I’m also a huge fan of that “write women as people” saying that goes around social media. That’s so important to me — and for some reason, I see a lot of people equate “strong female character” with “cold and stoic” and it just doesn’t need to be that way. So Junia – our main character – isn’t some unfeeling person just because she’s been given this gigantic task. Junia will be frustrated, and determined, and happy, and all these other things along her journey, because people are full of complex emotions. I want Junia and the rest of the cast to feel real, and for their choices to be full of consequences.

You've only got a couple more days to get in on this project! Go. Support Cassius!


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