With more than 25 prose and graphic novels under her belt – including Batman: White Knight Presents: Harley Quinn, Katana Collins is no stranger to writing about strong women. Her newest series is Cherish – out in November 2022 from Dynamite – which features a new female vigilante. During an interview with Comicon, Collins discussed the meaning of revenge and the role that donuts can play in it.
Tom Smithyman: Cherish has a pretty familiar origin story, turning into a vigilante after the murder of her father. What distinguishes her from the other comic book heroes?
Katana Collins: One of the things I loved about the creation of this story is that it has all the elements of a kickass character set in the future, while still giving homage to the fun, ‘90s throwback comics.
Smithyman: Marc Silvestri created the look for Cherish. What did you think when you first saw his drawings? How did they help sculpt your development of the character?
Collins: Getting to work on a character that Marc Silvestri created has been incredible. Seeing her pose, her clothing, her style, in his original design really helped shape Cherish’s attitude, but also the technology and weaponry she uses within the sci-fi story.
Smithyman: Is there an overall theme you’re trying to convey in Cherish? What do you want people to come away with after reading the first issue?
Collins: We really play with the idea of what revenge truly means. There are so many incredible quotes about revenge as a subject and they range from embracing your anger – such as ‘don’t get angry, get even’…. to Frank Sinatra’s sentiment of ‘The best revenge is massive success.’
The story plays with these themes as well as an overarching theme of grief, loss, love and exploring the different ways we can heal from trauma.
Smithyman: You are known for your contemporary romance novels – which are a far cry from the Harlequin books you read growing up. Will we see Cherish fall in love, or is sex just a tool she needs to use in her quest?
Collins: As a romance author, I have a hard time NOT writing about love, you know!? And this is no exception. Though, the relationship most focused on in the story is between Cherish and her nanny, Chaya. The two are so close, they might as well be sisters. Aside from Chaya, there is a special man that is not only a part of Cherish’s revenge quest, but becomes a romantic connection, too. We really play with the question of `Does she truly love him or is he just another pawn in her game?’ within the story! Even as the writer, I kept going back and forth on this answer, so you’ll have to read to find out which direction we went with!
Smithyman: You mentioned that Cherish is, among other things, a tale of revenge. Do you have any personal revenge stories you can share?
Collin: I love this question! BUT it also makes me feel IMMENSELY boring because I literally don’t think I do! Even when my high school boyfriend and first love dumped me for the cheerleading coach, my ‘revenge’ was eating a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and wallowing for a month.
I think based on my personality, I’m someone who adopts the Sinatra line of thinking! The best revenge you can have on someone is living well and loving hard. As often as I can, I practice forgiveness…even if that’s easier said than done sometimes!
Smithyman: Krispy Kremes sound like the best revenge ever! Thanks for the time and best of luck with Cherish!