Cruella De Vil. From her very name to her hateful screech and sneering countenance, we know from the jump that she’s a nasty force to be reckoned with. The villain with a perverse desire to turn puppies into a fashion accessory made her first appearance in the novel The Hundred and One Dalmatians, but is most famous for the Disney film One Hundred and One Dalmatians, which adapts that book for the big screen. From that debut cartoon to other animated films and live-action turns from actors Glenn Close and Emma Stone, audiences are fascinated with Cruella because we love watching someone so deliciously bad chew up the scenery with relish. And more than that, we want to know why someone like Cruella is who she is. What makes her so mesmerizingly evil?

That question and others are explored in the comic Disney Villains: Cruella De Vil from Dynamite Entertainment. In Cruella De Vil, writer Sweeney Boo, artist Miriana Puglia, colorist Ellie Wright, and letterer Jeff Eckleberry follow the fashion icon’s fall from grace following the events of One Hundred and One Dalmatians and how that impacts her standing in high society and with the canines populating London. Will Cruella learn from her wicked ways? Or will she double down on her deviousness?

Sweeney Boo spoke with us recently about these questions in Disney Villains: Cruella De Vil, the fun of delving into the character, what makes Cruella tick, and why we are so fascinated by villains and their natures.

Disney Villains: Cruella De Vil is a treat of a comic, especially for everyone who secretly loves the idea of rooting for the bad guy. Fans of Cruella, Disney, vile villains, or all of the above need to pick up this book. It’d be a crime not to!


DISNEY VILLAINS: CRUELLA DE VIL #5 cover by Scott Forbes


FreakSugar: Before we get into the comic, what is your personal history with Cruella?

Sweeney Boo: She left a big impression on me after I saw One Hundred and One Dalmatians as a kid, I thought she was terrifying, I think we all did. She was unapologetically evil. Every other iteration of her character after that has been more and more fascinating. There’s something utterly gripping about a good villain, it’s the what and why that made them who they are.

FS: I hope that everyone reading this knows who Cruella De Vil is, but for those who don’t, what can you tell us about the character?

SB: She is a self-involved, very unstable waspy woman. She belongs to British high society, appearances, being rich and obviously fashion are everything to her. But I think people know her the most for being a wannabe puppy murderer.


DISNEY VILLAINS: CRUELLA DE VIL #5 cover by Gretel Lusky


FS: Where do we find Cruella in your Dynamite series?

SB: It’s right after the One Hundred and One Dalmatians animated movie. The dognapping of the Darling’s puppies has been all over the tabloids, so has been Cruella’s name. She’s been exonerated, but she has a reputation with the high society to regain. Except that the puppies in London are not ready to forget what she’s done.

FS: What is your take on Cruella? More of the Disney cartoon? The Emma Stone or Glenn Close interpretations? A combination? None of the above? (All of the questions!)

SB: They’re all so interesting, it’s hard to choose! They’re all extravagant, fabulous and utterly terrifying in their own way!


DISNEY VILLAINS: CRUELLA DE VIL #5 action figure cover by Miriana Puglia


FS: Cruella often gets a bad rap, being a Disney villain. What is something you’ve learned to appreciate her in the course of writing the series?

SB: Trying to understand where Cruella comes from, what sets her off, what makes her so cold blooded and what causes her to behave so horribly and cold blooded. It was all a very interesting endeavour, but the opportunity for humour was all I could see. Her mood can turn a dime so easily that putting her in situations that would just make her go wild was the most fun.

FS: The book is gorgeous and has just the right tone. What has the collaboration with the creative team been like?

SB: I feel so incredibly lucky! Miriana [Puglia]’s pages and interpretation of each character has been a real delight to see. Along with Ellie [Wright]’s beautiful colours we have the perfect tone for this story! It’s been a really smooth and great collaboration!

FS: What are you reading right now?

SB: I’m currently reading #DRCL midnight children by Shin-ichi Sakamoto which I am taking my time with. Because every panel is a full illustration, it’s impossibly gorgeous!




FS: Are there any other projects that you have coming down the pike you’d like to discuss?

SB: Nothing that I can talk about right now, but fun stuff is coming!

FS: Is there anything you can tease for what’s next for Cruella?

SB: She’s going to make some mistakes, maybe even learn from them? One can hope!

FS: If you had one final pitch for Cruella, what would it be?

SB: “How far would Cruella go, if she had nothing to lose?”

Disney Villains: Cruella De Vil #4 debuts next Wednesday, May 29, 2024, from Dynamite Entertainment. Issue #5 debuts on July 3.

From the official issue description of issue #5:

The dazzling denouement of Operation Crown Jewels unfolds here! Does Cruella succeed in her mad plan to steal England’s most famous baubles? Can professional jewel thief Emily Bezzler be trusted? Will the De Vil name ever be uttered in high society again? All will be revealed in Disney Villains: Cruella De Vil #5!

Author SWEENEY BOO and artist MIRIANA PUGLIA close out their season’s collection with this custom-tailored issue – featuring bespoke covers by BOO, SCOTT FORBES, and GRETEL LUSKY!