The second issue of Brigantia, a historical fantasy/adventure comic project from writer Chris Mole and artist Melissa Trender, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, that you may want to check out on Kickstarter.
Seeking £6000 in crowdfunding, this independent British comic book series got off to a great start with its launch Issue last year. It’s a story centring on Brigantia, a pagan goddess from pre-Roman Britain who is thrust into the modern day by the machinations of her foe, Veteris – and must find a way to survive in a time that is not her own.
Brigantia #1 (now available online and on Comixology and Comichaus) was released in September 2017 at Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, and earned high praise. Comics journalist Michael Molcher described it as a story of our time, “about immigration, loyalty, hope, belonging, and the insipid spectre of nationalism,”, while Newsarama noted it was a “beautifully illustrated debut issue that offers considerable world-building,” and that Brigantia #1 was “worth checking out just for the mythology lesson.”
“Brigantia is a true hero for today’s Britain,” agreed Eisner Award-winning creator Hamish Steele, author of Deadendia. “steeped in history but with a genuine love and devotion to all people, she manages to be the relatable yet inspiring hero that few “mythology-based” superheroes succeed in being. A classic, emotive story with beautifully earthy and expressive artwork, issue #1 is the perfect first step into a world of countless possibilities.”
Brigantia #2, again scripted by Chris Mole, with art by Melissa Trender, lettered by Aditya Bidikar, continues Brigantia’s story. Although beginning to come to terms with life in our time after her defeat of Veteris, she still seeks a way to undo his treachery and return to the past.
Travelling to the north of England to search for the portal that brought her to the present, she meets Anna, an archaeologist working on a dig right above the cave that the portal was located. There, they accidentally unleash a greater threat – the terrifying ‘Ghost Dogs’, who have been summoned by Veteris to destroy Brigantia and spread terror across the British Isles.
If these sample pages are anything to go by, the project is going to continue to enthrall its many fans – and support is already coming in fast.
Chris Mole, co-creator of Brigantia, has been writing comics for a large chunk of his life, but only started making them properly in 2011. He’s worked with chap-hop superstar Professor Elemental on a series of anthology comics, as well as writing stories for a number of prestigious small press publications including Futurequake, Aces Weekly and the Psychedelic Journal.
Currently working as a freelance illustrator, Melissa Trender has a background in illustration and animation. She’s been involved in the indie comics/small press scene for several years, producing her own self published works as well as comic collaborations for various anthologies. In the past she has illustrated comics for Wheatus and Professor Elemental as well as being the artist on the first issue of Brigantia.
Aditya Bidikar is a comics letterer based in India. He currently works on Isola, Motor Crush and These Savage Shores, among others. He was also the author of Daily Fiction, a series of some 250 stories written from 2010 onwards you can find online here.
“In this issue, we’re really starting to dig into Brigantia’s psyche,” says Chris of the planned story, “trying to show that despite her divine powers, she struggles with a fear of failure like the rest of us.
“As with the last issue, we’ll be working with a pagan consultant to ensure that we’re staying true to the Goddess and grounding the story in real pagan myth.
“We’re really excited to have Aditya Bidikar on lettering duties – he’s produced some phenomenal work for publishers like Image, Black Crown and Vault Comics, and we’re confident that he’ll complement Mel’s artwork perfectly.”
“The art in issue #2 has changed a bit from issue #1,” notes Melissa. “The quality has improved dramatically, as I learnt so much while making the first issue.
“I’m going to be working in a slightly more fluid style, and the colours are going to be brighter (not just because we’ll be venturing away from my beautiful grey London!), but the core of good character expression and dynamic action will remain.
“I’m really excited to play with some horror elements as well, with the grotesqueness of the Ghost Dogs, and to have a new character to play with in Anna, whose wardrobe is slightly more varied than Brigantia’s Celtic furs or Pravin’s professorial chic.”
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.