Chris Mole writes,
“I am Brigantia. Goddess of the Brigantes. Scholar, teacher, warrior.”
These were the first words that popped into my head when I sat down to begin work on the script for ‘Brigantia’ – a new series about a Pagan goddess from Celtic Britain, who is thrust forwards in time and lands in the present day where she has to cope with no longer being worshipped and find a way back to her own time. They act as a pretty solid statement of what she’s about – Brigantia isn’t just a warrior goddess (although she can throw down with the best of them), she’s so much more than that.
I’ve been working on ‘Brigantia’ for three years now – she was originally devised as the main character for a short story in a comics anthology about British superheroes, but that project fell through and I decided to build on the original 10-page story and craft something much greater. I recruited a great artist, Melissa Trender (who I’ve worked with before on several short comic stories) and we both started fleshing out Brigantia and her world.
I wanted to create a character who could inspire and excite, with the same kind of superhero powers as a Superman or a Wonder Woman, but based entirely in British history and folklore. Brigantia is the result of that; she’s based on a real goddess who was worshipped by a Celtic tribe called the Brigantes, and we’ve drawn on a lot of historical research and pagan sources to create a character that feels true to life. Melissa and myself also wanted to emphasise a positive kind of British patriotism with Brigantia – we wanted her to represent the things that we’re proud of about Britain, such as how multicultural and inclusive we are and the way that modern Britain is a melting pot of different cultures. Considering the current state of British politics, Brigantia seems like the heroine we need right now!
For Brigantia herself, the design is based on what we know about her from historical sources, with a heavy dose of creative licence thrown in – she’s often called the Enlightened One and associated with fire, so we gave her a flaming red mane (also a reference to the warrior queen Boudicea) and a torc decorated with small golden flames. Her weapons (the spear and the globe) are based on those carried by Britannia, the personification of the island (who can be seen on some of our coins!) and her powers are fuelled by the belief of those who worship her – in her own time, she was worshipped by a huge tribe and her powers were almost limitless, but in the modern era she has far fewer believers and her powers are therefore much less impressive.
We’re both very excited about the possibility of bringing Brigantia to life through Kickstarter; we’ve been working on this project for a few years, and have really fleshed out the world which Brigantia and the other characters inhabit. Kickstarter seems like a perfect fit for this project because neither of us are hugely established creators (we’ve both been working in the small press domain for a few years, and have had some higher profile projects, but we’re not at the same sort of level as some creators who use Kickstarter!), and a platform like Kickstarter allows us to reach out to people who are fans of the work we have put out as well as new potential fans for their support. We’re very hopeful that we can exceed our target so that we can not only produce the first issue, but also keep telling Brigantia’s story and reveal more about that world – more gods, more goddesses and a lot more fantastic/divine/superheroic action! We have some really exciting stuff queued up as the story progresses through the first six-issue arc, and we’d love a successful campaign to really kickstart (pun intended) the story and give us the momentum to do more.
We still have a long way to go to get Brigantia funded on Kickstarter and not a lot of days left, so we hope that all of you Bleeding Cool readers will join us – as a special, Bleeding Cool-exclusive offer, we’ll include the perks from the ‘Card Shark’ pledge level (3 exclusive character cards featuring designs and bios for the main characters) for anybody who pledges at the Supporter (£5) or Producer (£15) levels! Just enter the code ‘BRIGCOOL’ in the Messages section when you enter your pledge to get involved. There are only 19 days left on the campaign, so get your pledge in now if you’re interested!