Brigantia by Chris Mole, Melissa Trender, Nikki Foxrobot
As a new kickstarter has been announced for issue 2 of Brigantia, I thought it would be timely to talk about Brigantia issue 1 – Stranger in a Strange Land which I picked up last year.
A flame-haired Celt gets in a fight and ends up wandering in a confused fashion outside of Embankment tube in London. I think many Scots could identify with that. Brigantia is not a Scot however. She is a goddess, the goddess of the Brigantes tribe of Iron Age Britons who dwelt in the north-west of what is now England.
The Brigantes rely on their sacrifices to Brigantia to bring the harvest. But winter, embodied in Veteris the brother of Brigantia, will not leave as planned. Like winter and summer; Brigantia and Veteris are aspects of the same cycle. When Veteris breaks the cycle then death threatens everyone. Veteris has seen the future and what humanity will mean for the planet.
I have seen what these humans will do to our beloved earth mother. Her rivers will be choked, her forests razed, her skies poisoned!
Brigantia was also known as Brigid to the Irish and became the Christian Saint Bride. So, she has never really left us, but now she returns in a more literal fashion. Brigantia follows Veteris on a one way trip to modern day London to conclude their struggle.
Brigantia covers some familiar ground in looking at a deity or mythical figure who finds themselves in modern times taking on a heroic role. Thor and Wonder Woman would be the best known examples. Alan Moore did an amazing take on this with Promethea. Writer Chris Mole has rooted Brigantia more firmly in these islands and I do admire a comic which has a pagan consultant – the fantastically named Limnaia Areia.
Melissa Trender’s art is stunning. I love the character design for Brigantia whose physical presence is powerful and uncompromising. The use of light and colour is very effective as action moves from caverns to brightly lit London streets. The earthy tones of Iron Age Britain with their palette of green and brown contrast with the vibrant purples and vivid greens as the gods clash.
The lettering from Nikki Foxrobot (those names…) is similarly impressive and I especially liked the cold dark speech of Veteris.
Issue one was an attractive and beautifully presented comic which hints at a lot more to come. So if you want to see issue two then back the kickstarter today.