Brigantia issue 2
Chris Mole, Harriet Moulton, Melissa Trender, Aditya Bidikar, Limnaia Areia
In the far off world of the end of 2018 I reviewed Brigantia issue 1. The Brigantia team had hoped at that time to produce issue 2 via Kickstarter but unfortunately did not meet their ambitious target. This time they are setting a more attainable target and I’d be very surprised if they did not reach it with ease.
Brigantia is the story of the eponymous pagan goddess of Iron Age Britain. Brigantia as a goddess who protects the harvest is in eternal conflict with Veteris, god of Winter. Birth and death, light and darkness. The seasons should turn for eternity bringing with them the promise of rebirth, of resurrection. But Veteris has a plan to break the cycle. His plans see Brigantia stranded in present day Britain.
The new issue follows Brigantia as she comes to terms with her new home and strives to restore the balance of time and the seasons. Brigantia may be a goddess but she is also lost and forgotten. She has to come to terms with a new world, a world that often seems cold and alien.
One theme of this book is faith and belief. Brigantia is weakened and cannot return home because she is now in a land where she is not worshipped. She is all but forgotten and without the faith of others she lacks strength. Faith is not represented as something others will do for us but as self-belief, organisation and resistance. When Brigantia pulls the classic superhero move of interrupting a mugging, she urges the victim to fight, and then she can help them.
These themes can be seen as reflections on how to resist the dark, cold wintry tendrils of racism and fascism that press upon our societies, the same icy fate that Veteris works for. This comic challenges those who would like to co-opt ‘celtic’ history and mythology for ethno-nationalist ends and instead illustrates how a goddess like Brigantia can represent progress and bring strength to those too often perceived as weak.
Fight daughter, you will have my aidBrigantia
There are two artists for the second issue of Brigantia – Harriet Moulton and Melissa Trender. Fortunately the styles of the two artists complement each other. Brigantia remains a true goddess – a physically imposing character. The essence of the character remains intact with both artists.
I particularly enjoyed Harriet Moulton’s illustration of a scene in which archaeologist Anna and Brigantia fight to escape from a cave that is guarded by dark magic. The panels convey both a sense of claustrophobia and the dynamism of their fight to escape, with a characteristically grim and determined look on Brigantia’s face.
Chris Mole has succeeded again in writing an entertaining and thoughtful comic in this issue of Brigantia. It also retains a high level of professionalism with Aditya Bidikar’s lettering complementing the artwork whether in the cold, dark speech of Veteris or in Brigantia’s determined battles. We also see the return of wonderfully named pagan consultant Limnaia Areia.
So, if you want to stand against the encroaching darkness, hold your head high, link arms with your friends, feel the earth run through your fingers and maybe pick up a copy of Brigantia.
Brigantia issue 2 will be launched via Kickstarter on July 28th 2020. For more details see https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismole/brigantia-issue-2-the-comic
See more of Melissa Trender’s art on her website.