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Comichaus Meets: Chris Mole

Today we meet creator & writer, Chris Mole.

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Please introduce yourself and your team (if you have one).

My name is Chris Mole, and I’m the writer of Brigantia. Art for the first issue was done by Melissa Trender and the comic was lettered by Nikki Foxrobot; for the upcoming second issue, art will be by Melissa and Harriet Moulton, with Aditya Bidikar on letters.

What are some of the comics that inspired you to start creating your own? Any creators in particular?

My first exposure to comics was through Asterix and Tintin (still some of my favourite comics to read), but I didn’t consider making my own comics until years later. I’d gotten heavily into Japanese manga like Dragonball Z, Akira and Battle Royale during college, so creators like Akira Toriyama and Katsuhiro Otomo were partly responsible for me wanting to make my own stories.

I was later inspired by writers like Scott Snyder and Geoff Johns in the American comics scene - I devoured Snyder’s New 52 run on Batman and the whole of Johns’ late 2000s run on Green Lantern into the Blackest Night/Brightest Day events.

How much of your own personality goes into your character(s)?

I try to find an authentic voice for my characters - if I can hear them talking in my head and they have distinct voices, I know I’m on the right track. For Brigantia, the main characters reflect different facets of my personality - Pravin is the bookish, history-obsessed scholar who likes learning about ancient cultures and traditions, Anna (introduced in issue #2) is the person who likes to make people laugh and have a good time, and Brigantia reflects my tendency towards sincerity and earnestness.

That said, I try to give my characters motivations and challenges that make sense for them rather than drawing from my own life/personality - I’ve never had to cope with being a goddess who has her believers torn away from her, but it’s fun to imagine how I would cope in that situation!

Where did you draw your inspiration from?

The idea for Brigantia actually came from several places - the name ‘Brigantia’ was mentioned in a song by an underground metal band that I’m friendly with called Eibon la Furies, and it stuck with me. Some years later, I was trying to come up with a story idea for a ‘British superheroes’ comic book anthology and settled on the idea of doing a version of Wonder Woman who was based on specifically British mythology, folklore and history rather than ancient Greek.

The name ‘Brigantia’ popped back up in the back of my head, so I did some research and found out that Brigantia was the goddess of a tribe in pre-Roman tribes, and the story slotted together from there! That’s definitely my process when coming up with stories - I’ll derive inspiration from a number of different places (it can be a word, a sound, a feeling, etc) and try to find a new, interesting angle on the story from there.

What struggles have you faced with the creation of, and producing, the final release?

I’d say the biggest challenge was on Mel’s side with creating the artwork, and it’s one that I imagine affects a lot of indie comic creators - balancing the creation of comic pages with the need to maintain a day job. Speaking for myself, comics is something that I do as a “side hustle” - it’s not my full-time job, and I’m sure that for a lot of artists, it’s about trying to not get too exhausted at the day job which pays the bills so that they can draw in the evening. That can be a very stressful and draining experience and have a direct impact on the quality of the artwork, so it’s a tricky balancing act! Brigantia #1 was definitely a labour of love for both of us - something that we’ve made because we wanted to see it in the world, not because we expected it to be profitable.

What do fans need to know going into their first issue of your comic?

The first issue should give you a good idea of who Brigantia is and what she wants - she’s thrust into the modern day by the machinations of her foe Veteris and she wants to defeat him and return home. You don’t really need to be familiar with the history or the mythology - we’ve drawn from established folklore and myth (we actually brought in a pagan consultant, Limnaia Areia, to ensure that Brigantia was treated with respect since she’s a goddess that is still worshipped by a number of pagans today) but we’ve used that folklore and myth to tell a new story which is hopefully compelling.

What have you got coming up in the future? Are you working on more issues?

Brigantia #2 is almost ready to go - Harriet Moulton, who’s taken over from Mel on art duties, has finished her pages and is just doing some final tweaks to the art before the pages go to Aditya Bidikar for lettering. We’ll be running a small Kickstarter campaign for that in due course, to raise money for the printing costs.

I’m also working on a couple of other projects - one of those, called The Black Rubric, is currently on Kickstarter. It’s a very different proposition - a one-shot, black and white comic about a black metal band who accidentally rip open the gates of Hell by writing a song that’s too Satanic! It’s a lighthearted, comedic look at a very arcane and often insular musical subculture which is informed by my own love for ridiculous, over-the-top black metal. Katie Fleming is the artist on that, with Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou on letters, a cover by Benjamin A.E. Filby, a pin-up by Katie Sawatsky and additional design work by Joe Stone. You can check out the Kickstarter here (we made our funding target in 2 days, so we’re aiming for stretch goals now)


You can read Chris' Brigantia over on the Comichaus App now, or purchase a print copy from the Comichaus Marketplace by clicking on the cover image below.

G-Man

Brigantia 2017 - Ongoing #1

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