What says success in the world of comic art? Fan adoration? A busy project schedule? Or perhaps it is the respect of your peers? Probably all of the above. But when you are chosen by Mike Mignola and accomplished writer Christopher Golden to bring their creation to life, you must have something going for you. That IS the situation for comic artist Bridgit Connell, who was chosen to bring Mignola and Golden’s Lady Baltimore: The Witch Queens to life for Dark Horse Comics. Sounds like someone we need to get to know better, so let’s welcome Artist Bridgit Connell to GVN’s Talking Comics Interview.

The Story Pitch

GVN: Thanks for giving some of your time, Bridgit. So when were you first approached about working on Lady Baltimore who pitched the story to you? What made you decide to take it on?

BC: I first received an email from Katii O’Brien, who not only told me about the title––which I guessed meant Sofia, so I was excited––but the team putting it together. I’m a big fan of Baltimore and Mignola in general, so it was an immediate yes!
GVN: I have talked to numerous artists and how they prefer to work. Whether it be writer outline or full script. Do you have a preferred workflow and how did you, Christopher and Mike decide to proceed?
BC: Definitely full script. The outlines give me the go-ahead on what characters and monsters I need to be creating in the meantime, but Chris and Mike have a well-defined idea of what they want. Especially Chris, in regards to setting the scene and character development. Those are the story-centric things that he writes so beautifully, and I would rather not just wing it. I definitely want to match the art to their vision.

Working with Chris Golden and Mike Mignola

GVNSpeaking of Mike, you got to work with the great talent that is Mike Mignola on this project. Was that intimidating at all and how did that collaboration go?
BC: I’m a little nervous to answer this question, if that answers the question! Hah! I will say that with my excitement about the project came with the looming responsibility of not messing it up. Mike has always been really cool. But I was preparing myself for the notion, understandably, that a lot of my ideas would be changed or shot down. Or would at least would take time to match what he and Chris wanted.  Just because I barely have a fraction of experience compared to what they’ve done and are doing in the industry.
But I can honestly say, Mike and Chris have been so gracious in listening to ideas I may have or designs I come up with. They have given me room to approach this story in my own way.
I work the closest with Mike on the monster designs. There was one monster in particular that took a few more stages than usual to figure out, but Mike was so patient in explaining what makes things work and what doesn’t. Once we got around to the final design, too, it just made so much sense. Very much an “Oh, THAT’S the one!” moment. It’s been a fantastic learning experience, and I am still so grateful for the opportunity to play around in the Mignolaverse.

Designing in the Mignolaverse

GVN: This story includes a large selection of unique and frightening witches and creatures, not to mention Lady Baltimore herself. From the previews I have seen, you did a fantastic job. How much work goes in to deciding what a particular character looks like and do you embrace that part of the process?

BC: Thank you so much! I LOVED designing these ladies! With Sofia it was a lot of fun taking Peter Bergting’s designs [from the Baltimore series] and interpreting them in the style I use. Not only how she looks, but her attitude as well.
Imogen is a new lady on the scene and I’m very excited for you all to see her in action. She’s a bit more stylish of a character, so a lot of her design was looking through more fashionable styles of the 1930s and 1940s.
A lot of the witches I’m drawing are dressed in a way balanced between styles of the era and just straight-up rags. Some are crazier than others. When Chris told me about their hierarchy, I came up with some individual covens that have a bit more extreme themes that they lean toward. For instance, bone witches incorporate pieces of antler, fur, and bones into their accessories, and drowned witches always look wet because their powers are water-based. Things like that give me a little more Crazy to pull from.

Dealing with the Pandemic

GVNI asked Christopher this question so to be fair, I’m asking you too. Lady Baltimore has been a long time in coming due to the pandemic. Did you sometimes wonder if this day would ever come and what have you learned about yourself during this time?
BC: Quarantine days move at such a strange pace…. On one hand I’ve been waiting for what feels like forever, and on the other hand I can’t believe it’s here already! I’d say, one thing I’ve learned about myself is that I have NO idea what to do with myself when I’m not drawing something! Also, I miss people…so, so much.
GVN: I know what you mean about people. I do miss the Comic Cons and all the creators. But when it come to Lady Baltimore, from what I’ve seen it was worth the wait. Congratulations on a job well done. We want to thank you again for your time, Bridgit. Before we go, do you have any new projects upcoming that you are free to talk about?
BC: Not at the moment, but thanks for asking!
Dark Horse Comics Lady Baltimore: The Witch Queens Issue#1 is now available where great comics are sold. Also, look for our interview with writer Christopher Golden about his work on Lady Baltimore, here at Geek Vibes Nation.
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