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!
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
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
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
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.
BC: Not at the moment, but thanks for asking!
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 17 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.