Belladonna Meets All Her Stretch Goals With One Day To Go


It has fulfilled its Kickstarter goal by over five times and met all its stretch goals. On its last day for the relaunch funding for Belladonna #0, now a 64 page volume, a few questions and answers with writer Mike Costa….

Bleeding Cool: What do you find most interesting about Belladonna?

Mike Costa: Aside from the character of Belladonna herself, definitely the most interesting thing for me is the world in which her story takes place. The Early Middle Ages in the British Isles were an incredibly tumultuous and bizarre time period.

Here you have a real-world era where there are war-clans and brigands living amidst the ruins of a great and powerful empire that has passed away. Civilization is just beginning to reconstitute itself after centuries of darkness (the chivalric code is on its way to being developed, and warlords are slowly consolidating into feudal states) and everywhere are the bones of impossible structures, built by men who lived literally a thousand years before and yet had mastery of crafts and sciences far, far beyond the reckoning of the people living there now.

You'll probably recognize that setting from basically any major fantasy series, but it was the actual state of the world in late 9th Century Britain – this is the time and place that all those books are reflecting upon. So adding supernatural elements to it feels perfectly natural – it's basically a supernatural world already.

BC: Which part of the story was the most fun writing?

MC: Well, there are few things more fun than staging major battle scenes with mêlée weapons. Warfare was particularly brutal between the Picts and the Vikings – not only were they some of the last peoples to live with a truly un-sanitized version of total war, they actually considered unrestrained violence a virtue. There's a lot of moral ambiguity to writing violence in a modern setting, or even taking it a few hundred years back. There's an uncomfortable tension it has with its position in a "civilized" society that has to be reconciled. But with this book, as with GOD IS DEAD, I don't feel bad having fun with it. The characters themselves are all having fun, everybody knows the score.

But really the most fun thing is seeing what Ignacio does with these pages when they get turned in. Anything I think I can stage in the script, he stages ten times better on the page. It's almost like having a genie bless my pages: "hey, make this look awesome." And then he just does it.

BC: When we crack open the first issue, what can we expect from Belladonna?

MC: Awesome Viking violence. Pagan Earth magic. Castrated minotaurs. Beautiful warrior princesses hacking apart their enemies in a berserker blood-fury. All the standard stuff, really.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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