RICH INTERVIEWS: Bre Indigo Penciler: for Meg, Jo, Beth, & Amy: Little Women
First Comics News: How does your art update Little Women?
Bre Indigo: The undertaking of a 150-Year old story like Little Women was certainly a challenge, and we approached it with both older and new fans in mind. The way in which readers will be able to access the content is new to some. There’s also the simple fact that some of the character’s surface traits have been changed to allow for some readers to relate in ways they might not have been able to before.
1st: What do you hope to accomplish with your art in “Meg, Jo, Beth, & Amy: Little Women”
Bre: Well, I hope that it can reach individuals I might not have been able to connect with before. I always want to encourage people to be creative. I feel like not enough people take art seriously enough as a path in life. I hope that anyone out there that is feeling a spark of creativity somehow finds their own way to cultivate it into something wonderful! I hope that young people will relate to the characters in Little Women and – just like with the original – find ways to cope and triumph over their own roadblocks!
1st: What makes each character stand out on their own?
Bre: Each of the girls really grow in their own ways, and I loved reading the manuscript because I felt myself growing closer and closer with them with every chapter. Other than their different personalities and ways they choose to express themselves, the ways that they each choose to face conflict shows their individuality. The girls prove that there are always multiple solutions to a single problem and sometimes you can help one another, utilizing your individual strengths, to overcome it more easily, together.
1st: How do you manage to bring such emotion to the characters you draw?
Bre: I don’t really know how to explain it. I find it really easy to empathize with people and characters… Sometimes I have to take a moment or two to really put myself in their shoes, and other times I need to take a breath and let the emotions they’re facing pass. There’s also this thing that illustrators do when we’re drawing characters, we “mimic the expressions”. So it safe to say, when we’re drawing in public or with company over, we concern a lot of people.
1st: Do you have a favorite character in “Meg, Jo, Beth, & Amy: Little Women”?
Bre: It’s so so hard to pick! It’s like choosing my favorite sibling or friend. I feel like I could hang out with Jo on a daily basis, enjoy one another’s silent company. Meg would be a ton of fun to hang out with in small spurts. I feel like Beth would really wow me but we probably wouldn’t have much to relate about, I’d just protect her with all of my might! Amy… might be my favorite… she reminds me a lot of my sister – totally unashamed and always comfortable in being herself – I’d just wanna be ‘extra’ all the time with her. Laurie is such a good bean, so there is no contest. But Mrs. March is so strong and amazing, she deserves some attention here too!
1st: Why should someone who has never heard of Little Women pick this up?
Bre: Well, seeing as I was one of those people, this project was the reason I became more interested in the story. I think everyone should really give a version or two of Little Women a go because even if the genre isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, the themes are important because they’re so broad and nearly universal…to Earthlings. Rey did a wonderful job writing this version and I really hope that readers think so too!
1st: What genre do you prefer to work on?
Bre: I really love to think about sci-fi, but I’m the kind of person that will get lost in countless ‘what-if’s, and sci-fi leaves far too many unknown elements for me to really gather any real material to work with. Do I wanna go full on hard sci-fi? Do I wanna make this a story about the growth of the protag or something completely off the rails? Am I making this experience too human-centric or is it too far off that no one will relate??? I could probably build an entire universe full of life, but with no protagonist ahah! I almost escape a little too much, so much that it’s hard to come back to Earth at times! But, maybe with a little more practice and experience, I can figure it out. For now, I’ve been working on coming-of-age because, while humans are extremely complex, it’s familiar! I remember adolescence as such a hard time in my life to get through. So much is changing for the first time and we’ve never really experienced it before, and it’s depending on the people around you it can be a nightmare or a field trip. So when there are stories that provide a type of escapism where you can also find some answers, I think that’s really important.
1st: Which character has been your all time favorite to draw?
Bre: Again, that’s so hard to decide. I loved drawing all of their hair: The shapes in Jo’s, the variety for Meg and the wildness of Amy’s. After thinking for a little, I think Meg was the most fun, especially because I rarely get to draw pretty people in pretty dresses!
1st: How is “Jamie” doing and who would enjoy reading it?
Bre: Oh wow! I wasn’t expecting a question about Jamie. Thanks for asking! I’ve been on hiatus for a few months now, reworking the plot for the first few chapters of the story for continuity sake. I originally wrote those chapters with no experience and barely an outline to work from. It was a mess, but people loved it so that’s all that matters! I wanna send it to print one day so because I’m a bit of a perfectionist (even if I’m not perfect) I wanna make sure it’s something I am personally proud of. I’ll be honest, I’m still in shock “Jamie” is doing as well as it is, and that it’s reached so many beautiful people. I don’t think that the people that enjoy “Jamie” fall under a specific category… maybe there are a lot of hopeless romantics – like Jamie himself, but I’ve spoken with so many individuals who I wouldn’t have expected to give “Jamie” the light of day. So, I’m hoping that anyone who decides to give it a skim enjoys it, and if they don’t – well that’s okay too! Since it’s my first independent project, I’m just hoping I can finish it and do a good job for the readers.
1st: Have you read or seen the book and movie of “Little Women” if so what did you think?
Bre: I’ll be honest, I don’t really read for leisure and Little Women wasn’t a book that my schools forced on us. I did watch the movie with Winona Ryder and I couldn’t care much for the aesthetics of the mid-19th century but the overall tone, and relationship the family had was so timeless it was hard not to love. I’ll definitely be picking up an audio book soon now that I have time to enjoy it and comparing even further!
1st: Why do you have a Patreon account?
Bre: Well, to be blunt… I’m a broke artist! I didn’t mind giving a little more to earn patrons and needed some sort of income that would allow me to work on “Jamie” and put myself out there for work (like Little Women!) I was privileged enough to earn dedicated readers that were capable and generous enough to take a chance on me, and support financially. To be honest, Patrons have made my growth much more possible. Here’s a shout-out to you beautiful beans!
1st: What do you have planned next in your career?
Bre: Oh gosh, I try not to think too far ahead cause I know I’ll become frozen in anticipation and worried about the future. Besides, things can change so suddenly! So, I’d really just like to complete “Jamie”. I want to continue to build up a relationship with other artists, collaborate and maybe attend a convention, host a table…meet some readers! Maybe I can start a shorter comic too, but other than that…. we’ll just see! This is all so new so I’m still kind of stunned, haha.
1st: What about outer space do you love?
Bre: What’s not to love? Even the cold emptiness is awesome. Honestly, I find a strange comfort in looking up at the night sky, a pull to the inky blackness. Thinking about the direction humanity is going gets me excited and I hope I live to see the next huge step we take. Speaking of which, I’m totally going to blow my entire life savings on a 1-hour trip in a sub-orbital rocket, I’ll do like 300 back-flips, you can’t stop me. But, seriously… there is so much out there that we still don’t understand and so much that we thought impossible that has always existed! Even if it is a little bittersweet – knowing that it’s nearly impossible that we’ll ever see even a tiny percent of it in person, I can dream. I absolutely suck at math but if I could have been anything else, I think being an astronomer of some kind would have been a cool job.
1st: Any final words for the fans of your art?
Bre: Well, first off thank you for the questions! To those that enjoy my work, I’m so humbled by your support, thank you so much! I’m so proud of the “Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy” team! I’m so thankful for their hard work, and for the opportunity to work with them. I hope that I can give back to aspiring artists in the future, that we can continue to make this journey together!