I finally got some ideas to what Matilda Crowley would look like in her Baby Bat Goth Garb a while back. And I this weekend I finally decided to sketch up some concept art.
Since Spellbound takes place in 1989, I couldn’t use Tia Mowry or Persia White as influences for Matilda’s design like I did in 2015’s Spinsterella. With the story set in the late 1980s, I had to draw inspiration from 1980s sources. So the Matilda Crowley from Spellbound is inspired by Lydia Deetz from Beetlejuice, Typhoid Mary from Marvel’s Daredevil comics, and Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show. The outfit I saw Mattie wearing in my head was a mix of 1980s-1990s, Trad Goth Style, superhero costume, and girl next door. As Matilda puts it in a chapter of Spellound, Contemporary Grace, Victorian Lace with a Lydia Deetz thrown in.
After watching thousands of Goth YouTube Videos over the last two years, I finally got a sense of what Goth fashion was like. While most Goths wear a lot of black, they mix up textures and the shades to make their outfits stand out. In my concept art for Matilda’s outfit I mix up textures as well to make up my interpretation of a Black Widow. The tall granny boots, fishnet tights, a patent leather belt and sheer material in the upper bodice of Mattie’s dress all break up the Black and draw the viewer’s eyes up to her face and the wide brim hat she wears. I couldn’t draw the Victorian veil she wears, but I wanted the design to create an ominous and dark presence. The Baby Bat version of Mad Matilda isn’t someone you wouldn’t want to mess with in the streets of crime-ridden New York!
I wanted to design something a kid would put together from stuff she found in a Thrift store back in 1989. During my jaunts to Forbidden Planet on 14th Street back then, I used to see a lot of vintage and used clothing stores with lots of cool stuff in them from different eras. The way I figure it a teenager like Matilda who was starting out in the Goth Subculture would put together an outfit like this from the stuff she bought there.
In the concept art with the trench coat I got inspired by the WWE superstar The Undertaker. There’s a scene in Spellbound inspired by The Undertaker’s entrance and I heard it playing in my head as Matilda came down the stairs. While I explore a lot of dark themes in Spellbound, the book is VERY family friendly. I did my best to keep this book PG-13 so parents and kids who were interested in exploring the Goth Subculture could learn what it’s all about.
FUN FACT: The Title Spellbound is actually inspired by the Siouxsie and the Banshees song Spellbound from their 1981 album Juju. After hearing the song and finally understanding what it meant I got inspired to write a story about Matilda’s early days in the Goth Subculture, and what led to her becoming a part of it.
I’m headed to the finish line on editing. Spellbound will be available on Halloween in Paperback and E-Readers everywhere!