Review: BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1

BRAVE CHEF BRIANNA #1
Written by Sam Sykes
Art by Selina Espiritu and Sarah Stern
Published by Kaboom!
Release Date: March 1, 2017

*SPOILER WARNING*

“I am making a challenge. Go into the world. Start your own restaurants. Become great successes! My cooking empire, our family legacy—the winner inherits it all. And the winner is whoever’s restaurant is most successful…when I’m gone”. Brave Chef Brianna starts with an impeding death and an epic competition to see who among Brianna’s sibling’s can succeed on their own merit and take over they’re father’s cooking empire!

Sykes has created a world I’m already in love with. It’s a phantasmagorical land of grand cooking empires, of a monstrous creatures, and delicious food. I love Brianna. I love her promising skills only held back due to her own inner conflicts with anxiety. I am a giant fan of Suzan. She seems fun and blunt, someone who can turn into a jerk with a heart of gold. The whole world, with only this glimpse of it in this issue, enthralls me and I can’t wait to read more about it!

Espiritu’s art is adorable. I love the attention to detail Espiritu places in the character design of each monster. I love the changes in wardrobe and the intricate details like the tie tucked into Kevin Park’s shirt pocket or the anchor and wavy collar on Brianna’s sweater. Even the background has well placed items, like the painting of the monster chef in Brianna’s restaurant or the “GIANTS RULE!!” signs on the top of the Gym in the “Monster City” splash page.

Stern’s coloring creates a both playful yet menacing atmosphere to the comic. I love how she aids in creating a three dimensional space with the use of colors, making characters closer to the reader with more solid colors while fading them as they grow distant. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen someone do that for a comic and I think that’s really cool.

The lettering by Jim Campbell is magnificent. I love the banners for the “Monster City” splash page. I love how dark and sinister the anxiety manifestation bubbles are. You can tell that Campbell put effort into how he lettered this comic and I appreciate that.

The scene that really took my breath away is the page in which Brianna sees the location of her restaurant for the first time. She stares up at the covered windows of a semi-trashed building, insignificantly tiny compared to the behemoth of a structure before her.

“Hey.”

Down from the dusty, smoggy heavens comes a bird-woman in mid flight, settling down towards the earth. She has the legs and wings of a crow. Her raven hair flanks her, floating as she lands. Her face is standoff-ish, uninterested, looking down at this human with almost an understanding that her confidence trumps Brianna’s timidity.

“You Brianna?”

That was when I knew this was going to be a special comic. I highly recommend checking Brave Chef Brianna out.

The Verdict: 10/10

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