Spice Things Up
If I’m being honest here, I picked up “Brave Chef Brianna” for a few reasons. The first being that I enjoy the author, Sam Sykes’, work. The second being that I share the name of the titular character. If I’m being completely honest, the name is what sold me on the comic completely. “Brave Chef Brianna” is a four part series that takes place in a world similar to ours, but not identical. Brianna (per Sykes it is pronounced “Bree-AW-nah. Like ‘aw yeah’ or ‘awesome’”) is the daughter of a world renowned chef. Her skills are put to the test when she has to compete against her many brothers in order to rule her father’s empire when he passes. The quest? Each sibling must create and sustain a restaurant in a different city; the one who is the most successful wins the empire.
A Monster Appetite
Brianna sets off to Monster City to attempt to create her own flourishing business. Her landlord sends his niece, Suzan, to be her first employee. Suzan is lethargic, but as the series progresses she and Brianna become closer and Suzan actually turns into a hard worker, and a decent cook! Throughout the series Brianna is plagued with anxiety and Sykes does a great job allowing her to explore those feelings. Selina Espiritu illustrates Brianna’s anxiety beautifully by having black clouds form around her, with negative words swirling around it makes the panel feel as though it is closing in on her. A great little addition to each issue is a recipe at the back of the book. Whatever the recipe for that issue was is also mentioned somewhere throughout the book so they have a fun “Where’s Waldo” thing going on.
Each installment builds upon Brianna’s relationships with those around her. The bonds she’s forming in Monster City aren’t like anything she’s experienced before. It’s worrisome, however, because one of the laws in Monster City is that the monsters cannot consume meat, sugar, or flour of any kind. Brianna’s Restaurant uses all three and it becomes a point of contention for our character. Issue four, and the final issue comes out on June 7th and I know I can’t wait to see what’s next on the menu for Brianna!