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Saturday, September 30, 2023

A Dark Awakening: Briar Episode 1 Review

What if Sleeping Beauty's true challenge wasn't the curse but the world she woke up to? 'Briar' redefines the princess's journey, turning it into a fight for survival. Join us as we dissect everything in this gripping first issue.

In a world where traditional fairy tales often promise happy endings, what if Sleeping Beauty woke up to a world far removed from her dreams? Survival becomes her sole imperative as her once-promised happily ever after fades into obscurity. Welcome to "Briar," Episode 1 - a review of Boom Studios' thrilling comic series. Crafted by Christopher Cantwell and brought to life through the stunning cover and illustrations by German Garcia, this dark twist on a classic fantasy tale is bound to captivate readers.

Plot and Storytelling:

The narrative immediately engulfs the reader in its fantastical world, where we encounter Princess Briar Rose, relishing the luxuries that come with her royal status. However, a striking proclamation sets the tone: "I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THE NARRATOR OF MY FAIRYTALE HAS DIED." What follows is a tale of why and how she slept for over a century, blissfully unaware of the world evolving around her. Her prince charming, though, harbors motives other than true love, leaving her in a slumber while he and her father wage wars, exploit resources, and expand their kingdom. It's only a chance encounter with a grave robber and a fateful kiss that awakens her to a vastly transformed world, where survival becomes her ultimate quest.


In this inaugural issue, a myriad of characters graces the pages, albeit briefly, most of them visiting Princess Briar during her enchanted slumber. Her parents, seven fairy godmothers, and friends all make appearances, but as time passes, their visits dwindle. The prince, who initially seems like her savior, reveals a more sinister agenda – a reflection of his power-hungry nature. The narrative's first half is primarily centered around Briar until she crosses paths with slavers and encounters a formidable female warrior named Spider, who might just become her lifeline in this new world filled with monstrous challenges.

Artwork and Visuals:

The artwork, both on the cover and within the pages, is truly captivating. German Garcia's work shines brightly here, skillfully using color to convey the evolving perspectives of the characters. At the outset, the world is drenched in pink, reflecting how Briar views her surroundings through a rosy lens. However, as her familiar world crumbles, Garcia's meticulous attention to detail comes to the fore. Briar's disoriented and haunting appearance after her awakening, with her eyes seemingly drawn into her skeletal features, and the blood on her newfound weapon, are striking examples of how Garcia breathes life into the narrative through visuals.

Writing and Dialogue:

Christopher Cantwell's writing is equally commendable, seamlessly guiding readers into the story with a gripping opening line and engaging prose. Each character is endowed with a unique voice and personality, despite their often-brief appearances. While this first issue leans heavily on its artwork, Cantwell's storytelling prowess is undeniable, ensuring a well-rounded and immersive reading experience.

Themes and Symbolism:

"Briar" Episode 1 touches upon several themes and symbols that resonate differently with each reader. Perhaps it conveys the idea that there's no going back once a choice is made or serves as a warning against meddling with forces beyond our comprehension. It might also symbolize the idea that survival sometimes demands embracing the darker aspects of oneself, as indicated by the use of the giant rat's pelt for protection.


In conclusion, "Briar" Episode 1 marks a stellar beginning to a four-issue series that promises to be an enthralling journey. It undoubtedly deserves a spot in your comic collection. I would rate "Briar" an 8 out of 10, with my only minor quibble being the initial jarring pastel pink color scheme, which caused me to briefly question the comic's overall aesthetic. However, I eagerly anticipate the next issues in the series and encourage you to stay tuned for our upcoming reviews, as we delve deeper into the evolution of Briar's character and the unfolding narrative. It's a tale that promises to reveal a truly formidable and captivating heroine.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Breaking News: Scientists Confirm Existence of Isekai Gateways! Just Kidding...or Are We?

Hold on to your hats, folks, because we're about to unveil the secrets of successfully getting Isekai! But before you pack your bags for another world we must clarify: This blog may or may not contain actual gateways to fantastical realms. We recommend a pinch of salt and a hefty dose of humor as we embark on this whimsical journey to Isekai stardom.

1. Craft an Intriguing Backstory: Your journey to another world often begins with a unique backstory. Dive deep into your imagination and develop a history that sets you apart. Perhaps you've overcome personal hardships, possess an extraordinary talent, or harbor a mysterious secret. Ensure your backstory is captivating and relatable to readers, for a compelling backstory can be your passport to an isekai adventure. 

2. Embrace Strong Moral Values: In the realm of isekai, the moral character often plays a significant role. Exhibit kindness, empathy, and a strong sense of justice in your everyday life. These virtues can serve as guiding stars in unfamiliar territories and might attract the attention of isekai deities or mystical gateways.

3. Dive into Isekai Literature: Knowledge is power. Dive headfirst into the vast world of Isekai literature, encompassing novels, manga, and anime. By immersing yourself in these stories, you gain an understanding of different isekai worlds and become adept at recognizing potential entry points. Besides, it's an enjoyable way to prepare for your own adventure!

4. Acquire Practical Survival Skills: Remember, not all isekai worlds are as hospitable as your own. Equip yourself with practical skills such as wilderness survival, combat techniques, or first aid. These abilities can be the difference between life and death or may even garner respect from the denizens of your chosen isekai universe.

5. Master Multilingual Abilities: Language barriers often pose a formidable challenge in isekai scenarios. Take the time to learn multiple languages or hone your translation skills. The ability to communicate with various species, magical beings, or locals will not only facilitate your journey but also allow you to forge meaningful connections.

6. Cultivate Adaptability: Flexibility is your greatest ally in the world of isekai. Be prepared for the unexpected, embrace change, and adapt to new experiences and diverse cultures. Your capacity to adjust and learn rapidly will be indispensable in navigating the unpredictable landscapes of your new environment.

7. Define Your Purpose: Isekai protagonists typically have a clear mission or goal, whether it's saving the world, finding a way home, or simply exploring the unknown. Define your purpose early on and remain unwavering in your commitment. Your mission will be the driving force behind your isekai adventure.

8. Forge Lifelong Bonds: Building meaningful relationships is crucial in any world, including isekai realms. Cultivate friendships and alliances with other characters, be they humans, mythical creatures, or sentient objects. These allies can offer you support, guidance, and companionship throughout your extraordinary journey.

9. Keep a Meticulous Journal: Document your experiences, discoveries, and personal reflections meticulously in a journal. This not only helps you remember vital details but can also serve as a narrative tool within your isekai adventure. Your journal might even become a chronicle of your epic odyssey in your newfound world.

10. Practice Patience and Perseverance: Last but not least, patience is a virtue in the realm of isekai. The path to another world may not open immediately, and your adventure may unfold gradually. Stay patient, persistent, and hopeful. Keep in mind that the isekai gods work in mysterious ways, and your opportunity may come when you least expect it.

11. Must Possess Knowledge of Your Previous Life: A fundamental aspect of any isekai adventure is the retention of knowledge from your previous life. You must strive to accumulate diverse skills, facts, and experiences in your current world. This knowledge can be a game-changer, as it can help you solve problems, adapt quickly, and make informed decisions. Whether it's practical skills, academic expertise, or a deep understanding of the world's history and cultures, the more you know, the better prepared you'll be for the challenges and opportunities that await you in your new isekai dimension.

With these rules, you'll be even better equipped to navigate the intricacies of your chosen isekai world and thrive in your extraordinary adventure. Remember, every bit of knowledge from your previous life can be a valuable asset in shaping your destiny in the new realm.

Incorporating these guidelines into your life can enhance your chances of successfully stepping into the enchanting world of isekai, where endless adventures and thrilling experiences await. Prepare yourself, stay committed, and who knows what captivating realms may soon beckon you.

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