“Fantasy/Adventure/Romance comic about two friends who accidentally open a portal to another world – only to discover it was all part of someone else’s twisted plan.”
Burning Bright by ErithEl, is one of those comics that pleasantly surprises you. It is a great story with a strong plot and plenty of character development. I found the plot enjoyable for the most part, but it wasn’t until chapter’s 3-5 when I really got attached to the characters, and cared about what they did and what happened to them. That is probably a pretty late response for this comic, since it is filled with scenes that grab your attention straight from chapter one.
In general terms, the plot has been done before -but which plot hasn’t? ErithEl makes it unique by introducing a new world with an opportunity for exaggerated character designs. One thing that I find odd is how Earthly the other world feels. I would have liked to see the designs even more out there and less human. If you are in another world or dimension, try to make it stand out -other than just giving animal features to humans. As well, I understand that someone important would be a sphinx (as tend to represent power and regality), but I don’t understand why Greek and/or Egyptian mythology would be in an entirely different world. It would have been interesting to see a different animal/human combination that wasn’t used in earth’s mythologies. Create your own myths.
Aside from me just being nitpicky, Burning Bright is quite stupendous as an attention-getting comic. ErithEl does a magnificent job creating an introduction to the story that draws people in. The introduction is complimented by a fantastic transition into the start of the plot.
As for the writing, I was very impressed. This comic utilizes multiple fonts and sizes in order to separate thoughts from conversation. It also makes it very clear who is speaking or thinking based on placement and colouring.
There were next to no grammar and spelling errors that I saw, although I’m not 100% confident in this as I seemed to have gotten caught up in the story a bit more than usual and stopped looking as hard at one point.
If a story can drag me away from noticing grammar and spelling errors, then I think that deserves a little bout of praise, don’t you?
The art is definitely a strong point for Burning Bright. I’m a big fan of coloured comics when they are done correctly, and ErithEl shows some expertise in this area. I was also impressed with the shading, as ErithEl demonstrates their understanding of human anatomy and the placement of highlights and shadows.
Shading can be especially difficult when changing perspectives. Burning Bright is chalk full of different angles and perspectives, which are manipulated beautifully and are complimented with exceptional paneling. I’m always a fan of characters breaking borders.
Over the course of these reviews, there are some areas in art that I find people consistently struggle with. One of those issues is facial expressions. I come across a lot of comics where they have difficulty capturing subtle expressions and it ends up looking very monotone. ErithEl shows that they have the ability to capture emotions quite well, but in terms of subtle emotions, there is a bit more practice that needs to be done. There are a few scenes where I feel the expression could be adjusted slightly to better portray the mood that the scene gives off. However, these scenes are so few and far between -since the story is constantly filled with action- that you would probably miss them.
Another area that I have seen people struggle with, is scenes in which the whole thing can be portrayed without words. As much as I love the English language, I wholeheartedly believe that if you can tell a story without uttering a single word, do it. If you aren’t sure exactly how to go about this, take a look at an already written and drawn scene. Now remove the conversations. Can you understand what is going on still? If the answer is yes, then I suggest you cut those conversations out (or at least make them as minimal as possible).
As for Burning Bright, there are plenty of scenes that show and don’t tell. I was very happy to see this being implemented since it offers up more opportunities than I think people realize. It also allows readers to interpret a scene in different ways while still seeing the point you are making.
I will be following Burning Bright by ErithEl in the future. I would recommend it to anyone who likes to feel the emotions in a scene and loves to see some new designs with some gorgeous colouring. The plot demonstrates that it has a lot more to offer than what we currently know, and I look forward to learning more as it progresses.
Check out Burning Bright on Tapastic.