Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As new member Mia gets to know her team, the story flashes back to her pivotal year in boarding school, where she fell in love with a mysterious new student. Soon, though, Mia reveals her true purpose for joining their ship—to track down her long-lost love.
An inventive world, a breathtaking love story, and stunning art come together in this new work by award-winning artist Tillie Walden.
I hadn’t heard of Tillie Walden or read any of her books when I pick up this chunky Graphic Novel from my Library. I just knew that it looked beautiful and was f/f. I took it home and almost immediately devoured it as slowly as I could. The plot is a rather simple one part adventure space opera, part slice of life. Which oddly works really well. There are some bold moves made, especially the narrative one of not a single man shows up in 533 pages (we do have one non-binary character)! I have to say that there are a lot more questions left open than ones answered and again somehow that works.
Artistically this is absolutely stunning and there are pages I want to be blown up 8 foot tall for my lounge. The colour work is both muted and vibrant. Light yet somehow dark. The whole book a dynamic bundle of contradictions that somehow work together. My only complaint about the art style was often I was confused as to who was whom as many of the women look alike and are of all the same style. This added with a plot that zigzagged in time added to the confusion overall.
The world-building was just right, not too overwrought that everything felt tedious, but not underdone leaving you continually confused. The stylistic choices like making all space ships resemble beautiful koi only added to the atmospheric rush of the book. In the end, this felt like a cute sapphic fever dream that I just didn’t want to wake up from.
I give On A Sunbeam:
On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden was published on 2 October 2018 by First Second. You can purchase your own copy at Mighty Ape, Whitcoulls, Booktopia, Unity Books, First Second, or wherever you like to purchase books.