On A Sunbeam
An epic graphic novel about a girl who travels to the ends of the universe to find a long lost love, from acclaimed author Tillie Walden.Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As Mia, the newest member, 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. When Mia grows close to her new friends, she 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.

On A Sunbeam Details

TitleOn A Sunbeam
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 24th, 2018
Publisherhttp://www.onasunbeam.com
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Science Fiction, Lgbt, Young Adult, Graphic Novels Comics, Fiction, Glbt, Queer, Romance

On A Sunbeam Review

  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    I DON’T KNOW WHY OR HOW I HAVEN’T HEARD OF THIS BEFORE BUT IT’S AN F/F SCI-FI WEBCOMIC WITH A QUEER FAMILY IN SPACE AND A NON-BINARY PERSON AND IF YOU DON’T THINK I’M READING THIS IMMEDIATELY YOU’RE DEAD WRONG
  • Ewa
    January 1, 1970
    Read here Preferably at 2am while curled up under blanket and contemplating existence. "I read that chapter you showed me. About how I should think of all the circuits and wires like they're roads. And that it's like one big map. Every part is unique, but they're all connected. I think I sorta get it . . ." Mia begins her adult life and gets a job in reconstruction with a small team which consist of two married women, a niece of one of them, and a non-binary person. But the story is not linear Read here Preferably at 2am while curled up under blanket and contemplating existence. "I read that chapter you showed me. About how I should think of all the circuits and wires like they're roads. And that it's like one big map. Every part is unique, but they're all connected. I think I sorta get it . . ." Mia begins her adult life and gets a job in reconstruction with a small team which consist of two married women, a niece of one of them, and a non-binary person. But the story is not linear - it also takes us 5 years back to Mia experiencing her first love. So, there're two stories: Mia and her chosen family on the ship and Mia and Grace. They interwind and finally merge together. Every part is unique, but they're all connected. This story made me feel things I didn't know I could feel. I cried, cried, cried. And I regret not one tear. The art is simple but not lazy or boring. This simplicity gives every detail much more impact and keeps the focus on all the intense emotions.I love how the scarce usage of colours left me wondering about the meaning of each of them. The story starts with only two and both of them are cold. We get purple for present and blue for the past. Progressively, warmer hues are added. It usually happens when Mia feels something - when somebody leaves some impact. I like to think that the present purple came from Mia's blue and the red she felt with Grace. You know this edits ‘x song heard from the other room’? Somehow Mia’s emotions managed to capture the essence of it. It’s like a distant song about longing heard from the room you’re not in anymore while you try to get on with your life. Mia wants to get some closure. And she's ready to work hard even if that's the only thing she ever gets. She goes after Grace with no expectations other than saying goodbye.She grows from an impulsive little girl into an amazing mature woman. And she gains much more than she thought she would.
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  • Miriam
    January 1, 1970
    Nice art and good character development.I liked the first half, which is two stories five years apart connected by the main character. In one she is a rebellious school experiencing first love; in the other a recent graduate at her first job, restoring old buildings. In spaaaaace. In the middle the actual plot begins to emerge and I didn't find it very satisfactory in terms of any of the character's motivations. And I am a little puzzled as to what it means to have non-binary gender in a world t Nice art and good character development.I liked the first half, which is two stories five years apart connected by the main character. In one she is a rebellious school experiencing first love; in the other a recent graduate at her first job, restoring old buildings. In spaaaaace. In the middle the actual plot begins to emerge and I didn't find it very satisfactory in terms of any of the character's motivations. And I am a little puzzled as to what it means to have non-binary gender in a world that appears to have only women in it. Please set me straight if I am being dumb here. But it was still an okay book that I would recommend to someone looking for stories about adventure and friendship among women.
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  • Mykola
    January 1, 1970
    Цікаво, із чого складається манера оповіді у коміксі. Тіллі Вальден створює таку м'яку атмосферу засобами графіки, в тому числі й почерком у репліках, що навіть складні й гострі моменти сприймаються через ніжність.Це фантастика про космос і одночасно історія про (перше) кохання для підлітків. Я відчув себе тим підлітком. Переживав і радів за героїв. І радів, що можу таке відчувати. І що Тіллі Вальден так класно малює. Знайомство з такими творами — радість.
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  • Alexa
    January 1, 1970
    This was an adorable webcomic where basically all the characters are queer girls/women + one nonbinary person. (The nonbinary person is misgendered at one point but it's immediately called out.)The art style and the colours were very dream-like, and most of the time it worked really well to give the comic a unique feel, but sometimes I was a little lost. Still, I loved figuring out how the two timelines in the comic are connected (and how all the characters are connected!)
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  • musa b-n
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a gorgeous and excellent book. The story is super compelling, and the characters are all really neat. There is also not a single man like anywhere, and that's neat, too. There are sad and scary parts!! But also happy parts!! I think probably all of my friends would really enjoy this book. I was really touched by its themes.
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  • Dov Zeller
    January 1, 1970
    Mia, a sometimes reckless young adult, struggles academically at a prestigious outer space boarding school, and graduates worrying she's come to a bit of a dead-end in her life. That changes when she is assigned work on a spaceship that rebuilds old structures all over the galaxy or universe (or multiverse?). This is where the story begins. Mia's life seems to be moving forward in a positive direction. School wasn't easy for her academically or, at times, socially, but her overwhelming worries a Mia, a sometimes reckless young adult, struggles academically at a prestigious outer space boarding school, and graduates worrying she's come to a bit of a dead-end in her life. That changes when she is assigned work on a spaceship that rebuilds old structures all over the galaxy or universe (or multiverse?). This is where the story begins. Mia's life seems to be moving forward in a positive direction. School wasn't easy for her academically or, at times, socially, but her overwhelming worries about her future finally settle down into more of a whisper as she makes her way (at times clumsily) into a world of hard but satisfying and at times intriguing work. This work not only allows her independence and adventure, it brings her connection with a wonderful and dysfunctional queer (chosen) family--the other workers on the ship. In other words, things aren't exactly smooth sailing, but they're looking up. Except, Mia isn't exactly happy. Soon we are drawn back in time, seeing in flashback Mia's boarding school relationship with Grace, a mysterious girl with a great single dorm room (what a view!) The stories about Mia and Grace in flashback gradually become more intertwined with the complex present moment and the lives and fates of this new chosen family.On a Sunbeam creates a beautiful though not terribly believable world, with graceful fish spaceships (fish -n- ships. There, I said it.) and places that aren't quite planets, but more surreal landscapes with apparitional creatures and flying horses. Windows break a lot on outer space structures with no consequences, which doesn't really make sense to me. And, as another gr reviewer said, 'The narrative is a bit all over the map'. But, the characters are compelling and richly drawn and the art at times breathtaking. I love their very real emotional and social struggles and all the wonderful queerness.Here is a review that shows some of the fantastic art.https://www.theverge.com/2016/10/21/1...So, this is far from perfect, but perfectly enjoyable and accessible online. I'm so grateful to David--it was his review of Spinning that led me to this. I hadn't heard of Walden previously--I look forward to reading more of her work soon!
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  • Lauren James
    January 1, 1970
    The most beautifully drawn, imaginative graphic novel about space travel. Every page of this was just absolutely stunning, especially the fish spaceships.
  • Ashley Owens
    January 1, 1970
    Received an electronic copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.3.5 / 5 starsA gorgeously colored book with some great themes and even better characters. But ultimately this plot was all over the place, and that made it hard to read. So while I'm extremely happy with the representation in this novel, I would say that if you choose to pick it up, be patient with it. Don't go into it expecting action... even though it takes place on a spaceship. I think if I knew what I was getting int Received an electronic copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.3.5 / 5 starsA gorgeously colored book with some great themes and even better characters. But ultimately this plot was all over the place, and that made it hard to read. So while I'm extremely happy with the representation in this novel, I would say that if you choose to pick it up, be patient with it. Don't go into it expecting action... even though it takes place on a spaceship. I think if I knew what I was getting into, I would have enjoyed it more.
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  • Cesar
    January 1, 1970
    I have heard of Tillie Walden from her memoir, Spinning (haven't read it yet but will soon). I did tell myself that I would read graphic novels this year and On a Sunbeam is definitely on that list. I like Tillie's art so I'm looking forward to getting a physical copy.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    I am in love with these beautiful queer girls (and Ell) and their fish spaceships. Tillie Walden’s art is incredibly beautiful and the use of color is as thoughtful as it is gorgeous. How brilliant of her to use color to establish timelines and signal character developments and shifts in relationships! I would like to go live in the fish spaceship now. If I cannot join a lesbian space family, I will maybe just paint my house the colors of this book.
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  • Claire
    January 1, 1970
    Bought, started, and finished in one day. I adored this book and I’m going to need to read it a couple more times before I can form a more detailed opinion on it, but it was beautiful.If you like space, and lesbians, and space lesbians (so many of them!), you’ll LOVE this comic.
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  • Bryan Shields
    January 1, 1970
    "If a 20 year old lesbian from Texas decided to make a science-fiction book"That's a direct quote from the author when asked how to describe "On A Sunbeam" on a more recent podcast (Comics Alternative) promoting this book.Speaking of podcasts, this is how I discovered Tillie Walden. She just happened to always be a guest on various podcasts I subscribed to and I always enjoyed listening to her talk about her work and other things. One thing I did not recall ever was hearing her discuss the topic "If a 20 year old lesbian from Texas decided to make a science-fiction book"That's a direct quote from the author when asked how to describe "On A Sunbeam" on a more recent podcast (Comics Alternative) promoting this book.Speaking of podcasts, this is how I discovered Tillie Walden. She just happened to always be a guest on various podcasts I subscribed to and I always enjoyed listening to her talk about her work and other things. One thing I did not recall ever was hearing her discuss the topic of science fiction. So when I first heard about this book I became VERY curious and anxious to read it as I'm a fan of her previous books and she would add the occasional fantastical element. Well this book lived up to my own personal hype I had built for it and more.I absolutely just LOVED the characters! I don't want to go into details describing them all too well because then I'd have to put up the spoiler warning tag. All I can say is that this book is massive and I enjoyed every moment I got to spend with these characters. Following them along on their journey(s) was a pleasure. If I had the option to just get up and board a ship with the crew I'd be up and willing. One character in particular has probably one of the most adorable introductions I've ever seen illustrated in any book. As a teacher of younger children it made me smile.Tillie Walden's deep space. THANK YOU for not tying yourself down to the laws of space. I hate it when storytellers feel the need to be scientifically somewhat accurate and eventually hurt their story in the process. Tillie's space is one of high fantasy that is not scientifically accurate, but from page 1 I bought into the world presented and just became engaged with this version of space.If you enjoyed this book as much as I did I'd highly recommend listening to the recent podcast I referenced earlier. It's recent and hearing her talk about the making of this book in great detail was a fan's dream. Also, if your a fan of Tillie Walden and you enjoy hearing her talk it'll just make you love her even more.Thank you Tillie Walden! This book is one I will definitely revisit quite often and look forward to doing so.
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  • Kaa
    January 1, 1970
    Eeee just bought this and I am so excited to read it! It looks beautiful.
  • Jennybeast
    January 1, 1970
    Those ships! Those space vistas, unlike space vistas I've seen before. Such delight.
  • Comics Alternative
    January 1, 1970
    http://comicsalternative.com/comics-a...
  • Gaby
    January 1, 1970
    I can't even begin to describe how magnificent this graphic novel is. Every page is so beautifully illustrated and the plot is so well thought out. The characters are lovely and dynamic—they jumped right off the page and into my heart. An incredible sci-fi adventure with such seamless diversity... I could have read another 500 pages of this incredible story.
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  • Tara
    January 1, 1970
    This science fiction graphic novel is the collected chapters of the webcomic of the same name. The imaginative worlds are beautifully created in simple colors. After finishing school, Mia joins a crew that flies to remote places on other worlds, restoring buildings and structures. Her story unfolds in flashbacks that reveal her past at boarding school, where she fell in love. Her girlfriend was taken home too soon, and for years Mia has dreamt of finding her again. Mia's crew believes in loyalty This science fiction graphic novel is the collected chapters of the webcomic of the same name. The imaginative worlds are beautifully created in simple colors. After finishing school, Mia joins a crew that flies to remote places on other worlds, restoring buildings and structures. Her story unfolds in flashbacks that reveal her past at boarding school, where she fell in love. Her girlfriend was taken home too soon, and for years Mia has dreamt of finding her again. Mia's crew believes in loyalty to one another above all, and they are determined to help her. LGBTQ themes include strong F/F relationships and a nonbinary character.Publication date: October 2, 2018**Read via NetGalley
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  • Lucille
    January 1, 1970
    wowowowowow that was so GOOD!!!I read the webcomic here: http://www.onasunbeam.com/content warnings: bullying, misgendering, blood
  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsMia joins a reconstruction crew to help restore old buildings into whatever the new owners want, and along the way she finds a new family in her crewmates. But her old life from five years ago keeps haunting her...Okay, that summary sucks. This book is so much more complicated than I can explain, and so much weirder than I was expecting. And it was amazing.Fair warning: this is super crazy sci-fi, mostly fi and less sci. The science is nuts. The worldbuilding is bonkers. And I loved it. 4.5 starsMia joins a reconstruction crew to help restore old buildings into whatever the new owners want, and along the way she finds a new family in her crewmates. But her old life from five years ago keeps haunting her...Okay, that summary sucks. This book is so much more complicated than I can explain, and so much weirder than I was expecting. And it was amazing.Fair warning: this is super crazy sci-fi, mostly fi and less sci. The science is nuts. The worldbuilding is bonkers. And I loved it. Everything is so absurd and surreal and it stealthily grows on you until the sight of that beautiful koi-shaped spaceship makes you want to go on a journey.At first, I didn't connect with Mia at all. She's distant, disconnected and the timeline is all over the place. But slowly, so slowly, the pieces start to come together and turn into a puzzle. The different characters on the ship—Alma, Char, Jules and Elliott—stop becoming anonymous figures and turn into people. People with backgrounds, and agendas and motivations that are all different from Mia's. In the Before timeline, Grace is also fantastic, and her relationship with Mia is slow-burn, then hotter than the sun and heartbreaking in the way that young love can be.Also, I liked that aside from Elliott (non-binary) and Paul (a cat and a boy), everyone is a woman.There are no menI repeat: THERE ARE NO MEN ANYWHERE IN SIGHTHalle-fucking-lujah.I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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  • Kaitlyn Balsamides
    January 1, 1970
    Can’t get over how amazing this graphic novel is. The artwork is stunning and the storyline is even more beautiful.
  • Daniela F
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a beautiful journey, everything about this comic is magical and enticing. The characters are so lovable and complex and the ilustrations are breathtaking. Love it so much!
  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    It’s like the older you get the more you forget that you can change things I don’t think I've ever read a graphic novel. And the last time I read a comic was probably in 5th grade. I can’t tell you why really. But there are a few reasons I start now.1) Last year I read a book by the name of Eliza and her Monsters. It’s a young adult story about a webcomic artist who’s suffering from social anxiety. It was a really wonderful read and it contained a second story arc that’s actually the main char It’s like the older you get the more you forget that you can change things I don’t think I've ever read a graphic novel. And the last time I read a comic was probably in 5th grade. I can’t tell you why really. But there are a few reasons I start now.1) Last year I read a book by the name of Eliza and her Monsters. It’s a young adult story about a webcomic artist who’s suffering from social anxiety. It was a really wonderful read and it contained a second story arc that’s actually the main character’s webcomic. So it finally put webcomics on my radar. I seriously was only vaguely aware of the whole thing before.2) When I meet with my fellow geeks there tends to happen the following. We sit around drinking and eating (mainly things that are not exactly good for our health) and talk extensively about movies, tv shows, video games, gadgets and some wonderful things that most stores call toys and advertise to parents/for children, for reasons that are unclear to me. This usually goes on for hours until the wife or girlfriend of the host (unless she’s a geek herself) decides we are a bunch of weirdos and/or from another planet entirely and leaves us to our miserable being. Then we talk a bit more about all this stuff, until someone shifts the conversation to graphic novels. This leads to me suddenly not understanding a single word they’re saying. Which makes me end up with the wife or girlfriend and talk about music or work or occasionally books. It’s not that I don’t enjoy these conversations as well. But it feels awkward to get excluded by the geeks.3) Martha Wells brought “On A Sunbeam” onto my update feed. And rated it five stars too. So I took it as a sign to finally start catching up.Now you think I’m the guy who has basically no idea what he’s talking about. And unfortunately, you’re right.I can’t really tell you much about the quality of “On A Sunbeam” because I have nothing to compare it to. But I will tell you how I felt about it.I felt the artwork was beautiful. I liked the buildings, space ships and backgrounds especially. Colouring was good. Landscapes and animals were mostly good as well. The characters were a bit up and down in my opinion. But overall I thought it was really nice to look at.The story is basically a young adult romance in a fantasy/sci-fi setting. There are the typical teenage topics like first love, disinterest in school, rebelling against authorities, getting mobbed by bullies, building friendships.The narrative switches between different periods of time and/or people quite often and therefore is a bit hard to follow sometimes. Also relationships developed a bit too fast and easy for my liking.This may be because it is aimed at younger readers? Though there’s a lot of swearing and a bit too much use of the f-word.The story wasn’t exactly for me. But it wasn’t annoying either. It was okay, I would say.Overall I liked “On A Sunbeam”, mainly because of the artwork. The setting was quite imaginative too.So this means 3 stars for me.Since it’s a webcomic you can read for free here, you can’t do anything wrong really.The site offers you the opportunity to donate any amount of money you feel is appropriate. But you don’t have to.
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  • Isabel
    January 1, 1970
    lots of feelings
  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    The f/f scifi story I didn't know I needed.
  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    This sprawling science fiction adventure starts off a little slow, but manages to pick up the pace and establish its colorful cast of characters just in time. At its heart, it's a story about friendship and family and love and loyalty, and it is pretty much unputdownable. I am going to be pushing it at friends *hard* come its print publication date. (I received access to this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)
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  • Becca (becandbones)
    January 1, 1970
    CW: bullying, misgenderingThis is absolutely one of the best things I have ever read. I am awestruck with this entire story, the characters and the imagery.Walden weaves a story that follows Mia, the newest member on a space crew that reconstructs damaged and abandoned buildings. With a gorgeous and heartbreaking backstory, Mia is an outstanding character. From her quirks and humour and fiery spirit, to her phenomenal development as a character, to her gorgeous relationships with friends, peers, CW: bullying, misgenderingThis is absolutely one of the best things I have ever read. I am awestruck with this entire story, the characters and the imagery.Walden weaves a story that follows Mia, the newest member on a space crew that reconstructs damaged and abandoned buildings. With a gorgeous and heartbreaking backstory, Mia is an outstanding character. From her quirks and humour and fiery spirit, to her phenomenal development as a character, to her gorgeous relationships with friends, peers, and, of course, Grace. It's not just Mia that stands out in this smol web comic though. You will fall in love and root for the heart-warming queer duo, Alma and Charlotte, you will have the most intense urges to protect mute and non-binary Ell, and Jules will absolutely rock your socks off. This is a story that will make and break you. I have never felt like I have got so MUCH from a single web comic. Walden's works are all on my immediate TBR as I just can not get enough. Go read this comic. You will not be disappointed in the slightest.More reviews | Twitter | Pinterest | Reading is air in my lungs, fire in my blood, company in my thoughts. (M. Naidoo)
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  • Anita
    January 1, 1970
    Tillie Walden's art is amazing, there's no question about that. She brings emotion to each pane with Miyazaki level enchantment. This story is her best I've read yet. One that combines the braveness of becoming your own person with the uncertainty of your future in relation to where your past has brought you. I loved the relationships and the heart in this story that is driven by several strong lead characters. I want more, more more from these characters! Looking forward to seeing the physical Tillie Walden's art is amazing, there's no question about that. She brings emotion to each pane with Miyazaki level enchantment. This story is her best I've read yet. One that combines the braveness of becoming your own person with the uncertainty of your future in relation to where your past has brought you. I loved the relationships and the heart in this story that is driven by several strong lead characters. I want more, more more from these characters! Looking forward to seeing the physical version of this coming out later this year.
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  • Andres Catter
    January 1, 1970
    A fantastic and moving story about love, sisterhood, family, and adventure. One of the best comics I’ve read in a while.
  • Sara Habein
    January 1, 1970
    Beautiful story, great art. And a gender neutral character - how about that!
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