Having already wowed me with the previous three volumes of Sunstone it’s creator Stjepan Šejić aims to bring us deeper into Ally & Lisa’s world as a blossoming relationship outside of their shared BDSM interests brings with it some typical complications.
The Ally/Lisa match-up started like any other relationship with a mutual attraction and a yearning to explore something together and while it maybe went further into a more extreme area of sexual exploration the feelings behind that are still very relatable which is part of the overall appeal of Sunstone. This fourth volume takes a much more significant look at the day to day lives of our central characters and the circle of friends they have around them as the sharing & scaring continues with reality creeping in but that continues to be a strength in Stjepan’s approach.
Ally & Lisa begin to gradually grate on each other (and not in a weird sexual way) but it’s something that’s never discussed in too much depth as the occasional escapism of the different couples, individuals and fellow BDSM experimenters act as a much needed distraction. These new friends and unknown elements brings the kind of complications that create doubt and can derail the positive direction of any relationship and while that ends up being the final gut punch in this volume – we’ve invested so much time across the releases so far & there’s been so much time developing relationships that we actually care about that happening. It’s a shared burden it’s a broken heart for us all but the build up to this has us hopeful that things work out.
A stunning addition to the Sunstone mythology (if you can call it that) and with writing & art duties in the hands of Stjepan there’s a unique link and fluidity to the story that either happens with a rare collaboration that hits the ground running or the rarer instance where beautiful art & beautiful writing combine seamlessly from the one individual. A worthy addition to ANY collection and you’ve really GOT to consider getting hold of all 4 ahead of the next volume hitting the shelves. It may help with LGBT/BDSM representation but it’s far more significant than that as it’s a book of real life, awe and wonder wrapped in the prettiest visuals you could hope for. Kudos to Image Comics/Top Cow or their ongoing ability to publish this kind of magic.