A Comic a Day in May – Day 6: On A Sunbeam

I’d seen & heard talk about Tillie Walden’s titles in and around the indie scene for a while but it’s with her ‘On A Sunbeam’ that I finally get to delve in.

It tells the story of Mia as we get to experience two tracks of her life – one of her rebellious days at school and the other of her days in space as the member of a ships crew, which may sound like an eclectic mix of ideas but it’s surprising how well they fit together.  The intimacy of the relationships are an interesting contrast to the wide expanse of space but Mia’s coming-of-age story has a strong heart at its core thanks to the attention Tillie gives to making the world feel as real as possible.

That in itself may sound like an impossible task when there’s a fantasy-filled space-opera playing out across the pages but it’s something that she achieves and then some.  It’s all made a reality with a blend of the turmoil of growing up, the pressures of working in outer space repairing grand buildings and all the while trying to address the yearning in Mia that’s only going to be appeased by the loves she has in her life.

Mia’s two stories intertwine like galaxies in the void of space but Tillie manages to inject an effortless calm into the proceedings with her varied casts of friends & foes that fit together in every panel & page.  The artwork & colours in particular, play a crucial part in harnessing the moods she’s aiming for and the journey Mia takes is rewarding for her, those around her and even me the reader and I don’t think theres any more that could be asked of a book.

Dialogue, art, connecting with people & chasing your dream comes to the fore in a book that manages to embrace questions of gender & sexuality and wraps it up in an epic-love story across space and while a book of this size (544 pages) could have appeared a daunting read at first the ultimate rewards are found in every single panel & page.

You can check out more on this and the other Avery Hill books through their website and keep up to date with what else they have on the go through their Facebook & Twitter pages.

The story is still available in it’s webcomic form on it’s website & you can catch-up with what Tillie is working on over on Twitter too:

@TillieWalden

9/10

G-Man

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