On a Sunbeam
By Tillie Walden
Author website: tilliewalden(.)com
The story begins with a girl joining a group of people that specialize in rebuilding structures throughout space. Mia, the new recruit, meets the crew and is immediately taken into their small family which consists of Char, Alma, Jules, and Ell. The crew lands in a beautiful worn-down-with-time structure an something about the place attracts Mia’s attention. While she wanders away, the landscape triggers flashbacks of Mia’s time in boarding school, where she recalls a past friend. As she walks more into the unstable structure, the floor cracks open and Mia falls. Jules is able to save her but not without receiving a scalding from Alma.
Throughout their journey, Mia keeps having flashbacks of her years in school and her friend Grace, whom we learn through memories that she hid a secret from Mia. Meanwhile, Mia becomes closer with the crew but because of the accident the crew is obligated to report the incident and Char is suspended and can’t travel with the crew. The crew keeps traveling and Mia learns more about them while still having flashbacks of Grace. Soon, Mia can’t keep her own secrets hidden from the crew anymore and she reveals her true intentions.
There are several interesting aspects of the story and comic that caught my attention. One, and maybe the most creative one, was the ship! The crew’s ship is or resembles a fish, if I recall well, I think the ship even has facial expressions. In a certain way, it makes sense that the ship is a fish, it swims through the vast and beautifully drawn space. And speaking of the beautiful drawn space, the backgrounds within the comic look amazing. One of my favorites is the first structure the crew visits to rebuild, it is a simple but detailed three color flat design. The other ones would be all the space through windows scenes that are shown throughout the story.
The comic has a good design, but what I liked was the difference between scene that are present and those that are flashbacks. Shades of red are used for present scenes, while shades of blue are used for flashbacks. The story mainly follows Mia, and through her we see the flashbacks that fill in the gaps of the story. As the story progresses, other characters’ point of views are shown using the same colors for present and flashback scenes.
On a Sunbeam is a really great story with wonderful characters with struggles, goals, adventures and great stories of their own. The comic’s design is amazing and refreshing and leaves you wanting more. If you like finding new comics with great design and adventures than I recommend On a Sunbeam.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*