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Sunstone Volume 1 (Sunstone Tp) Paperback – 6 Jan 2015
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Lisa is a young woman that wants to experiment with her sexual boundaries. Ally is a woman that knows where hers are, but is terribly lonely. When they meet in an internet chatroom and start talking about BDSM, their lives begin to change forever. When Lisa suggests they take the next step and meet in person, both are terrified of what might happen. And sparks fly. Lisa takes her first steps into a world of ropes and restraints, with Ally firmly guiding her, and between them a quirky, kinky romance begins to blossom. Neither of them expect it to happen - Ally worries things are getting too emotional too fast, Lisa's peers are judgemental about her relationship with another woman - but when you meet someone that completes you, should you keep playing your prescribed roles of Mistress and Submissive, or do you just fall in love?
Just in case you hadn't picked this up by now, this comic book is very much for adults. It has graphic sex, but it is not gratuitous or crass. In fact, it's the complete opposite. It makes the polarising subject of bondage and makes it incredibly tender and loving. This is primarily a romance, and that is what comes through in this book in spades. It has all the awkwardness and humour of real life, and the sexy passion of a blooming relationship. The author/artist Stjepan Sejic manages to pull off something quite miraculous by making his characters seem real, and the artwork is rendered in beautiful warm shades and has a glorious fluidity and life to it. It has a cinematic quality, and embraces the reality of BDSM in a way that makes 50 Shades of Grey look like the timid, suburban, and disingenuous handling of the subject that it is. Sunstone manages to communicate a reality, one that is sweet and loving and naughty.
I confess I didn't go into this book blind; I am a fan of Sejic's work already, and had begun reading Sunstone when he posted it online. It is though a book that does something I didn't think was possible - it's a romance comic that I think comes very, very close to the high mark of Strangers in Paradise. It's a more adult, sexually explicit book, but one that has a warm beating heart behind it, and a wonderful sweetness that's hard to resist. If LBGT stories, or BDSM, are of interest to you, you'd be mad not to read Sunstone. And if you're just wanting to read a sexy, realistic love story, you should read it too. 50 Shades of Beige it ain't.
The creator is new to me, but has a skill with character scripting and art which is rarely seen these days of major 'epics'. The last series that I enjoyed, almost, as much as this was Saga, but this has the potential to be among my all-time favourite series- and all time for me is a long while!
Highly recommended for anyone who wants to see what the comics medium is capable of delivering in the hands of a master storyteller. The subtlety and pure sensuality with which the BDSM scenes are handle just makes the whole experience even more satisfying.
Now how do I get through to May when volume 2 is out?
Both have been frustrated by their lack of success in finding someone to share their interests with. Then Ally comes across Lisa in a chat room, and after 2 months of back-and-forth online they agree to meet.
So, basically, Sunstone covers the events leading up to that long weekend.
Beautifully drawn by Stjepan - who started this series as a side project on Deviant Art. Really, I loved the style of the art - and I have a soft spot for Lisa's tendency to bite her lip (which I have in common with Ally).
Yes, the cover drew odd attention when I read this one in public, and yes it contains scenes of nudity. However, I definitely recommend this one. I will certainly pick up the next Volume.
This isn't about action or adventure (well, the adventurous maybe). Sunstone is about the awkward and uncertain path of two people trying to find their way in a niche world filled with pitfalls and potentials. Ally and Lisa have their own back stories and you learn a little about them. I read this over three days in measured sessions - the art's too good to just wolf down in one go.
Indeed, I was kind of disappointed when it ended. However, the back of the book has an interesting story from the author and artist about how he came to create the Sunstone project in the first place (he previously worked on Witchblade). It also contains piles of additional pictures, pin-up style images, streams of tiny reprints of the original Deviant Art pages.
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