I guess after previously having admitted that I like the odd love story, there isn’t much that can further damage one’s reputation. Definitely not a review of a less gritty, smoother and mellow, heck romantic even, comic. But it isn’t the desire to totally nuke my gritty loving image or reputation which brings me this comic review and thus also recommendation.
It’s the truly in-depth exploring of roles in newly developing relationships and also the mischief with which everything is delivered, packed like a set of matroshka dolls dressed in latex.
Can a male author deliver the story of a new lesbian couple who click over their mutual desire to explore the world of BDSM?
Sunstone HC Review: A Mature Book about Immature People
In the post-MeToo era it seems almost preposterous that any male would have tackled the story of a lesbian BDSM relationship, but Šejić had started work on Sunstone much earlier. Some will nevertheless argue it was the wrong topic for the wrong person but in Šejić‘s personal evolution Sunstone also allowed him to rediscover his own creativity.
The outcome is a resounding “YES!” on any possible level. Not only do we get to read a cool love story, with its different layers and insecurities as well as sexual explorations, but Šejić — who has both written Sunstone and done the art — serves its audience much more even.
But first things first: Šejić is a public creator. When we think of the internet as the perfect location to highlight creation — art and writing — Šejić Has delivered on that purpose like no other before. An active engager on Twitter, his social roots go back even further and Šejić is one of the most active — or at least most popular and successful — comic artists on DeviantArt. Over the years he has published several comics, in their entirety and completely free, to be viewed on his (main) DA account(1). Often the online release happened before any official publication and Sunstone is the prime example of this.
Not only have all six seasons of Sunstone been released on his DeviantArt for free, but Šejić continues to share his art on social media. While he has worked in the professional publishing industry before Sunstone, there is no doubt his online profile did help exhibit his excellence and may have contributed to Šejić becoming one of the popular recent DC Comics authors and artists, working on titles such as Aquaman, Suicide Squad, and Harleen.
Lastly, Šejić loves to share his artistry and skills on YouTube or in the form of tutorials.
The first story arc of Sunstone, which is covered in Sunstone HC, explores how Lisa and Ally meet each other, wanting to discover the world of BDSM and the D/s dynamic. Surrounded by at times exquisitely gorgeous art, Šejić let’s the reader discover the same energy, often from an angle of tentative curiosity or insecurities. Insecurities also because the dynamics seem to be about more than just the BDSM life.
Already early on in the story Šejić starts to also introduce an element of humor, which will only grow as the arc evolves — and the whole series. While Šejić doesn’t relent on exploring the psychological elements of the relationship, with time humor will become ever more prevalent and take over the central impression of story - and series.
It wasn’t surprising when the creator himself recently called the story “a mature tale about immature people” because that’s exactly what Sunstone is.
Perhaps knowing that Šejić lists How I Met Your Mother as one of his favorite TV shows explains a lot about the humor. Although we first thought about comparing Sunstone to the earlier Friends, but then revolving around a stylish bedroom rather than a coffeeshop.
Why Should I Read It?
While undoubtedly not a usual selection for most comics readers, Sunstone is a great must-read and about so much more than just “lesbian bondage sex”. You don’t need to be a lover of kink, or BDSM, to enjoy Sunstone. Stjepan Šejić delivers each season another a delightful combination of personal exploring, quirky humor, and beautiful artwork. All of which available freely via Šejić‘s DeviantArt profile.
If you enjoy lesbian BDSM... how come you haven’t read Sunstone yet?
Sunstone HC is available from Image Comics for $39.99 (Hardcover print edition) or for $10.49 on ComiXology. Currently the series is 6 seasons (volumes) old as Šejić has continued to release a book every year since starting in 2014 with Sunstone Vol. 1.
For those who love a little hunt, big savings, and convenience Šejić even provides a DropBox folder with all 6 as PDF in(2).
And don’t forget to follow Šejić on Twitter to get constant updates and previews.
Note about Maturity Level
Sunstone is an adult comic but Šejić plays with the erotic aspect of the comic in ways which is more innocent than your average Sex Ed class. While the book has an official age rating M (17), it is up to parents and adolescents to decide how mature they truly are. There is no need for any special sexual deviants to enjoy Sunstone, its central BDSM factor is very light in tone as well. But Sunstone does involve frequent nudity.
Past Comic Reviews
- The Black Monday Murders, by Jonathan Hickman
- Plastic, by Doug Wagner
- House of Penance, by Peter J. Tomasi
- Southern Bastards Vol. 1, by Jason Aaron
- Ether Vol. 1, by Matt Kindt