Comics

Published on December 24th, 2014 | by Duke Of Havoc

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Sunstone Volume 1 – Review

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Image and Top Cow comics have certainly built a reputation of late for putting out titles which are very different from what the average person on the street thinks comic books are all about. This title certainly isn’t the usual fare of spandex (although there is plenty of latex), superheroes and damsels in distress. Instead, we have BDSM (Bondage Discipline Sadomascochism), lesbian sex, a blossoming friendship and safewords. Sunstone is about two women looking for BDSM experiences who meet on a community website and spend enough time with each other in the virtual world, that they want to move it to the real world.

Sunstone is by Stjephan Sejic and boy has he had a fantastic 2014 with the likes of Death Vigil and the recent news that he is taking over as lead artist on Need To Consume favourite: Rat Queens. Sunstone had originally appeared on Stjephan’s Deviantart page and was so well received that Image decided to publish it. We spoke recently with the incredibly busy creator about all the books he is working on, including Sunstone which you can find here.

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So on with the book. It starts very much at some point in these character’s future. Little clues littered about the opening pages certainly provide enough evidence of that, but only upon a second read through. Lisa is our main narrator and the opening few pages are gorgeously drawn and coloured. Even the text boxes play an important role. They mimic the patterns of something very dear to Lisa, as if her thoughts are mixed with the object she is holding. Lisa is a young woman with desires to push beyond what would be described as vanilla sex and move onto something more rewarding and exciting: being part of a Dom(me)/sub dynamic. We don’t really know much more about Lisa except that she works in a diner and writes. She appears to switch between stories quite similar to the A Song Of Fire And Ice series and also some erotic literature. We do know that she has harboured submissive tendencies for some time as we see little flashbacks to her practicing self bondage and even attempting a little Shibari. The other side of the coin is Ally. A successful software developer who doesn’t spend money on things like cars and jewellery, instead she prefers BDSM furniture, gaming and expanding her very specific taste in fashion. We are exposed to more about her as the book goes on, mainly because we see it from Lisa’s eyes.

The only other fleshed out character is Alan. He and Ally use to date but he too is a Dominant. Their friendship is caring, deep and very honest. Honest enough that Ally can go to him and ask for a very specific custom bed (he makes this sort of thing for clubs and individuals). Alan and Ally were in a relationship during college but both soon realised that two dominant personalities might not quite work well in bed. They haven’t fallen into the clichéd “oh we are like Brother and Sister now” which is good to see. Alan still clearly thinks Ally is stunning but again, isn’t claiming some sort of “friendzone” conspiracy. For the record, we don’t acknowledge the “friendzone” as being real.

The meeting between Ally and Lisa is very cute and touching. Both desperate to impress, to play it cool and to make sure they don’t scare the other off. We see them move swiftly from small talk onto more kinky and interesting activities. Ally revels in her role as Domme, despite it being her first real time. It is worth noting the artwork here again. Yes, the women are both stunning, with good bodies and are busty. However, they aren’t Powergirl or some other typical comic book character with unrealistic figures, which many consider damaging to women and their self body image.

We aren’t given panel by panel detail of what happens between the pair and frankly, the book is better for it. The inner monologue from both characters fills in the gaps and stops the book from being shifted as something positive for the BDSM community into the “top shelf” category of porn comics. We should add, there is nothing wrong with those books but sometimes it is nice to let your imagination do the work.

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This book handles lesbian sex, domination, submission, bondage and so much more in a fantastic and positive way. This isn’t some uber male fantasy aimed at providing cheap titillation, it is about showing how real people go about exploring interests outside what some would describe as “normal” (whatever that is) and yes, we are going to mention the artwork again. Sejic’s double page spreads are stunning and clever all at the same time. We see many examples of both Ally and Lisa having similar thoughts or experiences whilst being apart. One example of this is their past experiences played out on the back of a corset (see below).

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We could probably write another 1000 words about this book and we might well do so at some point. This is a sex-positive, funny, cute, enjoyable and very well written book. If you have friends who hark on about that 50 Shades series, please buy them a copy of this book and show them what a trust filled, caring BDSM relationship should look like.

Title: Sunstone

Publisher: Image/Top Cow

Writer/Artist: Stjepan Sejic

Duke Of Havoc

Duke Of Havoc

Former secret agent. Rock star. Retired Stunt-man. Compulsive liar.
Duke Of Havoc

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