If you haven’t heard of Stjepan Å ejiÄ‡ yet then I am ecstatic to be able to introduce you to his work today. If you have, then you know that Sunstone Volume 3 will be just as amazing as everything else he has done prior. I must however, before I go any further, mention that this particular item is very adult oriented. I mean that in the strictest sense of the term, it deals with adult situations, what some consider to be alternative lifestyles and in its most basic constructs it also contains a significant amount of nudity. Pervy, fun, kinky nudity to be precise.
This being the third volume of the Sunstone graphic novels, it should be obvious to even the uninitiated that the storyline has progressed and evolved after almost three hundred pages between the last two volumes. But the first thing you’ll notice while reading this series is that it is first and foremost a story about two people falling in love. Regardless of everything else, these characters embody love in its earliest days; not to say there isn’t an amazing amount of latex clothing coupled with collars and gags. However, BDSM toys aside, the fact that we are dealing with two women in a sexual relationship would be enough to keep most publishers at bay. Therefore, before I forget, I must applaud Top Cow for their open-mindedness and tolerant attitude, as it’s refreshing to see that in a publisher.
Our story centers around Ally (the domme) and Lisa (the submissive), the two main characters, and their flourishing relationship. It also delves into some of Ally’s relationships with her family and even a bit of Lisa’s ex-boyfriend issues. That last part actually causes a lead into an interesting side story of how Lisa gets the jitters just like anyone might in a relationship. The addition of the kink and lesbianism sets the story apart from other love stories but I found myself reading it for the feelings expressed, the exploration of the relationship, and of course, the humor. Because this has some hilarious parts, my dear reader.
The awkwardness of a new relationship has been artfully (see what I did there?) brought to sequential art, and the reader is immersed in the feelings and thoughts of young women exploring their sexuality and finding trust and solace in one another’s arms. Of course, the fact that Ally and Lisa are avoiding the whole love subject adds a nice little twist to everything. Common relationship themes permeate this story just as you would expect in any other one; though there is talk of piercings and tattoos (which are far more common now than they once were)! If you are diving into these comics strictly for something as common as kinky sex, you’ll find a little bit of it but there is so much more to this series than that.
And speaking of so much more: how about that amazing art, for instance? Not just the cover like some comics, this one is perfection from start to finish. Stjepan’s talent seems to know no bounds; each panel is just as good, if not better, than the last. One wonders at the experiences he’s had if he is able to write such detailed bondage scenes, though. But maybe that’s an interview question for later, right? The fact that he is the entire creative team for this book is astounding. It’s a quality item in every aspect.
If I had to say one bad thing about it, it would be that they are not releasing fast enough. Just too damn slow! You’ll become personally invested in these characters, pretty much from the start of the book. Now, if you’ve missed the first two, you can find them for sale at your local bookstore or online at book retailers such as Amazon (Vol. 1 l Vol. 2). But I’ll be honest, you won’t feel left out if you jump into this volume. If anything I’ve written even vaguely piqued your interest, grab this one and its predecessors.
I do feel the need to remind you to keep it away from kids, though; it really is not safe for minors (not miners, though, they can read it…right, Lisa?).