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On a Sunbeam

(On a sunbeam #1-2)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  12,356 ratings  ·  2,290 reviews
Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As new member Mia gets to know her team, the story flashes back to her pivotal year in boarding school, where she fell in love with a mysterious new student. Soon, though, Mia reveals her true purpose for joining their ship—to track down h ...more
Paperback, 533 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by First Second (first published 2016)
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Fran Graphic novels are 'actual books'. Try one, you might find you like it! This is a very good one to start with. …moreGraphic novels are 'actual books'. Try one, you might find you like it! This is a very good one to start with. (less)
Dan Yes. Most of the characters (including the main one) are lgbt+

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,356 ratings  ·  2,290 reviews

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Alice Oseman
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this is probably now one of my favourite books ever.
Read here Preferably at 2am while curled up under blanket and contemplating existence.

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"I read that chapter you showed me. About how I should think of all the circuits and wires like they're roads. And that it's like one big map. Every part is unique, but they're all connected. I think I sorta get it . . ."

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Mia begins her adult life and gets a job in reconstruction with a small team which consist of two married women, a niece of one of them, and a non-binary person. But the story is no
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
This is the most expansive, unique, deeply emotional story I’ve read in a long time. It has humor and passion and love and family and the dedication to tell a story the right way with the most beautiful images. It’s also my new favorite graphic novel of all time.
I still squeal with glee whenever I think about this book. Honestly, On A Sunbeam by the immensely talented Tillie Walden is such a balm for my soul and I’ve returned to it many times when I needed something to cheer me up. Set in a non-specific future--one far enough in the future where human civilizations have come and gone across it’s galaxy leaving long lost secrets--the book intertwines a present narrative of a building restoration crew with the school-age past of its newest member, Mia. Ha ...more
daph pink ♡
Tillie Walden's fictional world is my new home !♥️ ...more
Sanne | Booksandquills
Such a delightful and thoughtful read. I loved the multiple timelines, the way Tillie played with colour to differentiate not just between two timelines, but later also to guide the reader through scenarios as the characters split up. I was really impressed by how it both feels very cosy, whimsical and nostalgic, while being full of action, drama and intense relationships. And it left out just enough of the world building and character backgrounds to keep you wondering! I can see how at some poi ...more
Dave Schaafsma
12/21/18: Just to say that thought I read this for a long time in web-comic format, I recommend the recently published paperback version I just got from the library. Some observations: I bet the (visual) tone of it is much darker than Walden intended. This is just something that struck me after reading the larger images online, that when the images were shrunk for the book format, they got darker, of course. But for a book with sun in the title, it seems more moon than sun(ny) now. Still, after ...more
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, favourites
Absolutely stunning.
From the author of Spinning which I loved. This is a story set in space in what feels like the future. Lots of imagination on display here with great new things. I love the spaceship which looks like a flying fish.

I did have issue with this story. To me, the girls looked similar for the most part and I couldn't keep up who was who and what was going on. It was fairly confusing for me and I'm not entirely sure what just happened. Many things are never explained. Who is Ell? What is she wanted fo
3.5 stars. This graphic novel was gorgeously illustrated, with some lovely art of space that I just had to take a bunch of pictures of. I liked the f/f romance aspect of it and the way it was portrayed, but I felt I couldn’t really get attached to the characters very much and the plot wasn’t the most original. Would recommend picking this up though!
Nice art and good character development.

I liked the first half, which is two stories five years apart connected by the main character. In one she is a rebellious school experiencing first love; in the other a recent graduate at her first job, restoring old buildings. In spaaaaace.

In the middle the actual plot begins to emerge and I didn't find it very satisfactory in terms of any of the characters' motivations.

And I am a little puzzled as to what it means to have non-binary gender in a world t
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: sapphic mc, Black sapphic li, interracial sapphic couple (Black & Latino), nonbinary character, sapphic parents, side sapphic couples

this is just so Wholesome!! restored my faith in humanity and invented romance

also okay two points: 1) there is not a single man in the whole story & 2) basically everyone is sapphic
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: f-f, read-2019
2.5 stars.

The artwork in this was beautiful and the story was cute in certain parts but overall this was mediocre.

Major plot holes took away from my enjoyment of the book and left me with more questions than answers.

It used a mute character as a plot device for shock value.

The pretty artwork focused more on aesthetics than creating an understandable panel.

I know this is petty but at one point a hand was very clearly drawn backwards and that also took me out of the story.

I’m pretty sure th
may ➹
why did goodreads delete my original review repeating “oh my god” fifty times :(

reread 12/27/20: I did not love this as much as the first time I read this BUT it’s still one of my favorite graphic novels/webcomics! This is a beautifully illustrated book about found family sapphics in space and making your way back to people you once lost, following a crew on a spaceship as they renovate old places and eventually attempt to track down a past love. The colors of the art are so gorgeous and exude t
if the word beautiful was a book, this would be it.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
well that was one of the gayest and most fantastic graphic novels i’ve ever read 🥺💕 and the fact that there was a nb character? love that.
this was so unapologetically queer, I'm happy (4.25) ...more
Clem (the villain's quest)
5/5 star crossed stars

Instagram | youtube

Hi this is one of my new favorite books of all time. Thank you for reminding me why I love reading so much.
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book completely blew me away. I had already read and enjoyed other books by Tillie Walden, but this book exhibits her skills both as an artist and a writer at a completely new level. The pacing of the story, the style of the story, the plot and the emotions of the story are all braided into a completely seamless whole. Has anyone optioned the film rights for this story yet? I felt like I was hearing a soundtrack playing in my head as I read it. The story focuses on two different emotional t ...more
Skye Kilaen
Long graphic novel but well worth it, an F/F space-based sci-fi journey about a young woman finding her lost love. Mia signs on with a ship that travels to abandoned sites and renovates/restores them. She makes friends with the crew - one nonbinary person and the rest are women - and eventually enlists them to travel to a forbidden planet so she can say goodbye to the girl she loved.

It's told in a combination of present events and flashbacks to Mia's school romance, and I felt like both parts w
Elizabeth A
This young adult graphic novel has the tale unfold via two timelines, both of which hinge upon Mia. In the current timeline, Mia is on a spaceship with a crew that rebuilds broken down buildings. In the other timeline we have flashbacks of a pivotal year at boarding school.

I should have loved this one. The entire universe seems to be populated by females, so there's none of that macho drama, though without Dads am not sure how we get new crops of girls each year. I really liked the diversity on
Fadwa (Word Wonders)
CW: wounds, blood, misgendering, ableism

THIS! WAS! SO! SOFT!!!!! I don't even have coherent words to review it with because this graphic novel was just so...appeasing. The art is STUNNING, and the story is light sci-fi eventhough it's set in space. Make it make sense. But that makes the world easily understandable and the story easy to follow.

This isn't to say the story doesn't have its sad or hard moments, because it does. There is an instance of willfull misgendering, as well as some events t
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was so cute help

- there are no men
- all the characters are badass
- tons of sapphic romance
- the art is fucking gORGEOUS
- beautiful friendship and family dynamics
- character development !!!
- we choose our family <3<3<333
- you will cry you will laugh and you will end up feeling full of love

Lauren James
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The most beautifully drawn, imaginative graphic novel about space travel. Every page of this was just absolutely stunning, especially the fish spaceships.
Back in early 2018 this was my first ever graphic novel (kinda crazy, I know) and then in 2019 it got nominated for a Hugo (kinda cool :) though it probably didn't have anything to do with me).

Anyways, here's my somewhat amateurish 2018 review:

It’s like the older you get the more you forget that you can change things

I don’t think I've ever read a graphic novel. And the last time I read a comic was probably in 5th grade. I can’t tell you why really. But there are a few reasons I start now.

Dov Zeller
Mia, a sometimes reckless young adult, struggles academically at a prestigious outer space boarding school, and graduates worrying she's come to a bit of a dead-end in her life. That changes when she is assigned work on a spaceship that rebuilds old structures all over the galaxy or universe (or multiverse?). This is where the story begins. Mia's life seems to be moving forward in a positive direction. School wasn't easy for her academically or, at times, socially, but her overwhelming worries a ...more
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this . was . literal . perfection .

on a sunbeam is a story about family and growth and love and life. it feels so melancholy and quiet but at the same time so warm and inspring and uplifitng.

the colours and the art were simple, but not boring in the slightest. the simplicity gave every colour and detail more depth and meaning, i could go on about the illustrations for hours and hours, it's so breathtaking and stunning and beautiful and amazing and perfect and fantastic and aaaaaaaaaa

the story w
Rod Brown
Nov 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a really good book. It may have been a great book if the first half hadn't been so slow and meandering. We flip back an forth between the protagonist, Mia, new member of a building restoration construction crew, and her time at boarding school five years earlier. We slowly get to know the characters in both settings, but it is also obvious that the author is withholding crucial information and the wait for the reveal starts feeling a little tedious.

The book improves dramatically once all
This was an adorable webcomic where basically all the characters are queer girls/women + one nonbinary person. (The nonbinary person is misgendered at one point but it's immediately called out.)

The art style and the colours were very dream-like, and most of the time it worked really well to give the comic a unique feel, but sometimes I was a little lost. Still, I loved figuring out how the two timelines in the comic are connected (and how all the characters are connected!)
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Tillie Walden is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, Texas. Born in 1996, she is a recent graduate from the Center for Cartoon Studies, a comics school in Vermont. Over the course of her time at CCS she published three books with the London based Avery Hill Publishing. She has already received an Eisner Award nomination and two Ignatz Awards for her early works. When she is not drawing comic ...more

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Articles featuring this book

Author and illustrator Alice Oseman is known to her long-time fans for her young adult novels about—as she calls them—"teenage disasters,"...
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“You don't get to decide what's important for us. You can choose for yourself, but no one else.” 19 likes
“It's like the older you get the more you forget that you can change things.” 2 likes
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