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On a Sunbeam

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  3,828 ratings  ·  785 reviews
An epic graphic novel about a girl who travels to the ends of the universe to find a long lost love, from acclaimed author Tillie Walden.

Throughout the deepest reaches of space, a crew rebuilds beautiful and broken-down structures, painstakingly putting the past together. As Mia, the newest member, gets to know her team, the story flashes back to her pivotal year in boardi
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Hardcover, 544 pages
Published October 2nd 2018 by First Second (first published 2016)
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Andrea Yes. It's a collection of the webcomic from start to finish.

Community Reviews

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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,828 ratings  ·  785 reviews


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oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god I LOVED THIS SO MUCH oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god oh my god
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.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Absolutely stunning.
David 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
E.
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 not linear
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Leore
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!
Calista
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
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Patricia Bejarano
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 en realidad.
He amado por completo esta novela gráfica.
Ya había leído anteriormente a la autora con Piruetas, y desde entonces, tenía muchas ganas de volver a leerla. Cuando me enteré que publicarían En un rayo de sol me emocioné muchísimo, pero he decidido a esperar a tener los dos tomos para leerlos porque sabía que el final me iba a dejar con ganas de más y ¡menos mal que esperé! Porque fue acabar este y ponerme inmediatamente con el segundo.
Lo primero que quiero decir es que amo el dibu
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Miriam
Oct 19, 2018 rated it liked it
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
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⚔ Silvia ⚓
This was so cute help
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
Iris
AHHHHHH THIS WAS SO SWEET AND CUTE AND I LOVED THE CHARACTERS WITH MY WHOLE ENTIRE HEART. ALSO THE ART IS STUNNING.

RTC.
Rod Brown
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
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Alexa
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!)
Микола
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, en
Цікаво, із чого складається манера оповіді у коміксі. Тіллі Вальден створює таку м'яку атмосферу засобами графіки, в тому числі й почерком у репліках, що навіть складні й гострі моменти сприймаються через ніжність.
Це фантастика про космос і одночасно історія про (перше) кохання для підлітків.
Я відчув себе тим підлітком. Переживав і радів за героїв. І радів, що можу таке відчувати. І що Тіллі Вальден так класно малює.
Знайомство з такими творами — радість.
Carlos
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book a lot, the author was able to make the world the characters inhabit come alive, the graphics , the imagery all made this graphic novel stand out. The writing was simple but the story it portrayed was nuanced and once you started comprehending the backstory of each of the characters you could'nt stop cheering for them. The diversity shown and the fact that it focused on women didn't feel forced and at no point in the story it felt like a prop. Great book for any age to enjoy.
Ignacio
Este canto a la amistad, tierno y cálido, intercala dos historias: una de crecimiento alrededor de la relación de dos jóvenes durante su estancia en un internado edulcorado rollo Hogwarts, y la otra años más tarde cuando una de ellas entra a formar parte de un grupo de trabajadoras de la construcción. A mitad de camino entre la space opera y la fantasía, Walden entreteje y realimenta ambos relatos poniendo especial hincapié en las relaciones (amistad, de pareja) entre los personajes, hasta llega ...more
musa b-n
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a gorgeous and excellent book. The story is super compelling, and the characters are all really neat. There is also not a single man like anywhere, and that's neat, too.

There are sad and scary parts!! But also happy parts!! I think probably all of my friends would really enjoy this book. I was really touched by its themes.
Lauren James
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
The most beautifully drawn, imaginative graphic novel about space travel. Every page of this was just absolutely stunning, especially the fish spaceships.
Elizabeth A
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, graphix, kids-ya
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
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aleks
wow this was so wholesome my heart is full
And it was snowing while I was reading it I'm in love
Scarllet ✦ Underrated Lit Warrior


you do not understand how much the found family trope means to me. my heart is full. will i write a real review later? maybe, but i feel happy i've read this one.
Maia
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Peacegal
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Thoughts:
-I will admit to spending about the first quarter of this sci-fi graphic novel trying to figure out what was going on. Not a lot of time is spent on world-building, you just kind of have to pick things up as you go. In addition, there is a good deal of skipping around in time and I occasionally had difficulty telling the characters apart.

-There is a lot of emotion in this one, and I think it would especially appeal to teenagers or people who remember what it was like to be a teenager.
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Bryan
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"If a 20 year old lesbian from Texas decided to make a science-fiction book"

That's a direct quote from the author when asked how to describe "On A Sunbeam" on a more recent podcast (Comics Alternative) promoting this book.

Speaking of podcasts, this is how I discovered Tillie Walden. She just happened to always be a guest on various podcasts I subscribed to and I always enjoyed listening to her talk about her work and other things. One thing I did not recall ever was hearing her discuss the topic
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Mangrii
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tejiendo dos líneas temporales de la vida de Mia, la joven autora tejana crea una historia de amor, amistad y crecimiento personal embotellada en un mundo hermoso poblado por planetas flotantes y naves espaciales. Conocemos a Mia, justo en el momento que consigue un trabajo en la reconstrucción de edificios antiguos en un pequeño equipo dirimido por dos mujeres casadas, su sobrina y una persona no binaria. A la vez, conocemos a Mia cinco años antes, en el momento que experimenta su primer amor m ...more
vanessa
This is really beautiful and incredibly imaginative. Walden can draw otherworldly ships and buildings no problem. She can draw adorable girls and women and the coloring is so *pretty*. But I seem to have issues with her storytelling (both here and in Spinning). Sometimes it's hard to tell the crew apart and we don't really get the explanations I thought we would get during the final action / climax of the story. I think in general Walden's characters and plotting need a little work.
Annie
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am in love with these beautiful queer girls (and Ell) and their fish spaceships. Tillie Walden’s art is incredibly beautiful and the use of color is as thoughtful as it is gorgeous. How brilliant of her to use color to establish timelines and signal character developments and shifts in relationships!

I would like to go live in the fish spaceship now. If I cannot join a lesbian space family, I will maybe just paint my house the colors of this book.
Alexander Páez
Pero qué cosa tan bonita... Si tenéis mono de leer una historia de personajes, de crecimiento, de amistad y de amor (vamos, algo como la novela de Chambers), este webcomic adaptado a libro es una pasada. Lo recomiendo muchísimo.
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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
“You don't get to decide what's important for us. You can choose for yourself, but no one else.” 0 likes
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