Sunstone Vol. 1
Sunstone Vol. 1 Written and Illustrated by: Stjepan Sejic Published by: Top Cow; 2015 ISBN: 978-163215212; 14.99 Normally, I would review something like this on the Graphic Reader Tumblr page (whoops, cat's out of the bag!), but I have been so enamored of this story since Sejic first started posting online that I just have to share with folks. That said, this is your only warning *THIS IS AN ADULT TITLE. THERE IS GRAPHIC NUDITY, GRAPHIC LANGUAGE, AND ADULT THEMES THROUGHOUT* Lisa Williams is an aspiring author who likes to write erotica about submission. In her mid to late 20s, she's kept her desires quiet for years, which has made relationships difficult. Ally Carter is a successful and dominant business woman who is a bit of a loner. Her personality often causes problems in her relationships, and her closest friend is a former lover who has become an accomplished fetish device designer. Meeting online over Lisa's stories, the two women begin to open up to each other about their desires - at first, neither thinks anything will come of it, but a series of events thrusts them into a relationship neither one was prepared for - the sex is amazing, but with it comes something even more dangerous. They're falling in love with each other. How can they maintain their fetishistic relationship of dom and sub, while maintaining a budding romance that could easily be destroyed? Originally started as a story on DeviantArt because of a couple of characters Sejic created, it slowly morphed into a modern day tale of love, romance, sex, and all the stupid things couples do in between. Sejic's artwork in the early stages feels unfinished and raw, much like the beginning of a relationship, especially one with a strong sexual attraction from the get go, but as the series goes on, the artwork becomes more finished, with a delectable polish that reflects the evolving relationships between not only Lisa and Ally, but their friends and family as well. Like I stated previously, this is a tale of love, loss, and redemption, cleverly disguised as erotica. To be honest, it delivers on all cylinders as well. The characters develop organically, the plot twists are not only believable, but expected and appreciated. The sex is... well... let's say that it's difficult to write a sex scene without it getting pornographic, and even more difficult to draw a sex scene without it devolving into grossness. Sejic's handling of both aspects is nothing if not amazing. he dances close to the edge with his writing, but what makes a steamy scene really sing is the artwork, and if you don't blush while reading this, you're either dead from the waist down, or a very, very repressed person and should probably seek help. I genuinely enjoyed this story for its story. The sex positive theme is refreshing as it shows folks with certain proclivities as normal everyday people, and not some weird perverse monster. The characters are all ones that you can identify with: Lisa with her apprehensions about trying something new. Lisa with her self-doubt, but unwillingness to show weakness. Alan, who just wants his friend to find a different outlet so she stops pestering him all the time, but will drop everything at the first sign of trouble - the list goes on. The artwork is magnificent as well - not going to lie. One final remark, reiterating what I said previously: THIS TITLE IS NOT FOR READERS UNDER THE AGE OF 18.