This is a review of the first three collected volumes of Sunstone by Stjepan Sejic. The fourth volume will be released in January.
You can read the entire thing for free on DeviantArt starting here. I have chronic migraines, though so opted to purchase the collected volumes.
I’m glad I did. The artwork and lettering has been reworked and is much less cartoony and smoother in the print version. Both have their merits, but I prefer the books.
The artwork is digital, but some of it looks like oil painting. It’s really incredible.
Story. Sunstone is about Allison and Lisa, two women who meet online in a BDSM chatroom and eventually decide to play together in person.
It’s going to be light! It’s going to be fun! It’s just going to be sexytimes!
Where one of them gets bondaged up and beaten a little bit and the other is a big, scary dominant. You know, normal stuff.
But then the emotions get involved. Which wasn’t something either of them was looking for.
The story is written from some indeterminate point in the future and we learn at the start that Lisa has been given permission from everyone involved to tell their stories–they’ve also told their parts of the story to her solving the ‘how could she know that’ question for certain parts.
Aside from Ally and Lisa, there’s Ally’s best friend Alan, another D-type who now designs fetishwear and fetish gear for clients including performers at the local BDSM club, Crimson. Ally and Alan explored their kinkier sides together at university and have no boundaries.
Alan’s vanilla business partner’s kinky sister Cassie and her husband Tom (read it twice and it’ll make sense, I promise) feature regularly.
Cassie and Tom got into BDSM after meeting Alan, though they’re just learning and it’s very much a bedroom-only thing.
Lisa’s colleague at her diner job has a minor role thus far, but I have a feeling she may feature more heavily in future.
Anne is Cassie’s long-time friend and she’s very vanilla to the point of being a little squicked out. As her friend has begun exploring her kinkier side Anne has tried to be supportive…by doing research online.
There are a lot of redheads in this. Therefore I’m immediately a fan. As I’ve said already, the artwork is impressive. The guy can paint a nipple, I’ll say that. And I laughed out loud quite a few times, as well.
Each character has their own emotional life and motivation. Each one has their own insecurities and shortcomings and strengths.
Ally lives in a giant house (there’s an explanation for that) and has a ridiculously huge fetish wardrobe (there’s an explanation for that, too) as well as an inordinate number of toys and such (there’s… well, you get the idea).
Those things had me rolling my eyes, but stick with it–I assure you, all will be well. Enjoy the sexiness. Because, so sexy.
There are lots of conversations about what BDSM is and is not. And… I wouldn’t say all of those are correct.
For one: They know one another online for two months and then have one night together. During which Ally puts a heavy leather collar on her and calls herself Lisa’s Domme, which Lisa is a-okay with. Lisa wears the collar in public, all the time.
For two: There’s a moment where Lisa describes Domming and subbing as roleplay. It’s really not. People top and bottom and can play roles whilst doing so. But you are Dominant or submissive. It’s who you are.
For three: Lisa calls scenes ‘sessions’, which I’ve never heard before. Perhaps they’re called that in another part of the world or in the place Sejic lives, but everywhere I’ve seen and read and heard people talk about they’re called scenes.
For four: And this one really got me. Ally had Lisa completely bound and gagged and there was a monologue about how this was a test of a Dominant being able to read their submissive’s body language since they couldn’t use a safe word. Do what? Um. Give her something to hold onto that jingles she can drop or shake. At this point they’d been in a in-person relationship for three weeks I think and she was dismissive of, ‘Oh you can set up a series of eye blinks or a certain set of hums’ but it was really about your D-type being psychic. WHOA JUST WHOA to anyone reading this. NO! RED.
Due to a spoiler at the end of volume one (thanks, Sejic!) I know more than I’d like to about a character that’s recently been introduced. So if you haven’t read the comic on DeviantArt and therefore don’t know where the story is going I would recommend skipping the extra materials at the end of the first volume until… I don’t know when. The story hasn’t developed to the point he mentioned, but I know it’s coming now. (Again, thanks, man.) Once that happens in the collected volumes I’ll update this post and let you know. The extra materials in volume two are safe and there is no bonus content in the third volume.
I am really enjoying the story, though. And the artwork (niiiiipples). Just don’t get all your ideas about how kink works from this comic.