With On a Sunbeam, Walden has created a science-fiction universe that is about women, queer love, old buildings, and big trees. It may piss off science-fiction purists... The most endearing aspect of On a Sunbeam is the confidence the narrative has in the world it exists within. The fish-shaped spaceship becomes a silent character, its face seemingly straining as it flies. Walden doesn’t create fake scientific-sounding explanations for why the ship is shaped this way—it just is ... Walden creates the intoxicating effect of a universe as mysterious as our real one.
Fans of Walden’s work will be happy and unsurprised to learn that the book lives up to Walden’s reputation ... The book is well over 500 pages, heavy and satisfying to flip through. Walden usually works with limited color palettes, and On A Sunbeam is no exception. Two alternating timelines are washed in blue and purple respectively, with amber yellows and shades of red used to accent both ... The End of Summer and On A Sunbeam share something truly special thanks to Walden’s skill with world-building ... Part of what makes that sense of scale so important for On A Sunbeam is that Walden has removed many of the markers that readers would regularly rely on to understand a setting ... she lets her imagination take flight, sometimes literally ... Walden sinks her characters’ roots deep, building solid foundations for them to stand on ... hopefully there’s many more years to come of her beautiful work.
Maybe it’s the sunset colors. Maybe it’s the Ghibli-esque artwork. Or maybe it’s the enduring story of young love. Whatever it is, On a Sunbeam is the most devastatingly beautiful comic I have ever read ... Why have I become so emotional over such a relatively happy story of young love and space adventure? While on the surface, the comic is happy, the quality of the narrative, the artwork, and the bittersweet moments between lovers old and young, is overwhelmingly lovely. Walden’s work reminds readers that comics — elusive as the medium may be — is a striking art form that can capture the depth and power of human emotion. Additionally, Walden’s dedication to telling stories about young queer people should not be undervalued.