On a Sunbeam is a tender and surreal graphic novel about growing up, first love, lost love, friendship, finding your family, and about enormous, flying, space fish. On a Sunbeam manages to be both a science fiction romp about a crew of misfits, and a boarding school drama about first love. Both parts of the story involve flying space fish, and the space fish are gorgeous. Everything about the book is gorgeous: the color palette, the line art, the Gothic architecture, and the riotous starscapes.
Mia, the main character, is a young woman in transition from childhood to adulthood, and everything around her reflects that movement. Her story shifts between her time as a freshman at an exclusive boarding school (in space), to her time working construction on a living ship that travels from planet to planet, job to job. Nothing in her life feels fixed in place. Nothing seems certain. Even people have a tendency to vanish. The girl she loved in high school disappeared before Mia could say goodbye. Mia graduated but she isn’t certain what to do now, or where to go. Luckily, Mia is a young woman of incredible willpower, and over the course of the story Mia grows up and finds people and things she can hold onto in this quickly shifting universe.