Alone by Olivia Stephens

 

Alone is a romantic drama comic written and drawn by Olivia Stephens.

Told through a series of vignettes, Alone depicts the budding relationship between a quiet widower and a former musician as they both attempt to reconcile with their pasts.” – Olivia Stephens

I did not expect to love this comic as much as I did. It definitely released the cheesy romantic in me that I try to keep locked way. The story opens with Javier, a man who’s left in a dark place due to his wife passing. Within the first couple pages, Javier meets Sarah and his world begins to change for the better. A tale as old as time. To double down on the cliches, most of the comic is in black and white with brief accents of the color red whenever Sarah is in the scene as she begins to color his world.

Chapter 1: Page 1

 

 

Chapter 1: Page 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I found myself rolling my eyes and scoffing, I kept reading. Eventually, I got to the latest page of the comic and I was disappointed that there wasn’t more to read.

The entire comic is a collection of short stories, or vignettes, that tell the love story of Javier and Sarah. There’s also frequent flashbacks from before they meet each other that reveal more about their personal histories that form their actions in the present. These short collections made the story really easy to read in one sitting. Although they are short and there’s usually minimal dialogue, each chapter reveals more and the characters become more intertwined and complex.

Other than the romantics, a main aspect that kept me interested in the comic was the way music is illustrated. I’m a huge music fan and I’m almost always listening to something. Therefore, I really enjoyed the way Stephens captured that feeling.

Chapter 7, Page 15: 🎶 🎶 🎶 🎶Chapter 3, Page 16/End of Chapter [JULY 2017-Author’s Note: Now that I’ve left Tapastic, I’m taking the time to link the songs that I would post along with certain pages using their Soundcloud plugin. Enjoy!] She’s The One - Ray LaMontagne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later into the comic Stephens began adding Soundcloud links so the viewer can listen along while reading a chapter of the comic. I really love that integration and how it further immerses you into the world of the comic (their taste in music is pretty good too). Stephens also began to animate some pages and I enjoyed that as well. All the animations are simple, add an additional layer of interest to the comic and aid in getting a feel of the environment.

 

I think the reason I began to fall in love with the comic was how much I saw myself in Sarah. It’s revealed that Sarah is bisexual and I nearly squealed with excitement. There’s very little bisexual representation in media, and it’s especially scarce with people of color. There wasn’t a dramatic moment when it was revealed and I was appreciative of that. As I’ve mentioned before, I hate it when a character’s sole purpose is to add diversity. So far, there haven’t been any incidents of biphobia from other characters and that’s a relief as well. However, Sarah appears to come from a very religious family and I’m curious to see how the author will handle that. Due to Sarah stating she doesn’t currently speak to her family, I’m assuming it is related to her sexuality.

I have many more thoughts relating to this comic that I want to think over, but I wanted to get out my initial response while it was fresh in my mind. Be on the lookout for part two! In the mean time, check out the comic and let me know your thoughts!

 

3 thoughts on “Alone by Olivia Stephens

  1. I understand what you mean about character’s being made solely so the author can brag about diversity — I’ve read a few webcomics that feature gay characters, and while some just briefly mention it if it comes up and either just make it a feature of the character or maybe a plot point (A was trying to date B, but doesn’t realize B is gay type-thing), there’s a comic I’ve read that when the author laid out what everyone’s preferences were, I almost felt like they were trying to over compensate. (annoyingly I can’t insert an image but this is a link to what I mean — they list like 90% of the cast http://imgur.com/a/O4Jz1 )

    On the other hand, if you like comics that don’t make a big deal of it, Shaderunners (http://tinyurl.com/y7epwwju) and How To Be a Werewolf (http://tinyurl.com/y9gkp4xl) might be ones you’d be interested in.

    Like

    1. It’s definitely kind of thin line. Sexuality can be a big part of who you are and I know a lot of people who are like “I’m gay and I’m proud” which is great. So on one hand I can understand. On the other hand, there are other times where it feels like writers/creators are using identities as a prop or as if they’re checking some box.

      Thanks for the suggestions!

      Like

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