cover image Sunbeam on the Astronaut

Sunbeam on the Astronaut

Steven Cerio. Alternative Comics, $9.95 trade paper (56p) ISBN 978-1-934460-23-8

In his latest, comics anthology veteran Cerio collects many short, unrelated pieces, including some film stills and collaborations with musicians. The book opens with beautiful prose memories, lyrically written on swirling art backgrounds. The text is narrative, but strange and emotionally resonant, as Cerio describes the disorientation of seeing his parents in the bright sunshine and being outside with his beagle looking out over the “seven green yards to the highway.” The comics are hit or miss. The psychedelic art is a marvel to look at—a cross between Rorschach prints and magic-eye patterns. Some of the pieces are moving and wonderful, such as “The Failing Symbolism of White Doves,” which discusses the pale comforts that imagery and literature hold for those who are mourning the loss of loved ones. Other pieces are too abstract to engage with easily. Cerio’s art is excellent throughout; even when it borders on nonsense, it’s gorgeous nonsense. (May)