Advance Review: ‘Suncatcher” Shows The Power Of Music
by James Ferguson
Beatriz is obsessed with music and for good reason. If she can play the perfect song, it will set his soul free. This has consumed every waking moment of her life, pushing away friends, school, and more in the quest to find this song. Every great musician has some sacrifices, but how much is she willing to give up in order to achieve this goal?
Suncatcher speaks to a very specific time in my life when all I could think about was music. While I never quite figured out how to play the guitar, I was constantly reading about, listening to, and talking about music. Even before Beatriz started on this quest to free her grandfather’s soul, she had that kind of connection to music. This is the fuel that powers the comic.
Creator Jose Pimienta brings this to life beautifully. Music takes on unbelievable visuals in Suncatcher, swirling around the characters in a very real way. You can understand how someone can be swept up with sound, giving themselves completely to it with how it seems to envelop people once it starts. The tone of the book changes entirely when a band begins to play. All other sound drops away. There’s no dialogue. It’s just the music and it consumes all.
Although this visual representation of music is spot on and gorgeous, the story within Suncatcher didn’t quite come together for me. There are two main plot threads: One where Beatriz is finding the perfect song and the other where she’s doing so with her band. While they’re connected, they often feel separate, like we’re bouncing between two distinct stories. This quest obviously gives deeper meaning to Beatriz’s strong feelings about the band, but it comes across as stubborn or arrogant to her friends.
The whole idea of Beatriz’s grandfather’s soul being trapped is an interesting twist, although it’s not really defined. He made a deal with someone that may or may not have been the devil and paid a price for it. One could probably argue that this is all in Beatriz’s head, which certainly puts things in a different perspective. She would be battling mental illness instead of the forces of evil.
Some of the dramatic elements can be a little uncomfortable as Beatriz’s obsession powers her through everything. There are times where the story retreads the same idea, like it’s stuck in a circle. Beatriz will say or do something that annoys her bandmates, she runs away, they forgive her, then they play again. This happens a few times, to the point where you have to wonder why the band keeps letting her back. Despite her musical talents, she’s not a great friend.
Suncatcher explores music in a powerful and unique way. It shows how someone can be swept up in it, wrapping themselves in the melody like a warm blanket. That’s the feeling the best songs give you and that’s the kind of tune that Beatriz is chasing, even if it makes giving up everything in order to do so. While the story could have been a little tighter, you can’t deny the incredible representation of music in this book.
Suncatcher from Random House Graphic is set for release on May 19th, 2020. It’s currently available for pre-order on Amazon.