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One Soul HC Hardcover – July 20, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Oni Press (July 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934964662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934964668
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 7.5 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

*Starred Review* Last year Chris Ware chronicled in comics form an entire life from birth to death (The Acme Novelty Library, v.20). Here, Fawkes performs that same feat 18 times over, simultaneously. The book's conceptual gambit comes from the design, which has each two-page spread laid out into an 18-panel grid. Each of these fixed panel locations follows, one frozen moment at a time, a distinct life from the darkness of the womb to the darkness of death. The first task a reader must perform is to pick up the hints in each story line that set the time and place: a prehistoric hunter, a priestess of Artemis, a Japanese silk-spinner, a Muslim warrior during the Crusades, a plague doctor, a patriot in the Revolutionary War, a Parisian diva, a WWI pilot, a junkie in punk-era Britain. Moreover, there is the choice to either read each story like an arrow shot through the book from front to back, or all together as a tableau on each spread. Either way, the book demands active participation to draw parallels and perpendiculars among the stories and construct meanings from the arrays of symbols and clipped fragments of narration. If it seems like an awful lot to ask of a reader, it s because Fawkes, busy wrestling with huge, meaning-of-life questions and large-scale themes of conflict, faith, and love, could sure use a hand. What it all fuses into is a remarkable and multilinear reading experience. Another new frontier explored in the comics medium. --Booklist *Starred Review*

It is difficult to grasp just how complicated and complex Fawkes' process was for this book, but it pays off on nearly every page. One Soul demands more from its readers than the usual genre fare that occupies the majority of the graphic marketplace. It is also a text, I believe, that will be better suited to print than digital formats because of the individualized and varied approaches readers can have with the novel. Fawkes, along with Oni Press, should be commended on both fronts for taking such a daring and experimental concept and giving it substance and a stage. Apart from its artistic and literary merits, One Soul also has importance for students of sequential art and the graphic medium itself because it would make for an excellent source of classroom discussion and debate regarding Fawkes' methodologies. --Graphic Novel Reporter

From the Back Cover

"An audacious love song to life, comics, and everything that connects everyone. ONE SOUL reminds me that there's only ever been one story. This is it." - Kieron Gillen, writer of Phonogram, Uncanny X-Men, Journey into Mystery, Generation Hope, and more.

More About the Author

Ray Fawkes is a Toronto-based fine artist and writer of graphic novels, prose fiction, and games. Ray's work ranges in styles from introspective, dreamscape horror to bombastic slapstick. He is an Eisner Award nominee for his book "One Soul", a two-time Shuster Award nominee in the "Outstanding Canadian Writer" category, and his book "Possessions Vol. One: Unclean Getaway" has won a YALSA award from the American Library Association.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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It's great to show to other people and get their reaction on it.
Cooper291
In this way, the author mastered simultaneously conveying one piece of the puzzle as well as the big picture.
Book Reader
If you open the book anywhere you get two pages--each page with 9 equal sized panels.
Fever Dog

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Fever Dog on August 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's surprising this book isn't getting more attention. I think I found it from Paul Gravett's website. Best graphic novel of 2011 or I drive up to Toronto and eat his hat. You can read the plot synopsis above but I'll add more. The story of 18 different people from all different time periods and places in the world. If you open the book anywhere you get two pages--each page with 9 equal sized panels. Each character gets their fixed place on the page. The dialogue, plot points, emotions, etc. progress both in the conventional "sequential art" style (left to right panel by panel) and by Fawkes play with the fixed panels for each character from page to page. That's a simplistic description of what Fawkes is trying to do with this book. He well succeeds. If you're an indie graphic novel reader BUY THIS.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Book Reader on April 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This graphic novel looks into the lives of 18 characters, from birth to death, each with their own unique human experiences, struggles, and life questions. The layout and organization of this book allows the reader to follow one character at a time to follow the individual's experience, or to read one full page at a time to experience the unifying experiences of all the characters. In this way, the author mastered simultaneously conveying one piece of the puzzle as well as the big picture. The text is brief and in the first person, and reads almost like short poems that provide small objective descriptions as the characters go through life. One Soul is not a story but an experience. This book is more than it's sum as there are many ways to read and interpret it. Even though I originally got this at the library I'm seriously considering purchasing it because it's something I can see myself going back to time and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cooper291 on March 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had originally checked this out from my local library but upon getting about halfway through I knew I needed to own a copy, for a few reasons. The format of the story lends itself to multiple readings, in multiple different styles. You can read one character's story at a time, you can read it from left to right, top to bottom, make up any pattern. No matter which direction you read it something profound and breathtaking will be revealed to you. The second reason I needed to own it was so I as an aspiring artist could use it as a reference. Fawkes style is direct and powerful but simple enough that I can learn a lot from copying it. Finally I wanted this book because it's excellent to keep around to show off and share with others. It's such a groundbreaking, genre-changing work; it really is the most inventive thing to happen to comics in years. It's great to show to other people and get their reaction on it.
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