One Soul

One Soul

Book - 2011
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Eighteen individuals throughout history whose entire lives unfold simultaneously. Comprised entirely of doublepage spreads split into eighteen panels with each panel featuring one character''s life, cartoonist Ray Fawkes has artfully crafted eighteen linear stories into one non-linear masterpiece.
Publisher: Portland, Or. : Oni Press, Inc, c2011.
ISBN: 9781934964668
Characteristics: 173 p. :,chiefly ill. ;,29 cm.

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forbesrachel Jul 13, 2014

Everyone is different, and everyone is the same. From birth to death we experience similar events, and react to them with the same emotions, all the while becoming unique entities. One Soul takes a innovative approach to storytelling with its two-tier narrative. Each panel represents the life of one individual, and every panel on one spread is united by a common event or theme. By flipping from page to page we see the life of one person unfold, and by reading it in the traditional panel by panel method, we get a collective story. To achieve such a complex idea takes a masterful hand. Fawkes not only successfully pulls this off, but he somehow manages to keep it simple. Words flow across the panels to form a cohesive sentence, even while isolating themselves to tell their individual stories. At the beginning, repetition in this, and in the art, is often used to bind them all together, yet slowly they become less alike. People start dieing early on, such is the unpredictability of life, and from then on their window, overflowing with their thoughts and regrets, remains black. It takes a great deal of concentration to follow so many stories, yet each is worth the effort. Just enough key moments are shown to give us the picture, but it is up to us to fill in the gaps by thinking about that life, and by figuring out the page's theme. Fawkes clearly put a lot of careful thought into the layout. Contrasting lives lie next to each other, giving both a stronger emotional impact, and art in adjacent panels can be related. All these tales are incredibly powerful and captivating, because we can relate. No matter your gender, race, belief, the time period of your birth, or your preference in love, we all have a soul. Differences make us beautiful, yet at our core, we are bound together by this one commonality.

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xod_s
May 20, 2014

Mulitlinear here can be used to refer to how each one of the 18 different panels is the life an individual from roughly the time they are born until (one by one) they die for some reason.It isn't to hard to figure out the era and location of each individual.

I personally thought of the graphic novel as a really simplified "Cloud Atlas" minus the reincarnation fantastical sci-fi elements.The stuff that's said in the panels after an individual passes on culminates to some interesting stuff at the end.

Worth noting imo:around the first few pages it says "To Dorian our beloved son born and died March 13,2010.In Memoriam".

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