Ray Fawkes's One Soul
is a moving, challenging and ambitious graphic novel that attempts -- with great success -- to do something genuinely new with the comics form, telling a story that literally could not be told in any other way. Each two-page spread in One Soul
is split into 18 panels, and each of those panels tells the life story, from conception to death (and beyond) of a different person, in a different time and place.
Fawkes implies that (as the title has it), these 18 people are all one soul, living through different incarnations, and he does some incredibly smart and subtle stuff to draw parallels between their lives, which are as different as can be, but nevertheless echo one another's beats in subtle ways.
It's almost a visual poem, this book, a story that you feel as much as understand.
It's hard to describe, but this 18-page preview is pretty illuminating. Below are a few of the spreads:
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