Last week, I picked up Ray Fawkes‘ new graphic novel, One Soul. Â
First, the background: One Soul follows 18 characters from birth to death, with their lives runningÂ concurrently, though their stories take place in different times. Â Maybe I’m not explaining it well. Â The Oni Press site explains it like this:
One Soul takes the experiences of 18 individuals and weaves them into the spiritual journey of a lifetime.
This is a story that can only exist in the comic form. Â You could not adapt this into a movie, or a tv series, or anything else. Â This story can only be told in this form. Â It is a pure expression of the comic form. Â And a testament to what someone striving for a story told the way it needs to be toldÂ can accomplish.
The book is a deep and emotional read. Â Some characters die earlier than others, and some live long and prosperous lives. Â Each death is keenly felt, while for some, the pain of their lives is felt even more keenly. Â I found myself rooting for some characters, wishing for justice for others, and pitying still others.
More importantly, I found it hard to put down. Â I wanted to keep turning the page. Â Late at night, needing to go to sleep, I would still tell myself “just one more page, just one more page”. Â And then finally, I finished it. Â This is a book that needs a moment of quiet reflection after finishing; a moment to break to contemplate what you have read (tinged with more than a little awe).
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Â Its more than worth your time. Â Its definitely worth the read. Â And the second and third readings.