One Soul: Must Read

Last week, I picked up Ray Fawkes‘ new graphic novel, One Soul.  

First, the background: One Soul follows 18 characters from birth to death, with their lives running concurrently, though their stories take place in different times.  Maybe I’m not explaining it well.  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.  You could not adapt this into a movie, or a tv series, or anything else.  This story can only be told in this form.  It is a pure expression of the comic form.  And a testament to what someone striving for a story told the way it needs to be told can accomplish.

The book is a deep and emotional read.  Some characters die earlier than others, and some live long and prosperous lives.  Each death is keenly felt, while for some, the pain of their lives is felt even more keenly.  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.  I wanted to keep turning the page.  Late at night, needing to go to sleep, I would still tell myself “just one more page, just one more page”.  And then finally, I finished it.  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.  Its more than worth your time.  Its definitely worth the read.  And the second and third readings.


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