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Early Review: One Soul Tenth Anniversary Edition

One Soul

Can you believe it’s been ten years since One Soul was originally published? Fans of the graphic novel or Ray Fawkes’ work probably said something along the lines of, “My gosh, it’s really been ten years?” Then there are people like me who completely missed it the first time around. Lucky for us, Oni Press is releasing a commemorative edition on February 24th. In One Soul, Fawkes uses an experimental narrative structure to explore the lives of eighteen individuals. These people are spread out across different periods of time but their stories play out simultaneously.

One Soul grabs the reader’s attention from the very first page. It begins with two pages of nine black panels. Next comes a series of black panels filled with white ink blots. It’s like a Rorschach test that is given context as soon as the narration begins. This narration is written like poetry. I’ve read several novels written in verse but this is the first graphic novel I’ve read that’s written in this style. After finishing this one, I can honestly say that more graphic novels should be written with poetry.

I love a good nine-panel grid page layout. Each of the characters is assigned the same single panel in the eighteen panels across each two-page spread. This is a very creative way to tell a story, though since I was reading a digital PDF, I found it a little difficult to keep track of all the various narratives. Fortunately, the unique setting and time period of each character helped clarify the story to a certain extent. The narration is laid out in the same fashion. As a result, it can be read in different orders, either as it’s laid out across the page or from one character’s panel to their next assigned panel.

Fawkes uses a minimalist illustration style but still manages to make the most out of each panel. He plays with space and perspective, yet despite the differing images in each panel, each individual page has a visual uniformity. That being said, I did notice that sometimes the characters look a little bit misshapen. Considering how obviously well plotted and thought out the rest of the book is, I have to assume this choice was intentional on Fawkes’ part. No two people look the same in real life and I assume Fawkes was trying to reflect this in his art. Although I can appreciate the artistic choice, I did sometimes find a character’s physical quirks to be visually off-putting.

Whether it’s tracking the narration or taking in the artwork, One Soul is a book that can be, and should be, read multiple times. Fawkes weaves together eighteen perspectives into a single beautiful narrative that explores what life is all about. No two lives are the same but from birth to death, we are all connected by similar experiences. We may be different people but universally, we all share one soul. Throughout the graphic novel Fawkes stretches his creative muscles through his beautiful poetry and by drawing an expansive catalog of objects, settings, and situations. It’s a challenging read but well worth the effort. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of the One Soul Tenth Anniversary Edition when it releases on February, 23rd.

Story: Ray Fawkes Art: Ray Fawkes
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Pre-Order: AmazonZeus Comics

Ray Fawkes’ One Soul Sparks New Book, Coming Summer 2021

The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group has announced the tenth-anniversary edition of Ray Fawkes‘ critically acclaimed and deeply moving graphic novel One Soul, as well as the upcoming One Line, a brand-new book from Fawkes. Both One Soul: Tenth Anniversary Edition and One Line will be available in 2021.

One Soul details the lives of eighteen individuals throughout history whose lives unfold simultaneously. Comprised entirely of double-page spreads split into eighteen panels, with each panel featuring one character’s life, cartoonist Ray Fawkes uses an experimental narrative structure to artfully craft eighteen linear stories into one non-linear masterpiece. Nominated for the 2012 Eisner Award in the New Graphic Album category, One Soul is a powerful and life-affirming story about the way human beings all over the world are connected. The tenth-anniversary edition of One Soul will be available as a metallic foil-stamped hardcover.

As One Soul followed eighteen people from birth until death, showcasing their common joys and pains as well as their unique experiences, the upcoming One Line follows eighteen families through four centuries, showing how traditions, ethics, and prejudices are handed down from generation to generation. Some families will interact, some will join together, some will remain alone. Some will persist, and some will die out. One Line will be published as a beautifully designed foil-stamped hardcover edition.

One Soul: Tenth Anniversary Edition will be available in stores and online on February 24, 2021, with One Line to follow in the summer on July 21, 2021.

Oni Press @ Comic Con 2011

Official Press Release

Oni Press is in San Diego for San Diego Comic-Con 2011! July 20th – 24th we’ll be strutting our stuff at booth #1833. Come by and check out our eclectic library of titles including the premiere of:

One Soul

By Ray Fawkes

*Every copy purchased at the show comes with a limited edition signing card*

From visionary cartoonist Ray Fawkes comes one of the most original and thought-provoking graphic novels of all time! A unique and poetic narrative, One Soul takes the experiences of 18 individuals and weaves them into the spiritual journey of a lifetime. Gracefully flowing from character to character, moment to moment, Fawkes has crafted a stunning mosaic that takes advantage of the medium of sequential art in a way few creators dare.

“…a remarkable and multilinear reading experience. Another new frontier explored in the comics medium.” –Booklist *Starred Review*

“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.” –Graphic Novel Reporter

ONE SOUL

Petrograd

By Phil Gelatt & Tyler Crook

*Every copy purchased at the show comes with a limited edition signing card*

During the height of the first World War, a reluctant British spy stationed in the heart of the Russian empire is handed the most difficult assignment of his career: orchestrate the death of the mad monk, Rasputin, the Tsarina’s most trusted adviser and the surrogate ruler of the nation. From the slums of the working class into the opulent houses of the super rich, he’ll have to negotiate dangerous ties with the secret police, navigate the halls of power, and come to terms with own revolutionary leanings, all while simply trying to survive.

PETROGRAD

Spontaneous #1 & #2

By Joe Harris & Brett Weldele

Driven to discover the truth regarding his father’s mysterious death many years prior, Melvin Reyes seeks to prove the existence of Spontaneous Human Combustion after fresh outbreaks of the phenomenon reveal a pattern only he can see, a predictability model only he can read, and the terrifying realization that whatever phenomenon consumed his father is also boiling inside of him, just waiting for release.

Con Grabs & Specials

Sketch Monsters / Power Lunch Grab Bags!

For kids! Includes the Free Comic Book Day edition of Sketch Monsters & Power Lunch and Sketch Monsters sketch book with crayons, in a Power Lunch bag.

Spell Checkers Shirts

Featuring everybody’s favorite teenage witches, $20 each.

Super Pro K.O.! Thumb Wrastlers

Stop by the Oni Booth (#1833) during one of cartoonist Jarrett Williams signings to pickup a copy of Super Pro K.O.! Vol. 1 and your very own sheet of SPKO Thumb Wrastlers. Challenge your friends and become the king of the ring!

Scott Pilgrim, Limited Edition, Japanese Cover Prints

200 hand-numbered (100 sets and 100 singles) 11” X 17” art prints featuring the covers from the Japanese editions of the Scott Pilgrim Series. $20 each for singles or a full set of three for $50.

Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers Wristbands

$3 each (while supplies last)! Each Wristband features either Scott Pilgrim or Ramona Flowers.

Scott Pilgrim and Ramona Flowers Metal Charms

Weighty black-nickle and full color enamel charms featuring your favorite slacker and the lady of his dreams, $10 each.

Scott Pilgrim, Limited Edition, Silkcreened Gig Posters

Each of the four silkscreened, four-color, 18″ x 24″ posters is hand numbered and can be purchased as a set for $120 or individually for $40 each while supplies last.

Plus loads of buttons and shirts from your favorite series, shirts of Shirts with Shirts on them buttoned to buttons of shirts… and much more!

Oni Press Portfolio Review

Join Oni Press’s Editorial Department for the “No Capes! No Tights!” Portfolio Review! Oni Press editors will be reviewing sequential art portfolios from aspiring creators and are looking for line artists and colorists for upcoming projects! Oni Press is a company with focused needs and will not be reviewing portfolios from inkers, cover artists, or superhero-centric illustrators.

Daily at Comic-Con’s Portfolio review area.

Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Saturday 2:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

For application instructions please review Comic-Con’s website:

http://www.comic-con.org/cci/cci_portrev.php

Oni Press on Panels!

THURS 2:00-3:00 The Pitching Hour— Jermaine Turner (director, Disney/ABC Cable Networks Group), Zach Schiff-Abrams (executive producer, Fourth Wall Studios), Valerie Alexander (screenwriter), Charlie Chu (editor, Oni Press), Carina Schulze (Chatrone), Matthew Cohen (video game developer), Lindsay Rostal (producer, The Odd Gentlemen), and moderator Dan Evans III (freelance development executive, Robot & Monster) take an idea from conception through production for various media. This process will include creating a pitch document, obtaining agents, and getting a pitch meeting. The panelists will explain, through hypothetical example and humorous stories, the process that new creators should adapt to make their way through the creative battleground of the entertainment industry. Knowing that each project is unique, there will be a Q&A to allow the audience to really hone in on the solutions to obstacles they may encounter. Also on hand is Brendan McFeely (IP lawyer, Kane Kessler) to give creators insight on protecting their ideas as they navigate Hollywood. Room 5AB

FRI 1:00-2:00 Oni Press Panelmonium 2011— It’s a new comic extravaganza with trendsetting indie comic powerhouse Oni Press, featuring Comic-Con debut titles One Soul, Petrograd, and Spontaneous! Join in the Q&A with Ray Fawkes (Possessions) and get the first word on his game-changing graphic novel One Soul. Plus an in-depth chat with Phil Gelatt (Labor Days) and Tyler Crook (B.P.R.D) about their new historical graphic novel chronicling the infamous assassination of Rasputin, Petrograd! Joe Harris (Ghost Projekt) and Brett Weldele (Surrogates) talk about their new miniseries Spontaneous, while artist Brian Hurtt and writer Cullen Bunn join in the fray to discuss their hit ongoing series The Sixth Gun. And, as always, Oni Press’s Panelmonium brings announcements, reveals, special guests, free comics, and the only interactive panel in town! Guaranteed by Oni Press’s totally biased employees to be “the most fun you’ll ever have at a panel”! Room 32AB

SUN 2:00-3:00 Spotlight on Joëlle Jones— Since her debut illustrating 12 Reasons Why I Love Her in 2006, Comic-Con special guest Joëlle Jones has been one of comics’ most talked-about new artists. Get in on the conversation as Jones sits down with journalist Erik Henriksen and her long-time collaborator Jamie S. Rich to discuss her various projects from Oni Press, Vertigo, and Dark Horse and what it’s like to draw Dr. Horrible, Madman, and Spider-Man. Room 4

Ray Fawkes Explores Eighteen Lives In One Soul

Official Press Release

RAY FAWKES EXPLORES EIGHTEEN LIVES IN ONE SOUL

In the most ambitious book Oni Press has ever published, cartoonist Ray Fawkes tells the stories of eighteen individuals throughout history whose entire lives unfold simultaneously on the pages of his new graphic novel, ONE SOUL. Comprised entirely of double page spreads split into eighteen panels with each panel featuring one character’s life, Ray Fawkes has artfully crafted eighteen linear stories into one non-linear masterpiece. ONE SOUL reaches comic shops and book stores July 2011.

“Part of what’s so amazing about ONE SOUL is that it can really only be done in comics,” said editor in chief James Lucas Jones. “Initially you’ll read the book as you would any other comic, panel to panel, page to page, to get one story. But you’re also reading eighteen separate stories. Reading ONE SOUL is an indescribable experience.”

“They’re all very different,” Fawkes said of the characters in ONE SOUL, who cover a spectrum of classes, religions, and careers. “You could read them separately, read their lives one panel at a time, but when you put them together and see their differences and their common points, you catch a glimpse of a greater scope. The characters, through their frustrations and triumphs, are asking and answering big questions and, in a way, in cartooning ONE SOUL, I’m trying to do the same for myself.”

ONE SOUL is slated for a July 2011 release. Written and illustrated by Ray Fawkes, ONE SOUL features 176 pages in an oversized hardcover format with book design by famed comic artist Matt Kindt (SUPER SPY).

Ray Fawkes is a prominent comic writer and artist best know for his light-hearted kids comic series about a cuddly pit-demon, POSSESSIONS, as well as his collaborations with other comic creators including APOCALIPSTIX, MNEMOVORE, and SPOOKSHOW. www.rayfawkes.com

Oni Press Inc. is a leading publisher of independent, creator owned comic books. Founded in 1997 on the belief that comics can be used to tell any story, Oni Press has published hundreds of different comics and graphic novels. Their creator-owned comics have won numerous book, library, and comic awards. With a strong focus on character, genre, and story driver creator-owned work, Oni Press has become one of the most well respected publishers in the comic industry. www.onipress.com

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