Usually our Saturday previews here at Good Comics for Kids are of light-hearted all-ages comics. This week, we’re featuring a book that’s a little different: One Soul, by Ray Fawkes, a book that stretches the storytelling abilities of sequential art by telling the life story, from birth to death, of 18 different people, all living in different places and times. Although there are some brief incidences of nudity and violence, this is a book that should have a lot of teen appeal. Each two-page spread of the book has 18 panels, and each panel contains a single life story, always in the same location on the page—so, for instance, you could flip through the book and read just the upper left panel on each spread to read a single story in sequence, or you can read all 18 in parallel. Most likely, you will do both, as the book is filled with complex patterns, both visual and narrative, that reward repeated readings. It’s easier to show than to tell how this is done, so take a look at the three spreads below to see for yourself how Fawkes makes it work. (Click on the images to enlarge them.)
Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.