'Booze, Books & Brunch: An Empty Bottle Book Club'
featuring 'One Soul' by Ray Fawkes
Sunday, Sep 23, 2012 12:00 PM CDT
Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
21 years and over
Long time book club member Christina's nomination finally won. After reading our first graphic novel in July, we're back to the genre.
"The book's conceptual gambit comes from the design, which has each two-page spread laid out into an 18-panel grid. Each of these fixed panel locations follows, one frozen moment at a time, a distinct life from the darkness of the womb to the darkness of death. The first task a reader must perform is to pick up the hints in each story line that set the time and place: a prehistoric hunter, a priestess of Artemis, a Japanese silk-spinner, a Muslim warrior during the Crusades, a plague doctor, a patriot in the Revolutionary War, a Parisian diva, a WWI pilot, a junkie in punk-era Britain. Moreover, there is the choice to either read each story like an arrow shot through the book from front to back, or all together as a tableau on each spread. Either way, the book demands active participation to draw parallels and perpendiculars among the stories and construct meanings from the arrays of symbols and clipped fragments of narration. If it seems like an awful lot to ask of a reader, it s because Fawkes, busy wrestling with huge, meaning-of-life questions and large-scale themes of conflict, faith, and love, could sure use a hand. What it all fuses into is a remarkable and multilinear reading experience. Another new frontier explored in the comics medium. --Booklist *Starred Review*
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