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Comic News:
Shaffer's Mini Gets Collected
By Brian Jacks


Hailed as one of the more intriguing miniseries debuts of 2002, ONE PLUE ONE will be collected in trade paperback form by Oni Press in September, 2003.

Written by Neal Shaffer (interviewed here) and illustrated by Daniel Krall, ONE PLUS ONE is an unpredictable story twisting crime, horror, and slice-of-life comics into one surprising plot. Don’t believe us? The how about Michael Avon Oeming, who was such a fan of the pair’s work, he volunteered to do covers for them and plugged the book in POWERS? Or Mike Allred, who liked it so much he asked Krall to contribute to July’s MADMAN KING-SIZE SPECIAL? If you have yet to read what they’re all fussing about, your second chance is coming! You can now enjoy the story of Dave Coulson under one cover in the new, handy, pocket-sized Oni graphic novel format.

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“I love the way Neal Shaffer structured ONE PLUS ONE,” Oni editor Jamie S. Rich said. “I liked that each issue ended at a point that was completely different than where it began. The end of each chapter left the reader wondering where the book would go next—which is the point of any really good novel. You want every revelation to be a surprise, and I don’t think anyone was fully aware of everything going on in ONE PLUS ONE.”

“As a writer in today’s comics market,” Shaffer explained, “you always have to be thinking in two directions. You have to consider how it’s going to read for the person buying the individual comics, and then how the whole thing is going to read as a complete piece of work. I think as long as a writer can keep the mystery interesting, it should be fine either way. But at the same time, I am looking forward to hearing how the book appeals to readers who digest it as a whole.”

Equal parts psychological drama and urban crime story, ONE PLUS ONE unspools at a pace designed to keep the story one step ahead of its reader. As Eddie, a low-level card player, makes plans for a big score, his girlfriend drops some big news on him—she’s pregnant. Will he stick around and take care of her and the kid, or will he rabbit out of town? And just why is Coulson taking him under his wing and teaching him the tricks of the trade? How does Leonard fit into this, too? He can see what people are going to look like after they die…but what good is that to Coulson?

“You have to read the whole thing to get everything that’s going on,” Rich said. “And even then, you’ll want to read it again and puzzle over the clues some more.”

As per usual, this trade paperback will feature plenty of extras, including the Oeming covers, a black-and-white version of the short story from the ONI PRESS COLOR SPECIAL 2002 (slotted into its approporiate place in the story), behind-the-scenes elements, and a look at the duo’s original pitch to Oni. “We actually did a couple of pages to show them what we were thinking, stuff that ended up either being reworked for the book or dropped altogether,” Krall said.

The ONE PLUS ONE vol. 1 trade paperback, retailing at $14.95 US, clocks in at 136 pages and hits store shelves on September 17, 2003.


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