All One Life
All One Life
By Jon Strongbow. Published by Fantagraphics.
Board Book, 32 pages, Red/Blue 3D (glasses included) 2023
In stunning 3D imagery, All One Life is an imaginative collection of postcolonial, spiritually inflected images portraying the city of Seattle’s past and present.
Inspired by a 3-page comic by the French cartoonist Jean Giraud (Moebius) illustrating a speech by Chief Seattle, Seattle-based cartoonist Jon Strongbow went on a spiritual journey. He studied at the Red Cedar Circle, a community dedicated to the ancient teachings of the First Peoples of the Northwest Coast, attended a local Tibetan monastery, and was mentored by local native healers and medicine people. Deeply moved by these teachings, he sought to honor the culture of the original inhabitants and refute the devastation wrought upon them by depicting today’s Seattle imbued with ghosts of the original inhabitants of Northwest Coastal natives.
All One Life is a series of 29 stunningly imaginative images — meticulously rendered and expertly transformed into 3D (glasses required and included) — that juxtapose the city’s past and present, indicating what we have lost by destroying the tribal nations. These . Many of the images feature masked dancers from all over the world and how they invigorate the modern streets. There are also shamanic images, especially spirit entities, such as the dream time Wandjina spirits of Australia and the Hopi and Zuni Kachina's in the Four Corners area. Strongbow also showcases endangered species: a whale swims in the streets of Pioneer Square, echoing their near extinction caused by aggressive whaling by Americans, Germans, and Japanese; dinosaurs roam the city’s streets, reminding us that many creatures have had their day, and we may have had ours. All One Life is a series of stunning images chronicling the transformation of Seattle that is both imaginatively fanciful and profoundly elegiac.