"Véronique Tanaka is playing mind games with us. Pure comics."
Internationally acclaimed comics star Bryan Talbot has revealed that when he gave this review for Véronique Tanaka's Metronome, he too was playing mind games with us. He confessed, in the newsletter of Nottingham comics shop Page 45, that Véronique Tanaka is more than his protété, she is his alter ego - she is, in fact, none other than Bryan himself!
Just when you thought that nobody could create something new in the comic medium, here comes Metronome - a 64-page graphic novel by Véronique Tanaka: a "silent", erotically-charged visual poem, an experimental non-linear story using a palette of iconic ligne clair images. Symbolism, visual puns and trompe l'oeil conspire in a visual mantra that could be described as "existential manga" if it wasn't for the fact that there is a very human and elegantly-structured tale providing a solid foundation to the cutting-edge storytelling.
Metronome was published in book form in March 2008 by NBM: visit their site to order the book.
It has been chosen by New York Magazine as one of its Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2008.
View a 17-minute movie only here, adapted directly from Ms Tanaka's graphic novel by Cornwell Internet. At one second per frame, the book works equally well as an animation.
Another interview with Véronique Tanaka in Publishers Weekly.
"When I awoke this morning, the Metronome was still beating in my head, and images flashing - it's brilliant. This may forever change how we view - and market - comics. Totally amazing!
"I was riveted by the images and found myself thinking about the educational applications! One beat per second is, of course, the human heart so the sound creates a direct and involuntary channel for the images - they literally get "drummed" into the soul of the viewer. It was visceral and primal. I'm wondering what this technique could do for students ... or language studies ... or even people with memory loss."
Rosalind Penfold, author of Dragonslippers
"It's like the pumping of your heart: so demanding, almost threatening, yet totally compelling. It plays with your desires, your expectations, your aspirations, your delectations... yet half-way through the heartbeat loses its echo, and what was once reflected is reduced to a staccato, violent insistence.
"I have never in my life experienced anything quite like it. As a graphic novel, it will be awesome, but as a piece of multimedia animation (for that's what it is online - not comics, with each frame replacing the other) it's haunting, harrowing, and enough to make you want to hit someone. Hard. Take the appalling irony as you will - it's the gut-felt truth."
Stephen L. Holland, Owner/manager of Page 45
Metronome is a Flash animation that runs for about 17 minutes. If you can see Véronique Tanaka's Japanese signature (above right) display as an animation, you have the necessary software. If you cannot then we are sorry but it appears you will be unable to view Metronome on this computer. You can still buy the book, which relies on tried-and-tested paper and ink technology. To purchase a one-week licence to view Metronome, click the button below. The price is £1.99, which is approximately $3 or €2.30.
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