April 15, 2024


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Metax in our graphic novel review – ntower

Metax in our graphic novel review – ntower

Swiss publisher Edition Moderne always impresses with profound literary works that often tell many different stories and convey messages using just a few words. We recently received the graphic novel Metax by Antoine Caucet – a work that tells an unusual social critical story that offers more questions than answers. Why I'm still fascinated by this work even after reading it several times and whether it could be something for you can be read in this review.

A mysterious story full of hidden messages awaits you

© Antoine Cousset, Am-Book & Fantagraphics Books Inc. / Publisher bbb Edition Moderne

Metax's story takes place in a fictional country called Ronin, where the eponymous Metax is at the center of all activity. The unidentified substance is extracted from the earth and appears to be of utmost importance, with even the king of this country monitoring the smooth mining. The story begins with a royal horse being shot by suspected terrorists and Metax' deposits being greatly reduced. The miners dig cave after cave, but unfortunately they do not get any of the desired raw materials under the pickaxe. The engineer who selects the different mining areas and organizes the mining is under pressure, and is even visited by the country's princesses – and they try to threaten him because they believe he is simply not doing his best. Not only is this a deadly shortage of coveted raw materials looming, but an extremely shadowy group of rebels is interfering in this complex web of raw materials and politics…

Even after reading it several times, I do not feel that I have fully understood all the events of this work. This fact comes from the way the story is told. To begin with, Cosset uses extensive images and little text, leaving many events to their own interpretation. The sparse text also ignores definitions that are typically incorporated into longer conversations. Accordingly, it's up to you to explore what all the different events that serve as key elements of Ronin's story mean. Kousei uses less classic sci-fi with ultra-modern society, but skillfully throws in the fact that it should be about the future. In addition to the human element, there is also the personification of nature, which is integrated in a rather wonderful way. Many socially important messages and conclusions can be glimpsed here, but cannot be fully understood – at least in my experience.

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As mentioned before, Cossé uses very wide graphics that are often displayed across the entire page. Each page is, in some way, its own work of art; It's as if you were walking through a gallery and looking at one work after another, learning a story at the end. The concept works and is captivating. The characters are rarely depicted clearly, which in some ways means you can't necessarily identify with them or feel connected to them. This kind of alienation makes the plot more difficult to understand – like Metax, who has disappeared without a trace.

The large individual panels are accompanied by a few speech bubbles that impress in a highly decorative font. Here it is as if the text is handwritten, giving the story a personal touch. The German translation leaves no room for complaint, as it is on the one hand clear to read and, on the other hand, carefully worded. The modern edition published the work in a soft cover, a wise decision given the number of pages the book contains and the thickness of the paper chosen.

One of Metax's highlights is the sparse colors that are used: key, important scenes are sparsely decorated in strong colours, which is in direct contrast to the already gloomy Ronin. Contrast is something that plays a central role in this work; Black and white drawings are not necessarily rich in detail, but rather appear vague or hinted at in many places, increasing the contrast between the two colors and thus creating a new level of interpretation. On the other hand, other scenes are full of details, seem almost ponderous and skillfully convey different moods, even without any text. “A picture is worth a thousand words” – Cosset seems to have fully succumbed to this saying in his graphic novel Metax.

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Metax raw materials are not defined. What it is used for remains unclear until the end. The only thing that is clear is that the entire country is in turmoil and many events are happening one after another that will leave you as the reader confused or even frightened. Personally, I have a hard time deciding who is really suitable for this job. For my part, I did not regret the time I spent reading it and enjoyed it so much that I delved into it several times in order to fully understand the work. In the end, I am unable to fully understand the work, much like Metax, whose usefulness remained in the shadows until the end and seems forever lost to the Ronin community.

If you want to get a first impression of the illustrations, you can here View different pages of the graphic novel online.

Metax Published by Modern Edition:

  • Softcover, black and white; Colorful sometimes
  • ISBN: 978-3-03731-252-0
  • 16.8 x 23.7 cm, 288 pages
  • 29.00 euros

Order Metax now on Bücher.de

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Order Metax now from Amazon.de

Our e-magazine ntower is a member of the affiliate networks Amazon PartnerNet, AWIN, Webgains, Rakuten Advertising, Media Markt E-Business GmbH and Saturn online GmbH. When you order through one of our affiliate links, we receive a variable commission from the relevant store operator. There are no additional costs for end customers.

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