Title: Hinges: Book 1: Clockwork City
Author: Meredith McClaren
Publisher: Image Comics
Source: Diamond Book Distributors on NetGalley (A copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.)
Check this book out on Goodreads.
HINGES is a fantasy webcomic, turned graphic novel, about a doll named Orio and her troubling companion Bauble. New to the city of Cobble, Orio must depend on help where ever she can find it, but her assigned familiar Bauble has other interests. And as the two explore the walls of their city, they find that they are not the only new arrivals. In a place that runs like clockwork, it only takes a little disruption to upend a city. (Source: Goodreads)
Hinges, a webcomic turned graphic novel, is the story of a doll named Orio and her Odd, a toy companion, called Bauble. As Orio tries to get a job and fit into society in the city of Cobble, which she has just entered, she is unable to fit in – mostly because Bauble keeps causing mayhem. Can this unusual pair ever fit into the city? Or will they destroy the whole town?
I found Hinges engaging, beautiful, but a little confusing. The story is a little hard to follow because there isn’t much being said, and the art doesn’t seem to convey movement as clearly as it should. The art is however really beautiful. I found the concept really interesting and am really interested in seeing more, and will likely follow the comic in the future, I just think it’s a bit confusing and maybe needs a few read throughs to really follow the action completely.
The story starts with Orio entering the city, and by the end of the book she’s only really just begun to establish herself as a citizen, getting a job and a place to live. The world in the story is sort of steampunk-dolls-ish, but I think the world building isn’t fully there so the setting and history aren’t well established at this point. I found the action interesting but I think it left too many questions and made me kind of confused by the whole situation.
You don’t get to know much about the characters – Orio only starts to talk on the last few pages of the book. There are some dream sequences but they don’t establish much of anything. I was intrigued by Orio, but didn’t get to see much of anything from her.
I think the best thing about this book is definitely the art. The art is so beautiful unique. It’s primarily grey tones and white, but there are flashes of colours – reminds me a little of Quest and Journey for that reason and also the limited dialogue. I love this style so that was a huge plus for me. I think the main downside is that McClaren wasn’t able to capture movement quite so clearly so you wind up with a lot of confusing panels and the action becomes really unclear, which was a real letdown.
I’m a little torn on this one, because I do think it’s beautiful and worth a read, but I also think you should spare yourself the confusion until things become a little more clear. I will definitely be looking back to this in the future and checking out further volumes.