- Series: Hinges (Book 1)
- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Image Comics (March 10, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1632152533
- ISBN-13: 978-1632152534
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.3 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,037,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hinges Book One: Clockwork City Paperback – March 10, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up—McClaren's fantasy graphic novel, originally posted online, is an aesthetically pleasing but uneven introduction to this clockwork world. Orio is a doll-like girl, newly awakened in the city of Cobble. She and her strange, skull-faced pet, Bauble, travel the city attempting to find a job that will suit Orio. Each prospect turns disastrous quickly, and Orio suffers from strange nightmares and broken memories. Meanwhile, an ominous presence skulks in Cobble's shadows. McClaren's art is beautiful but accessible, with hints of a Japanese style. The environment is interesting and engaging, reminiscent of the settings in Jim McCann's Return of the Dapper Man (Archaia, 2010), though much starker. However, with a lead character who never speaks and a sequence of events that is sometimes hard to follow, the novel only succeeds as basic introduction to the story to come in later volumes. Older readers will feel shorted of any real narrative upon finishing this volume. VERDICT An additional purchase for collections where fantasy graphic novels are in high demand.—Amy Diegelman, Vineyard Haven Public Library, MA
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First off, the art is lovely, it's very simple lines but they manage to convey movement and emotion beautifully, the colors are simply amazing, I can spend forever just observing the gradients, and the palates for specific moods, and just everything. The spacing is broken up in interesting ways, the word boxes have interesting angles leading back to the speaker that gives a little more variety to the to the scene, the font is thick but it doesn't feel too heavy or mismatched against with the characters or the tone of the story.
Ok onto the actual story. This is a town of dolls, or puppets, I'm not fully sure yet considering Orio has iron bolts in her joints but Senior Orderly Margo seems to held up by strings, where the strings end and how they manage not to snag when leaving rooms or going on different floors still baffles me but this is fantasy so we're just gunna go with it. And whenever a citizen is born, as in wakes into consciousness they are sent to choose an Odd, somewhat of a companion, they're made of some material, alive but not organic. She finds a strange Odd [haha] which looks more alive than the others, "Bauble" as that is what tag it takes on demands to be chosen by Orio, and now they are on their way to get proper housing and acquire a job. But there's something wrong with the happy little town of Cobble, and Bauble may not know the whole story but they play a big part for something so small.
It was interesting to read, just from the imagery alone and the curious nature of these living material people, the whole mystery of what Bauble really is, and what's going wrong around town makes you wish more pages would magically appear after you reach the end of the graphic novel.
This story is pretty interesting, and quite unique compared to a good majority of what's out there so I'm hoping more people give it a try. If you're impatient like me read it online, and if you like it PLEASE support the artist and author so that she may continue to make amazing stories.
BRAVO MEREDITH! BRAVO I SAY!
Mary Fortner Smith
Comics.....Resistance is Futile!
I originally started reading Hinges without any foreknowledge, based solely on randomly coming across the wonderfully haunting opening image of the main character, Orio. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was very intrigued, and was incredibly impressed as I began her unique tale.
Orio wakes up with no memory in a strange clockwork town called Cobble. While disorienting to Orio it’s apparently not unusual as and administrator immediately begins her initiation. It’s a wonderful way to start as Orio is in the same limited information state as the reader, but with other characters already on hand to provide a little framework we get a nice, seamless introduction to world. It’s delightfully imaginative, from it’s doll and marionette citizens to the “ODD” companions they all have to the general design of their surroundings. Little hints and details about how Cobble works are unobtrusively given as the comic progresses while the main focus stays firmly on the characters.
And what delightful characters we’re given. The silent Orio is a strong lead, possessing something that makes her immediately endearing. The reader feels for her confusion, admires her determination and cheers her strength. The lovably mischievous Bauble is a source of humor, trouble and mystery in equal measure. Add in several strong yet diverse personalities around them and Hinges has an excellent cast all around.
One of the unusual things about Hinges is the use of numerous sections without dialog. Authors that are confident enough to get out of the way and let the story proceed at its own pace and its own manner make me very happy. When used right it really enhances pacing and impact. One of my favorite manga, A Bride’s Tale, is a great example of this and I love it in Hinges too. The plot moves at a perfect pace and good use of this technique is a big reason why.
The art is exquisite. It has a soft feel that occasionally “hardens” a little when tension or danger are present. The subdued color palette helps establish a great atmosphere for the comic and subtly changes in different locations. In general the coloring is among the best I’ve seen in comics.
Clockwork City is a great start to a comic that became an instant favorite of mine. I couldn’t wait to learn more about Orio, Bauble and their strange little world.