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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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Top Customer Reviews
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!
The story, which moves quickly, focuses on getting Orio situated in Cobble (i.e. her job placement), however, none of the jobs on her list work out--courtesy of Bauble and his antics--and the one she wants, the one she'd be good at, didn't even make the list. To make things worse, there's something terrorizing the city. And more than that, there's another underlying story which is wrapped in mystery and that's the one I'm eager to see more of. I'm desperate to learn about Orio, how she wound up in Cobble and why that pocket watch is so important to her; Bauble, why he is the way he is (because he *definitely* has a back story); and especially about Cobble/Clockwork City itself.
It's difficult to give much more away without spoiling the entire book, but suffice to say, it was a gripping read. In a sense, the tone of the book and story is quiet and subtle. The panels were laid out well and were easy to follow. The writing was top-notch--sharp, witty, and sometimes hilarious. The characters were surprisingly well developed. (I say surprisingly because this is a short work and it's not always easy to create well-rounded characters in such a short amount of time.) The artwork was sublime and the muted colour scheme worked for the overall story. If there was a problem with this work, it would be that sometimes the story drops--literally, there is no dialogue and it's a bit difficult to regain one's bearings. But for me, it was forgivable because it added to the fantasy mystery element.
This is great if you enjoy quirky fantasy with a touch of wry (and maybe a little dark) humour. When I finished reading, I wanted to cry because there was no more left. I truly didn't want the story to end and I haven't felt that way about a book (much less a manga/graphic novel) in a long while.
Disclaimer: Since I'm reviewing an ebook version courtesy of Netgalley, I can't comment on the print or binding quality of the book, but I've already placed my order for the print copy and can't wait for it to arrive.
The world Orio enters is a puzzle to her, a place of regimented, bureaucratic rules and unfamiliar customs. And clocks, of course, since it is a clockwork city. Orio walks through it in silence. In fact, Orio hardly utters a word in the entire volume. Sometimes she falls but she always gets back up. There's probably a lesson in that.
There are pages and pages near the end that are all art, no words. That's cool, even if I spent a lot of time in an unsuccessful effort to understand the scenes depicted on the page. I think maybe the story is about finding yourself, accepting yourself, accepting your Odd, but I may be entirely wrong about that.
I enjoyed Hinges although I would have to say that at least half the time I had no clue what was happening. The expressions on Orio's face are nearly enough to make the volume worthwhile. The rest of the art is whimsical but purposeful. Had I understood the purpose I might give this 5 stars, but out of shameful ignorance I'm giving it a solid 4.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What’s strange for me is that while I liked the artwork because all of it...Read more