Clockwork City is a town populated entirely by automatons and dolls. Each automaton starts as a blank slate. They are given a name, clothes, and their choice of odd (a plushie companion) and then introduced to the city and assigned a job.
Orio, the heroine of Hinges, awakens and goes through all the steps. Unfortunately, when she makes her choice of odd, she chooses Bauble–a troublesome creature who causes so much mayhem that she’s unable to find a position.
Life gets more complicated for Orio when something begins murdering automatons. Bauble tries to help, proving that there might be more to him than being a troublemaker after all.
Hinges started as a webcomic created by Meredith Mcclaren. Image published the graphic novel edition, but the original is still available online (so you don’t have to worry about tracking down the graphic novel to read the story). There are further adventures of Orio and Bauble on Mcclaren’s blog too–which is great because I’m, at least, looking forward to reading more about Clockwork City and its collection of characters.
I first discovered Hinges while browsing the Graphic Novel section at a bookstore. Its art and overall look immediately caught my attention. The sepia tones and stark loveliness of Clockwork City made me need to read the story. It’s not often that art draws me in, but Mcclaren’s style was just so different that I got caught up in it.
Reading Hinges was actually almost like watching a silent movie. There was some dialogue, but it was the characters’ expressions and the world around them that really told the story.
My only qualm about the art (and it’s not a huge one) was that the action sequences were a bit rough. Occasionally, I was taken out of the story when trying to decipher what exactly was happening in a certain panel, but I’m hoping that as the story goes on the style of the more action-heavy pages will get smoother.
As for the characters, I really liked Orio and Bauble. Orio didn’t utter a word until the last page, but I felt like I got to know her all the same. Bauble, on the other hand, was hilarious and brave, and he 100% made me wish that I had my own odd. (Furbies are the closest thing the real world has to odds and that’s just unacceptable!) The side characters were great too and almost all women–which I obviously liked. I definitely want to see Floyd (a haberdasher) and Orio working together in the next “Books.” I think Floyd’s curmudgeonly attitude will be an interesting foil to Orio’s sweetness.
Hinges was a very cute and entertaining graphic novel. It’s technically an all-ages comic, but I think it would appeal more to teens and adults than the “Ages 9+” that it’s suited for.
I’d highly recommend checking Meredith Mcclaren’s work out–especially if you’ve ever wanted to have a walking-talking plushie companion of your own.
Is you could have a stuffed animal companion, what would it be?
Image Source: Goodreads