HINGES BOOK 1: CLOCKWORK CITY Is Wonderful, Absolutely Wonderful – Comic Review
Hinges Book 1: Clockwork City is the latest example of a modern masterpiece within the comic book medium. The incredibly talented creator Meredith McClaren takes the story of “a boy and his dog” and puts one of the most imaginative, charming spins to the classic tale. From the first page to the last, I was invested, and my heart was warmed by McClaren’s Hinges.
The world of Hinges brings us the story of Orio — an anxious automaton of sorts — being pushed into acclimating to the world and finding her place with her little companion, a skull-masked, tail-less cat-like “Odd” — Odds are like familiars. McClaren’s Hinges feels like the the best parts of a silent film, Disney animated short and a Hayao Miyazaki film. The aesthetic is a harmonious blend of eastern and western sensibilities, and the characters and story follow suit.
Storytelling is mostly handled with plenty of movement and displays of emotion through facial expression and body language. Story beats come in the form of what Orio’s Odd brings to the table, being the juxtaposition to Orio. Exposition is handled through the use of characters helping Orio adjust and find placement in the world. An entertaining, unobtrusive way to keep building the world which couldn’t be explained though the visuals alone. And McClaren leans on visuals very much, and totally helps with my suspension of disbelief. I was able to accept the world for what it was, without the minutiae of the world’s origins, or Orio’s, laid before me to make sense of it all.
The art in Hinges and it’s design is utterly fantastic. The characters are expertly crafted with personality flying off the page. The gray and brown tones in color set a mood that gives the reader insight to how Orio views and feels about the world around her. It amazes me one person developed this entire comic. An incredibly fleshed-out world but with plenty of room to revisit or play with new ideas in the future.
Hinges Book 1: Clockwork City is the exact kind of story to showcase that comics are for everyone. This is an all-ages triumph in comics which tells a fairly serious story with charming moments to lighten the mood. Though Hinges is masterful, it’s not without minor sequential flaws, but they are completely outweighed by the incredible execution by this one person. With that, I applaud you, Meredith McClaren. Now, where’s volume two?
Hinges Book 1: Clockwork City
Published by Image Comics
Created, Written, Illustrated by Meredith McClaren