During January I read quite a few graphic novels, since my month was filled with responsibilities and at times I needed to read something that didn’t require me to concentrate too much on it. Therefore, one of the graphic novels I read was Hinges Volume 1 & 2 by Meredith McClaren.
Hinges used to be a webcomic that was later turned into a graphic novel in printed form. It is mainly a fantasy story, though it doesn’t contain that many fantasy elements (if one excepts the setting, of course), so I’m pretty sure even those who are not fans of fantasy could read it seamlessly. The story unfolds in a town, Cobble, which is populated by dolls. Each doll chooses an animal companion upon their arrival there and then they are given a job to occupy themselves with.
Volume 1 begins with the arrival of our protagonist, Orio, in this town. The animal she has selected as a companion seems to be quite unnatural (we learn more of its nature in volume 2) and it causes too much trouble in the town. And that’s pretty much the plot of the first volume.
The text is not very prevalent in this graphic novel, as most pages are wordless panels which may be beautiful and aesthetically pleasing, but unfortunately they don’t contribute much to the plot and they certainly don’t help you understand what’s going on most of the time.
In hopes that volume 2 would offer some more insight into the story and answer some of the questions left behind by its predecessor, I ventured into reading that. Indeed, some questions were addressed, like the nature of Orio’s animal companion, but upon reaching the last page, I had the feeling that even more questions were formed instead.
Volume 2 continues in the same manner as volume 1, with little text and most pages being taken up by artwork panels. A new character is introduced, though, but the volume ends with a cliffhanger.
The artwork is mostly beautiful, though some panels can seem a bit sloppy and awkward at times. The setting is gorgeous and the colours used add more to the creation of the perfect atmosphere. Taking into account that this started as a webcomic, it is rather understandable that the plot is all over the place sometimes, or even seems to be non-existent. There are times, however, when the turn of events indicates that something bigger lies behind, and you just have to endure the long introduction to get to the good part.
I can’t help but feel this graphic novel has so much potential and I’m waiting for it to prove me right in the following volumes. It’s worth checking out, even just for the pretty art and the mysterious atmosphere evoked.