Thursday, March 13, 2014

Webcomic Review: Hinges

Orio is the newest citizen of the city of Cobble and is a little perplexed by it. Like it's name suggests, Cobble is put together by dolls, marionettes, and other puppets who are all accompanied by an Odd and their job in society is determined by their ruling board and regulations. Yet things don't seem to be working out for Orio as they should, is this a sign that there is something else at work within, or outside, the city?

This is a comic where I'm quite happy that I either hadn't found it by this time last year or simply waited another year to review it since if I had talked about this comic last year it would have been a rather different review. I would have focused on the story and said that it was going to be about Orio adjusting to life in this town of dolls and marionettes, and tyet as the second chapter opens she is being tossed out of the town and meets a stranger from another town and it turns out that their world is even odder than I would have guessed. That revelation reminded me of why I love fantasy however, when you're telling a story set in a different setting than where the reader lives (say, fantasy, science fiction, or even historical fiction to an extent) you can play around with the setting so much, you can even trick the reader into assuming certain things about the setting ("ah, so they're all dolls and just don't really care about where they came from or the rest of the world, okay") before revealing that things aren't what they seem ("oh so there are other places and other people in this world so we might actually address where they all came from? Ooooooooh"). 

The setting isn't the only reason I really like this comic, I adore the artwork for it's clean lines and shading and smart use of color schemes (lots of beiges and grays when Orio is in the city and becoming a bit more colorful outside of it). I'll admit that Orio isn't the most engaging main character, I actually thought until the end of the first chapter that she was actually mute, and even Bauble's mischievous antics can't quite make up for that. But this comic is young and, based on the way several events have already played out, Orio is sure to grow and become a more interesting, complex character while the world also gets deeper and deeper.