Sunday, 9 December 2012

Graphic Novel: The Clockwork Girl

The Clockwork Girl: A magical story and beautiful artwork.

The Clockwork Girl from the creative team
of Kevin Hanna and Sean O'Reilly.
The Clockwork Girl tells the story of a clockwork girl and a mutant wolfboy from warring families who see past their fathers' differences and quickly become friends.  It’s a warm and touching story, and one which will appeal to kids and adults alike.

The opening sequence quotes Nikola Tesla when it reads, ‘I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart, like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success.  Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends … everything.’  I can imagine that on completion of this graphic novel, the thrill felt by the creators KevinHanna and Sean O’Reilly must have been something quite akin to that described by Nikola Tesla, as The Clockwork Girl is undoubtedly a book which its creators will be extremely proud of.

The Clockwork Girl is primarily a story of friendship and love, and how it can overcome barriers.  This point is first introduced at the moment when Huxley The Wolfboy sets eyes on The Clockwork Girl.  Perhaps sensing a kindred spirit, he is instantly smitten by her and in classic fairy tale style scales the walls of her castle in order to meet her.  Added to this, soon after her ‘birth,’ The Clockwork Girl quickly recognises that she is different from everyone else, and it is the fact that neither of them is a regular ordinary child that helps Huxley and Tesla (the name that The Clockwork Girl chooses for herself after Huxley explains to her that everyone should have a name) bond so quickly and so strongly.

Sadly though, this bond of friendship is not shared by the two friends' fathers.  The Clockwork Girl’s father and creator, Wilhelm The Tinkerer, believes that machines are the future while Dendrus The Grafter, Huxley’s father and creator, is a scientist researching biological cloning and at first this different scientific philosophy appears to be the cause of the two warring fathers disagreement.  A flashback scene later in the story, however, reveals that the bitterness is more deeply rooted than that as it recalls an incident at the previous year’s Haraway Fair (a science fair for scientists, chemists and geniuses) which explains in greater detail how the current level of animosity developed.

The Clockwork Girl has a spell-binding fairy tale vibe to it, with a magical story and beautiful artwork of the style you would associate with an animated movie from the classic Disney era.  In fact there are many reasons why The Clockwork Girl would make an ideal animated movie (see footnote).  It has a sweet and innocent feel to it and a story which quickly draws you in, and it features a number of memorable scenes and some very sad and touching moments.  It also makes the point very eloquently that we often judge a monster by outward appearance whereas in reality, outer appearance can be totally different to what’s inside.

The plot is fairly simple but beautifully told and any sub-plots are basically only there to enhance to central theme of the story and as a result it all fits together extremely well.  Another of the reasons why this is such a great book is that you can’t help but love the main characters of Huxley The Wolfboy and Tesla The Clockwork Girl.  The friendship between them and the way it is described with heart-warming simplicity only adds to the attraction of the characters and as a result this is a book with a powerful emotional side to it.

All in all, the creative team of Kevin Hanna and Sean O’Reilly have balanced all the elements just right to create a graphic novel which is the ideal choice for any parents looking for a delightful tale for their kids and one which will likely also reawaken their own childhood sense of wonderment with the magic of fairy tales.  Highly recommended.

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Footnote: The animated movie of The Clockwork Girl airs on January 12th.  You can find out more at the following link:
The Clockwork Girl Animated Movie

And you can watch a behind the scenes sneak preview at the official website of The Clockwork Girl:

The Clockwork Girl is published by Arcana Studios:

Follow Arcana Studios on twitter:

Worthy Of A Bigger Audience is also on twitter:

Find more graphic novel recommendations at the following link:
Graphic Novels on 'Worthy Of A Bigger Audience'

Please note, all promotional images used on this blog remain the copyright of the respective publishers and are used in accordance with 'Fair Use' legislation for review purposes.


  1. Thank you for the kind words.

    Just wanted to give you a quick update.

    Clockwork Girl, the animated movie I directed, based on the graphic novel I created, airs Jan 12th. It stars the great Jesse McCartney, Jeffrey Tambor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Brad Garrett, and Alexa Vega as the Clockwork Girl.

    let me know if you'd like any additional info from my end.

    Kevin Hanna
    director - The Clockwork Girl

  2. Thanks for the update, Kevin. I look forward to seeing it and I've updated the review to include the link.


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