Webcomics You Should Be Reading: Gunnerkrigg Court
“Gunnerkrigg Court” doesn’t need me to play its publicist, but then again, a little extra publicity never hurt anyone. (Unless you’re Kate Gosselin…Ahem!) This webcomic has truly earned its fame and fans. It offers a crisp look, detailed environment, fine-tuned story.. everything that ultimately captivates the audiences.
Created by Tom Siddell, “Gunnerkrigg Court” follows the adventures of Antimony “Annie” Carver, a model for calm and collected characters. After the death of her mother, Annie enrolls in Gunnerkrigg Court, a boarding school devoid of nature and saturated in artificiality. The Court is filled to the brim with friendly robots, magical creatures, secretive teachers, lively students, and mystery; don’t forget the mystery. Although Annie is more comfortable around ghosts and shadow creatures than her fellow students, she soon befriends the outgoing, techno-savvy Katerina “Kat” Donlan. Together with her companions, Annie explores the Court to unveil the truths hidden within its walls — Why are the Court and Woods divided? Who exactly is Reynardine? Where is Annie’s father?
Siddell has worked on the webcomic for over five years, and avid readers are still hanging on every update, hoping to discover answers to the mysteries that plague the Court.Siddell assures his audience that by the end of “Gunnerkirgg Court,” all major mysteries will be solved. The creator throws his readers bones (i.e. clues, hints, explanations) throughout the story, some of which you may not notice unless you’ve read through the webcomic more than once. Now don’t let all this talk about mysteries intimidate you. If you’ve developed the impression that “Gunnerkrigg Court” will leave you unsatisfied due to a lack of answers, then please don’t fret. A substantial number of answers have been revealed since the start of the webcomic, and trust me, the unanswered questions are nowhere near as frustrating as LOST’s.
There’s way more to “Gunnerkrigg Court” than just the mysteries.The
story arcs range from short and fun, to long, exciting, and suspenseful.
The plot develops nicely, beginning with seemingly trivial situations,
like Annie teaching a ghost how to successfully haunt. These earlier
chapters introduce characters and themes that return time and time
again. One of these themes is the contrast between science and nature,
which is an important concept that appears often. The plot thickens
tremendously as the story progresses. Siddell’s fresh and detailed art
also develops wonderfully. (Take a look at the first pages, and then at
the latest pages. It’s pretty neat witnessing Siddell’s progress!) The
world of of “Gunnerkrigg Court” is expansive and dreary, looking almost
like a Neo-United Kingdom or sorts. The drear and seriousness found in
the art and story may be a turn off for some people. However, the
colorful characters, humor, and fun adventures shine through the
bleakness, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
The webcomic has
gained loads of attention from around the internet.”Gunnerkrigg Court”
was nominated for over a dozen Web Cartoonists’ Choice Awards, taking
home titles for Outstanding Newcomer, Outstanding Environment Design,
and Outstanding Dramatic Comic. Tom Siddell was interviewed by several
websites, including ComixTalk
and Shades of
Sentience. Heck, even Neil Gaiman praised “Gunnerkrigg Court” on his
official blog, which
directed more attention to Siddell’s work.
“Gunnerkrigg Court” is
a fantastic read for anyone seeking depth in their webcomics. If you
can handle doses of gloom and swigs of mystery, then check out Siddell’s