- Books, Literature, and Writing
Gunnerkrigg Court - The Webcomic and the Books
Gunnerkrigg Court is one of my favourite webcomics out of the three or four dozen I read. It is now being released in graphic novel form - the first book, Orientation, won various awards in 2009. The second book Research came out in March, 2010 and the third book is coming out in 2011
Written and illustrated by Tom Siddell - a 3D artist from the British city of Birmingham - and slowly unfolded three times a week since April 2005, with never a missed update (a legendary feat among webcomics)
This sweet, mysterious, fantastical, ghostly, eerie and complicated storyline follows Annie as she discovers the secrets of her new school, Gunnerkrigg Court.
Inevitably compared to Harry Potter, due to it's temporal proximity to that other 'child at a mysterious magical school', I assure you it is quite unique, and adult enough to buy for father's day, silly enough for your children, and beautifully drawn enough for YOU.
Rife with symbolism, a mixture of science fiction, alchemical symbols, school outings, ghosts, faeries and mysticism, with every mthology from the Egyptians to the Celts woven together around Annie in a complex, haunting, and captivating story.
Also, rather legendary in webcomic forums - whenever talk turns to comparisons of the sacrifices of quality versus quantity, or 'immediate gratification from each new page' versus buildup... someone usually mentions Gunnerkrigg Court, and the response is often
"Oh, well, apart from Gunnerkrigg Court..."
Gunnerkrigg Court. A comic about which John Solomon of the appropriately named "Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad" said "has no place on this blog, because it is fantastic".
Click the icon to read from the first page....
Who's Heard of Gunnerkrigg Court?
Do YOU read Gunnerkrigg Court?
Some Background Music...
Orientation - The First Book - The beginning of the Gunnerkrigg Court story
A lovely, very well made and solid book, it reads much better in your hands than on the screen. Everyone I've lent it to has really enjoyed it - from my siblings, to parents, to friends.
Also was picked for one of the Top Ten 2010 Graphic Novels for Teens by the American Library Association.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. This first on-paper collection of a comic that's won several Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards reads like a British boarding school version of Lost, in which each semiexplanation of one mystery leads to a new, larger one. The titular school looks more like a vast modern factory, while across the adjacent, forbidding Annan Waters is Gillitie Wood, home of fairies, gods, ghosts and sentient shadows. In her first school year, Antinomy Carver discovers that the two realms aren't absolutely separate; her little stuffed doggie, for example, soon houses a grouchy but rather protective demon, while the robot she builds out of spare parts lying around the school crosses the Water and comes back with a living wooden arm. Grownups are of little help to the young protagonists, but Antinomy faces difficulties with courage and self-possessed good manners. She and her friend Kat respond appropriately to each fresh bit of weirdness, sometimes taking part in sci-fi space adventures, sometimes coping with the loss of a friend who's changing into a bird. Siddell's stylized manga-like art suggests energy struggling against determined restraint. The result is uncanny, perplexing and oddly compelling. (Dec.)
Research - The Second Book - The second book in the Gunnerkrigg Court series...
I have it! And it's even better than the first book, the art has improved and the print quality is the same!
...assuming you had money!
Would You Buy Gunnerkrigg Court?
Sketches of the Characters - From 'research' (book 2)Click thumbnail to view full-size
Books in print - or webcomics on the screen! - Why buy the book?
Because it's almost always easier and more enjoyable to read the book in your hands rather than online, and often more convenient. Because you'll want to read and re-read it. Because the book is beautiful. Because you'll want to share it with your niece, your uncle, your colleague, your mother. Do you agree?
Why NOT buy the book?
Because it's cheaper? You can't lose it? I'm... floundering a bit here, what do YOU think?
Is it worth buying the book, if the content is free online?
Gunnerkrigg Court: Awards, Reviews and Praise! - "There is only one sensible resolution to this problem. I must construct a robotic walking device!"
From Neil Gaiman the annual Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards, Gunnerkrgg has been well recieved.
Who's Your Favourite Student From Gunnerkrigg Court?
Which is your favourite student character?
Antimony Carver - The main character
Annie came to Gunnerkrigg Court after spending most of her life in a hospital, with her dying mother, Surma.
A silent, stubborn, inscrutable child, with little experience of other people, she must learn her way around the mysterious Court, with its rules and secrets, and history - links to her mother's past, the uneasy balance with the mechanical, scientific Court's antithesis - Gillitie Wood and its animal gods... as well as cope with schoolwork, and the other children.
Katerina - Kat
Kat is the daughter of two of the teachers, and very, very bright. Unfortunately, being so fond of physics, and a teacher's daughter makes it a little hard to make friends...
Luckily for both girls, they found each other and became fast friends - science-whiz Katerina and quiet Annie.
Reynardine - A Wolf in Demon Form
Ah, Reynardine - one of the earliest characters to join Annie and her most faithful - or treacherous - companion. A shapeshifting wolf-demon, a trickster animal spirit from the Forest, he inhabits other beings, leaving havoc in his wake... until he jumps into Annie's toy wolf, and is trapped.
As time goes by, his past connections to Surma and the Court emerge, and he grows fonder of Antimony - his captor and his protector, and more protective in his turn.
Reynardine - Monster or Tragic Hero?
Zimmy and Gamma - Two very strange girls...
Zimmy and Gamma appear in Chapter Five
Zimmy (never Zeta!), the strange, fierce demonic child who everyone fears, with black gunk over her eyes, never sleeps and has terrible waking dreams...
...and Gamma Czarnecki, the sweet polish girl who cares for her, shares some form of telepathy, and keeps the monsters away while she's awake.
City Face: A pigeon love story - Animated voiceover of the filler comic 'City Face'
A short, silly side story City Face.. .
" a story of how love can save the world."
Gunnerkrigg Court - The Puppet Show! - Chapter One comes to LIFE! Learning From Webcomics - an ESL Exercise
Webcomics can be an excellent way to improve the reading and conversation skills of young "English as a Foreign Language" (EFL) learners (Of course, native-speaking and ESL students can also benefit from fun and engaging lessons themed around a high-quality webcomic).
Finished? If you want, you can nip back up and look at the books!