You should read Gunnerkrigg Court
October 12, 2007 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Gunnerkrigg Court is a lovely and strange webcomic by Tom Siddell. While its scenario bears a passing resemblance to Harry Potter (magic school, main character with a strange destiny, etc.), there's something quite different going on here. Chapter One, for instance, deals with how to get an anthropomorphic shadow back to its forest home, using only a box of discarded robot parts and a young girl's initiative. And that's just the beginning. Need a more trustworthy endorsement than mine? Neil Gaiman likes it.
posted by Lentrohamsanin (18 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I like it, though the writing is very stilted. Maybe it loosens up later.
posted by DU at 7:52 AM on October 12, 2007

This is neat, thanks. It felt very Gaiman-y, in children's story mode, no wonder he liked it.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:59 AM on October 12, 2007

Just noticed the artist's comments at the bottom. Avoid them.
posted by DU at 8:00 AM on October 12, 2007

Wow, DU, you are right. It's fascinating: they absolutely ruin the mood of the entire comic.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:08 AM on October 12, 2007

It's quirky, smoothly mixes genres and is fairly imaginative, but the writing is rather jerky. Also, maybe some vulnerability appears later, but Antimony's uber-cool handling of every conflict is pretty annoying.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 8:38 AM on October 12, 2007

Hey, I've been reading this comic for over a year now- it's one of my favorites. I don't remember how the artist's comments at the bottom are early on in the strips, but I've certainly enjoyed them in my recent memory- often snide comments about the characters, something like "Whoa, Antimony is totally going to punch that guy if he doesn't shut up!".

Sometimes I get the feeling that Tom is as surprised as us readers at the twists the story ends up taking.
posted by Secretariat at 9:08 AM on October 12, 2007

I stumbled upon this a while ago, and I'm firmly in the "like" camp. It uses some stock characters (The Child With Destiny™, The Mysterious Stranger Who Hints At A Common Past™ etc.), but it's very imaginative in a "did not see that one coming" way. That is one thing I actually noticed about Gaiman's writing, too: it's the unpredictable, almost nonsensical things that happen and that the storyteller somehow makes to seem plausible that give the story life. I'll definitely follow this one for as long as it's running...

Oh, and on the topic of slightly weird webcomics: might I recommend One Over Zero, a comic that successfully finished its planned run? Not too many of those out there...
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:14 AM on October 12, 2007

That's not the feeling I got, Secretariat, as much as "now, let me explain that elusive and subtle effect I just acomplished in the comic." I am enjoying the comic, but I wish you could turn his annotations off.
posted by yhbc at 9:14 AM on October 12, 2007

Ok, for context, I'm enjoying silly comments like this or this. Maybe I skipped over the comments in the earlier strips.
posted by Secretariat at 10:31 AM on October 12, 2007

Thanks, I've now been absorbed in this all morning!
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:33 AM on October 12, 2007

Archive Binge time!
posted by darksasami at 12:15 PM on October 12, 2007

I'm not seeing the comments -- FF, mac -- am I glad?
posted by The Bellman at 12:16 PM on October 12, 2007

I've been following this for a while and Mr. Siddell continues to improve, both in his art and writing.

As the storylines have progressed, Antimony has grown more empathetic and more complex; the feel has become much more natural.
posted by retronic at 12:04 AM on October 13, 2007

"Destiny" has become so overused a concept in fantasy writing in books, comics, games, movies and TV shows that, even used ironically, it gouges deep rifts into my nerves.

Despite that, that first chapter is a winner, and I've not read much beyond it yet. Good find, Lentronumnum.
posted by JHarris at 3:21 AM on October 13, 2007

I'd say that Antimony's unflappable nature works for the series and is key to her character. She opens up a bit as the series goes on: Chapter 6 has a wonderfully cathartic moment that would have been unbearably mawkish in the hands of someone less talented than Siddell. I wish someone would give him a damn book deal, as this series would work wonderfully in print. He had the first book (Chapters 1-7) available through Lulu for awhile, but apparently that wasn't very satisfactory.

BTW, I found out about the strip from the enjoyably vicious Your Webcomic is Bad and You Should Feel Bad (mentioned in the comments as an example of a good comic, not savaged in one of their reviews).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:41 AM on October 13, 2007

Lentrohamsanin - I also discovered this comic via YWiBaYSFB and have been reading it since (a wonderful antidote to the vileness of Shredded Moose)
posted by sleep_walker at 9:28 AM on October 13, 2007

It did get much better as it progressed, to the point where I will definitely keep reading. Thanks!
posted by yhbc at 7:54 PM on October 14, 2007

Speaking of YWiBaYSFB, looks like they just wimped out went on a hiatus of unknown length. Maybe it's a ruse to draw the Jesslyn Stormheart guy out of hiding.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:16 PM on October 15, 2007

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