Well, looks like the third or fourth of the month is my estimated posting date. Mark the calendars (those of you who care).
Anyways, welcome. I’m the Infernal Reviewer. Call me Bedlam. Don’t call me Junior; and this is my humble recommendation of Gunnerkrigg Court.
As a lover of stories, I’ve always had an avid interest in folklore and myths and I just relish any works where different mythos interact, be it in film, television, or books. So a web-comic that touches on and draws inspiration from all sorts of myths and lore is right up my alley.
The series centers on young Antimony Carver, an stoic red-headed girl with an enigmatic past, as she attends the strange and supernatural boarding school Gunnerkrigg Court. Quiet and mature beyond her years, she quickly makes a best friend in fellow classmate, “Kat” Donian, a girl with a knack for technology. As the days go by and they make new friends, Annie and Kat slowly uncover the secrets of the Court, its founding, and the nature of the forest that neighbors it.
On the art side, the style at first is unspectacular and very cartoony and might be enough on its own to drive off casual readers. Like Slightly Damned, however, Gunnerkrigg Court improves vastly as the comic goes along. The art goes from the rough but charming cartoon style to a much more detailed, fluid, and almost haunting sort of elegance. The symbolism is complex and profound and painstakingly thought out.
As story goes, it is based on the All Mythologies are True trope. Figures such as Reynard the Fox, Coyote the Trickster, and Isegrim the wolf play parts in some form or other. We also see ghosts and a minotaur, among other creatures, as well as the idea that every interpretation of the Grim Reaper exists, each one with its own jurisdiction. It’s not all just fantasy however; there are also robots, weather machines, and hologram technology in the court, though they seem to operate on a sort of magical science. The story itself is divided into arcs or chapters, which get progressively longer on average. The tone of the chapters can range from whimsical and comical, to dramatic and mysterious, and often times take a turn into downright creepy, all without ever losing that Through the Looking Glass sort of atmosphere.
In regards to main characters, Antimony is quiet and reserved, though far from passive, taking the lead and facing the unknown on multiple occasions. Of course, she has a sort of affinity for the strange that becomes a bit of a plot point in later chapters. Now, where Annie sees things pragmatically and spiritually (literally) Kat sees things from technical angles, driven by an insatiable curiosity about how the world around her works. Despite this, however, Kat is far more outwardly emotional than Annie, seeing things more as a child their age would, serving as a foil to Annie’s adult manner of looking at things.
And that’s really all that can be said in regards to premise and my opinion, at least without going into too much detail and possibly spoiling something. All in all, Gunnerkrigg Court is a very enthralling comic, full of enchanting characters and replete with enough intrigue and unusual ideas to give the readers something to think about.
Gunnerkrigg Court currently updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Gunnerkrigg Court, including all the images used here, belongs to Tom Siddell.