Myths, Magic, And Mayhem Galore: Tom Siddell’s Gunnerkrigg Court

Cover art for Gunnerkrigg Court, Vol. 2. Copyright © 2005, Tom Siddell.

Last week I reviewed a brief section of the webcomic called Penny Arcade.  Today I’d like to talk a little about another webcomic, a work of fantasy known as Gunnerkrigg Court.

The comic follows a redheaded British student by the name of Antimony Carver, who attends a Hogwarts-like school of mystery and adventure called Gunnerkrigg Court.  She seems to have bizarre encounters almost every week, some of them self-contained, but usually with larger implications for the plot.  However, unlike many other students, she takes all this weirdness in stride, having an innate gift for communicating with all kinds of beings: ghosts, supernatural creatures, psychopomps, elves, robots, demons–even her own shadow.

I love the visual style of this comic.  There’s a lot of detail put into some scenes, making them into breathtaking portraits or landscapes.  And because it’s a fantasy comic, the artist and creator Tom Siddell takes the reader into several different realms, like the one inside Zimmy’s head or the world perceived through Annie’s blinker stone.

The mythology in this comic is also one of the most elaborate I’ve ever seen.  It starts out with the premise that all myths are true, giving us Coyote (from Native American folklore) and the Minotaur (a Greek mythical hybrid).  But then it develops its own material: the conflict between technology-reliant human beings and the creatures of the forest, with Gunnerkrigg Court at the center of it all.  Not to mention some strange possessions, a recurring motif involving robots, delving into “etheric sciences,” and all the secrets behind Antimony’s heritage.

There is so much about this webcomic that keeps readers like me coming back for me.  It’s playful and dramatic, and has all the elements of a genuine saga.  If you’re so inclined to start reading, I recommend visiting its archives page here.

Bibliography: Siddell, Tom.  Gunnerkrigg Court.  April 4, 2005 – Present.  http://www.gunnerkrigg.com

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