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WIP Gunnerkrigg Court by Tom Siddell - Original Fiction

Discussion in 'Original Fiction' started by Download, Dec 25, 2015.

  1. Download

    Download Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

    Aug 6, 2014
    Adelaide, Australia
    Title: Gunnerkrigg Court
    Author: Tom Siddell
    Rating: K+
    Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure/Urban-Fantasy
    Status: In progress, updates three times per week.
    Fandom: Nil (Original fiction)
    Taken from Wikipedia

    I was surprised this wasn't here.

    Gunnerkrigg Court is hard to describe. The first thought of a lot of people is "it's a HP clone because it's a magical boarding school" which completely ignores the fact that many older schools in the UK are still boarding schools and have house systems in place. Harry Potter wasn't the first magical boarding school story.

    I think a better description in some ways is to take Miskatonic from HP Lovecraft, lighten it a bit and push it further into the realm of fantasy. The endgame in the story is still uncertain despite 1600+ pages (though Tom has clearly stated he does know how the story will end and he has pretty much foreshadowed every major event long before it appeared in story), but the main story seems to follow Antimony as she uncovers the hidden past of the Court. This leads to a lot of things I can't explain without giving away the plot.

    5/5 from me.

    Please push through the first hundred pages or so. I know the art and story is a bit weird there. This is an example as to how fast the art changes, the first row is about 150 pages in.
  2. Red Aviary

    Red Aviary Hogdorinclawpuff Prestige DLP Supporter

    Mar 25, 2008
    New York (State)
    High Score:
    I've been following this for like seven years now, I think. Despite its timely and frequent update rate it moves fairly slow (or at least it feels like it does, but when you look back you see that there's been a ton of developments), but the art and the setting are fantastic and the story's intriguing. I agree that the art early on doesn't look so good, but apparently he was experimenting a little then, and it soon shifts more towards where it is today.

    5/5 from me.
  3. Vira

    Vira Order Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    I’ve heard about this webcomic for several years, but never knew anything about it or had any interest in reading it. I found a link here and had nothing better to do, so I tried it.

    Let me detail my thoughts as I was reading through it.

    First few chapters: “This is complete shit. Ignoring the art, the events are boring and make no sense. I don’t like this episodic format, and the protagonist is a Mary Sue with no personality other than not being surprised at supernatural events. This is a waste of time.”

    DLP thread: “But why is this rated so highly???? I don’t understand. Okay, a couple more chapters.”

    At the end: “Welp, that was a fast six hours.”

    This comic has much more depth then what appears on the surface. No character is a throwaway, even from the beginning they come back with more depth. Annie, the protagonist, as well as her friend Kat gain a lot of character development, but neither are Mary Sues. All characters suffer realistic consequences for their actions, good or bad, and I was constantly impressed on how seemingly good events would evolve in a dark direction.

    Kat being seen as an angel by a robot cult, but her inadvertent words are turning the cult into… I’m not sure what, but it’s going to be bad.
    The Science vs. Magic theme makes the comic, and symbolism is present everywhere. I don’t care about symbolism, but it can’t be ignored that the creator knows exactly what they’re doing for every panel and chapter. Sometimes the theme was forced as Kat’s disbelief of existence of certain supernatural elements got annoying. I know she’s supposed to be Annie’s science-counterpart, but it didn’t make sense.

    The art is creative and while people are usually drawn in a simple cartoonish style, they can also be very realistic when the situation calls for it. I like certain touches, like when Annie and Kat go to the underworld or whatever it was called, Kat sees it as a fun house with small rooms and identical guards looming in corners, when it was anything but.

    But even then, I’m not sure how much I like this comic.

    The science / magic theme doesn’t interest me. It’s nothing against the comic, just not my cup of tea. I have trouble getting invested in Annie. I don’t know what her overall goal is. There are mysteries she wants to solve, but these mysteries eventually get wrapped up in another side character who wants to solve it, leaving Annie with nothing. The story also focuses on her flaws more than Kat and she suffers the most consequences.

    Like being held back a year for cheating off of Kat all the time. She deserved it, but it rubs me the wrong way. What’s the point?

    Since we’re on the topic, let’s talk about this Anthony subplot.

    I don’t like the way the comic showed how much of an awful person he was then kind of brushed it aside. I don’t mind his flashback at all, that was good seeing him being regretful on the way he treated Annie. It’s that afterwards, when Annie tells Ysengrin about what he did, her accusations sound pathetic. Somehow, she doesn’t mention the big fact that Anthony humiliated her in front of her entire class. And when Ysengrin says he thinks Anthony was right, I can’t tell whether that was the comic’s interpretation or Ysengrin making a judgement on partial information. It makes it seem like the humiliation was trivial and doesn’t mean much, and Anthony is going to be let off the hook for it.

    It puts a bad taste in my mouth.

    I also don’t buy the Court’s threats to get Anthony in line. So, Annie will get to graduate then she’ll be expelled? So what? Can she not go to the forest anymore? This is only one place in the world, what’s wrong with travelling? It’s not like her friends are stuck at the Court / Forest, or am I mistaken? The comic hasn’t shown me why this is a big deal, and for that matter, the world outside the Court is badly underdeveloped. Everything’s taking place in this one location, and it makes the plot seem small.
    So yeah.

    I’d still give this comic 4/5, but I don’t know if I want to continue reading.
  4. Download

    Download Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

    Aug 6, 2014
    Adelaide, Australia
    The Court is spiting her for going against them. They initially ignored her cheateing because she was excellent at other things but when she went against them and became less useful they decided to punish her.

    I think Tom and most fans are aware that there is no point attempting to correct cheating and other transgression by waiting or them to dig themselves a very deep hole like Annie did.
  5. D.H.

    D.H. Seventh Year DLP Supporter

    Aug 9, 2011
    Washington State
    I haven't read many web comics, but this was really good. The art in the first book is not so great, but it gets better over the next few books. It did not take away from my enjoyment of the comic.

    As for the story, it is hard to define. It has a little bit of everything: adventure, magic, sci-fy, school and tragedy. The secondary characters are fun and well developed.

    Highly recommended. 4.5/5