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Gunnerkrigg Court Volume 2: Research Hardcover – March 30, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Gunnerkrigg Court Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Collecting year two of Siddell’s widely acclaimed science-fantasy webcomic, this graphic novel follows Antimony Carver and her pal, Kat, as they uncover more delectable oddities in their industrial complex/boarding school. The flights of fancy that made Orientation (2009) so delightfully disorientating are a little more restrained here, as the story takes firmer root in its technology-versus-magic-versus-nature construct. Of course, there’s still no shortage of enigmatic surprises lurking in the school’s cavernous shadows, and the outstanding printing quality shows off some of the best use of color for mood found anywhere in comics. Grades 8-12. --Ian Chipman

About the Author

Thomas Siddell is English, and resides in Birmingham. He has a day job as an animator for a video game company, and he rides the bus to work every day. He hates Boxbot. He really, REALLY hates Boxbot.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Archaia (March 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932386777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932386776
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are reading this I think it would be safe to assume that you are already familiar with Gunnerkrigg Court, but if you are one of those poor souls who are not so privileged then you should go to <[...]>. Then you should buy the first print volume Gunnerkrigg Court: Orientation for yourself, your friends, and maybe a few complete strangers (sharing is caring!). Do that. Right now. I'll wait.

Caught up? Bought the book? Showered Tom Siddell with oodles of money? Good, because Volume 2 covers chapters 15 through 22 of Antimony Carver's time at Gunnerkrigg Court. The chapter count may appear meager when compared to the first volume's; however, the page count is still a respectable 265 (the number listed by Amazon as of the time of this writing is wrong). We learn more of Annie's time at Good Hope, the origin of the Court itself, and the identity of the mysterious ghost that haunts the Annan Waters. We also see Annie's first meeting with the trickster Coyote and catch a glimpse into the life of a previous generation at the school. Some questions are answered but the Court remains shrouded in mystery and you will find yourself wanting to learn more and more about the world it inhabits.

Tom's art, which improved drastically over the course of the first volume, continues to evolve through this collection (and indeed through the as-yet unpublished pages online).

The physical book itself, unfortunately, does not appear to be of the same quality as the first volume. While the paper that it is printed on is very nice and, as far as I can tell, identical to that of the first volume the binding of the signatures seems to be less secure.
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Format: Hardcover
... and that's saying a lot.

As I mentioned in my review of Gunnerkrigg Court: Orientation, I find this web-comic as close to perfection as one can get. The writing is fantastic and the artwork is delightful, and both improve greatly in this book.

As with the first book, the chapters range from silliness to a cleverly written labyrinth of a tale. We learn more details about the Court and the characters residing there. With every mystery solved another rises to take its place.

The book itself is sadly not quite as well constructed of a hardcover as the first. The pages seem slightly thinner (as does the dust jacket) and while the binding seems fine, it doesn't feel quite as secure as the first. I am pleased to say that it still has full color glossy pages. I also personally like the cover art on this volume much more than the first book.

All in all though, I recommended it for everyone. As always, I'm already looking forward to the next book, even if you can read it for free on the website. It's good enough to reread while not online.

There's also the inclusion of the bonus story City Face which one can't help but find "super good."
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Format: Hardcover
While all of Tom Siddell's Gunnerkrigg Court series is available for free online as a webcomic, it says something significant that the work is compelling enough to create a real desire to own it in a hardcover format as well. While this story ostensibly seems to be the J. K. Rowling-esque adventures of a few kids through a giant, mysterious castle that brims with both the supernatural and the technological, it has begun to evolve into a subtle and semi-philosophical commentary on the roles of the spiritual and scientific dichotomy our lives.

All of this happens at a young-adult reading level, which makes the story even more interesting and accessible, so don't let any of this scare you--there are still tons of robots, monsters, specters, mythological beings, an ornery talking doll that houses the spirit of an alternately benevolent and destructive dragon, and everything in between to keep you completely entertained.

In this second installment, Annie's inherited ability to act as a medium between different spiritual planes begins to manifest more strongly, though all of this is addressed as stoically as ever by the unflinching protagonist. While this apparent cool indifference on Annie's part might come across as an inability to write children accurately, Siddell makes it clear that he can definitely write kids, introducing more boisterous, interesting classmates into the plot. As we meet more characters from both the past and the present, both young and old, each presents a strong, unique voice. The plot thickens, and we gain insight into the traumatic (and a bit shocking) circumstances that brought Annie to where she is now.

There's a great deal of emotional depth to these relatively simple stories, which still continue to surprise me with each page.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was introduced to Gunnerkrigg Court by a friend several years ago and have been following it since. This serious is beautiful, thoughtful, exciting, and just all around interesting. The art has changed and improved so much since the beginning of the series, and Tom keeps releasing beautiful prints on his store.

Without giving too much away, the main character is Antimony (or "Annie") Carver. She begins attending Gunnerkrigg Court halfway through the school year and slowly starts to unveil the mysteries of the Court, their relationship with the forest that surrounds them, and the various oddities scampering about. (Robots, ghosts, spirits of possession, etc.)

Gunnerkrigg Court is an interesting mix of science and fantasy, covering a great range of characters throughout their time there. Annie is interesting, but she is flawed-- and no character is without one or two dark secrets. This is a great read-- you can visit gunnerkrigg.com to read it right now! And if you like it, the books are available both here and on Tom's website-- they are laid out comic book style and in full color. I am very happy to add the hard copies to my collection!
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