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Gunnerkrigg Court Volume 2: Research [Hardcover]

Tom Siddell
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Mar 2010 Gunnerkrigg Court (Book 2)
Annie and Kat begin their second year at Gunnerkrigg Court! Parts of Annie's past are revealed, as well as mysteries that tie back to the origins of the Court itself. Finding a secret tomb of ancient robots beneath Kat's workshop leads the two friends to question how they are linked to the mysterious ghost that attacked Annie the year before. And as a new Medium-In-Training, Annie is able to visit the powerful trickster god Coyote in Gillitie Forest, a visit that reveals more than she ever imagined!

Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Archaia (30 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932386777
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932386776
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 16.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 488,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series, excellent book 7 May 2010
Tom's sharp, funny, serious, and touching at will. The writing is tight, the art is gorgeous, and the whole thing is tied together by excellent characterisation and subtle references. If I didn't keep lending it to people I'd read it, finish it, then read it again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for existing fans or new readers. 2 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is perfect for anyone who already loves and wishes to support the web-comic, or who simply wants to slowly explore an amazing world which will have you hooked from the first chapter.

For those who are already fans of the web-comic, having this product in paper form is very rewarding. It's an entirely different reading experience, which alone is worth it, and the paper and production quality are of a very high standard. Additionally it's a pleasure to see Tom's artwork progress so much over the read period.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Better and Better! 31 Mar 2013
By Karyn
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have loved Gunnerkrigg before it was ever published, i was so excited when i found out it was in book format! i've had this book for years now and i've read it over and over, this is one of the best comics i have ever read, and i just wish more people could see how amazing this series is! if you haven't been reading it, you really must start!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly beautiful work 7 July 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tom consistently underrates his own artistic talent - these books are a lovely tale, told in an imaginative way, involving fabulous characters and an intricate mystery that is suitable for children and adults.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the first... 26 Mar 2010
By Timothy Riley - Published on
... 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."
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's out (and in my hands)! 25 Mar 2010
By A. Z. Allen - Published on
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. The hard cover itself "looser" and the finish is rougher as though the paper covering the boards was not smoothed down properly. However, it is still a very nice book and I consider it to be well worth what I paid for it.

tl;dr Great art, an engrossing story, and a terrible robot. Buy it now.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A subtle and semi-philosophical commentary on the roles of the spiritual and scientific dichotomy in our lives 21 Jun 2010
By - Published on
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. I'm not a fan of webcomics, but this one has me entranced. Little visual references to Hellboy certainly don't hurt my opinion.

The style of art is sometimes reflective of a comic that needs to be cranked out at a rapid pace, so certain pages are very attractive while others are simply functional, but Siddell rarely needs more than a few lines to communicate exactly what's happening perfectly.

Be aware that the death of a parent is an issue that is strongly implied in this collection, in addition to a word of profanity that is cleverly half-obscured, though any child who watches TV past 7 p.m. should be able to complete for you--hopefully not loudly. An extra 10-page strip that focuses more on gags is included at the rear of the book and briefly mentions "drunk humans," so proceed at your own comfort level.

Gunnerkrigg Court is a solid work that I genuinely look forward to reading, as well as sharing with my 4th-grade niece (who has been begging for volume two since well before Christmas). If you are uncertain, you should check out the website where these comics originally appeared, but I have no doubt that you'll be quickly convinced.
-- Collin David
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-pleasing and captivating adventure 8 April 2010
By ccdesan - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tom Siddell's Gunnerkrigg Court is the product of an amazing and gifted man. Not only is he a superb storyteller, but his artwork is immensely satisfying to look at. Add to that the fact that this heavy, high-quality glossy volume *feels* good in the hand, and you have a winner all the way round.

This is the 2nd volume in the story of Antimony Carver, a young lady who has been (seemingly) abandoned by her father in a school for young people. The world she lives in is an odd mixture of technology and "etheric science", the latter of which is not always well accepted in some sections. Across a large gully is the Forest, where magical creatures dwell.

There are many story lines to follow, and not all is sweetness and light. Siddell entangles us in Antimony's journey out of childhood, in a society of robots attempting to become more than they are, and in a world of magic and mythology. The complex tales are full of symbols, allusions and many a Chekhov's gun which - one hopes - will be explained in future volumes, all of which will grace my shelves as they appear.

The webcomic is available at [...] - do yourself a favor and get hooked; you'll want the story in hardcopy. Go, now. You can thank me later.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked it on the Web, you'll love it in hard copy 19 April 2010
By Steven Gallacci - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For those already familiar with the three times weekly web comic Gunnerkrigg Court, this is a faithful high quality reproduction of the strips in a fine hardbound book. The crisp color printing provides for a more/better/different effect than the on-screen images (some of which were hard for me to read, with my aging and somewhat color-blind eyes).

For those not familiar with the strip, it is, in a subtle way, the antithesis of Harry Potter at Hogwarts boarding school. Our heroine, Antimony Carver is a student at the mysterious and dreary Gunnerkrigg Court, a special boarding school, with an emphasis on science (and super science) that also appears to be a massive empty city, populated more by helpful robots than people. But there is also room for spiritual/magical/etheric things too, and there has been an unsteady balance between between the cold rationality of the Court and the wild and magic infested Gillitie Woods. Antimony's late Mother was a medium, a go between of those two worlds and Antimony has already had many encounters with the supernatural.

This second volume examines, among other things, the relationships of the spirit world to the living and many complications between them. There are also all kinds of yet to be fully revealed secrets within the Court and among the characters hinted at. While the over-arching story is still being told, with no sign of concluding anytime soon, each chapter in the book does have a level of self-contained story, so the reader is not left dangling.

While various classical mythic/folkloric themes run throughout, they are handled gently and shouldn't offend most theistic sensibilities.
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