mystery


Wednesday’s Webcomic – Gunnerkrigg Court

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Gunnerkigg Court is the long-running story of a young woman and her close friends discovering their boarding school is much, much more than it seems. Quiet, polite Antimony Carver begins her first-year studies at the eponymous court and begins to notice the strange goings on and begins to investigate despite the obstacle of the tight-lipped faculty. Though she is very reserved, a gregarious and clever girl named Katerina Donlan, the daughter of two faculty members, manages to befriend her and the two of them slowly manage to unravel the tangle of myths, legends, alchemy and mad science that have built Gunnerkrigg Court. Their own unique talents and those of their classmates and teachers are slowly revealed to be tied into the broader story, as well as the ancient gods and monsters that make appearances.

Our Heroine Appears, with 2 Shadows

The stories are episodic and come to a conclusion at the end of every chapter, but all are tied into the larger, broader mystery of the origins of Gunnerkrigg Court and its neighboring forest. Some chapters are very dark and tragic, though with positive endings and thankfully there are frequent comedic chapters to balance the mood. The art quality evolves quickly and keeps a consistent style and the characters age and evolve naturally, with sumptuous rich colors and intricate detail that shows all of the author’s attention to his historical and anthropological research. The mythologies of many cultures as well as the history of science are among many of the unique things a reader may learn after researching something that pops up in the story either in the background or mentioned directly. The characters are deep and flawed, all of them acting like the children they are and growing realistically while learning about life, love, and their own natural gifts. Gunnerkrigg updates three times a week without fail, as the author keeps himself at a 30 page buffer ahead of the projected publishing date.

The Author

Tom Siddell is very private, and does not reveal much about his personal life. He prefers to only discuss the comic and the world he has built. He has revealed that he lives in Birmingham, England and that he was a graphic artist at a video game company. He recently began to devote himself to Gunnerkrigg Court full time.Many pages have an amusing comment about the page at the bottom, which I recommend reviewing, and his tumblr features many bits of fan art he’s drawn for other properties and Gunnerkrigg Court related news as well as spiders. The Gunnerkrigg Court graphic novels are published by Archaia Entertainment and lots of high quality merchandise and prints have recently appeared at Topatoco.

Treatise 5


Wednesday’s Webcomic: Bucko

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The comic Bucko begins with Rich Richardson, dubbed Bucko by the woman whose couch he’s passed out on, rushing through the streets of Portland on his bicycle as he tries to get to his job interview. Remembering he almost had a threesome with the woman, Gyp, and her roommate before he passed out destroys just about all the confidence he has, and then the post-drinking diarrhea that strikes mid-interview is about the worst thing that can happen… until he finds the dead body in the men’s restroom. What follows is a mystery, although the objective of it does end up different. The city of Portland seems weirder than the Wonderful Land of Oz as Bucko and Gyp, his almost hook-up, stumble on oddity after oddity encountering Juggalo queens, ghost bicycles , and a candle-making Suicide Girl.

Bucko Page 1

Bucko is complete as of January 2012, and has been bound up by Dark Horse Comics in one volume. The artist and writing duties are split between Erika Moen and Jeff Parker respectively. The story call itself a comical murder mystery, and while it is comical, there is a murder, and there is a mystery, the three are not exactly interconnected.  It’s a very offbeat and winding love poem to the city of Portland and the people who’ve chosen to live there and make it so darn odd. It’s also riotously funny. This comic gave me more than a few stitches in my side! I don’t feel I can say much more, or feature more images, as I don’t want to be one of those movie trailers that spoils all the jokes.

The Authors and Their Other Works:

Jeff Parker has an illustrious comics writing resume including many  Hulk titles, Agents of Atlas, X-Men: First Class and UndergroundErika Moen is a cartoonist, well known for her always honest and often raunchy autobiographical webcomic Dar! which I find incredibly inspiring. It’s worth watching her for the incredibl print work she does, which I regularly covet and mug little old ladies to acquire. Well,  not quite mug. More like work in exchange for wages to acquire, but old ladies are involved. Both of them work out of the freelance hive Periscope Studio in Portland, where I’m sure brilliant cartoonists are cultivated in tanks.