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Inkspot Fancy

Comics and fantasy and sci-fi, oh my!

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Back to the Court

Gunnerkrigg Court Vol. 5 Refine - Thomas Siddell

One of the interesting things about reading the trade collection of a webcomic that you don't get so much with a more traditional comic collection is seeing things in greater context. Regular comics come in chunks of 20-32 pages usually, allowing for the story to be read as chapters. But for web comics, they're often released as individual pages.


For a gag-a-day, that's fine. But for story-driven comics, it can really make for a choppy storytelling flow. So you can let a few build up and read them as a chunk. But seeing the whole thing in one book, it gives the story all the context that can leak out in normal online presentation.


I loved Gunnerkrigg Court when I was reading it online, but there's so many things that reading it in book form make stronger. For instance, a lovely parallel between the stories that are being told about Annie and Kat by others - as the denizens of the forest begin telling myths and tall tales about Annie, the robots of the court are crafting something far more cult-like.


In this fifth volume, things are changing for our heroines. Kat is dealing with personal life issues she didn't see coming, as well as her ongoing quest to understand the advanced robots of the court. Meanwhile, after the disappointment of the announcement of the court's medium in the last book, Annie has come to terms with her new role, and is helping the court medium learn as well.


As always, the stories are funny and heartbreaking by turns, as we learn the truth about Rey's feelings about what he nearly did to Annie, the story of how Mort became a ghost, and just how much Annie and Kat mean to one another. Gunnerkrigg continues to be an absolutely stellar read, well worth the time for anyone who loves their fiction with a little magic and a lot of heart.