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Gunnerkrigg Court Liveblog

Post by Simply David on Fri 16 Oct 2015, 1:20 pm

So here's how I plan to do this. I'm going to read through the chapter once, then go back through it to respond to individual pages, and then at the end respond to the chapter as a whole. I will link pages that have images that particularly catch my eye in some way. I'll be posting in this topic once per chapter. 

Hopefully anyone who read GKC will enjoy reading this. Alright, this needs no further introduction, so lets begin!



Starting with the cover page. My original thoughts as I opened this up were about the art style. I find it kinda cute, it has a charm all its own to be sure. I do find the big head thing kinda silly usually but it'll be fine here I think.

My other thoughts on this cover is the dark overtones, which end up being prevalent in the chapter and I'll talk more about later. But it's a nice change of pace for me at the moment to go into something so dark, as in darkly lit.

The next page discusses how this School, Gunnerkrigg Court, looks like an industrial complex rather than a school. And it... really does. I'd hate to go to a school that looks like it's a factory straight out of the old industrial era. 

Also, it took less than a week for her to start noticing strange things, so I'm guessing this is going to be quite the strange story. She obtained a second shadow, and that's really silly and all, but also creepy cause look at those eyes. Alright well anyway.

On page 3 now, she's trying to tell people about the shadow to no avail. That's rather unfortunate, but also sort of expected. Who would believe you had multiple shadows? Then again, it's obvious this school is hiding something.

Also this is the page where I determined her speech is a lot like Rose Lalonde. This isn't important, but I wanted to say it all the same. If nothing else it makes her seem very intelligent.

And so she gets a lamp to make the shadow stand at her height so as to be able to confront it face to face. Going to page 4, shown below.



So this page really got to me, actually. This shadow can take on any shape, and so it can even communicate by spelling out words. Clever, and quite enjoyable. It's also become a very cute shadow all in its own.

Other than the fun of the visuals, I really don't have much to say here. It wants to escape, and specifically to the forest. My best final thought on this page is that the use of the word 'escape' makes me think that it was no accident that it is in this school. 

Page five now, she's questioned it more and it seems Shadow 2, as she's decided to name it, needs something that casts a shadow to be able to actually move around. Also clever. Gillitie wood is where it wants to go, which is across this crazy long bridge that makes me wonder again what kind of 'school' this is. I mean, that chasm is a lot more terrifying than a fenced in school. Speaking of fences, last thing to mention here, doesn't seem to be one blocking off the chasm. Someone could fall you know.

Page six made me openly laugh actually. So, Shadow 2 here can barely leave the walls of the school, and apparently the river is impassable for some mysterious reason, and Antimony, our heroine, is forbidden from leaving the school grounds so she can't really help. So obviously there's only one solution.

"BUILD A ROBOT!"



Page seven, though, and apparently she has no clue how to build a robot. Makes me wonder why robot was her only solution. In any case, she starts heading down this hallway that's completely absurd, while monologuing about how she needs to study and find all the parts. Well, the absurd hallway, as linked above, has a door for every supply a student might need. There's even an entire door for pencils, AND an entire door for pens! There's also a door for desks?

But most importantly, there's a door labelled "No Spare Robot Parts". And so we find our solution.



I will not make a FNAF joke I will not make a FNAF joke I will not make a FNAF joke- DAMMIT!

So, she obviously goes into the room, and finds the parts. The box she finds them in is labelled "SPARE #13". You know, 13 is one of those unlucky numbers, this could go badly. not to mention she stole these parts technically, but that is easily hidden from the authority. 

We go to page nine, where she builds the robot. I have to admit, when she hit that button I was expecting it to get up and attack her or something. Luckily, it doesn't, and instead it just stands up and says she did a good job building him, even though she's missing one of the arms. 



Page 10, I want to comment that this robot looks a bit like Wall-E crossed with BEN from Treasure Planet. The things he's saying remind me more of the latter as well. In any case, he is told the job he must take on and he declares that he can easily walk across that bridge. I'm a bit worried at this point, though, what IF he falls? But also what if something attacks him? What if someone realizes he's a stolen robot and takes him back?

Well maybe none of that will happen. Tonight, he'll enthusiastically take on his job. 

On page eleven, we have a bit of a sad farewell. Night has fallen, and robot asks if he must come back after his journey across the bridge, to which Antimony says only if he wants to. I enjoyed this moment, because I was left with the question of wondering if he really would come back, and what Antimony would have to tell the teachers now that her shadow+1 has been replaced with a robot. It's really quite the alarming class change after all. 

In the final panel, the robot calls out "Goodbye Mommy!". I have to say I was alarmed at that, but only in fear for the robot companion considering that felt like a death flag.



Page twelve gives us a good visual of the bridge as he walks across it. Shadow 2 seems concerned, as does Antimony, but Robot is very sure of himself. Optimistic as ever, he tells Shadow 2 not to worry. Good page for the visuals, good page for some buildup. I find myself rushing to the next page after this one to be honest.



Page 13, that unlucky number, gives us a shot of this bird. This bird is creepy, and... seems to be ticking? Is it a clock bird? Like those cuckoo birds? Well, at least Robot likes him.



Now, if the bird was creepy, page 14's shot of all the shadows getting together is both terrifying and adorable. Mostly terrifying though. The fact there's a whole, uh, species? of these shadows is kind of insane to think about, although they seem harmless.

We end off with Robot deciding he needs a new arm, but not deciding to head back to school. Sort of sad, but maybe he just doesn't want to get taken apart by the teachers again.

Page 15 and I realize I forgot to comment on "Evening Classes". Does one have both morning and evening classes? Really? This school sounds as bad as it looks.

So, the teachers asks her what she's doing and she comes up with the ever so clever excuse that she was lost. Well, he bought it, so whatever. She takes one last look out to the bridge, maybe looking for Robot? Maybe hoping both Robot and Shadow 2 return? Or maybe she's just worried. Either way, she enters the school and closes the door behind her. 



The final page of this chapter leaves me asking but one question: ...Is this going to be on the test?

Well ok, so overview on the chapter.

It has me excited, I could barely stop myself to come write this to be honest. My excitement, in fact, boiled over into being a massive review instead of just a page-by-page response. Well, whatever, it's a great way to open up this liveblog I think! Just don't expect each chapter to be quite as comprehensive, even if they do get more complex.

I really enjoy the stylistic choices here, and Antimony looks like she'll be interesting to read about. I do look forward to some actual dialogue between her and other kids though. I hope Robot and Shadow 2 make their way back some time, but even if they don't it was a good read.

I'll be reading the second chapter soon!

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Chapter 2

Post by Simply David on Mon 19 Oct 2015, 11:12 pm

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=17

From now on I'm going to do this much more simply, because I ended up putting off reading more simply because it felt weird to write about the story. While it was somewhat rewarding, it felt a little too time consuming. Instead, I'll just link pages that stick out and comment on what stood out to me about them, and don't worry I won't skimp on it. Oh, and to keep the forum page from becoming impossible to load up, it'll be links to the pages instead of just the image by itself. Still getting used to this guys, bear with me. :3

Here we go! It's time for Chapter Two, Schoolyard Myths.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=18

Oh good I was worried all the teachers were going to be old and creepy men. Good to see teachers who aren't old men.

Also, swotting? This is going to be like Harry Potter where I have to learn a bunch of british terminology isn't it?

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=19

And thus the introduction of a new character, who I've heard good things about. Also, Annie here seems to have trouble doing very ordinary kid things.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=20

Creation of mythology eh? I have to say that, along with this homework assignment, sounds like a good chance to world build. I noticed that Annie is also probably the only kid not bored, but that isn't a surprise somehow.

Also the background kids that are only shadows are getting creepier and creepier every time I look at them...

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=22

Mythology 4 Kidz. So, in other words, mythology with all the good parts taken out? This is a Disney magazine isn't it? 

Also cue more Harry Potter references from me about a forgotten section of the lib-

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=23

JK this is pretty awesome.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=25

Is that the actual mythology? I must have missed something if there was only one path the whole time, I remember it being very different, with paths that magically altered themselves and the yarn was magic and let him find his way back out.

Uh, am I thinking of Disney again? Crap.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=26

Aw, that's a pretty depressing way to grow up as a kid.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=27

So Kat's parents are science teachers and- OH MY GOD THE MINOTAUR IS HERE. Good thing the Bless this Mess doormat is here to make us feel welcome.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=28

He's quite a gentleman.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=29

I'm trying really hard not to link every single page but DID HE JUST SAY HE HAS A TIME SHARE?!

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=31

I hope it is too, but I get the feeling we'll have deeper stories later.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=32

And we end off our chapter with one of the coolest yet most 'cold' sleeping arrangements I've seen at a boarding school that wasn't a straight up horror or something.

And that was chapter two! With this style, I'll be getting through the story much quicker. Also, the more 'important' stuff that actually starts tying together chapters will get more than a sentence or two I promise.

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Chapter 3

Post by Simply David on Tue 20 Oct 2015, 12:08 am

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=33

Chapter 3 is on! Let's Roll.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=34

Welp, I ship it now. Yep, the ship of the century. The obvious ship this page introduces: Annie x William.

It's on.

PS nice flip

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=36

Damn can he try harder to look handsome? Wait a second. Waaait a second. Is he...? 

Is this you:
 

Tell me they aren't similar.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=37

So they're up in Bunk 30, which has to be a hell of a climb up a steep ladder... unless she can just come from that door and there's an elevator or stairs there? This also introduces her mom's necklace, which I think is pretty cool. Alchemy is just a fun subject to me. I actually don't know much about real world alchemy though, so I hadn't noticed our main character was named after a chemical element so relevant to Alchemy. Kind of an interesting choice for a name for your kid...

Also Kat likes our PE Coach, and I have to admit he does look good. He must be evil, right? 

Also also, Hokey? 

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=38

Oh goody they DO use the ladder ordinarily. What the hell is this school. Oh and something blew up I guess, that's not weird.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=40

So the ladder thing is addressed almost immediately and I have to respect that. What I respect more? That this girl is totally fearless holy crap.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=41

Is there a reason this giant monster looks like her doll?

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=42

Is that her mom's name?

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=43

I'm sorry sir but that's not a shackle that's a LARGE PIECE OF METAL RAMMED THROUGH YOUR LEG.

Dragon Slayer though huh?

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=45

Oh hey is that Li Shang? Hi Shang!

I mean uh, oh shit. Hope Annie's ok. It sure would suck if our main character died of a concussion in chapter three.

PS Called it, but Surma being the mom was kind of obvious I guess.

PS PS Called it, but Shang turning out to be a dick was also obvious I guess.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=46

I actually sort of laughed at her serious face in that second to last panel. Annie is NOT amused by your assumptions that this animal on the roof was not real.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=47

She could have kept the bandages on.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=48

Lockpicking talent? Nice. Also the ticking birds are back, not nice. 

Also is that door literally labelled "NO"? Please.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=49

Ok I have to give a pass on the "NO" sign now. I have to find out who runs this school. Annie's Expression at seeing it is what sells this page to me though.

Wait. WAIT! A train? In this school? She's also pointing out how empty the place seems. So, suddenly I'm thinking this isn't a school at all.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=52

I'm guessing that was another alchemical symbol on Shang's outfit, and now another one in this dragon's eyes. That comes around to the three that were on the cover, incidentally. And yes I took notice of that I like my symbolism ok.

Also Annie is being possessed, this is usually a bad thing.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=54

Oh hey Eaglemore saved her and now the dragon possessed the toy... which looked a lot like him. Hah. This should be fun! 

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=56

Are there secret messages in all these weirdly written names and words? 

Sucks the dragon died, five whole years of trying is now wasted. That's pretty sad. That said, why would he just assume that Reynardine is dead? Come on Shang.

Also I guess Shang is less of a dick than I thought.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=57

Annie: "Oh yay, I can go back to my thirty stories high bed at the top of a steep ladder where the roof exploded the other night and it took out the ladder. Well at least the ladder will be brand new right?"

PS This story likes it's creepy imagery.

http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/?p=58

Aaand this one ends off on a beastiary page. I don't know if I'm ecstatic or annoyed.... Nah, this is pretty hype actually.

Very interesting page, but only one thing really worth noting in particular. It seems to imply that other [common dragons] as they say are extinct? Or perhaps they are imprisoned. Either way, fun little page.

Welp, Chapter three was a lot of fun. I think I can safely say I'm going to enjoy this series.

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