This is a bonus review. I just found this web comic recently. I didn’t even know Archaia has published the collected volumes. I only noticed it when looking at their website while writing these reviews.
I love this web comic. Chapter 39 is currently in progress. I caught up in a week.
I can’t say it is deep or epic. It definitely seems aimed at a YA audience. Most of the intra-character development is around friendship, parents, and first relationships. Other topics are finding your place in the world and generally dealing with growing up and responsibilities.
I like the world. There is mystery about what is going on and how things got to where they are. The world is caught between rival sides and tries to precariously balance in-between. One side of this struggle is the ‘science’ side. Science is in quotes because it includes the ‘etheric sciences’ .. meaning magic. The other side is the ‘magic’ side. The Court versus the Forest. Really it is about the conflict between categorizing and studying everything versus categorizing nothing. Order (strict, studied order) versus Chaos. Coyote leads the chaos side. The lead character is nominally on the order side but really walks the bridge between the two (spoiler!).
The characters have multiple dimensions and personality. They grow in realistic ways as the story goes on. The “sidekick” character is actually one of my favorites. Even the shadows have personality (spoiler!).
I feel bad listing this as an Archaia review since I haven’t picked up the collected editions myself and all the pages are available for free at the web comic page.
So, if you want to support Archaia or the comic creator, picking up the collected volumes of Gunnerkrigg Court is a great way to do it.
Otherwise go and read the comics online.