Gunnerkrigg Court vol. 6: Dissolve (Archaia HC 6″x9″ edition) – Thomas Siddell

4 out of 5

A cliffhanger?  Every printed volume of Gunnerkrigg has been relatively self-contained, which lets me go into it comfortably, and, nearing the concluding stories, soothed by knowing that I can close the cover contentedly.  Ah, but not so with volume 6, which builds up to Parley’s return from training and then sends the crew off to finally resolve the Jeanne-of-the-lake situation, and by “finally resolve” I mean A CLIFFHANGER RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE.

That’s the only reason I’m knocking off a star, because I’m pissed I have to wait.  Unfair, I know.

But jeez, so, so much is jam-packed into this volume: background on Antimony’s dad, background on the forest animal-to-student jig, with a followup story featuring the turned-human rabbit Antimony had promised to bring back to the forest to visit his friend, and some more creepy plot developments regarding the freaking robot cult.

While Siddell has just been improving, artwise, on a steady uphill climb – the writing has always been damn sharp – there was actually a point in the book that I stopped and marveled at how effectively he shifted between serious and silly styles.  When Gunnerkrigg started, I could at least soothe my insecurities by feeling like I could draw something of similar quality; now, though, I have no chance.

I love this comic so much.  I stand by my pissyness resulting in docked stars, though.