Studio Foglio has been posting the last few pages of Issue #13 (which ended on a rather intriguing clifhanger) over the past few weeks, and on Monday, they posted the first brand-new page at GirlGeniusOnline.com, just three weeks after they announced that the comic would move to the web.
Girl Genius follows the steampunk adventures of “spark” Agatha Clay through a 19th-century Europe littered with the remains of a mad scientist war, dominated by Baron Wulfenbach, who rules his domain from an airship. It’s an adventure/comedy, and if you like Phil Foglio’s style, you’ve probably already read the story so far.
Speaking of the story so far, there are two ways you can catch up. (Well, three if you count hunting through back-issue bins and eBay.) Studio Foglio is selling the first three collected editions (both hardcover and TPB) on their website, and they’ve also begun Girl Genius 101—reposting the original comics online, one page at a time. And of course there’s cast info, a FAQ, summaries—everything you need to get up to speed.
Let me just say again, I can’t recommend this enough. It’s good, it’s funny, and now you can try it out for free! (And if you really like it, they plan to continue releasing the TPBs, so in a year or so you can get it on genuine flattened plant matter!)
Here’s some surprising news: Phil and Kaja Foglio’s excellent comic book Girl Genius is moving from print to the web: Girl Genius Online. They plan to have new pages up three times a week, and release graphic novels once a year.
I’m of mixed feelings here. On one hand, I like being able to hold the comics in my hand, and this was a series I’ve been collecting as individual issues. Hardcovers and TPBs are often harder to find. On the other hand, the series was only nominally quarterly, often managing only three issues a year (or fewer). If they actually manage 3 a week, that’s the equivalent of six 30-page issues over the course of the next year. And it will be easier to introduce new people to the series. I can just point them to the website instead of lending an issue or telling them to hunt through their local comic stores.
(via the Studio Foglio newsletter)
Girl Genius, by Phil and Kaja Foglio: “A gaslamp fantasy with adventure, romance, and mad science.” It’s a continuing steampunk adventure/comedy set in an alternate 19th century where warring mad scientists (or “sparks” as they’re called to their faces) have devastated Europe. Graduate student Agatha Clay belatedly discovers her own “spark” as she is whisked into the world of Klaus von Wulfenbach, the “spark” who has conquered most of Europe. A fun read every time – it’s a real pity that it only comes out four times a year. (Published quarterly by Studio Foglio/Airship Comics.) Edit: The comic is now available online at girlgeniusonline.com!
Fables, by Bill Willingham and various artists. Imagine if all the fairy tales really did happen. But Snow White, the big bad wolf, and the rest have been forced out of their world and into ours, where they live in an expatriate community in modern New York City. Here, they face everything from murder mysteries and personal intrigue to political infighting and all-out revolution. It is R-rated, so you probably wouldn’t want to hand it to an 8-year old, but if you liked Sandman you should check this out. It’s a mix of multi-part story-lines and single-issue stories. DC has been collecting each storyline in graphic novel form. (Published monthly by DC Comics/Vertigo.)
Halo and Sprocket, by Kerry Callen. In the words of the comic’s own website, “Halo is an angel assigned to assist Sprocket in learning about the human condition from Katie. [Ed. note: no, not that Katie!] But Sprocket’s logic, Halo’s metaphysics, and Katie’s real-life antics don’t always mesh.” Each issue features several stand-alone short stories that find the comedy in even the most ordinary situations, as well as the contradictions and foibles of humanity. Wayne brought the first three issues over one time, and everyone was laughing hysterically! A collection of the first four issues should be out by December. (Published several times a year by Amaze Ink/SLG Publishing)
And while you’re at it, check out the graphic novel Midnight Nation, by J. Michael Straczynski and Gary Frank. The collected edition is a bit pricey, but it’s worth it!