Tag Archives: Phil Foglio

Recent Links: Geography, Internet and Comics

A few interesting links that I’ve been meaning to post for a while now.

Geography and History

Using and Building the Internet

  • Warren Ellis has given up on Facebook and Google+ because it’s just so hard to reliably reach or listen to people. Think of how many posts in your news feed you miss each day just by not being online at the right time, never mind the pre-filtering Facebook does to the firehose.
  • Page Weight Matters – an engineer at Google led an effort to cut Youtube’s bandwidth requirements by a factor of ten. Strangely enough, when they started a live test, average page load time went up. It turned out that people on low-speed connections had found out about it and started using it even though it took two minutes to load where they were…because even that was still better than the 20 minutes they’d been stuck with before. (Via Raymond Camden)
  • If you run an email newsletter, keep in mind that many of your readers will try to read it on a phone. Keep that in mind when designing your format. Giant images with no text aren’t going to be too helpful.
  • How to keep electronics going when you lose power for days: Generators, batteries, car chargers, solar or kinetic chargers, etc.

Comics

  • Some of the earliest UNIX daemon art was drawn by none other than Phil Foglio of Girl Genius fame.
  • Saturday Morning in Front of La Salle De Justice is a painting by Rey Taira in DC Comics’ gallery show, inspired by Seurat’s famous painting Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (the painting at the center of Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George), but recast with the Justice League and other DC Comics heroes. It’s making the rounds again now, but I first saw it on Firestorm Fan a few months back.

(Mad) Scientific Fact: The Girl Genius Novel is Out!

For the past decade, Phil & Kaja Foglio have been spinning the mad science/gaslamp fantasy adventures of Agatha Heterodyne in the award-winning comic book-turned-webcomic Girl Genius. Now they’ve stepped into a new medium, adapting the first story into a prose novel: Agatha H. and the Airship City.

The Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare. It has been sixteen years since the Heterodyne Boys, benevolent adventurers and inventors, disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Today, Europe is ruled by the Sparks, dynasties of mad scientists ruling over – and terrorizing – the hapless population with their bizarre inventions and unchecked power, while the downtrodden dream of the Heterodynes’ return. At Transylvania Polygnostic University, a pretty, young student named Agatha Clay seems to have nothing but bad luck. Incapable of building anything that actually works, but dedicated to her studies, Agatha seems destined for a lackluster career as a minor lab assistant. But when the University is overthrown by the ruthless tyrant Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, Agatha finds herself a prisoner aboard his massive airship Castle Wulfenbach – and it begins to look like she might carry a spark of Mad Science after all.

The comics are great fun, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they’ve filled in the details in the novel version!

Myth-Quotations

Myth Adventures, Phil Foglio’s comic-book adaptation of Robert Asprin’s fantasy/comedy novel, Another Fine Myth, is being serialized as a free webcomic, in the same format as Girl Genius. I remember spending a lot of effort tracking down the mid-1980s books on eBay, before they finally reissued the collection.

The title of that first novel was originally going to be Another Fine Mess, from the Laurel and Hardy catch-phrase, but someone misheard it and Robert Asprin decided he liked that version better. It turns out that “Another fine mess” is actually a misquote itself, according to this the New York Times article on why we misquote movies (via @johannadc). It was originally “Here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into.”

Artist Encounters

Sergio Aragonés signs SoloWednesday morning before we left for San Diego, I made a last-minute addition to my small stack of stuff to get signed: Sergio Aragonés’ issue of Solo. During my first half-hour at Comic-Con on Thursday, I found myself at the Groo booth, face to face with the artist. When I asked him to sign it, he asked me whether I’d had a chance to read it yet. (I guess with the Groo 25th anniversary and drawing the cover of the con schedule, people were tracking down his stuff?) I told him I’d read it when it first came out. (I posted about the story “Heroes” on St. Patrick’s Day.)

Girl Genius Web ComicsI dropped by the Studio Foglio booth a couple of times, with the intent to get my latest Girl Genius trade signed. (It arrived in the mail earlier that week. How could I pass it up?) After collecting the individual issues to start with, I ended up buying the first two or three books direct from the source at Comic-Con a few years ago, and Phil Foglio was kind enough to sign the whole set as he sold them to me. So as the newer books have come out, I’ve brought them to cons to get them signed.

This year I managed to find Phil Foglio on Friday. He was talking with someone about site issues (which I assumed were about last month’s downtime), and apparently it’s banned in China as being “too racy.” His assistant encouraged me to just interrupt, and I got him to sign volume 6. I made sure I linked to them in that night’s con report, without realizing that the site had gone down that morning due to bandwidth issues. *sigh* Of course I took the book out of my backpack that night… but on Sunday, I wandered by the booth again, and this time Kaja Foglio was there. If I’d still had it, I could have had both of their signatures. Again, *sigh*. We talked for a bit about the switch from pamphlet-to-book to web-to-book, and about some of the T-shirt designs, and about how far ahead they had story material (years).

All-Flash #1 (2007) CoverI also kept looking for Joshua Middleton, since I wanted to get his All-Flash cover signed and show him the wallpaper I made for my cell phone, but I never saw him any of the times I went into Artists’ Alley. His table was there, but he wasn’t, and all I could think of was walking past his table at Wizard World LA back in March. Not that I had anything to get signed at the time, but still…

Of course there are always tons of booths run by small press trying to promote their works. The only one that stands out in my memory is Alcatraz High by Bobby Rubio. I talked with him, he showed me a preview issue which was funny, and I bought the first issue of the comic (figuring I’d get the next two if I liked that one), which he signed with a sketch. Unfortunately, this being several days into the con, my brain had turned to mush and I didn’t think to ask whether the story I had read was actually in #1.

Girl Genius: Technical Difficulties

It seems the webcomic Girl Genius has maxed out its bandwidth at their current host. They’re in the process of moving to a new provider, but for now they’re posting today’s 101 and Advanced Class comics at girlgeniuscomic on LiveJournal.

Just trying to help get the word out.

Update (June 30): They’re back online at a new host. And there was much rejoicing.

Girl Genius: Adventure.  Romance.  Mad Science!