This year, we approached Comic-Con International a bit differently than usual. For the last seven years we’ve been staying in town for all four days. With the baby, we decided to do Comic-Con 2011 in just one day. So we left him with relatives and took the train down to San Diego for the day. We arrived in town about 9:00, walked down to the convention center, and had our badges just after the floor opened at 9:30.
Planning a trip to Comic-Con is always about trade-offs. It’s so big that you can’t see everything, and there are so many events going on that you can’t attend them all. With four days, there’s some wiggle room. With just one, it seemed like I was constantly thinking about those choices.
One of the first choices I made: No news panels. I could get that the next day online (and did). I wanted to focus only on what was unique to the con: exhibits, meeting people, the art show, etc. Basically, I wanted to experience as much of San Diego Comic Con as I could in one day.
Katie decided to pick two things and build her day around them: visiting The Field, an Irish pub our friend Sean introduced us to a few years ago, and seeing the new Thundercats screening. Continue reading →
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!
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.