Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Girl Genius

Sometimes you will see a lot of posts put up on the blog, and then at other times not a lot for quite a long time. What can I say, it's how the muse strikes I suppose? At the moment I'm going through what I would call a manically productive phase, having written 22 draft articles for the blog over the last few weeks. Anyway, today's post is about being bitten by the Girl Genius bug, and haveing one's time consumed by something bright and shiny; the comic strips.

I have just caught up with the eleven volumes that are in print, through the web site. It is glorious. I admit I had resisted following Girl Genius for may years as the commitment to reading the back story. It just seemed like too much effort to me at the time, but then I met the Foglio's at the Congenial convention, and they just seemed so nice. More importantly they seemed to me to be like fun people to hang out with, and were doing something that was rather special.

Girl Genius is special, and I don't mean in that kind of everything is special way.

For me reading Girl Genius has changed the way I see certain story tropes. For instance I was re-watching the two Iron Man movies and it was obvious that Tony Stark was a Spark. As was the Ivan Ivanko, aka Whiplash, who appears in the second movie. Once you start seeing characters in fiction as Sparks then all the nonsense makes sense, because Sparks break the laws of physics. They are mad scientists that reframe the things in the world to better suit their needs.

I love it.

One could even argue that being a model maker, writer, artist who plays wargames is a bit like being a Spark, writ small. Except one is only making miniatures and playing games that simulate wanton destruction, rather than being a mad genius scientist who actually makes war machines, and gets people killed in an orgy of real wanton destruction (for definitions of real that mean it's only a story and no clanks were harmed in the making of this comic strip kind of way).

Ah yes it feels good to be me. Muwuha ha ha ha...


  1. i'd direct you to, since that is a webcomic alomst as good as girl genius (scifi rather than steampunk, and the art is not as detailed, but the stories are excellent).. but Schlock has been running for 10 years daily, never missing a day. so an archive dive of it can take a long time.

    1. I will check that out, and get back to you. I may be some time. ;-)

  2. Once you start talking and reasoning like the Jägers, it's hard to stop.

    I completely agree about Sparks and Tony Stark. That's one reason the recent Captain America movie was interesting to me, because they presented Tony's father as the head of an organized group with a large support structure rather than as a miraculously lone genius.

    Have you read the Foglios' other comic, Buck Godot? (I feel like I've asked and you answered this already, some years ago.) Another good one, though no longer running, so you can actually finish it without hanging from the edge of your seat from week to week.

  3. Dear Ashley,

    Mention Girl Genius and all of the closet fans start coming out of the woodwork :O)

    Who could fail to love Jaegermonsters with their splendid hats?

    Kind regards, Chris