mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Winged Rook & Trilobite. (16)

Girl Genius Omnibus Volume One: Agatha Awakens by Phil Foglio & Kaja Foglio.

Black canals of Mars,
the roads we slither & swim,
we last Red dragons.

This is an omnibus collection of the Girl Genius webcomic, & since I'd never read it online, I figured I would give it a whirl. I mean, I see it advertised for all the time-- not in an intrusive way, but rather in the link sharing of other webcomics-- & it won two Hugos, so I figured it had to be at least decent. & It was better than decent! It is a fairly "old school" romp through a steampunk world-- though they prefer the term "gaslamp fantasy" on account of how cyberpunk has "punk" elements with its "cyber," but very little "steampunk" is all that punky. Which, as a sidebar, is a shame, since there are so many opportunities for it, what with colonialism & the rise of the corporation. In concept very much like the later Gunnerkrigg Court, Girl Genius is about a world where preternatural talents called "Sparks" build outrageous contraptions of all sorts, from golems to airships to lightning swords. It is rather directly applicable to my current roleplaying campaign, except much more lighthearted. There is an occasional element of light cheesecake to it that is self-aware in a way that reminds me of Empowered, but the art really reminds me of something. Some older comic style that I feel like I should be able to place but just can't put my finger on. A more cartoony style that I can't figure out for the life of me, though I'm sure it is obvious. For me, the most interesting parts are three-fold. One, what my friend Bernie dubbed the "anti-villain" in my Oubliette stories. Antagonists with understandable agendas & motives that you can empathize with. It really turns a text right around for me. Two, the persistant hyperdimensional windows indicate to me that there is a rather tight temporal continuity, which is always fun to read about. & three, the critters & creations. I'm especially charmed by the Jägermonsters, the gobliny soldiers, & by the dragons of Mars.

Tags: books, comics, foglio, girl genius, haiku, steampunk

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