February 23rd, 2012


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.

iron fist

God is Love, Gaius.

The Battlestar Galactica rewatch at Television Night continues! Last night was crazy, or well, weird: I crashed as soon as I got home, just fell into a pit of...not lethargy, not sloth, not depression...just like, random errant exhaustion. A weight of bricks, suddenly thrust upon me. I was out of it when fordmadoxfraud showed up with Left Hand Stranger Pale Ale, still out of it when Jenny got home-- "early" from the office even!-- but I rallied after that. Well, I whined about it for a while; I had to go pick up food for Jenny's dinner & didn't want to change back out of pajamas. I came back with her Mexican & a sixpack of Peak Organic Hop Noir & fatbutts & James got there last of all, carrying some Crispin Honey Crisp Artisanal Reserve cider & Guinness & then viewing got underway. We had watched the first half of the miniseries, so tonight was the second half, featuring...well, some of the things that the actual show was about! Part one was a lot of set up, but here we have awkward Starbuck flying the heck out of spaceships, we've got concerns about cylon doppelgangers, we have a hallucenagenic cylon plying Balter with sex & love, the president & the commander in a stalemate, tough decisions about life & death-- yeah. Battlestar Galactica. Hello, Head Six, I've missed you, you are my favorite. Oh, & we found out David is always secretly recording our conversations & posting them online somewhere. True story. Afterward I was all gung-ho to watch another episode-- "33" is so good!-- but they talked me off the ledge & we finished up with Modern Family instead.
thousand yard drink

Summon the Toxic Jungle! (17)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, I by Hayao Miyazaki.

The Age of Chitin,
after the Ceramic Age,
when humans were bugs.

Yep, so this is amazing. I knew after watched the Ghibli movie Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind & found out that there was a manga, I knew I had to read it. It just had that spark of...what did I call it after I saw The Secret World of Arietty? Demiurge, yeah; you can see that it is a world that percolated in Miyazaki for a long time, gathering layers like a pearl. Oh man it is so great, & this was just the first volume. I'm really excited. Most of the "big secrets" of the movie have already been played out, which means that I'm going increasingly into virgin territory. The art is done in brown ink, lending a feeling of...an organic manuscript, copied by monks? As with the movie, I'm astonished by the subtly ways he distinguishes cultures, using jewelry & weapons, fashion & technology. & the rotwood, the Sea of Corruption? The alchemy behind the underground deserts? All of it is so great. & Nausicaä! Lord Yupa! Princess Kushana! Now comes the torment of not reading any spoilers-- at least I've got another two volumes to devour. & yeah, I already started the next one. There are seven volumes? Better get cracking!