Girl Genius

Girl Genius

Phil and Kaja Foglio



I finally dug this bookmark out of my cache in an attempt to finally finish it (I’ve tried to do a crawl multiple times, but I keep getting stuff in the way). I’ve only gotten partway through, so excuse me if the later comics are terrible because this piece will be filled with glowing praise.

The backstory is fairly complex, but here’s the short version. GG takes place in a steampunk environment under the control of the Heterodyne dynasty.The story follows the adventures of Agatha, a woman mechanophile with the Spark, which is basically a term used for genius-level intellects. Oddly, it seems that 25% of the population is a Spark, however, so I question their qualifications to receive the title… perhaps we simply have a small census size. Anways, Agatha gets in all kinds of trouble with machines and airships and all that entertaining stuff.

For those of you who aren’t into scifi, “steampunk” is a kind of alternate reality where electricity was never as popular as steam and most of the mechanics are based around steam engines and airships (think blimps, just way better). However, GG‘s world did harness electricity well, so I suppose that it would be considered “steampunk” in the sense that they never moved into microtech and computer chips, instead opting for gears and springs. Anyways.

I love steampunk. I’m not entirely sure why, perhaps it’s because everyone dresses so nicely. Or perhaps because there’s occasionally airship pirates, which I expect are the most badass characters in fiction. One universal trait that steampunk comics seem to have is a high degree of artistic capability, and GG does not disappoint. The characters and settings are well-done, yes, but as they say “the Devil is in the details”. I’m repeatedly impressed by the level of detail in everything, especially the mechanical contraptions. In short, it’s brilliant.

Of course, art alone cannot care a series, especially not one as long-running as this one. If there’s one word that I would use to describe the story, it would probably be “epic”. There’s a lot more to the overarching storyline than you might think at the outset, and it does evolve into quite a grand story. She fights humans, robots, mad scientists, evil creatures, the whole lot in proper scifi fashion.

It’s a great story and you should read it.

Its funny, I think that one of the reasons why I like GG so much is because its one of those comics that shows how truly awesome science can be. As they say, sometimes it’s “indistinguishable from magic”… I don’t know. But still, it’s a fantastic comic in its own right, have at it.

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