Monday, September 3, 2012

Series Review: Girl Genius by Phil and Kaja Foglio

Girl Genius
story by Phil and Kaja Foglio, drawings by Phil Foglio, colors by Cheyenne Wright

Genre: Steampunk / Science Fiction / Alternative / WebComic / Graphic Novel / Young Adult

Ages: 13 and up


The Industrial Revolution has become all-out war! Mad Scientists, gifted with the Spark of genius, unleash insane inventions on an unprepared Europe. For centuries, the Heterodyne family of inventors kept the peace, but the last Heterodyne disappeared twenty years ago, leaving their ally Baron Klaus Wulfenbach to maintain order with his fleet of airships and army of unstoppable, if not very bright, Jaeger Monsters.

At Transylvania Polygnostic University, Agatha Clay dreams of being a scientist herself, but her trouble concentrating dooms her to be a lowly minion at best. When her locket, a family heirloom, is stolen, Agatha shows signs of having the Spark in a spectacular, destructive fashion and captures the attention of the Baron—and the Baron’s handsome young son, Gilgamesh.

Swept up to the Baron's Airship City, Agatha finds herself in the midst of the greatest minds of her generation, as well as palace intrigue, dashing heroes, and an imperial cat. Agatha may be the most brilliant mind of her generation and the key to control of the continent, but first, she just has to survive.

My Thoughts:

This is so freaking awesome! This series was recommended to me many times, first by my brother and then by multiple online friends, so I finally gave it a shot. I'm not usually big on comics or graphic novels, but I went through this whole series in four days. Ten years worth of mad scientists, zany monsters, romantic hilarity and more squished into ninety-six hours with at least fifteen cups of coffee...It's a wonder my brain didn't start leaking out of my ears...oh, wait, what is that grey stuff on my shirt?...Sorry, I shall endeavor to be serious. It is difficult, since I only finished the last page a couple of hours ago and I'm still drinking too much coffee.

Okay...(a few hours later with time to calm down) I can get to the serious review. A-ha! They posted a new page! Sorry, I must go for a minute...Ok, I'm back. This is turning into the most peculiar review. Anyway, so, first of all, I love the characters. I had to have fallen in love with the Jagers first, then everyone else nearly as quickly. I love the bantering interplay between them all, particularly when Gil and Tarvek meet...oh, yeah, that was way too much fun. Agatha is brilliant, first as she comes to terms with her sudden lifestyle changes and then as she starts to truly enjoy herself. She comes to enjoy herself just a little too much at times...

I love the bizarre tangents the story runs off in so frequently, I love the sheer quirkiness of any given page, I love the explosions, the gadgets, the Big Awesome Plant...what isn't to like? Plus there's the fact that you can read the ENTIRE thing online without taking any breaks, staying up to ridiculous hours until your eyeballs start to dry up like raisins and drinking coffee until you twitch at any sudden noise!

The art is lovely, full of fascinating details if you look at it closely enough. I enjoy reading the signs and labels scattered around. The outfits are so lavishly odd that sometimes you just have to sit there blinking at them for a bit. Most impressive. Not to mention the hats.

I would recommend this to lovers of steampunk, silliness, graphic novels or just plain fun. It was enervating, it was unnerving, and it was completely marvelous. Go here for the first page. You won't be able to stop.

Rating System: Profanity, Sexuality and Violence
1 (mild) through 10 (extreme).

I would rate it a 3.10 for mostly mild swearing.

I would give it a 3.10 for quite a bit of innuendo that was for the most part harmless.

I rate it a 6.10 for quite a bit of cartoon violence, most of which is shown with bright red blood.

                           Lieder Madchen

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