Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Okay, so we had the Top 100 Comic Book Runs List. I even went a little further, and showed you the NEXT fifty-six runs on the list. But what about those runs that were less supported? THEY have their fans, too, right? So each weekday (so long as I have pieces to run), I’m going to take a look at some runs who did not make the top 158, but were still quite loved by readers out there!
Here’s the third run!
Phil Foglio’s Girl Genius – 12 points (1 first place vote)
Girl Genius #1-13, plus online since then at www.girlgenius.net.
Girl Genius is about an alternate reality where (this is a great line) “the Industrial Revolution has become an all-out war,” or basically, it’s a steampunk comic where the Sparks have brought super technology to the world.
Agatha is the star of the book, one of the “sparks,” peoples who contain the “spark” that gives them the ability to be super powerful scientists.
Most Sparks are jerks, but Agatha comes from two GOOD sparks, her father and her uncle, the heroic Heterodyne Boys.
The series was a fun adventure series that Foglio stopped making in stand-alone issues with #13.
From then on, he’s done the series as a web-comic, coming out with print collections about once a year.
Here’s Jeff R. on why he gave this his #1 pick…
Phil Foglio is quite possibly the single most underrated creator in the comics business, so I wasn’t overly surprised to not see Girl Genius (his only non-limited series work to date) show up in the top 100. The fact that he is, in words and in pictures, extremely funny tends to distract people from the fact that he (alone his own in earlier work and collaborating with his wife, Kaja on Girl Genius) is capable of compelling characterization, engrossing world building, and intricate plots, all of which Girl Genius delivers in vast castle-sized airship loads.
Girl Genius is the story of Agatha Heterodyne. In a world where ‘the industrial revolution has become an all-out war’, she is a ‘spark': capable of amazing feats of Mad Science. It’s a steampunk-sorry, ‘gaslamp fantasy’ action adventure with zeppelins, high-voltage discharges, and lots and lots of hats.
But why should I explain much more of the plot. Like most of the runs on the list published in the last ten years or so, Girl Genius can be found for free on the internet. Unlike most of those, it can be found so legally, at www.girlgenius.net. The story started in normal, comic-book form, with thirteen issues and one special printed before the Foglios moved it to the web, and the collections of the story still come out in dead-tree format about once a year.
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