Category Archives: Studio News

Just the basics

The Wright Stuff

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A big shout-out to our very own Cheyenne Wright, who just learned that he is nominated for three (3!) ENnie Awards! (http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/2014-ennie-awards-nominees/) The ENnies are awarded for excellence in assorted aspects of tabletop gaming, and since Cheyenne is a busy boy, he’s up in three separate categories. Good luck to him!

Speaking of awards, we just received our Hugo ballots, and were reminded that we are up for Best Graphic Story. If you are a member of Worldcon and want to vote for Girl Genius, ballots are due by August 1! If you want to vote for any of our admittedly excellent competitors, the deadline is August 2.

Here art home, we are gearing up for the yearly endurance test that is the San Diego Comic Con. We will be in Booth 1331, which is in the heart of the Webcomics Domain, and you should mosey on by if you want some of the best comics out there. Just sayin’.

Fun With Cats!

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A few days ago we took the experiments to see The Amazing Acro-Cats. Which is a cat circus. Yes, I said cat circus, and it’s exactly what you think it is; a circus where all (well…most) of the performing animals are house cats. They are supposed to jump through hoops, walk on ropes, push and/or pull various carts, and play musical instruments. Astonishingly, they actually do what they are supposed to do more often than not. Admittedly, the chicken (Cluck Norris), played his musical instrument better than any of the cats played theirs. A non-cat owner would probably be unimpressed, but anyone who owns a cat was, frankly, amazed that they did anything, and let’s be honest, nobody but a cat lover would be going to a cat circus anyway, so everybody involved had a fun evening. The Acro-Cats tour across this great land of ours, and you should definitely check them out if they pussyfoot into your vicinity (http://www.circuscats.com/)

As I mentioned earlier, we had a bit of a surprise when 8000 copies of Girl Genius # 13 turned up outside my house as opposed to the distributor’s loading dock. Yes, we got it all sorted out, but we ‘liberated’ a few cases and this Wednesday (June 25), we will be selling these advance copies (and signing anything anybody wants signed) at Arcane Comics (http://www.arcanecomicbooks.com/), one of the many fine comic shops in the Seattle area. Kaja, Cheyenne, and myself will be there from 5 PM to around 7, so stop by, pick up some comics, and say “Hi!” If you’re feeling lazy, relax, it’ll be in shops in a week or two at the most.

We Are Doing Something Different

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This weekend Kaja and myself will be guests at Seattle’s own Indie Bookfair (http://events.indiebookfair.com/). This is one of those little events that highlight local authors, who are usually delightfully hard–to–catagorize people producing the kind of quirky, offbeat books that cause the people in charge of stocking shelves in chain stores to frown and scratch their heads. They are excellent places to find something new and different, and to meet others who also enjoy discovering something that you won’t find elsewhere. We will have a booth where you can buy our books, including the newest volume, number 13, which landed on our driveway yesterday.

Funny story, that. Usually, when we get a book printed, we have to co-ordinate where all the bespoke copies go; The distributors, the warehouses, the Kickstarter fulfillment service, etcetera. Apparently someone at the printer decided to forgo that no doubt tedious step, and just sent everything to our house without bothering to tell us that they were doing so. Luckily, we were at home when the truck pulled up. (Okay, yes, in the spirit of truth, Kaja has pointed out that we hardly ever leave our house except when threatened or tempted by offers of lunch. This is irrelevant. It is entirely possible that we could very well have been out somewhere. Doing something outdoorsy.) While the bemused driver took some tea and read comics, our business manager, Carol Monahan, grabbed the phone and professionally hulked out. After a bit of mutual screaming, the books remained on the truck and were sent back out into the cold, dark night.

But not ALL of them! Before they disappeared, we exercised our prerogative and “liberated” several cases from said truck, meaning that we have copies of Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City several weeks before anyone else will, and will have them this weekend. Yay!

Fantastic Steampunk Music Fills Castle Foglio!

signingtheCDTime to Brag! Here is Phil, with Nathaniel Johnstone and Laura Tempest Zakroff of the Nathaniel Johnstone Band, signing copies of the amazing new CD: The Antikythera Mechanism!

Phil is there signing too, because he got Nathaniel to let him do the cover. The are all grinning like that because they knew I was taking their picture. Heh.

I love the music. My daughter has fallen in love with the first song on the album, Flight of the Icarus, and played it about thirty times this morning. She says it makes her think of great ideas for an RPG adventure. The theme is a gorgeous mix of Steampunk and Greek Mythology, very scholarly and right up the alleys of the classically-minded professors (and lab rats) at TPU.

Also, you can GET TICKETS HERE  for the next live show! if you’re in the Seattle area, there will be a concert this June 13th: Tempest’s Birthday Bash with Artemis featuring TNJB & House of Tarab  at the Columbia City Theater, Seattle, WA. We’re planning to be there!

Requiescat in Pace, Jay Lake

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Jay Lake was a very nice man who wrote really well and got dealt a bad hand. Personally I think Mainspring is one of the most interesting books published in the last fifteen years, and I wish I could have read more books set in that universe. Towards the end, Jay had trouble reading print, which had to have been the final indignity. However we had sent him some Girl Genius comics, and he discovered that he could comfortably read comics. We’re glad he found that out. Better luck next time, Sir.

This weekend we are going to be the Artists in Residence at the Brass Screw Confederacy (http://brass-screw.com/) which is in scenic Port Townsend. They are billing themselves as a “Steampunk Hootenanny”, but rest assured that one does not have to be overly attached to either goats nor owls to have a good time.

Took the Experiments to see the play ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ the other day. It was their first taste of musical theatre, and they enjoyed it quite a bit.

Kaja and I got into a rather interesting discussion about it afterwards. She said that it was obviously written by an elitist East Coaster, as she felt there was a lot of mocking of the lower class. (I will say now that there are people who say that we don’t have ‘classism’ here in America. They are full of crap. It’s not as blatant as it is in England, say, but it totally exists, and the only people who say it doesn’t are politicians) I can see how she might see it that way, but I saw the play in its original run off–off Broadway in 1982. A lot of what she saw as classism, was, in the original production, merely mocking the at the time universal mores of the 1950’s. In 1982, the classic ’50’s was less than 30 years ago. Most of the theatre going audience lived through that time and easily remembered the fashions, household products and advertising slogans with which the show is peppered.

It’s now 22 years later. The ‘Fifties’ happened almost 60 years ago. Fashion has gone into a sort of free fall. Certainly there are distinctive fashions that are tied to a particular time, but these days, you can wear almost anything, so when Audrey, the female lead, talks about her outfits, we still laugh, but not because they’re an embarrassing reminder of what people were wearing a few years ago and possibly still have hanging in the back of your closet, but because it is a style that one sees in common usage amongst a certain subset of the lower class. Now I know that good art should age in such a way that newer audiences can still finds things about it that resonate with them, but I’m pretty darn sure this wasn’t something Menken & Ashman had in mind. Not really sure where to go with this, but I thought it a mildly interesting observation.

I am the Bottleneck

Hello again!

San Diego ComiCon International Masquerade audience members take note: My Mom made a mistake last week that all at once made me realize just how much I love you. She had been looking at the con’s web site, and casually mentioned how it was a pity they had someone else doing the Masquerade Emcee job this year. I tried to be philosophical about it, but I felt terrible. Then I went and checked the site, and realized that my Mom had been looking at the wrong page. We’re still on for this year’s ComiCon Masquerade. Whew! But I was a bit shocked at my reaction, I knew I liked doing the job, but goodness, I hadn’t known how much. So hooray! I get to stand up there again and see you all, from the best “seat” in the house. I can’t wait! You’re my favorite audience of the year, always!

Before ComiCon, though, we have a couple of other events:

Those of you in the Pacific Northwest of the USA will be interested in the Octopi Port Townsend Brass Screw Confederacy event coming up: June 6-8 in Port Townsend, WA. Phil and I have missed this event the last two years, and are really excited to be attending this year. We’ll have a booth in the “Bazaar” and will also be doing one of our Girl Genius Radio Dramas! Find us on Saturday at 3:30-5pm in Key City Theatre (419 Washington St) for the Girl Genius Live Radio Show.

If schlepping out to Port Townsend isn’t in your cards, you can find us at the Indie Book Fair in Downtown Seattle, taking place June 14-15. The even is sponsored by and operated by A/NT Gallery and Fuzzy Hedgehog Press. There will be lots of authors, books, and swag; so please come visit!

And if you are stuck at home for everything, at least you can visit the page for the Salt City Steamfest, where there is an interview with Phil and me just waiting to be read. It was a lot of fun, please read it!

In other news, our latest KickStarter just finished, and I am still finishing up my last few drawings so I can get those Jägermonster patches made. I’ve been lagging a lot, because I don’t draw much any more and I needed some “getting up to speed”, but I’ve got Oggie started, and it’s going pretty fast now. I’ll keep posting pics as I go! Yes, I’m the bottleneck on the KickStarter project now. Bleh.oggie

More soon! –Kaja

Busy, Busy, Busy…

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The more perspicacious of my readers may have had an inkling that we have been busy, here at Studio Foglio. There have been subtle indications; I haven’t updated this running commentary on my life and/or philosophical musings for awhile. The comic has been going up in black and white, as opposed to its usual full glorious color. (I want to make it super clear that this was not the fault of Cheyenne. Indeed, we had several concerned readers wanting to know if he was once again ‘under the knife’. Relax, he is no closer to death than he ever is. No, we just got those pages to him very late.)

So what the heck has been keeping us so busy? A couple of things. We had a final intensive polishing session and actually turned in the third Girl Genius novel; Agatha H and The Voice of the Castle, to our long-suffering editors at Skyhorse & Titan. Despite what it says over at Amazon, it’ll be coming out in October. We will trumpet the details when we ourselves know them. We are pretty pleased with the way the book turned out, and are already working on Book 4; Agatha H and the Improbable Science Thing (tentative title).

We also turned in the Hugo Award nominated Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City to our printer, so we expect to have that sometime in June.  Dealing with printers is still perniciously “old-school”, as you have to examine several sets of proofs. One for color balance, one to make sure that all the pages are in order and all the words are in the right place, and one sent via FAX, because they bought that damn FAX machine and by golly, they’re going to use it up before they seriously look into this “electronic mail” fad.

In addition to comic shops around the world, this will please the wonderful folks who supported our recent Kickstarter. To make them even more happy, we have been finishing up the art for all the extra stuff we promised, such as travel stickers, pin-up calendars and so on.

On a personal note, everyone around the studio caught some kind of hideous cold, that had us all feeling wretched for a couple of weeks. But could we collapse into our beds and drink hot lemon juice while binge watching Adventure Time? No we could not. We had to soldier on, and soldier on we did. Do I expect pity? I do not, I’m just letting people know whats up. That said, a little pity couldn’t hurt. We certainly had none for each other.

On top of all that, I had to get a bunch of vegetables into the ground. This falls into the hobby category more than job, but if you delay things too long, then the growing season is over and you’re weeping over frost blighted tomatoes and eggplants the size of walnuts.

But enough with the excuses! We are back and things are looking good. We’ll be making a couple of exciting announcements in the next few days, and expect to see some changes on the main page. Peace out.

WOOT!

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And we are funded! It’s like the internet has found a tangible way to show people how much they are loved. (Obviously there are people you love more than us, Internet, but we’ll take any visible demonstration of affection we can get and run with it)

So! Funded! Now of course, a lot of the real work begins. We have to finish all those add-ons, sign thousands of autograph plates, deal with pin and patch manufacturers, lick stamps, and of course, there’s all that gloating.

Tonight we will be having a few friends over for a Kickstarter and belated Birthday celebration (2 parties in one week? Waste and extravagance!), and then it’s back to work. Enjoy your weekend! We will!

Wait…What Did We Promise To Do?

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Woke up to discover that we easily topped our ultimate stretch goal on this, the last day of the Girl Genius 13 Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl). This means that we actually have to make a serious film thing about how we make Girl Genius. Well, I say ‘serious’, but we all know that serious does not mean the same thing as ‘dull’, so we’re all looking forward to it. Kaja and I are huge hams, after all, and enjoy performing.

We thought about trying to cram another stretch goal in there, but nobody else around the office was really enthusiastic about the ‘Women of Studio Foglio Swimsuit Calendar’ , or creating an Agatha costume large enough to fit over the Statue of Liberty (to celebrate International Cartoon Science Day), or even creating ’Studio Foglio-Topia, an autonomous micro–government and tax shelter 501-C Religious Institution.” I’ll admit that they might have been difficult to fund in under 4 hours, but then, many people around the office never thought we’d get this far. Proving once again that our audience continues to defy all expectations.

I want to thank all the folks who wisely purchased their books in advance, and thus made this all possible. The book has already been sent off to the printers, and they are now doing what we, in the trade, call ‘Printer Magic’ on it. Don’t look so surprised. One thing we at Studio Foglio know how to do is print books.

Oh, there is still time to get over to Kickstarter and snag yourself some of the only-available–to–backers-swag, but I’d hurry, if I were you.

A Couple of Things Ending Around Here…

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For the last week or so, I’ve seen a lot of well-meaning posts wishing me a “belated birthday!” Thanks, but May 1 is in fact my birthday, so Happy Birthday to me. I’d be a bit more enthusiastic about it, but I have a miserable cold that is leaving me even more irascible than usual. When I get hammered on my birthday, I’d rather it wasn’t from NyQuil®.

Our Kickstarter for the Hugo Award nominated Girl Genius Volume 13 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl) is roaring down to its final hours, and we are pretty pleased. Kaja and Carol have been coming up with all sorts of goodies to slap onto the stretch goals, so if you haven’t checked it out yet (or haven’t checked it out lately) you should do so. Today is the last day! Our last big stretch goal is a serious vid about how we make Girl Genius (as opposed to the hopefully humorous one up on the Kickstarter site). We’ve been wanting to make one of these for awhile now, with a lot of time lapse photography of actual pages being drawn. Back in art school, we used to love watching those, and found them mighty helpful. We fully intend to make one anyway, but if the stretch goal is met, it’ll appear a lot sooner.

This Saturday is Free Comic Book Day! Go to your local comic book store and see what’s available! One of our local shops, Arcane Comics (http://www.arcanecomicbooks.com/), is actually having us come in for a signing at noon. This feels kind of odd, as we are used to be ignored by the comics establishment, but Arcane is a swell store that always has our stuff in stock, as well as more cool comics than the mind can comfortably comprehend. So if you’re in the Seattle area, drop on by.