According to Kaja, Sakura con was fun, but sales there were lackadaisical as well. However, something interesting happened there; Apparently a fellow dressed as Othar Tryggvassen put on a “So What Is Girl Genius?” panel. You know, the kind of thing we should be doing ourselves, where we have slides of various comic panels and explain who the characters are and what’s going on and why the series is cool. I’m told the room was packed. There was also a “Steampunk 101” panel at Wondercon, which spent no small amount of time talking about Girl Genius, as I found out when a flood of people swooped down afterwards and actually bought a few books.
So what is this? I’ve thought about it, and I realized that we’re being Pity Publicized. Obviously most people look at us and believe that when we’re not actually writing or drawing we’re squealing and thrashing about on the bedroom floor because we’ve stuffed both legs into one pant leg and thus don’t have time for anything else (like marketing, publicity, merchandising or just occasionally standing out on the street corner and banging two pot lids together while yelling “GIRL GENIUS!”), and this might explain why, even though we’ve been doing this for twelve years, at a recent Steampunk convention, three–quarters of the attendees said that they had never even heard of Girl Genius. Pathetic.
And so, stalwart fans, tired of following a marginalized, fringe comic created by clueless savants who are no doubt living in their parent’s homeless shelter, have taken it upon themselves to proselytize on our behalf. Now, don’t get me wrong. We are all over this, and people certainly have our blessing to spread the word, however it does throw our total incompetence in this area into sharp relief, so obviously we have to get out there are run a few of these panels ourselves. Lord knows, it’s not like Kaja and I don’t like to get up on stage and talk about ourselves, it’s just that we were both raised by people who discouraged braggadocio. Thanks, mom.
Oh, and in interesting nanny–state news, when we were in California over the weekend, we realized that in restaurants– those weird little numbers on the menu after the food names? They weren’t the price in Zimbabwe Dollars or something, they were Calorie counts. I’d heard they were doing that. The interesting thing is that once I realized what I was seeing, it actually made a big difference in what I ate. Inevitably, my first menu choice was something that contained hundreds, if not thousands of tasty, tasty calories. This realization never failed to appall me so much that I wound up ordering something equally tasty that only had a third to a quarter of the calories of my first choice. I was astonished at how effective this was at regulating my behavior. When I had first heard about this, I’d thought it was ridiculous. Now I want it implemented everywhere.