Monthly Archives: September 2013

League of Steam, Dread Crew of Oddwood, and Kaja dropping names until they bounce!

I think the best time I had this year at ComiCon was the lunch with Patrick Rothfuss, where we hung out at the outdoor restaurant across from the convention center watching the crowds through a glass window as a blimp circled overhead. Lovely.

Even better, a group of musicians set up on the other side of the glass, and even from the back I could tell that it was the Dread Crew of Oddwood—our favorite band of scurvy seagoing musical pirates ever. So Huzzah!

…and now, Eric Schuman of said Dread Crew has asked us to let everyone know that there is a KickStarter campaign for the League of Steam, great friends of his. Now, we are also excessively fond of the League of Steam, but sometimes the pirates have to remind me to dig myself out of World of Warcraft and actually write these notes… and so, with any luck, I have now told you about at least two new sources of fun that you may not have heard of before. Whee!  –Kaja

Experiment # 2 Has Been Assimilated

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Children have appalling taste. Part of our jobs is to introduce them to new and better things, and try to expand their horizons. Experiment # 2 has, under my patient tutelage, discovered Dr. Who. This is one of those things that, if she really gets into it, will provide her with enough stuff to watch for several months. Yay, as that will be less time spent watching annoying hand puppets talking about gaming.

I have made a major shift in my coffee habits. I have stopped taking sugar, or indeed any artificial sweetener. Kaja recently told me about a report that proved that your body treats fake sugar just like real sugar in many annoying ways, and so the benefits of pouring odd chemicals or exotic botanicals into your piehole are pretty non-existent. This is annoying. Especially as I am of the Coffee Should Jump Start You From Beyond The Grave school of preparation. Thus the coffee I enjoy is strong and thick. I used to run through a new coffee machine every year, because I made it so thick that the works would get all gummed up and it would start spraying coffee all over the counter. I have solved this problem by returning to the ways of our primitive ancestors. I went and bought a percolator. This was surprisingly difficult to do. No store with a regular ‘kitchen’ section carries them anymore. I had to find a site that sells camping gear. Then I had to go online to find out how to run it. There I discovered that percolated coffee is the bastard step–child of coffee making these days. I swear, every step was accompanied by commentary along the line of, “well, you obviously don’t really care about your coffee’s taste, but I’ll tell you how to do this so you don’t burn your house down” That was mighty sporting of them. Well screw them, I get coffee just like I like it and have had zero technical problems. Yay.

Getting geared up for Steamcon (October 25-27). For those of you planning on going, reserve your hotel room now before they fill up. Convention block booking closes September 23!

According to the printers, Girl Genius Volume 12; Agatha Heterodyne & the Seige of Mechanicsburg, should be shipping in the next week. And about time too. At least we’ll have it for the next few conventions.

And finally, I should mention that our very own Cheyenne Wright celebrated his latest birthday today. As any person who has seen the Girl Genius penciled pages can attest, he adds a tremendous amount of excitement to every page, and we’re proud to have him. Be a sport and send him some best wishes.

Those who follow my posts on a regular basis will have noticed that I have not put in any links, whereas I’m usually a linkin’ fool. This is because we have discovered that the fuckers who run Facebook have decreed that when you include a link to a commercial or social site, they restrict the amount of people who can see it, unless you juice your numbers by slipping them some cash. You can see this happening on the Girl Genius website. The posts that are a re-posting of the comic, easily get more views by a factor of 10, then the silly posts like this that I lard up with links. Now, I know I’m not scribing deathless prose here, but I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot either, so no links for you. Pay them extra? Not if it would help the space program.

In a related note, we’re looking for new social sites, and any suggestions would be appreciated.

Worldcon; Day 3 (sort of), Day 4 & Day 5

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So Saturday started out pretty well… and then I got ill. All of a sudden–BANG Headache. Disorientation and fatigue. Did what I always do in cases like this; Went to bed and went to sleep. Blew off the entire day, which was annoying, as it had the panels I really wanted to do: Steampunk, and Webcomics. Goddammit. Luckily, I had Flora and Experiment # 1 here to watch the Dealer’s table.  Slept off and on for the next 18 hours and the next day, I felt fine. According to anecdotal evidence, a significant percentage of the convention attendees experienced something similar. Could’ve been worse.

Sunday. Got a slow start, and missed my panel about “How I Make Art”. I have got to start insisting that I cannot do any panel before noon. For those folks who were disappointed that I wasn’t there; I use a pencil. Found out that Spokane won the worldcon bid for 2015. Yay! In case you missed our earlier posts about it, Spokane is a surprisingly fun little city. I think this will be a fun worldcon, and now is the time to sign up, as it’ll never be cheaper (http://sasquan.org/). They also approached us about writing a play. I won’t give away too many details at this time, but it sounds incredibly cool and different, which is good.

Got a chance to talk to George R.R. Martin. I knew George relatively well back in the 70’s. We played a lot of poker together. He has since moved on, and done quite well for himself, I hear. Anyway, I asked him, after twenty some–odd years of being a respectable mid–list author, what was it like to suddenly become a media celebrity. Not just for his writing, but for being George R.R. Martin. Seriously, you can do a rough drawing of a round guy in suspenders with a big beard and a Greek fisherman’s cap and half the free world knows that it’s supposed to be George R.R. Martin. He said it was weird. He can see his house and his car on YouTube. This has resulted in him washing his car more often.

Sunday was also the night of the Hugo Awards. As always, the voice of the people alternates between divine wisdom and tooth–grinding stupidity (depending on how closely it hews to my own choices) Saga won for best graphic story.  Fair enough, it was my sixth choice in that particular category, but what annoyed the slats off of me was not that they didn’t attend, many people who can’t handle rejection don’t attend, but they didn’t even make the pretense of caring enough to designate someone to pick up the award. Seriously– if you don’t give a fuck about the award, do us a favor, and take your name off the list so that someone who does care can get a shot at it. As you can see, later that night I found their award and stole it. I’ll donate to the science–ficion museum in Seattle. I’m sure they’ll never find it there.

Monday. The final day of the convention. Started off with a Kaffeklatch. This is a thing where anyone who’s interested gets to sit down with me and pretty much ask me anything. It’s different from a formal panel where people can ask me anything, in that we sit in a circle, and I get to drink a very large and very strong coffee while I do it. This makes a surprisingly large difference, and we had a good time. This was my last official program item for the convention, and the remainder of the day was spent trying to sell as much stuff as possible so I didn’t have to schlep it home. There is always going to be some schlepping, but we managed to boil 19 boxes of stuff down to 4, so I think we did pretty good. The most asked question was “Where is Volume 12?” Most people were satisfied with the answer, “It’ll ship out at the end of September.” The people running The worldcon next year in London (http://www.loncon3.org/) asked if we could do a new Girl Genius Radio Play there. Indeed we will. You have been warned.

After we go everything settled, Experiment # 1 and I went out for barbeque. We went to a place called the County Line, which is right on the Riverwalk. Their ‘thing’ was the size of their ribs, and indeed, when they arrived, there was more meat there then you’ll find on my thigh (which, sadly, is a lot). Taste? Not so much. This confirms my hypothesis that the closer a restaurant is to the Riverwalk, the lamer the food. The next time you’re in San Antonio, choose accordingly.