Monthly Archives: June 2014

Fun With Cats!


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 (

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 (, 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


This weekend Kaja and myself will be guests at Seattle’s own Indie Bookfair ( 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


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 ( 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