Author Archives: Professor Phil Foglio

What A Week

We just finished our Kickstarter, which went very well, thank you, and we are recovering from Emerald City Comic Con, which was also a great success, but was quite draining.

ECCC (as we in The Biz, call it) was huge, but it felt a bit more relaxed, as they expanded it to four days. To the astonishment of all the dealers I talked to, sales were quite healthy on Thursday, yet did not appear to cannibalize sales from the other days. Sweet. We got to perform the Girl Genius Radio Plays, where we had an exemplary cast this time out. Our thanks, again to everyone who showed up. We’ll be back next year!

I was interviewed a couple of times, the first by a podcast called Digital & Dice. Here it is (http://www.digitalanddice.com/). I did a signing at Steve Jackson Games’s booth in support of Munchkin: Steampunk. A fine game that should be mandatory in schools.

We also wrapped up our Kickstarter. Another emotionally wrought experience, but since we funded in four days, it was a different kind of wrought. Now the grinding, soul-crushing work of actually creating all the extras we promised, as well as the book itself, begins. Luckily for me, that’s all stuff Kaja does. But my job is to make sure that she’s supplied with salt, sugar, caffeine, and chocolate,  (the 4 creative food groups) and to put a pillow under her head when she falls asleep, so she doesn’t damage her keyboard.

A Busy Weekend A’Comin’

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We will be at the fabulous Emerald City Comicon this weekend (http://www.emeraldcitycomicon.com/), Booth # 704, where we look forward to meeting our fans, especially those who have served in the military. As you can see, we at Studio Foglio always appreciate a snappy uniform.

We will also be performing our latest Girl Genius Radio Play (Friday, 4:15, in Room T-304)! And a good time is guaranteed for all, especially if you’re fond of Othar Tryggvassen- Gentleman Adventurer!.

Our latest Kickstarter is rumbling down the final stretch! (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/the-city-of-lightning-a-girl-genius-graphic-novel?ref=discovery) Yes, we made our goal, and thanks for that, but we’re still hoping we’ll get more backers, if only because this is the best way for readers to get their books before anybody else (not that we suspect you of being overly competitive or anything), since backers can get them shipped directly from the printer, and it doesn’t get any faster then that.

We Made It!

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Huzzah! Those of you not obsessively clicking on our latest Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/the-city-of-lightning-a-girl-genius-graphic-novel?ref=discovery) every five minutes (which would be us, the people we work with, and my mom {hi, mom!}), might not be aware that we successfully funded our Kickstarter for Girl Genius: City of Lightning! So those fence-sitters amongst you who were waiting to see if we’d actually make it before committing? You may now support us, secure in the knowledge that you will definitely get that book!

In fact, we funded so early, that now we have to craft an increasingly byzantine set of stretch goal rewards.  I am told that there is an identifiable subset of backers that take great delight in trying to get creators to have to commit to exorbitant stretch goals. Many will no doubt remember Rich Burlew’s promise to open an Order of the Stick Fantasyland & Mosh Pit themepark after his wildly successful, multi-million dollar Kickstarter of several years ago. Well, ha ha, skeptics! That’s opening next week! We take inspiration from this.

If people wish to congratulate me in person, they may do so this weekend at Wondercon, where I will be manning the Girl Genius booth (Booth # 1610).

THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN…

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The Time of Judgement! That’s right, it’s nominating time for the Hugo Awards®, which is the big award given out by the World Science Fiction Convention every year. This year, Worldcon (as we world-weary sci-fi sophisticates call it) AKA MidAmericon 2, is being held August 17-21 in beautiful Kansas City, Missouri. If you’ve never been to a Worldcon, this should be a good one, so give it a shot. (http://midamericon2.org/) There will be barbeque!

If you are already signed up as a Worldcon member, then you can nominate for the Hugos. Naturally, we creative types expect you, the public, to take this very seriously, and to carefully look at everything before you make your all-important nominations…HA ha! I laugh. There is so much amazing stuff coming out in every conceivable medium that no one can possibly be expected to examine it all—but despair not! I am here to bring you up to speed on some worthy material in the highly-coveted and glamorous field of Best Graphic Story.

Now, I will admit that there are many fine comic books worthy of consideration that can be found in today’s comic book shops—but examining those would involve leaving my house. So I will deal with what I know, and talk about this year’s crop of science fiction/fantasywebcomics. This is where you will find some of the most interesting and different comics currently being made, and even better; they’re free!

In the following list, I’ll give you the name, the publisher (if known), the creators, and the website info, which should be all you need to go out and experience these works. Let me start with a completely random example—which just happens to be a webcomic I read almost every day—just to show you how it’s done:

1. Girl Genius: The Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne Book Two: The City of Lightning. Published by Airship Entertainment. Art & Story by Kaja and Phil Foglio, Colors by Cheyenne Wright. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com

See? Like that. Just as an example. To show how it’s done. Continuing the list:

2. Stand Still Stay Silent: Book One. Published by SSSSComic. Art & Story by Minna Sundberg.  http://www.sssscomic.com/

3. Drive: Book 3: Such A Lovely Species.  Art & Story by Dave Kellett. http://www.drivecomic.com/

Now, the examples above actually got a printed book out in 2015. There are many fine webcomics that did not get a physical, made-of-paper book onto the shelves, but I think they can still be nominated. It’s a bit of a grey area, actually, but Science demands that we experiment! At the very least, you’re in for some good reading;

4. Kill 6 Billion Demons. Art & Story by Abbadon.  http://killsixbilliondemons.com/

5. Prague Race. Art & Story by Petra Erika Nordlund.  http://www.praguerace.com/comic/start

6. Schlock Mercenary. Art & Story by Howard Taylor.  http://www.schlockmercenary.com/

7. Bird Boy. Art & Story by Anne Szabla.  http://bird-boy.com/

Well, there you go. Nominations close March 31. Happy reading!

Huzzah! The Kickstarter is Over–

IMG_1481-and we did pretty well. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and to all the people who are crying that they ‘just missed’ the campaign (sigh), rest assured that we will have stuff for sale as soon as possible. Not everything, of course, the fabulous accoutrements that we said are campaign exclusives, are indeed campaign exclusives and those who did not claim them by contributing to the Kickstarter will be forced to stand to the side and watch those who did as they stride, glittering, amongst you. Take some comfort in gnashing your teeth, and vowing to your Dark Gods to support our next campaign–OR ELSE!

In other news, I am always happy when webcartoonists engage in the fun game of “shout out”, where you reference other creators comics, and they do the same to you. We have one such in today’s Girl Genius, where I get to portray ‘Doc’ from The Whiteboard (http://www.the-whiteboard.com/), who has actually shouted out to us several times. Doc is one of my favorite comic mad scientists. I was introduced to the Whiteboard by my old friend Alice Bentley (who is now a partner at Dreamhaven Books [http://dreamhavenbooks.com/]). When I asked her what the strip was about, she just looked at me for a minute and then confessed that although she’d been reading it for years, she still wasn’t sure. Having read it for years myself now, I believe it has something to do with paintball, but don’t quote me.

So This is 2015

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The e-Book edition of Agatha H and the Voice of The Castle is now available! Huzzah!  Here is an elegant and finely crafted link (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00H1YPUYE/ref=s9_simh_gw_p351_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=desktop-3&pf_rd_r=18BM1XMQ0J12AZ7MRZ36&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=1970566762&pf_rd_i=desktop) Amass those photons!

As normal readers of my posts know, it’s odd for me to lead off with something so blatantly commercial. Usually I begin with a comment about the price of fruitbats in Canada or how my dog is now covered in moss or somesuch and then subtly ease into the old hard sell. I am told that this is A Bad Thing and that I am constantly “burying the lead”, which is certainly true if these posts are nothing more than commercials for Studio Foglio written by an erratic copywriter. Back in art school, my Advertising teacher was constantly at a loss whenever I revealed my latest advertising campaign. (Typical example; A cheap high protean food supplement made from powdered insects! No doubt some of you are going “Ew!” Well, imagine what they said back in 1975. Personally, I think we’ll see this on the shelves within the next decade. Oh, and if there are any insectivore entrepreneurs reading this- call me; I have a great [admittedly retro] advertising campaign just sitting around!) But personally, I think of these posts as a chance to blather a bit to people who are, evidently, interested in what I have to say. Don’t get me wrong, part of what I have to say certainly involves “Buy our stuff” (which seems to be working, by the way, I had a note from the nice people at SkyHorse telling me that the first print run of Voice of the Castle is sold out and they are going back to print. Woot!), but these days, I think anybody with a grasp of social media has figured out that creative people would really like it if you bought enough stuff that they did not have to go back to the food service industry.

The photo is me in front of the Statue of Physical Energy(!) in Kensington Park, London, and it pretty much sums up how we’ve been for the last couple of weeks. It’s no secret that we’ve been ill, and yet forced to soldier on, what with all this holiday cheer people are slinging about. However we do seem to be coming out the other side, which is a good thing, as things refuse to stay still, damn them. Next week, for instance, we’ll be doing a signing at the Bellevue Barnes & Noble (626 106th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004  425-451-8463) on January 17 at 2 PM, which is good news for everybody in western Washington, and even better news for everybody else, who no doubt already have a million things to do with their precious weekends.