Category Archives: Phil’s Blog

Just Got Back From Ohio

Over the last weekend, Kaja and I were guests at MarCon, which was a very nice science fiction convention in Columbus, Ohio. The con was fun, and everyone seems to have decided that what we need are fresh baked cookies and/or butter tarts. On the one hand, this is the sort of thing we want to encourage, on the other hand, we are loath to wake up one morning and realize we now weigh a thousand pounds. This is no doubt one of those tricky, modern ethical dilemmas you hear about.

Certainly the high point was watching a performance of The Heterodyne Boys and the Race to the West Pole, which was a commedia dell’ Arte-style performance that required two collaborating troupes to pull it off; ‘The Confused Greenies’, and ‘i Sebastiani’ (the greatest Commedia Dell’ Arte troupe in the entire world®). Both of these fine groups are available for hire for your convention, revel, or corporate management getaway.

And finally, I am sure that S.F. con goers are aware that many cons give away free books. I have actually had extraordinary good luck as far as these giveaway books go, and my luck continues, as I found a copy of Guy Haley’s ‘Champion of Mars’ in my goody bag. I’d never heard of it, even though it came out back in 2012. Possibly because it has one of the worst covers imaginable, and that is saying something. However, once you get past that, you find a fascinating story that bounces back and forth between the early terraforming stage of the colonization of Mars- and seventy thousand years in the future, when mankind is fighting a war against extra-dimensional entities in a Barsoom inspired future. I was hooked from the first page, and was actually annoyed that my plane was landing, because I had to stop reading for awhile. It is an overlooked gem that deserves to be better known! (https://smile.amazon.com/Champion-Mars-Guy-Haley/dp/1907992855/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495069740&sr=8-1&keywords=champion+of+mars)

It’s Free Comic Book Day!

IMG_1923
A day when you can walk into any comic book store in this great land of ours and get free comics, a concept that sounds amazing when you’re ten, and only gets better the older you get.

Today I will be doing my part by signing at Arcane Comics’ new location. Yes, they’ve moved. Come in and check it out! And I’ll be there from Noon to 2, and I will cheerfully sign whatever you bring.

Their new location is:  15002 Aurora Avenue North, Shoreline, WA  98133.  (206) 781-4875.  (http://www.arcanecomicbooks.com/index.php)

A Busy Weekend A’Comin’

IMG_1812

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!

3-human-trebuchet

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…

IMG_1916

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!

Mindless Entertainment for the Holidays

santakrosp_R_1600x1200Sometimes something comes along that is so ridiculous that you know you have to have it (actually even a cursory amble through our house will reveal that we have a pretty low bar, as far as that sort of thing is concerned. But today I’m talking about Catamancer, which the creators explain is like ‘Hearthstone…With Cats!’ Here is their Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dysprosium/catamancer-0). Now, normally I would observe this silliness from afar, but the creators contacted us, and want to use Krosp as a character. Goddamn it, now we have skin in this game.

However it does look like these guys have done a pretty good job. Check it out and decide for yourselves!