You are viewing philfoglio

Hey

> recent entries
> calendar
> friends
> Girl Genius Online Web Comic
> profile
> previous 20 entries

Friday, December 5th, 2014
10:46 pm - It's All About The Stuffed Animals Today
IMG_1596

The official Studio Foglio sanctioned Wasp Weasels are finally in, and they look great! You can find them here (https://www.etsy.com/listing/197100578/standard-orange-wasp-eater-licenced-girl/), and I have been assured that there are enough in stock that just about anyone who wants to keep their home or place of work slaver wasp free for the holidays, should be in luck.

So Kaja and I were out and about today- running errands and practicing our skulking (The aisles at Dreamstrands Comics (http://www.dreamstrands.com/) were particularly satisfying), when we found the stuffed animals in the above photo at a toy store. If you look closely these adorable creatures have X’s for eyes. Which is just creepy, as any student of iconography will tell you that when a character has X’s for eyes, it’s either dead, or drunk. Either implied state is disconcerting when it’s found on a child’s toy, but I expect a fair number of people will be able to relate by the time the Holidays are over.

The third plush peculiarity of the day is The Winslow, who made a cameo appearance in today’s Girl Genius Comic (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php#.VIKiK9Yspak). Franky, I was unprepared for the happiness that his appearance engendered, and up until now unaware that he actually had his own Wikipedia page. I had a LOT of people asking when we’re going to actually print the Buck Godot volume that had The Winslow in it as a character (The Gallimauphry). Well we’re  doing a Kickstarter for that mighty soon now. Naturally we’ll plug it when it happens, but I just wanted to let folks know that we are actually working on that.

Stay tuned!

(6 comments | comment on this)

Monday, December 1st, 2014
9:23 am - It Snew!
I know 9/10ths of the country is going to hate me now, but we actually got a dusting of snow this weekend! The Experiments were pretty darn happy about it, and we were able to engage in our favorite winter sport, which is hauling the cats outside and watching them rediscover the physics of snow. Fun, AND educational.

We are in the process of figuring out what conventions we’ll be attending in 2015. I just sent in my dealer’s room application for SasQuan (http://sasquan.org/) which is the World Science Fiction Convention. It’ll be held in Spokane , WA, August 19-23, which is a hidden jewel of a city. Today (12/1) is the last day of their “Black Friday” Membership sale, where you can get an attending membership for only $170. You actually come out ahead if you factor in the shelf-price of all the free reading material they send you in the annual Hugo-Voter packet, so we recommend that you sign up, and hopefully, we will see you there.

Found a weird thing on the web; It’s a you tube channel where the guy running it, the mysterious ‘crysknife007’, posts ambient background noise from various starships. Long ones. The one from Star Trek TNG runs nonstop for 24 hours (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPoqNeR3_UA&index=1&list=PLsO8fxO6PnRfGUc0Td1lFXVnnq_Jn455U). “Absurd!” I hear you cry, which is what I thought and continue to think, even though it’s been running in the background here for the last 4 hours. I was unaware that this was an actual need that I had, but the evidence suggests otherwise.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
9:01 am - The One Time I’m Looking Forward To Gaining A Few Pounds
GirlGenius3

And it’s thanks to the fact that Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle has been released in Great Briton from Titan Books. We met with the folks from Titan when we were in England for Worldcon/London. They invited us into the offices, along with a number of other authors to sign books and get to know one another. They seemed pretty on top of things, which is always nice. You can order these fine books here (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/178116651X/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_d26_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1S1QSKXSZ5N4WCSM7QFP&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=455344027&pf_rd_i=468294), and are strongly advised to do so, if only for the striking cover. A lot of the people at Titan were rather concerned about our reaction to the cover. This is understandable, as we are late to the writing game, and thus everyone is used to thinking of us as artists, which means that we’re likely to scream, throw things around the office, or take heroin when we see something that does not jibe with our “artistic vision”. Well Titan was in luck because A. We were a bit late to the signing and the other authors had used up all the good drugs leaving us nothing but croissants, and B. We really like the cover. Kaja can go into rhapsodies about it and the others in the series as a masterpiece of design, because you can “read” it across the room, know what series it’s for, and know instantly if it’s a new book in said series. It was produced by an agency called Crush Creative (http://crushed.co.uk/#work), so we can’t actually tell you the name of the person who did it. Probably it’s just a big room full of drugged up artists screaming at each other and throwing things– but we can respect that. So get out there and support good design.

(comment on this)

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
11:28 pm - It's Been A Busy Couple of Weeks...

robot_queen_victoria copy copy

I just finished up the illustrations for ‘Munchkin Steampunk’ for Steve Jackson Games. It was a lot of fun, but it was over a hundred and eighty illustrations in slightly less than two months. So on the one hand, I was carting around art supplies whenever I left the house (which is something that our friends are used to), on the other hand, I’m pretty pleased with how they all turned out, especially now that it’s all done.

I don’t know the exact release date, but I think we were all hoping to have it out in time for GenCon or some such. We will certainly let you know when we do.

This Friday, since we have a new novel out and everything (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/agatha-h-and-the-voice-of-the-castle-phil-foglio/1120408433?ean=9781597802956) we are continuing to act like actual authors, and are doing an actual author appearance at the Barnes & Noble at Alderwood Mall, which is slightly north of Seattle (19401 Alderwood Mall Parkway, Lynnwood, WA 98036, 425-771-2220) . We always feel kind of odd being in a real bookstore and everything, so we hope to see a bunch of friendly faces. They want us to talk about how we make Girl Genius, show a couple of original pages from the comic, and do a reading from the new novel. Then we will dance. Things get rolling at 7:30 PM.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Sunday, November 16th, 2014
1:22 pm - Hey Kids- Not Comics!
51OjqvPlmQL._SL500_AA300_
So! The big news! Our third novel has been published! Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle is out in hardcover and we are pretty darn pleased with the way it came out. You should buy one, or perhaps several, as they are large and radiate quite a bit of heat.
(http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/agatha-h-and-the-voice-of-the-castle-phil-foglio/1117163233?ean=9781597802956)

Sorry I’ve been silent for awhile, but I have been grinding away at a couple of projects. Now I know that these days, instead of just keeping my head down and actually doing the work, I should be talking about how I’m grinding away at a project, as well as what I had for lunch, what is currently burning outside my window, and what the hell is the dog eating, and why is it still screaming? Back in my day what a family chose to do in the backyard at night with shovels was their business, but we’re all part of this big interweb hootenanny thing now, so we’ve just got to buck up and stick to the one passport, I guess.

Luckily, we are now working with a person who wants us to be “media savvy” and “21st Century creators”. Fair enough, I can “dig” where she’s coming from, as you kids say. Thus, I guess we’ll start “Tweeting on Red Box” or whatever, and work our way up from there.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
12:18 am - We're In Cambridge Again
cb53694eda0cf27b270a313aadcb4d

Cambridge is a charming little town that's been around for over a thousand years and every other building is  a college that can claim that it educated some famous alchemist or heretic (I said it's been around for awhile) that discovered phlegm or gravity or paper towels or some such. Every building that isn't a college is a bakery or a pie shop, which explains why everyone here looks pretty happy.

So, as my pie–besotted brain understands it; there is the town of Cambridge. It is home to the University of Cambridge. This is an aggregate entity made up of the 7000 or so colleges that you see lying about. A "college" is sort of what what we in America would think of as a "department", with it's own dormitories, laboratories, museums, greensward and jolly traditions that all trace back to sometime between the 1300s and the 1800s when some rich person wanted to make sure that their particular obsession was being studied, and became significantly less rich ensuring that this happened.

We are visiting friends, Diana & John Cox, who have graciously allowed us to reset our trans–Atlantic biological clocks at their fabulous, has a real estate listing in the actual Domesday Booke house. We can attest that eating pies and punting on the Cam have a very salubrious effect on us.

In a few days we will head down to London for LonCon 3 (http://www.loncon3.org/), the latest world science-fiction convention, where we will have a dealer's table, expound on panels, and gnaw on our fingers waiting for the Hugo Award ceremony. While we will no longer be a–punting (unless there's a really great bathtub in our hotel room), we will continue to seek solace in pies.

(3 comments | comment on this)

Monday, July 14th, 2014
11:41 pm - The Wright Stuff
images

A big shout-out to our very own Cheyenne Wright, who just learned that he is nominated for three (3!) ENnie Awards! (http://www.ennie-awards.com/blog/2014-ennie-awards-nominees/) The ENnies are awarded for excellence in assorted aspects of tabletop gaming, and since Cheyenne is a busy boy, he’s up in three separate categories. Good luck to him!

Speaking of awards, we just received our Hugo ballots, and were reminded that we are up for Best Graphic Story. If you are a member of Worldcon and want to vote for Girl Genius, ballots are due by August 1! If you want to vote for any of our admittedly excellent competitors, the deadline is August 2.

Here art home, we are gearing up for the yearly endurance test that is the San Diego Comic Con. We will be in Booth 1331, which is in the heart of the Webcomics Domain, and you should mosey on by if you want some of the best comics out there. Just sayin’.

(comment on this)

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014
12:01 am - Fun With Cats!

b70f653bd3008fd2237c5c70bc1d08

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 (http://www.circuscats.com/)

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 (http://www.arcanecomicbooks.com/), 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.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
8:18 pm - We Are Doing Something Different
25e37d7aca3a5c14325b3b26aa5552

This weekend Kaja and myself will be guests at Seattle’s own Indie Bookfair (http://events.indiebookfair.com/). 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!

(comment on this)

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
4:35 pm - Requiescat in Pace, Jay Lake
bed639e4ed285e6cf054ceb9320f00

Jay Lake was a very nice man who wrote really well and got dealt a bad hand. Personally I think Main Spring 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 (http://brass-screw.com/) 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.

current mood: sad

(1 comment | comment on this)

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
10:50 pm - Busy, Busy, Busy…
mVDPC6fcRkasJ3rGEIZWcw2

The more perspicacious of my readers may have had an inkling that we have been busy, here at Studio Foglio. There have been subtle indications; I haven’t updated this running commentary on my life and/or philosophical musings for awhile. The comic has been going up in black and white, as opposed to its usual full glorious color. (I want to make it super clear that this was not the fault of Cheyenne. Indeed, we had several concerned readers wanting to know if he was once again ‘under the knife’. Relax, he is no closer to death than he ever is. No, we just got those pages to him very late.)

So what the heck has been keeping us so busy? A couple of things. We had a final intensive polishing session and actually turned in the third Girl Genius novel; Agatha H and The Voice of the Castle, to our long-suffering editors at Skyhorse & Titan. Despite what it says over at Amazon, it’ll be coming out in October. We will trumpet the details when we ourselves know them. We are pretty pleased with the way the book turned out, and are already working on Book 4; Agatha H and the Improbable Science Thing (tentative title).

We also turned in the Hugo Award nominated Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City to our printer, so we expect to have that sometime in June.  Dealing with printers is still perniciously “old-school”, as you have to examine several sets of proofs. One for color balance, one to make sure that all the pages are in order and all the words are in the right place, and one sent via FAX, because they bought that damn FAX machine and by golly, they’re going to use it up before they seriously look into this “electronic mail” fad.

In addition to comic shops around the world, this will please the wonderful folks who supported our recent Kickstarter. To make them even more happy, we have been finishing up the art for all the extra stuff we promised, such as travel stickers, pin-up calendars and so on.

On a personal note, everyone around the studio caught some kind of hideous cold, that had us all feeling wretched for a couple of weeks. But could we collapse into our beds and drink hot lemon juice while binge watching Adventure Time? No we could not. We had to soldier on, and soldier on we did. Do I expect pity? I do not, I’m just letting people know whats up. That said, a little pity couldn't hurt. We certainly had none for each other.

On top of all that, I had to get a bunch of vegetables into the ground. This falls into the hobby category more than job, but if you delay things too long, then the growing season is over and you’re weeping over frost blighted tomatoes and eggplants the size of walnuts.

But enough with the excuses! We are back and things are looking good. We’ll be making a couple of exciting announcements in the next few days, and expect to see some changes on the main page. Peace out.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Friday, May 2nd, 2014
7:19 pm - WOOT!
photo

And we are funded! It’s like the internet has found a tangible way to show people how much they are loved. (Obviously there are people you love more than us, Internet, but we’ll take any visible demonstration of affection we can get and run with it)

So! Funded! Now of course, a lot of the real work begins. We have to finish all those add-ons, sign thousands of autograph plates, deal with pin and patch manufacturers, lick stamps, and of course, there’s all that gloating.

Tonight we will be having a few friends over for a Kickstarter and belated Birthday celebration (2 parties in one week? Waste and extravagance!), and then it’s back to work. Enjoy your weekend! We will!

(1 comment | comment on this)

1:13 pm - Wait… What Did We Promise To Do?
e1c1584e3da318c178507157f78636

Woke up to discover that we easily topped our ultimate stretch goal on this, the last day of the Girl Genius 13 Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl). This means that we actually have to make a serious film thing about how we make Girl Genius. Well, I say ‘serious’, but we all know that serious does not mean the same thing as ‘dull’, so we’re all looking forward to it. Kaja and I are huge hams, after all, and enjoy performing.

We thought about trying to cram another stretch goal in there, but nobody else around the office was was really enthusiastic about the ‘Women of Studio Foglio Swimsuit Calendar’ , or creating an Agatha costume large enough to fit over the Statue of Liberty (to celebrate International Cartoon Science Day), or even creating ’Studio Foglio-Topia, an autonomous micro–government and tax shelter 501-C Religious Institution.” I’ll admit that they might have been difficult to fund in under 4 hours, but then, many people around the office never thought we’d get this far. Proving once again that our audience continues to defy all expectations.

I want to thank all the folks who wisely purchased their books in advance, and thus made this all possible. The book has already been sent off to the printers, and they are now doing what we, in the trade, call ‘Printer Magic’ on it. Don’t look so surprised. One thing we at Studio Foglio know how to do is print books.

Oh, there is still time to get over to Kickstarter and snag yourself some of the only-available–to–backers-swag, but I’d hurry, if I were you.

(3 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, May 1st, 2014
2:13 pm - A Couple Of Things Ticking Down Here…
6c2b6d8aae8a8bfe8b6fe4ab478584

For the last week or so, I’ve seen a lot of well-meaning posts wishing me a “belated birthday!” Thanks, but May 1 is in fact my birthday, so Happy Birthday to me. I’d be a bit more enthusiastic about it, but I have a miserable cold that is leaving me even more irascible than usual. When I get hammered on my birthday, I’d rather it wasn’t from NyQuil®.

Our Kickstarter for the Hugo Award nominated Girl Genius Volume 13 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl) is roaring down to its final hours, and we are pretty pleased. Kaja and Carol have been coming up with all sorts of goodies to slap onto the stretch goals, so if you haven’t checked it out yet (or haven’t checked it out lately) you should do so. Today is the last day! Our last big stretch goal is a serious vid about how we make Girl Genius (as opposed to the hopefully humorous one up on the Kickstarter site). We’ve been wanting to make one of these for awhile now, with a lot of time lapse photography of actual pages being drawn. Back in art school, we used to love watching those, and found them mighty helpful. We fully intend to make one anyway, but if the stretch goal is met, it’ll appear a lot sooner.

This Saturday is Free Comic Book Day! Go to your local comic book store and see what’s available! One of our local shops, Arcane Comics (http://www.arcanecomicbooks.com/), is actually having us come in for a signing at noon. This feels kind of odd, as we are used to be ignored by the comics establishment, but Arcane is a swell store that always has our stuff in stock, as well as more cool comics than the mind can comfortably comprehend. So if you’re in the Seattle area, drop on by.

(5 comments | comment on this)

Monday, April 28th, 2014
10:48 pm - Coming Down To The Wire…
ae9729de24c98278e688b917739f75ed_large

Well our Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl) has only a couple of days left- so if you want to advance order your copy of Girl Genius # 13- the one nominated for a Hugo Award- then you had better get a’movin’ there, buckaroo.

If you’ve already taken a look, you might want to take another, as we’ve been coming up with assorted incentives, such as patches, stickers and the much asked for Corbettite insignia pin. All aboard!

We recently ripped out our entire backyard and pretty much leveled it down to the bare earth. I now have a hobby for the next few years. The most interesting thing I planted is a tea bush. I didn’t know that tea could grow up here, but it says that you can “Grow your own tea!” Now personally, I prefer coffee, but global warming will have to progress quite a bit before I can put in coffee plants. I will let you all know how this particular vegetable experiment works out.

(comment on this)

Monday, April 21st, 2014
7:35 pm - We Led Two Lives This Weekend…
1a5764fe6a1cf0abf3ced63b6c1ff2

What a weekend it has been. Kaja and I co–worked both Norwescon, our local science–fiction convention, and SakuraCon, our local enormous amine convention. Two booths, two teams of assistants, two different schedules, one car.

Our most grateful thanks to Carol Monahan, Alice Bentley, Ellen Beeman and everybody else, who worked hard so that we did have to.

Certainly the most delightful news from the weekend is that we are once again nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story! Girl Genius Volume 13; Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City. Awards are never a sure thing, of course, but as I’ve said before, the Hugos are one of those rare awards where just being nominated is a good thing. Personally, we couldn’t have asked for better timing, as this news comes out while we were running a Kickstarter for this very volume! (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl) Now you have even more cause to order this fine book, especially if  you are one of those exceptional people who enjoy collecting the limited hardcovers.

It was actually kind of odd, doing two cons at the same time. It felt like I was at one gigantic con that had two different dealer’s rooms. Sure, one part of the con was populated with young, energetic people in weird costumes, but the other part had weird costumes too. Everyone was friendly, and happy to be there, and surprisingly pleased to see us.

(comment on this)

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014
3:57 pm - A Very Busy Weekend Indded
IMG_4288_Foglio

As if we didn’t have enough to do, what with worrying about our ongoing Kickstarter for Girl Genius Volume 13 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl), we have a convention weekend.

Most pros, when they attend a convention, pretty much just chat on panels, sign things and sit around at the hotel bar, staring pointedly at the empty glass in their hand. I envy them. But this is not the lot of those who toil for Studio Foglio. When we attend a convention, we do all those aforementioned things, to be sure, but we also run a dealer’s table. On the down side, we have to lug a lot of heavy boxes around and be on our feet for much of the weekend and be sharp enough to make correct change. On the up side, we get to meet a lot of our fans face-to-face, and at the end of the day, we have the cash to buy our own drinks (Not that we’re insulted when someone else buys– we’re proud, but not insane).

Well, this weekend we are doubling down in the most literal sense of the word, as we are running a dealer’s table at not one, but two conventions in the same town on the same weekend. (Okay, yes, Seattle and Seatac are technically not in fact the same town. But they are both conventions we can commute to, so that counts.)

The first convention is our local snazzy anime con; Sakura Con (http://www.sakuracon.org/). In the last couple of years, we’ve been asked to be guests at a number of anime conventions, even though we are not anime, manga, or even from Japan. But we are also not traditional American superhero comics either, and apparently that makes all the difference. Now the Professaressa has collected enough shojo romance manga that the house has started to settle, so she will be appearing at the Seattle Convention Center, at Booth # 432. Phil plans to be there Friday afternoon.

The Professor will be working it old school at Norwescon (http://www.norwescon.org/), our local science fiction convention. Norwescon is a refreshing exception to the general trend amongst science fiction conventions these days. Due to the proliferation of genre entertainment and the acceptance of faux nerd culture, many science fiction related conventions have expanded and thrived at the expense of the core science fiction constituency. Thus in many places, general science fiction conventions that used to count their attendees in the thousands have seen their numbers dwindle down to hundreds at best. Norwescon, however, has bucked that trend. Possibly because Seattle has a very healthy book reading culture. Therefore, if you want to attend a great science fiction convention because you like the possibilities of the medium, but don’t want to sink into a specialized venue devoted to one particular movie, TV show or vampire romance series, them check out Norwescon. Kaja plans to be there on Thursday evening. Plus, in a move that dealers everywhere can appreciate, you don’t actually need a Norwescon membership to get into the Dealer’s Room. YAY!

Hope to see you there– Wherever there may be.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Friday, April 11th, 2014
3:45 pm - A Nice Start! The Plan Continues!

864cf9de058e721a71880581642937
Fully funded within 20 hours! Now if I could just keep up that pay rate for the rest of the year…(https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl)

Obviously the first thing we have to say is muchas gracias! Books for everybody! Our next thought is; Oh crap! Now we have to start implementing Stretch Goals! This is a very mixed bag. On the one hand, Stretch Goals are fun and exciting (Oh hey! Howzabout we put a sound chip in every book so that when you open it, you get a clap of thunder?) But you must be aware of how much these things cost. The annals of Kickstarter are littered with “sucessful” campaigns that found that they now had enough money to build every backer a cybernetic ham– and then realized– while at the post office with a truckload of wrapped hams buzzing and blinking ominously behind them– that they had not raised enough money to be able to ship them out. Oops..

This is one of the things we have our business manager- Carol Monahan for. Whenever she is not off doing whatever it is she does that keeps her “happy” and “fulfilled as a person” with her “family”, she is cheerfully sitting in our office crunching numbers, which is why I can say, “No cybernetic hams for you.” At least, not unless we raise quite a bit more. This is certainly possible, and we will no doubt be forced into devising increasingly unlikely and convoluted goals to justify continuing to ask for money. This is frustrating, as we don’t particularly want to have to come up with increasingly outrageous add-ons, we just want to sell a lot of books. I mean, theoretically, we could run a Kickstarter campaign for just 24 hours, Get funded, and then just be obligated to print a thousand books. Ho ho what screaming we would hear. We do not want to do this. You do not want us to do this.

Thus we must work with the current system, which means that if people continue to sign on, it’ll be ham for everybody. this is a burden we are willing to accept.

(5 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014
12:31 pm - This Is The Way We Do Things Now
9c89d4ca7693e6ac70919243dffa066b_large

Woo hoo! Excitements abounds! Today at noon (Pacific Standard Time) Studio Foglio flipped the Big Red Switch and we have launched our latest Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl). This one is for Girl Genius Volume 13- Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City. Now, as some people might remember, we had a very successful Kickstarter last year. successful enough that you might be excused asking “So what for do you need more money? Did you blow it all on coke?” (On this point, you can rest assured. No one who does coke stays as fat as we are.) No, we calculated how much it would cost to get all of our books back into print, make tchotchkes like pins and patches and travel stickers, and hire us a business manager, and that is where the money went.

What we discovered however, is that using Kickstarter is the perfect way to do two things; One- Raise the money we need to pay our printer in advance. It is a sad fact that even though we have been using this printer for over ten years, they still insist on getting paid in advance. One would think that we have an established track record, but they claim that publishing is a tricky business in a tricky spot, and that established publishers go out of business at the drop of a hat, and their industry is full of stories of reputable firms sneaking out of town leaving large, unpaid bills and a warehouse full of unsold copies of the first volume of the latest failed vampire romance octology. This is hard to argue with, considering our beloved publisher of the Girl Genius prose novels -Night Shade Books- suddenly sank last year.

The second reason is that this has proven to be the best way to make sure that we actually print enough books to fill the demand of our readers, especially of the limited edition hardcover, which does tend to fly out the door once we start offering them to the general public. The last time, we had to short our distributor, Diamond Comics almost 200 copies (which, frankly, almost killed me). So don’t let this happen to you! If you even imagine you want a hardcover, get it now! The halls of the internet’s used book sites are filled with the plaintive cries of people trying to acquire copies of the earlier hardcover editions (and their screams when they find out what they’re going for [Yes, it’s a good investment. Just sayin’].)

Once again we are doing a ’shorter’ Kickstarter campaign. A little over three weeks, because if it runs for too long, we will go out of our minds, and because we want to get the cash in hand as soon as possible. This is because our printer, as untrusting and rapacious as they are, are completely booked up for the summer, because we want books in time for the summer shows, which would be a good thing, as it’s always embarrassing when we have to show up with The Same Old Books. People thrive on novelty, and if we don’t have anything new, they say hurtful things and throw rocks at us. This is why we always strive to have something to sell to those benighted, technophobic souls who rely on the vicissitudes of chance to get their book. Unlike you.

(4 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
4:21 pm - Those Who Forget The Past…
tumblr_n2q31vtgS11qzfsnio5_500

Always have some good reading to catch up on. As long as we’re talking about history, let me recommend a nifty little documentary called ‘Stripped’. It’s an overview about newspaper comics, and where strip-type comics are going. It has interviews with any number of old newspaper comic strip artists, as well as a number of the new creators who are dragging the art form into the future. The creators are trying to get everyone to buy it on April 1 (today!) from iTunes, in the hope that a strong showing will help them get a distribution deal. This would be a fine thing indeed, and you should go and do so now (https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/stripped/id816065098?ls=1). Seriously, if you are of a historical bent, this film captures that all–too–rare instance where an old institution is fundamentally changing, as well as the people who grew up in it. It’s a fascinating look at otherwise intelligent people who simply cannot understand how the world is changing around them, and the people who are replacing them. This thing will play in sociological classes for the next hundred years.

This last weekend was Emerald City Comicon, where a good time was had by all. Thanks to the Booth Staff (who rather insisted), I actually managed to get out from behind the table and see a bit of the show. Picked up the latest books by Jeph Jacques (http://questionablecontent.net/), Ryan Smith (http://www.accurseddragon.com/) and David Willis (http://www.dumbingofage.com/). Thus my productivity will be crippled while I sit around and read comics, but I console myself that it’s business research, and all such purchases are tax deductible.

In two weeks we are double–dipping at a pair of local conventions. Studio Foglio will have a booth at both Norwescon, our local science fiction convention (http://www.norwescon.org/), and at SakuraCon, our local humongous anime con (http://www.sakuracon.org/). They are both in Seattle on the same weekend, which is annoying as hell, and we can only be thankful that Emerald City is no longer on the same weekend as well. Actually it’s not that surprising. I can pretty much guarantee that no matter where you are reading these words there is a genre convention of some stripe within a hundred miles of you gearing up for the Easter weekend. It’s not that aficionados of science fiction, fantasy and comics are particularly irreverent (that’s just a side effect) but a large party with hundreds of like–minded people does give you an acceptable public venue for burning off the effects of eating a third of your weight in chocolate rabbits.

Later this week, we’ll be shooting the video for our next Kickstarter, which will be a more focused event (thank Christ) for the next Girl Genius collection; Volume 13- Agatha Heterodyne & the Sleeping City. A busy week indeed. Don’t worry, we’ll mention it several hundred times in the next month.

Occasionally, one gets a bit overwhelmed by it all, and it’s hard to stay positive. I have found a site that helps quite a bit. It’s called Heal Yourself, Skeletor. On this site, the main villain of the old He–Man TV show comes to grip with the endless disappointments that he experiences on his journey to conquer the world. It is well worth checking on every day. (http://skeletorislove.tumblr.com/)

(comment on this)


> previous 20 entries
> top of page
LiveJournal.com