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Phil is still trying to get ahead on GG pages, now that we're no longer sick. He has hired someone to move the dirt out of our driveway, which makes me happy. We can ill afford the price, but the neighbors are getting cross and who can really blame them? The dirt has been there since last fall and we've been unable to move it for one reason or another for far too long.

I'm still playing with the cover colors to volume five, and I need to redo the "story so far" page. I really hate doing the story so far, I've had to rewrite it so many times over the years that everything I do seems moronic. Fortunately, robespierrette suggested a different format that I should have thought of but didn't, and that I'm far more enthusiastic about. The cover is looking really great, I am very happy with it!

My Mom, always on the lookout for free stuff, has brought us a very nice (if a bit dinged) vaguely craftsman-style oak hutch. I really like it, but am not quite sure where to put it just yet. I'll find a place. And the plumber came and fixed the bathtub handle that kept coming off and spraying anyone in the tub with vast amounts of cold water. It's good to have a little money for repairs and upkeep again!

This is the very first picture of Agatha ever. I had been drawing mad science girls for a while at that point, but this one marks the actual day that Phil came up with the title "Girl Genius" and the name "Agatha Heterodyne." At that point, it was supposed to be a sort of near-future adventure, with Agatha as the descendant of Phil's old Heterodyne Boys characters. I like the Gaslamp Fantasy (cough, cough, Steampunk...) setting better, myself.

I had been sorting through a lot of old sketches and noticed that Phil seemed to like drawing airships and weird creatures with walking sticks and old-fashioned clothes, but that stuff hardly ever made it into his final work. I've got a bit of a mania for that sort of thing myself, so it seemed a good idea to make a story that we could hang that look on. I called it Gaslamp Fantasy because, around the time we were bringing Girl Genius out, there was a comic called Steampunk on the shelves and I didn't want any confusion. Plus, I've never liked the term Steampunk much for our work, it's derived from Cyberpunk (a term which I think actually fits its genre well) but we have no punk, and we have more than just steam, and using a different name seemed appropriate. I mis-remembered a term that I had come across in the forward to an H. Rider Haggard book, where the author was talking about Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Rider Haggard and that sort of pre-pulp adventure material, and came up with "Gaslamp Fantasy." I felt a bit foolish when I discovered that I had made up my own term, but it works and I like it.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)

I like that term.

As an aside -
I recommend Gaslight's Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu page:

You've prolly heard of "Carmilla," maybe "Green Tea" -
But it has others of his work, as well.
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
The term used for material of that sort actually written in the 19th century is "Scientific Romance." While I wasn't keen on slapping that on a RPG (Forgotten Futures) it is appropriate for your stuff.

Celebrate creating new terms! Trademark them and crush any other adopters!

BTW, I thought that "the Heterodyne girl" -- "Oh, the girl from our show!" was the most brilliant piece of Gilbert & Sullivan-esque writing I've seen in ages. It still makes me smile when I think about it! So whichever of you thought that up deserves a big raise!
Apr. 24th, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC)
absolutely an awesome moment. I especially liked all the poses of the Jagers and Krosp's expression.
("Captain Amazing DOESN'T wear glasses" from Mystery Men)

I like Gaslamp fantasy lots better than Steampunk, cause I really don't get an instant idea what they're talking about and I think punk does not juxtapose with Victoriana the way it needs to to be a comprehensible term.

That was a little more convoluted than I meant.
Apr. 25th, 2006 03:05 am (UTC)
Personally I'd much rather see the term "gaslamp fantasy" gain currency as a general descriptive term rather than yet another trademarked term setting lawyers at 40 paces.
Apr. 25th, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
I agree. It would be cool if more people used it, I would have bragging rights! I have other things for my lawyer to do...
Apr. 24th, 2006 08:44 pm (UTC)
I really like the term Gaslamp Fantasy, it fits so perfectly. I recently saw Steamboy, and couldn't help but use that term to describe it.
Apr. 24th, 2006 10:08 pm (UTC)
"Rhinohiding?" Is this where I pretend I don't know what that word means?
Apr. 24th, 2006 11:40 pm (UTC)
I didn't have to pretend - I KNEW I didn't know what it meant.

But I could guess from context, and indeed the Girl Genius YahooGroup list confirmed that it refers to claiming a hit was not anywhere near as damaging as it really was. Or that you have the Hide of a Rhino.
Apr. 25th, 2006 12:37 am (UTC)
Pity. And here I thought he was hiding a rhino somewhere.
Apr. 25th, 2006 04:23 am (UTC)
I think rhinohiding has something to do with that old grandfather trick: "Got your nose!" Either that or Dimo has a booger he's trying to cover up.
Apr. 26th, 2006 05:19 am (UTC)
I hope Dimo is okay. He's my favorite. :(
May. 1st, 2006 04:19 am (UTC)
To be specific, rhinohiding is pretending you can't feel fair blows in SCA (for example) combat when everybody else knows better - your 'hide' is too 'tough' to feel it.

In context, it's 'Dimo, are you pretending you didn't actually get hurt?' Sort of an inverted rhinohiding. :)

All the Scadians got a big laugh out of the use of the term - not the situation, naturally; there, we're worried.
Apr. 25th, 2006 01:49 am (UTC)
It is a good day. The comic mentions two more characters from the card game, another comic alludes to GG, and... and... Amazon finally found a copy of the fourth collection for me!
Apr. 25th, 2006 04:31 am (UTC)
I mis-remembered a term that I had come across in the forward to an H. Rider Haggard book, where the author was talking about Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Rider Haggard and that sort of pre-pulp adventure material, and came up with "Gaslamp Fantasy."
If 'gaslamp fantasy' was the near miss, what was the term actually used in the forward?
Apr. 25th, 2006 04:49 am (UTC)
That I would have to look up.
Apr. 25th, 2006 04:37 am (UTC)
The word "Gaslamp" is good because it suggests a certain level of technological sophistication. You can't have gaslamps without metallurgy (for the pipes and lamppost itself), materials science (for the glass housing), and chemistry (for the production of the gas itself). In order to have many gaslamps, you need mass production and economies of scale.

Thus, the phrase "Gaslamp Fantasy" makes me at least think "Approximately 19th-century tech, sorta kinda, with exceptions because (a) the 19th century had lots of scientific and technological development (and also strong tech disparities) and (b) it's a fantasy".

Anyway, that's why I think it works so well.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 25th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
Seems to me that heterodyne could be a metaphor for something, maybe for the family's political role in the world.
Apr. 26th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)
hinermad, Gaslamp Fantasy, Wikipedia
'K, I started text for such an entry. Care to help me get it done & on Wikipedia? Got a short description, then credit Kaja, mention GG; will need links to related Studio Foglio/ Airship Ent. topics [and maybe non-GG examples also?]; haven't a clew how to post anything to Wikipedia, or hyperlinking, etc.

'Agatha's Minions'
Apr. 26th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
Re: hinermad, Gaslamp Fantasy, Wikipedia
I'll SHOW YOU ALL the start of the Wikipedia entry for 'gaslamp fantasy' if you'll goto Wikipedia and search for it [OK, so *Wikipedia* will actually show you all the entry- pedants].
Or go here and scroll down: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_creation/Today

It still needs links added to all things Foglio/Airship Ent./etc.

Apr. 25th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Heterodyne Boys
I don't think I'd realized that the Heterodyne Boys were "old characters" of Phil's. Were they used in some published form before GG, or had he just been holding them in his back pocket?
Apr. 25th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Heterodyne Boys
A little of both. They'd been in one short story and were mentioned in Stanley and his Monster, but hadn't seen much official print besides that. They have been massively overhauled for Girl Genius, now it's more likely that the HBs mentioned earlier would be descendants of the GG HB.
Apr. 25th, 2006 10:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Heterodyne Boys
now it's more likely that the HBs mentioned earlier would be descendants of the GG HB

Given how different the entire universe is in Work Ethic, I would say that the Bill & Barry (of that short story) are more like shadows of the Sparkverse ones.

Or Fan Fiction-type reimaginings. Heh.

Hm. Phaeton looks (and feels) a little like Klaus von Wulfenbach, now that I re-read it.
Sep. 28th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
The Reality, not the Fantasy
For the real old time Mad Scientist who makes her own tools and can turn a bucket and a few pounds of sand into a complete precision machine shop there's only one place to go: Lindsay Publications. I'm serious. Start with Dave Gingery's seven little books and you'll end up with a foundry, lathe, shaper, milling machine, drill press, bending brake and a whole slew of accessories like four-jaw chucks and dividing heads. From there it's a hop and a skip to cutting your own gears, making bearings and engines, thermite welding, alternative energy, steam powered cars and Tesla weirdness.

You can even turn a six string guitar into a four string banjo.

Some of the books are recent, Many are reference, teaching and how-to guides from the late 19th/early 20th century.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )