The Premise of Girl Genius: Mad Scientists Ruling the World

Borrowed from

I’ve mentioned the webcomic, Girl Genius, a few times before. This comic has won the Hugo award for Best Graphic Story three years in a row, the first three years when the award was in existence. The creators Kaja and Phil Foglio, actually withdrew themselves from the nomination process for the fourth year (2012–and interestingly enough, the 2012 winner was also a webcomic, meaning that while print comics have been nominated for this Hugo award, one has yet to win).

There are many amazing aspects to this work, but today I’ll talk about the premise. I have to admit that different takes on the mad scientist idea appeal to me. And this one is both engaging from a storyline perspective and morbidly funny.

So, how does a mad scientist approach politics? Well, here’s one example.

What’s so appealing about this premise? Well, for one, it’s great to have this many characters that are passionate about knowledge–though maybe the guy from the above example shouldn’t be taken as a positive role model. Remember, this story is about mad scientists. Nonetheless, there is a lot of variability in the morality of different mad scientists in the story, which is also nice to see.

Another good aspect about the premise is that it leaves plenty of room for comedy. Some morbid, some silly, some ironic. The story is genuinely funny. Highly recommended.

For those interested, first page starts here. And wow, you can already see funny background signs, even on the first page. I never noticed before.

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2 Responses to The Premise of Girl Genius: Mad Scientists Ruling the World

  1. Amethyst says:

    I love Girl Genius! Even though it’s not strictly steampunk (the Foglios prefer the term “gaslight fantasy”), it was one of the things that first got me into steampunk when I started reading it four years ago.

    • Marie Erving says:

      I think I read something somewhere about the term gaslamp fantasy being chosen at least partly to avoid confusion with another title…but that was a while ago, so I might be wrong. I guess whether or not it counts as steampunk to any particular person depends on how narrowly or widely of a genre they think of steampunk as. I still kinda think of Girl Genius as the definitive steampunk work, probably because it’s my favorite.

      Sorry, Foglios. I’m not doing it on purpose, I swear!

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