Girl Genius is an ongoing story featuring adventure, romance, and Mad Science. It follows the adventures of Agatha Heterodyne, scion of a notorious family of "Sparks", scientists capable of warping the very laws of nature with their feats of mad brilliance. We call it a "Gaslamp Fantasy," by which we mean that it takes place in an old-fashioned, Jules-Vernian world of airships, monsters, and wild inventions.
We post a new page of the Girl Genius graphic novel three times a week on our web site at girlgeniusonline.com. When we have enough pages, roughly once a year, we publish a collection in both hard and soft cover bindings.
The Girl Genius graphic novel series has won 3 Hugo Awards for Best Graphic Story, and now Volume #13 has been nominated for this year's award!
Studio Foglio is a tiny little company created by Kaja and Phil Foglio. (That's us!) It has been run out of our home since 1993. Over the years, we have self-published all kinds of things, including art prints, games, posters and comics--most notably, Girl Genius.
Studio Foglio began developing Girl Genius in 1993. We first published it as a comic book in 2001, then took it online in 2005. We've won a bunch of awards, and only ever missed one webcomic update! (We fixed it the next day. It was very embarrassing.)
We are being assisted now by our new business manager, Carol Monahan, and by our customer service expert, Alice Bentley, who is returning to help us out after many years away. We thank the excellent James Ernest of Cheapass Games, veteran of many successful Kickstarters, for our campaign video and lots of advice.
We've got a new volume of Girl Genius ready to print: Agatha Heterodyne & The Sleeping City. This is lucky Volume 13, and it wraps up the story arc of Mechanicsburg - for the time being.
We need to pay for the initial print run of the softcover edition, and for the limited edition hardcovers. We also want to offer some new merchandise, both limited-edition items for our backers, and new additions for our line of pins and patches.
We've found that direct pre-orders are the best way to find out how many books we need to print, especially of the limited-edition hardcover version.
Why should you participate in the Kickstarter, rather than waiting for the book to hit stores?
We have benefits for backers that are only available through the campaign, most notably a signed bookplate for each backer copy of Girl Genius Volume 13. There are also two other Kickstarter-only awards: a new medal, similar to the ones created for the Girl Genius Volume 12 campaign and the Rats of Mechanicsburg campaign from Gizmocracy, and a lovely patch featuring Mechanicsburg's own Mamma Gkika.
Beyond that, the hardcover version of Girl Genius Volume 13 is a limited edition, as always. We do print a fairly small extra quantity, which we sell through distribution and at shows, but pre-ordering one through the Kickstarter guarantees that you will receive one!
How did it go last time?
We had a Kickstarter for Volume 12 last year, and it was a bit overwhelming, to be honest! We were thrilled and flattered. And we got all of our older volumes back into print. You can purchase any of the Girl Genius Volumes 1 through 12 through our pages at the TopatoCo store, along with all sorts of merchandise, including the unlimited awards we created last year. If you've missed a volume along the way, or haven't picked up a Jägermonster insignia patch yet, this is a great time to go shopping!
Let's start with a tiny little immediate reward. Here is a nice icon for our supporters–so they can show off their bragging rights. Please grab a copy, enjoy it, and use it to spread the word!
Everyone who gets books will get a book plate signed by Phil and Kaja:
As with our previous campaign, several of our reward levels include a medal. We make these in both brass- and silver-tone, so if you pick a reward level that includes one, you'll get to decide which color you'd like. Note that we made the stretch goal to upgrade the medal, see that section further down the page for more details. Here's the concept art:
Higher, above-and-beyond levels include our limited-edition Mamma Gkika Patch:
We also have an unlimited Mamma Gkika's patch available as an add-on (see below). Phil is still working on the designs for the travel stickers, and we'll get you pictures of those in updates as he gets them completed.
Well, that was fast...thank you all so much! Here we go:
We've hit $70,000, so now we'll make sure that all our backers at and above "Photons only, Please!" (that's the $10 level) will get the PDF edition of Volume 13 as part of their reward package. Thanks, everybody!
Here's a current list of the items that are available to add-on to your pledge:
- Softcover Girl Genius Volume #13 $30
- Hardcover Girl Genius Volume #13 $55
- Europan Travel Sticker Set $12
- Commemorative Medal $25
- Chibi Character Patch* $10
- Arms of Mechanicsburg Pin $15
- Corbettite Insignia Pin $15
- "Drinks & Mayhem" Patch $10
- Coffee Sticker Set $8
- "Girl Genius" Logo Patch $5
- "Girl Genius" Logo Pin $10
Please see the "How do add-ons work?" section of the FAQ at the bottom of the page for more details.
* Chibi patch designs unlocked: Agatha, Gil, Tarvek, Bangladesh DuPree, Von Pinn, Mamma Gkika, Oggie, Dimo, Maxim. Each patch is $10.
We did it: A fancier backer medal! We did this last year, and we do think the medal looks a lot snazzier with an insert. Also, we're keeping the size consistent, so you'll be able to mix and match inserts with the medals from other Girl Genius campaigns.
The medal is included in many of the backer levels, and is available as a $25 add-on.
Here's a quick picture of last year's medal, with and without the insert:
We're making some new patches! We'll start with three designs: Chibi Tarvek, Chibi Agatha, and Chibi Gil. They're now available as individual add-ons, at $10 each. The patch size will be approx. 3" to 3.5" (similar to the size of our current patches)
Everyone who gets a book in the mail will also get an art-card picture of Mamma, "signed" by Mamma herself with a special "thank-hyu". And just like last time, we'll also make sure that our digital supporters get a digital copy!
Now, we'll be able to make a run of "Arms of Mechanicsburg" pins. They will be similar in size to other pins we've made, 1.75" high. We've added it to the list of available add-ons at a $15 price. Here's the art that's going off to the pin-maker:
Now that Kaja's mostly done with her work on the third Girl Genius prose novel, we can promise a few more stretch goals!
Hooray! Everyone who is getting a book will also get an actual printed-on-paper card with a TPU student ID form on one side, and a checklist of all the Girl Genius volumes on the other. We've been threatening to make these for years! (Also, we'll post it as a printable PDF for everyone else, so don't worry if you're not getting a book. The point is, it will be made and made available.)
Phil is happy! We can now go ahead on the Corbettite Railway insignia pin! It will be around 1.75" and we'll make it in the usual brass/silver choices. It will be a $15 add-on. We had a rough sketch up, but now…look what Cheyenne did with our sketch. LOOK WHAT HE DID WITH IT! This is the art that we've sent to the pin maker:
We're making a set of 3 coffee-related stickers, available as an $8 add-on. They look like this:
They're comparable to our travel stickers, between 4" and 5" high.
We've been researching the correct method for performing the Jäger Toast, and we will salute our backers in a short video presentation!
Kaja found von Pinn, and a partially-finished Bangladesh! Now we'll be able to make chibi character patches of them, too. Thank you!
Victory! Kaja's been talking about doing chibis of Mamma, Maxim, Oggie and Dimo for YEARS...and NOW SHE MUST!
Hooray! We making the oft-requested "Girl Genius" logo pin and patch. Just to leave no doubt of the wearer's status! The patch is a $5 add-on, and the pin a $10 add-on (choice of brass- or silver-tone metal). Here are the basic art designs for the patch and the pin - we're still making minor adjustments, but these give the overall feel:
Yes! Phil will draw a "fancy hats" addition to our paper doll collection!
Muhahaha. Phil will add the outfits from the Cinderella story to our paper doll collection! (He's really grousing about this one, but he'll do it.)
My goodness, we thought this was just wishful thinking, but you've really come through for us! We'll make a real "How we make a Comic" movie. You've already seen the silly version, but now we'll put some time and money into an actual serious short film about making our comic, with a time-lapse page from start to finish. It will be...work. But really cool work!
Thank you, thank you, everybody!
Risks and challenges
There are some risks inherent in any project. We've worked hard to minimize those. First of all, we have all of the pages for this book. In fact, it was all published online before the end of 2013, and you can read it on our website for free, as always. The cover has been designed, and all that is left is minor production work and transferring the files to our printer, a process we're very familiar with.
Last year, we enthusiastically promised a lot of free, extra, promotional material, and we admit that we haven't completed all of it yet–mainly, Kaja still has to film that "language of fans" video lecture. There are also some wallpapers and a craft project that need to be posted. We haven't forgotten those promises, and we're limiting how much extra we'll sign ourselves up for this time, so that we can finish that old business in the near future. Backers of the Volume 12 campaign–please check the updates for that project to make sure you're up on the latest rewards!
Growing a business is always challenging, and we can't promise that nothing will go wrong. Still, we feel that we now have a solid team on board. That's us, our new business manager Carol, and our new customer service helper Alice.
Alice is actually not just our new customer service helper, she's also a very old one, having lots of experience with our work and readers from when she worked for us several years ago. Hooray! She has taken pity upon us, and we're glad to have her back!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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