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Customer Review

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One man's meat..., March 10, 2012
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This review is from: Girl Genius Omnibus Volume One: Agatha Awakens (Hardcover)
Agatha Awakens (the first part of the Girl Genius saga) received one rather negative review here, which I think contains some unwarranted criticism. However, there is a lot of subjectivity involved in whether someone thinks something is good or not. Fortunately, you can check this story out for yourself before you buy it. All of Girl Genius is available to read for free on the web. Just type "girl genius comic" into the search engine of your choice and you won't have any trouble finding it. If you have questions about the different editions of Girl Genius in print, search for "girl genius wiki" and click on the "A (Spoiler Free) Guide for New Girl Genius Readers" link on the wiki home page.

Personally, I have found Girl Genius, the first part of which is included in Agatha Awakens, to be one of the funniest things I have ever read. It is not even described as a comedy by its creators (husband and wife team Phil and Kaja Foglio) because humor is in Phil's DNA, so the fact that anything he writes will be funny goes without saying. Phil is also the artist, as well as a co-writer, and an extremely accomplished one. His style is unique and very cartoony, so it certainly won't appeal to everyone, but he has a firm gasp of anatomy when he needs to use it and a great knack for drawing insanely complicated mechanisms and detailed backgrounds, which comes in very handy for a steampunkesque science fantasy tale set in a parallel-world Victorian era setting. One thing that appeals to me about Phil's art is that it bares almost no resemblance to manga. While well-executed manga-style art can be beautiful to behold, the manga influence is so pervasive in comics today that any escape from it is refreshing. He is also brilliant at laying out the pages of his comic, with very clear, clever, and effective panel layouts, so I really don't understand how anyone could say it is hard to follow the order of the panels on any of the pages of Agatha Awakens. This comic has a lot of dialog and, very rarely, I have been confused over the order in which to read the word balloons, but it has never been more than a momentary confusion.

The negative reviewer also complains about the speech of the Jaegermonsters, humans transformed into very strong, very tough and near immortal super-soldiers by Mad Science. They speak with a comic Germanic accent, written out phonetically, which is hard to read at first, but it really doesn't take that much effort to decipher and reading it becomes effortless in short order, at least if you find the story entertaining in the first place.

Another complaint is that nothing happens in Agatha Awakens, which is completely untrue. The story is full of action and adventure. What the reviewer may be complaining about is that there is almost no resolution of any of the mysteries raised in this first part of the story by the end of Agatha Awakens. This is deliberate, however. The Foglios are telling an epic tale here; one which has already gone into its twelfth volume (Agatha Awakens is made up of the first three volumes, by this count) and is only half over. So, if you don't want to get into this for the long haul, beware of starting the story because it may find it to be habit forming.

The only complaint that has any justification is about the coloring of this volume. While it isn't that bad, the color in most of Agatha Awakens was done by a different artist than is currently coloring the story and it doesn't come up to the level of the excellent work now being done by the current colorist Cheyenne Wright.
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