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Girl Genius Omnibus Volume One: Agatha Awakens Hardcover – February 28, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A sly and witty graphic novel.” ―School Library Journal, Best Adult Books for High School Students 2003

“If Jules Verne has written comics, he wouldn't have written Girl Genius. He would have been jealous of it, though.” ―Comics Buyer's Guide

“The Foglios appear to have been liberated by the [webcomics] format―and that sense of buoyant imagination and unbridled fun runs through every page.” ―The Onion A.V. Club

“A manic, hilarious, adventure-filled gem of a comic. The series is made of win and I have only one regret: that I didn't know about it sooner. Do yourself a favor and go read it, NOW.” ―The Book Smugglers

Girl Genius is unique. Buy it.” ―Comics Buyer's Guide

“Bursting at the seam with creativity, humor, and outright weirdness . . . an infectious and incredibly fun read.” ―Sarah Kuhn, IGN

Girl Genius is brilliant. It really is. It's fun and funky and unlike almost anything else, and it's Phil and Kaja Foglio doing what they do best.” ―Eric Burns, Websnark.com

“It's appealingly drawn and cleverly written and cheerfully pulpy in all the right ways.” ―Shaenon Garrity, The Webcomics Examiner

“Professionally executed artwork and a spanking story that makes it a timeless work of literature.” ―Shiny Shiny: a Girl's Guide to Gadgets

About the Author

PHIL and KAJA FOGLIO are the co-creators of the Hugo Award–winning and Eagle and Eisner Award–nominated webcomic Girl Genius. Phil Foglio illustrated Robert Asprin's MythAdventures series, and Kaja Foglio contributed art for Magic: the Gathering. Kaja and Phil were married in 1993. They have a son and a daughter, and live in Seattle.


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Product Details

  • Series: Girl Genius Omnibus
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765331322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765331328
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 0.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kristine Adam on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review is not about the content of the book. If you're curious about the story and hesitant to buy the book I strongly recommend you check out the Girl Genius website--the entire story is online, it's just never as comfortable to curl up with a good browser window.

I bought the Tor color omnibus version largely because of the cost. There are a *lot* of Girl Genius books now, and my budget was limited. If you are a very serious fan and don't have teen/tween kids stealing your books then you might prefer the individual books.

The Tor edition is just slightly smaller than the Airship Press edition. (Approximately 1" shorter and slightly narrower pages.) The size is still very readable, much larger than the old black & white omnibus edition. The book is a standard hardcover with dust jacket, just like most other hardcover novels you'll find on Amazon. The paper is perhaps not as nice quality as the Airship versions, but you get what you pay for. The quality of the images is great, and the book is nice to read. While it doesn't include any extras, it does have a handy introduction to the main characters and simplified cover pages to mark where each of the original books starts.

I'm really glad that the Foglios have managed to get this color omnibus printed, and I'm hoping that more will soon follow.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a big fan of Girl Genius, I wanted to have the books and in hardcover editions, but the early books are long out of print and very scarce and expensive. This is a welcome addition to all fans of Girl Genius! The book is only slightly smaller than the original ones from the Foglio's own publishing company Airship Entertainment, but you get the first 3 books in one nice hardcover for an incredibly small price. I am not a big reviewer on Amazon, but when the first (and as I write)only review came out, it was very negative, and I just felt that it was unfair. They did not like the Jaegermonsters and the Germanic sounding words they use, they did not like the art, they said that nothing happens in the three books. Well, if you do not like the art, there is nothing I can say. If you do not like the use of this kind of dialog, then this is not your cup of tea. But to say that nothing happens in these 3 books? That is just not right. I will not go into the plot, but Agatha goes from student, to "prisoner" on the Castle Wulfenbach, attacked by slaver wasps, escaping into the wilderness. We meet a ton of interesting characters, like Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, the Baron, Othar Tryggvassen Gentleman Adventurer, Krosp the king of the cats, Bangladesh Dupree the pirate queen, and many more. The first book was originally in black and white, and was recently colored, this edition has the colored version, but it is muted, a sepia-tone coloring. The colors starting in book 2 are vivid, but I like that. I like the expressiveness of the characters as drawn by Phil Foglio. I hope that this series is continued by Tor and that they do all the books in this omnibus format, it will be fun to have in a matching set. The Girl Genius story is now on volume 12 and the whole series is archived online for anyone to read. There is a lot more to read after this book and the Foglios say that we are only now half way through the story.
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Format: Hardcover
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This graphic novel is a mix of machines, mad scientists, and mayhem.

Opening Sentence: Now, this isn't a Heterodyne story like your Mama tells you when she tucks you into bed at night...well, not exactly.

The Review:

I don't typically read comics. I have been known to read graphic novels now and again, but usually not straight up comics. They don't last long enough for me to truly enjoy them. I certainly do not follow webcomics. I wouldn't even know where to begin to look for them in the first place. That being said, I might start to after reading the Girl Genius Omnibus by Phil and Kaja Foglio. All I can say is...wow. Why am I just now hearing about these fabulous stories? Have I truly been living under a rock with my books and a flashlight this whole time?

These stories follow the (mis)adventures of one Miss Agatha Clay, the last heir to the Heterodyne Dynasty. A student of Transylvania Polygnostic University, she longs to become a scientist, even though nothing she makes ever works. If only she wasn't plagued with poor concentration and lack of focus. When her locket, a family heirloom, is stolen, she begins to "grow" into her destiny, as a genius with the "spark". The spark is what one is born with that allows the creator to take leaps and bounds around the accepted laws of the universe. Those with the spark tend to create things that are either monstrous or glorious, and most of the time, a spectacular combination of the two. Now that her talent has been uncovered, she is placed within the midst of other great minds; including royalty, both human and feline, and the handsome and dashing Baron's son, Gilgimesh. Will her talents opening up a new world for her be for the better or worse?
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