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capitaldelendaest
Jan 2, 2020


also would be happy to see them subvert the whole 'sparks are natural ubermensch who the lessers crave to be ruled by' thing by actually having a 'normal' be allowed to consistently show up sparks or resist their mojo. they occasionally made gestures in that direction but seem too in love with the concept of sparks to ever do it. so they show sparks to be BAD rulers frequently but in the end the Natural Order of superior people on top always reasserts itself, and that started frustrating me as well.

this may be me having distaste for a genre signifier or something or just wanting a kind of story the authors don't want to tell. that's fine, if they don't want to go there, it's their right and I don't begrudge them

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Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016


I think that Queens are all women because the comic is called Girl Genius. It’s going to be a kind of awkward essentialist notion, though given time travel I wouldn’t be surprised if the Spark has some weird origin story involving Queens, the Other, and time travel. I’m not betting on it, it just wouldn’t surprise me.

Also I’m reasonably certain that ‘sparks are terrible and Moloch von Zinzner deserves a chance at popular election’ is like... the inevitable conclusion of the political landscape we see in the story, but also the genre of Mad Science Romance means it will never really be grappled with except in the form of Othar Trygvassen.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018


The other reason they’re all women is the Foglios really like drawing women.

capitaldelendaest
Jan 2, 2020


In the end GG pretty much knows what it wants to be and is taking its own path to get there and you could do a lot worse for long running webcomics. You just need high tolerance for certain pitfalls of the heavily serialized webcomic format. I like Zeetha and Violet : )

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL




Like many webcomics, I recognize that GG is very good at being exactly what it wants to be. That something just isn’t a work I’m interested in. I don’t personally like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.

capitaldelendaest
Jan 2, 2020


PMush Perfect posted:

Like many webcomics, I recognize that GG is very good at being exactly what it wants to be. That something just isn’t a work I’m interested in. I don’t personally like it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.
said it better than me

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Nothin' wrong with not liking or not wanting to read one of the webcomics people are talkin' about.

Apparently some merch companies have gotten into masks, and Latchkey Kingdom is the first comic I've seen taking advantage.

https://www.teepublic.com/user/psych/masks

capitaldelendaest posted:

also would be happy to see them subvert the whole 'sparks are natural ubermensch who the lessers crave to be ruled by' thing by actually having a 'normal' be allowed to consistently show up sparks or resist their mojo. they occasionally made gestures in that direction but seem too in love with the concept of sparks to ever do it. so they show sparks to be BAD rulers frequently but in the end the Natural Order of superior people on top always reasserts itself, and that started frustrating me as well.

this may be me having distaste for a genre signifier or something or just wanting a kind of story the authors don't want to tell. that's fine, if they don't want to go there, it's their right and I don't begrudge them

That definitely seemed to be an angle they were aiming at in the earlier volumes, along with Agatha having been raised as a commoner with more "normal" sensibilities while most highpowered sparks steadily lose track of traditional morality and are willing to pragmatically do anything to feed their specific obsessions (much like real-world monarchs, aristocrats, and wealthy). But lately it seems like they've been carried away with how sparks tend to naturally be the source of all drama, so you get a bit of the Jedi problem. Everybody's a spark, everything that happens tends to be to the benefit of sparks. Maybe that's just from the fact that England and Paris tend to be "walled gardens" with most of the unsavory madboys carefully pruned, but even back in Othar's last few appearances, he found himself just unwittingly doing spark bidding instead of furthering his own plans.

That's one of the reasons I really hope there'll be some turnaround on Wooster's death, since he was one of the few non-sparks to be an important part of Gil's life. A turnaround on all of England could be nice. Albia has been playing the part of the benevolent dictator very well up to this point, but there needs to be a catch. It doesn't seem like it'd be hard for the all-powerful monarch with impressive power over people's brains to be someone you wouldn't want to be around.

FronzelNeekburm
Jun 1, 2001

STOP, MORTTIME


Outrageous Lumpwad

capitaldelendaest posted:

Has that happened yet? I haven't read it in a year or so (maybe three?).

It has, recently.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

I've been kind of wondering if they've gone back on "it's literally impossible to think of disobeying Albia", at least to the point of it not actually being literally true.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016


Rand Brittain posted:

I've been kind of wondering if they've gone back on "it's literally impossible to think of disobeying Albia", at least to the point of it not actually being literally true.

The phrase was ‘literally unthinkable’ and apparently she has some kind of mind-barrier around Stonehenge, so I feel like it’s still possible she’s going to try to prevent Agatha et al from leaving via subtle mental controls and become an antagonist at least temporarily.

The fact that she could possess one of her subordinates and manifest through them points to distressing degrees of royal control over their minds and bodies.

But maybe I’m giving the Foglios too much credit for being willing to kill their darlings who aren’t Klaus.

TwoPair
Mar 28, 2010

Pandamn It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta


Grimey Drawer

Dr Subterfuge posted:

Every time I look at GG I bounce off it hard because I can't stand the samey melty faces or the terrible accent of the orcs(?).

Yeah those accents are just goddamn awful to read. Probably what made me bounce off it even before the art (but really it's more because of the insane backlog)

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Speaking of webcomics that this thread is normally not very fond of, XKCD's recent run of covid19 comics have been weirdly comforting.

rannum
Nov 3, 2012



https://www.sleeplessdomain.com/com...pter-15-page-16

Don't worry Bud I'm sure the intersection of the problem with cassidy and "huh more monsters tonight" will solve itself

habeasdorkus
Nov 3, 2013

Royalty is a continuous shitposting motion.

Wait, I thought Madwa was dead in Girl Genius? Didn't they find her body on the submarine down to the Dome? I'd forgotten about Violetta nearly getting got (and being "dead" for a bit) by Ms. 4-Arms here.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

As you can see from this conversation, you can kill a reasonably good smoke knight multiple times and not even seeing the body is a good indicator that they're really dead.

Apraxin
Feb 22, 2006

General-Admiral

rannum posted:

https://www.sleeplessdomain.com/com...pter-15-page-16

Don't worry Bud I'm sure the intersection of the problem with cassidy and "huh more monsters tonight" will solve itself
I'd be surprised if a comic as trope/genre savvy as SD goes with a plot line of 'chapter 6: previously inoffensive character does bad thing, hurts mc. chapter 7: said character gets horribly murdered by monsters, karma's a bitch huh'.

I think instead of 'solved' we're looking at 'gets worse in some horrifying way'.

ConanThe3rd
Mar 27, 2009


Yeah, Cass is leaving this chapter as one of two things; a threat to everyone or a corpse.

Forgall
Oct 16, 2012

What're you lookin' at?


ConanThe3rd posted:

Yeah, Cass is leaving this chapter as one of two things; a threat to everyone or a corpse.
Why not both?

PMush Perfect
Sep 30, 2009

MY PAPER SOLDIERS
FORM A WALL
FIVE PACES THICK
AND TWICE AS TALL




Forgall posted:

Why not both?

ConanThe3rd
Mar 27, 2009


Forgall posted:

Why not both?

Because I belive that 'dine can't take both in one night?

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


habeasdorkus posted:

Wait, I thought Madwa was dead in Girl Genius? Didn't they find her body on the submarine down to the Dome? I'd forgotten about Violetta nearly getting got (and being "dead" for a bit) by Ms. 4-Arms here.

She "died" when the ship she was on was gassed and set on autopilot, which was already pretty suspicious. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/com...17#.XrwdTjl7nix Also, looking back at the archives reminds me that Wooster was fun in a way that Rakethorn hasn't been at all.

Now that four-armed marge is back, it seems like some more stray plot threads are coalescing and momentum may pick back up.

Bobulus
Jan 28, 2007



Incidentally, I've been thumbing through the Girl Genius novelizations, and it's got some interesting details added to the story since the comic was made.

Bangladesh DuPree has always been salty about her pirate crew getting wiped out, but it was never clear why she was so angry about it that she'd both join up with Wulfenbach and post a very high reward for info about the perpetrator. I mean, she's a sociopath, why would she care that much if minions died? Turns out, she's a deposed pirate queen, and her base and followers were gearing up to take back the homeland when they were all wiped out. Whoops.

I mention this because it seems like Bang showing up and confronting Zeetha might be part of this current arc.

rannum
Nov 3, 2012



Apraxin posted:

I'd be surprised if a comic as trope/genre savvy as SD goes with a plot line of 'chapter 6: previously inoffensive character does bad thing, hurts mc. chapter 7: said character gets horribly murdered by monsters, karma's a bitch huh'.

I think instead of 'solved' we're looking at 'gets worse in some horrifying way'.

Look I'm just saying that swapping out one problem for one, larger, new problem is technically solving the original problem!

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Ultra Carp

I don't remember either of these characters but I always get a chuckle out of how ridiculously hard smoke knights are to put down and how much it annoys everyone else.

Arbetor
Mar 28, 2010

Gonna play tasty.



SlothfulCobra posted:

Speaking of webcomics that this thread is normally not very fond of, XKCD's recent run of covid19 comics have been weirdly comforting.

Many of them have been comforting, but going back and re-reading this one about viruses complaining about humans gaining resistance isn't so comforting anymore.

Also, the memorial comic for John Conway was really good. That frickin' glider.

FronzelNeekburm
Jun 1, 2001

STOP, MORTTIME


Outrageous Lumpwad

Bobulus posted:

Incidentally, I've been thumbing through the Girl Genius novelizations, and it's got some interesting details added to the story since the comic was made.

Do they mention, uh, anything at all about the gulf between "Oh no, the Other is attacking" and "I guess both Bill and Klaus had kids while being gone, and now Klaus and Barry are back"? 'Cause it's kinda wild how little they've ever bothered to talk about pretty much the whole main story of the comic.

Bobulus
Jan 28, 2007



FronzelNeekburm posted:

Do they mention, uh, anything at all about the gulf between "Oh no, the Other is attacking" and "I guess both Bill and Klaus had kids while being gone, and now Klaus and Barry are back"? 'Cause it's kinda wild how little they've ever bothered to talk about pretty much the whole main story of the comic.

Actually, the prologue of the first book is a bit about Bill and Barry preparing to fight the Other at her home base by studying her hive engines.

The Other seems to have had an orbital base? She was killing sparks by seeding hive engines around their towns at night, and while they hatch, attempting to to straight-up assassinate the spark by dropping rocks on their castles with sheer kinetic force. Bill and Barry figure out what her next target is going to be, and are there with telescopes to figure out the launch origin point. Also, the hive engines had thermal shielding for atmospheric re-entry. This is all three years after the attack on the Castle.

Timeline as I can piece it together, goes something like this:
- Bill and Lucrezia decide to get married.
- Lucrezia doesn't want former-lover Klaus to get in the way, so she exiles him to a distant land (probably via the queen's mirror in Mechanicsburg?)
- More than two years after Klaus disappears, Bill and Lucrezia's first child, Klaus Barry Heterodyne is born.
- Baby Klaus lives for a little more than a year (407 days according to the comic), before the Castle is attacked while Bill and Barry are out of town, and the baby is tragically killed by falling rubble.
- By this point, Lucrezia is apparently already pregnant with Agatha, but not long enough for any of the staff to know about it. It seems like she flees the attack and everyone assumes she also died????
- Bill and Barry set off hunting the Other in revenge.
- The Other starts attacking European sparks in earnest. Rocks are falling from the sky, the hordes of revenants only grow larger and larger, whole towns are depopulated.
- Lucrezia retreats to her geisterdamen and gives birth to Agatha. She leaves the baby in their care. Later, Agatha is stolen away by someone, who doesn't seem to be Other, possibly Bill and Barry, but it's unclear.
- Klaus, meanwhile, thrives in exile. He hooks up with an amazon queen and the two produce twins, Gilgamesh and Zeetha.
- Several years after this, Bill and Barry track down The Other and apparently defeat some aspect of her (since she can have multiple bodies, presumably they got rid of most/all of them? All that was left was the copy in a backup machine kept by her allies.)
- Bill, for whatever reason, did not come back from this, but Barry did. Whatever he saw, he somehow blames Klaus for what happened, because told Punch and Judy not to interact with him.
- Klaus flees Ski'fandr with baby Gil, apparently because the matriarchy-ruled society wants to make Zeetha a princess and possibly kill Gilgamesh? He returns to Europe via the Queen's Mirror system and discovers his ancestral home destroyed and all his friends missing or dead. He sets out to fix everything by becoming the Baron.
- Barry is in hiding from Klaus with Agatha, Punch, and Judy. They move around frequently, until one day Barry goes off on a trip and never returns.

Bobulus fucked around with this message at 18:02 on May 14, 2020

SlothfulCobra
Mar 27, 2011

STOP BEING EVIL.


Klaus said that he'd tell Gil everything after the siege of Mechanicsburg was over, but then he contrived a way to make the siege last an indefinite amount of time by putting the entire city and himself into stasis. Which I guess is basically what every parent wants to do when their child comes around asking about their own conception.

They did supposedly bottle up Lucrezia's brain-pattern for observation. Maybe that'll lead to something.

MechanicalTomPetty
Oct 30, 2011

Runnin' down a dream
That never would come to me


SlothfulCobra posted:

They did supposedly bottle up Lucrezia's brain-pattern for observation. Maybe that'll lead to something.

Did that whole sequence of events feel a bit disjointed to anyone else? Like suddenly Agatha starts freaking out about The Other taking control while she's still wearing the locket and then in like a dozen pages or so shes turned into a giant god-queen with magic powers. I know complaining about GG plot points resolving too quickly sounds like the dumbest thing ever but "Agatha + locket = The Other can loving eat crow" has been a rock-solid rule for 10+ years now and it just seems to come out of nowhere with no build-up or foreshadowing whatsoever. Maybe there was something I missed from a decade old strip that somehow explains it but I'm not going to go trawling through the archives looking for it.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016


It was a bit hasty, yeah, but 'the locket has a set power level and will eventually fail' has been in play.

Though really, I think it was just because they didn't want the Other in her head to get completely chumped, so they needed to have a whole action sequence (also they wanted to hit the point that Agatha is totally God-Queen Material again I guess?).

Meanwhile, interesting point about Lucrezia in that timeline - we know she becomes the Other, so why would the Other attack the castle if Lucrezia didn't want that? There's something weird going on there.

A Wizard of Goatse
Dec 14, 2014



Joe Slowboat posted:

It was a bit hasty, yeah, but 'the locket has a set power level and will eventually fail' has been in play.

Though really, I think it was just because they didn't want the Other in her head to get completely chumped, so they needed to have a whole action sequence (also they wanted to hit the point that Agatha is totally God-Queen Material again I guess?).

Meanwhile, interesting point about Lucrezia in that timeline - we know she becomes the Other, so why would the Other attack the castle if Lucrezia didn't want that? There's something weird going on there.

The comic's sorta sporadically called attention to that there's a weird disconnect there and Lucrezia was probably originally a different person before something else took over. she already exists mainly as an engram in other peoples' heads, and the Other's whole schtick is turning people into sleeper agent manchurian candidates and then taking control at some crucial moment later.

A Wizard of Goatse fucked around with this message at 21:20 on May 14, 2020

Bobulus
Jan 28, 2007



Well, we can probably safely assume that the Other is at least partially Lucrezia (as opposed to the original Lucrezia being replaced with an Other copy), because she had memories from the original Lucrezia's life. When the Other-in-Agatha met Theo, her nephew, she remembered giving him a toy as a child.

My suspicion has always been that Lucrezia genuinely tried to change, to become one of the 'good guys', but that she was attacked by the Other (i.e., a version of herself who had spent eons bouncing around through time) and was thrown back in time and gradually grew completely rotten, only to eventually attack herself eons later.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Ultra Carp

Yeah, we know GG is a time travel story and also a story about personal identity. Agatha going back in time and stopping her mother from turning into history's greatest evil would be her biggest possible win.

nimby
Nov 4, 2009

The pinnacle of cloud computing.

Agatha is going to turn out to be her own mother after a time travel gently caress-up.

Lunatic Sledge
Jun 8, 2013

your new best friend


past nastification

Just Offscreen
Jun 29, 2006



nimby posted:

Agatha is going to turn out to be her own mother after a time travel gently caress-up.

How the gently caress would that even work- she donates an egg through steampunk wizardry or some poo poo like that? I don't read GG.

FronzelNeekburm
Jun 1, 2001

STOP, MORTTIME


Outrageous Lumpwad

Just Offscreen posted:

How the gently caress would that even work- she donates an egg through steampunk wizardry or some poo poo like that? I don't read GG.

"How" is not usually the most pressing question in wacky steampunk mad scientist land. Where there's a will, there's a way.

YggiDee
Sep 12, 2007




Girl Genius' steampunk wizardry includes poo poo like time travel and mind-control wasps and I think maybe space travel (is Skifander Mars? I think Skifander might be Mars) becoming your own mother would be tricky but probably not out of the scope of the series.

Cat Mattress
Jul 14, 2012

I don't find this sort of thing funny


Just Offscreen posted:

How the gently caress would that even work- she donates an egg through steampunk wizardry or some poo poo like that? I don't read GG.

here's how

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PetraCore
Jul 20, 2017





YggiDee posted:

Girl Genius' steampunk wizardry includes poo poo like time travel and mind-control wasps and I think maybe space travel (is Skifander Mars? I think Skifander might be Mars) becoming your own mother would be tricky but probably not out of the scope of the series.
Klaus is a construct made up of 3 brothers who got pulped in an industrial accident, iirc.

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