www.girlgeniusonline.com), are to be Guests of Hounour at the Congenial convention in Cambridge next month.
Taking place over 10-12th August 2012, Congenial is an SF and role-playng convention offering a programme of talks and panel discussions, role-playing games, and socialising.
The event is one in a series of
Unicons - small
science fiction conventions held in universities and colleges,
which started with Unicon 80 held at
Keele University in 1980. Congenial is
The orgnaisers hope the event will put web comics firmly in the spotlight.
"Web comics are different from print," they argue. "You have to
commit yourself to another installment of the storyline frequently and
incrementally, and you can't retcon stuff half a book ago without
losing the respect of your readers. You have to work constantly,
without any breaks except those you create by working harder - and if
it's topical, you can't do that very much.
"What makes this
worthwhile? We'll ask Phil and Kaja, but one thing is obvious: you're
never forgotten. Your readers think about you every week, at
least. That makes a difference. It also saves the capital costs of
print runs and stock holding, and makes you immune to the whims of
distributors. It's a very raw and direct form of storytelling.
"Steampunk is more than just an SF trope now. The appeal of the
beginnings of the modern age, with its visions of empire and view of
the world as knowable and tamable, is strong in an period when
uncertainty seems to increase day on day. Steampunk is fun because it
inverts so many current ideas, while being more real than
fantasy. The stiff upper lip appeals to an age that has seen the
tragedies of the twentieth century, and treats emoting as socially
desirable. Discovering places was fun, but it's all been done
now. Assumed membership of the elite appeals in an age when the
internet is making us face up to the sheer number of idiots that are
around. Different social absurdities have a great appeal.
In the Foglios' hands, steampunk (or gaslamp fantasy as they prefer
to call it) is more straightforwardly mad-science alternate
"In Girl Genius, we have a universe where science and
engineering works really well for the talented, but people are more
recalcitrant. And that's just naturally funny."
• Membership is £30 for the weekend, bought in advance; membership by the day is available at the door. For full details, visit www.congenial.org.uk
New comic art exhibition in Newcastle is an absolute delight for British comics fans - Regular downthetubes readers will recall our previous coverage of Comics: Explore and Create Comic Art at Seven Stories, the new
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