Girl Genius Volume 9: Agatha Heterodyne and The Heirs of the Storm by Phil and Kaja Foglio was released July 13th, 2010 by Airship Entertainment (hard- or softcover, full-color, $22.95 soft, 144 pages).
I squealed when I got this book in the mail. Girl Genius has been a favorite of mine for years–I usually read it, as you can, thrice weekly at the comic’s website. This is less expensive than buying the books, but you miss out on all sorts of extra goodies like giant bathtub snails. And book-versions of webcomics make great gifts for our less-savvy loved ones.
But Ray, you say, what is Girl Genius actually about? Ho! I am so glad you asked. The cover should probably have tipped you off, but this is steampunk at its best. The slogan of the series is “Adventure! Romance! Mad science!” and it lives up to that, but I would also add “Hilarity! Irreverence! Tiny robot civil wars!” Seriously, guys, this stuff is… genius. They say that there is nothing new under the literary sun, but you have never seen anything like this. Down to the tiniest details of the art and dialogue, it’s off-the-wall fun of the type that won the series the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story in 2008. Cheers, Professor and Professoressa Foglio–five years and counting, with hopes of many more to come.
Just as a last note, this is, of course, the ninth book in the series. All of the comics are archived by the authors on their site, and can be read there free of charge as I mentioned earlier. You can start with this volume if you like, but despite continuing the GG tradition of excellence, it won’t make much sense on its own.