Girl Genius or similar
June 21, 2010 12:14 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend is turning 32 on Saturday. The Girl Genius comic is almost the perfect present, but not quite. Please help me find an fun present.

My girlfriend is currently reading Gaiman et al.'s The Sandman. She has a math/science/women's studies background, so Girl Genius seemed sort of perfect as a birthday present. (I realize the comic might be problematic in some ways, feminism-wise, but, on balance, I definitely think it would be received as harmless, over the top, just plain girl-power fun.)

The reason I don't think Girl Genius will quite work is 1) volume 1 isn't being sold at the moment because they're replacing it with a color edition, and 2) I was hoping more for a bunch of volumes in a single bound edition instead of split out like they currently are. In any case, I'm going to point her to the free comic online, but it doesn't solve my birthday problem.

Does anyone have any thoughts about fun presents in this vein? (It doesn't have to be a comic--I'll take any ideas. Or, show me how I'm being dumb, and spell out how I should get the GG comic for her anyway--I'd really like to share it with her.) She is very, very busy, so I'm hoping to find something that's low-effort, escapist fun that's easy to pick up and put down.
posted by zeek321 to Shopping (24 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: *a fun present. Sigh.
posted by zeek321 at 12:15 PM on June 21, 2010

Response by poster: She also loves that old movie Foxfire. DVD ideas would be great, too.
posted by zeek321 at 12:16 PM on June 21, 2010

Atomic Robo, which I recommend every time someone has a comics-loving science-geek friend, kid, SO, whatever.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:18 PM on June 21, 2010

Does she need super hero supplies?
posted by plinth at 12:28 PM on June 21, 2010

Absolute Death? I don't have this version, but I have the trade paperbacks and Death is a lovely Sandman character.
posted by Xany at 12:29 PM on June 21, 2010

Best answer: How about The Middleman DVDs or comics?

They're basically completely awesome both from a sciencey hijinx perspective and a feminist entertainment perspective. Also, they're gosh-darn funny.
posted by asperity at 12:43 PM on June 21, 2010

Digger? Yes, it's about a wombat, but she is a really awesome wombat.
posted by posadnitsa at 12:44 PM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh man, I dig this question. As a complete nerd whose two main interests in the late 90's/early 2000's were comics and feminism, I'd like to recommend Action Girl comics. It was an old serial anthology that features various short works from all women artists and writers. It's not available in trade paperback form that I am aware of, but I got totally excited when I noticed that you live in Philly. I've got a stash of them that I've read repeatedly enough. I would love to pass them along to another comic inclined lady. Memail me if you like to have them!
posted by troublewithwolves at 12:45 PM on June 21, 2010

Best answer: Strangers in Paradise. It's the ultimate girls kicking ass comic.
Y the Last Man - Epic tale of the last man on earth, and his monkey.

Also, there's a GG Omnibus which is the first 3 books in one.
posted by mrsshotglass at 1:01 PM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hark A Vagrant has a book! More history than science geekery, but there's some scientists in there.

DVDs... you could do a great Miyazaki-pack of, say, Nausicaa, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and/or Laputa? Awesome heroines and comicbookiness!

Or you could always get the Nausicaa books, but there's an awful lot of them.
posted by Erasmouse at 1:17 PM on June 21, 2010

Narbonic. It's even recommended and sold by Phil Foglio as the "Absolute Best Mad Scientist comic out there."

posted by Shepherd at 1:23 PM on June 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

You could get her "Who Killed Amanda Palmer?" which has stories penned by Gaiman, though I don't think it qualifies as having any feminist message. (Haven't read/viewed it beyond the web page samples)

I have fond memories of ZOT! which is now available in a huge omnibus, but I have not availed myself of it so perhaps I am remembering overly-fondly. Grod knows I've grown to find McCloud annoying. However I remember it being an entertaining combination of character study, lovely line art, super-hero deconstruction, and social justice - things that seem like they might appeal to someone interested in women's studies.

The book The Elements?

And if I am talking comics I have to mention my all-time favorite even if it's not quite on-topic: Transmetropolitan. I think the first collection is a little weak but from then forward it's a brilliant bit of speculation about what journalism and the world might be like in the near future.
posted by phearlez at 1:28 PM on June 21, 2010

Tsk, I forgot:

Global Frequency. 12 standalone stories about a global organization run by a strong woman, Miranda Zero, and featuring plenty of other strong and capable females along side the men. Read it all at once or one at a time (meeting your put-it-down criteria).
posted by phearlez at 1:35 PM on June 21, 2010

No Tank Girl recommendations? Maybe it doesn't have the specific feminist message you think she's looking for, but it's fun and punky. I adore it!
posted by Lizsterr at 1:52 PM on June 21, 2010

Response by poster: No Tank Girl recommendations? Maybe it doesn't have the specific feminist message you think she's looking for, but it's fun and punky. I adore it!

Tank girl is one of her faves. We are on the right track. :)

I'm working my way through these suggestions as time permits. Still watching this thread avidly--thank you so much everyone!
posted by zeek321 at 2:02 PM on June 21, 2010

Or you could always get the Nausicaa books, but there's an awful lot of them.

There's seven. That's less than Girl Genius.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:03 PM on June 21, 2010

There are a lot of great recommendations here. I'd like to throw in a second for Global Frequency.
posted by daisyk at 3:01 PM on June 21, 2010

The Nausicaa books are some of the best graphic novels there are, but they aren't "low-effort, escapist fun" really.
posted by furiousthought at 3:46 PM on June 21, 2010

Promethea. Okay, it's not science, but it is gorgeous, near-future AU, punky symbolic feminist insanity.
posted by Mizu at 3:47 PM on June 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Maggie the Mechanic?

It's problematic at times, but I enjoyed it. It isn't math/sciencey, but it is fun & escapist. I also loved Action Girl and the Sandman series.
posted by studioaudience at 5:34 PM on June 21, 2010

I have had LOTS of personal experience in this arena. Without further ado...

The first season of Doctor Who will delight and frustrate your girlfriend and her interests to no end. The show is fun and over the top and I seriously can't even begin to discuss the women's studies slant on it or I will be here forever and ever.

If you want to stick to comics, I suggest the the two Death minis.
posted by greenland at 9:39 PM on June 21, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you so much everyone! I'm also going to also share this post with her at some point!
posted by zeek321 at 9:03 AM on June 22, 2010

Scott Pilgrim, or if you can get hold of it where you are, Chloe Noonan: Monster Hunter.

I'm a big fan of Chynna Clugston-Major's Blue Monday, but it's not so escapist. Very fun, though. Some of the early stories were featured in Action Girl. (and if she likes Action Girl, I can recommend this and this and maybe also Love and Rockets.

The first season of Doctor Who

Make sure you're getting the first new season of the 'new Who' - it ran for a long time before it was revived. If she likes that, I'd try the UK version of Life on Mars.
posted by mippy at 9:08 AM on June 22, 2010

Has she watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer? If not, get the first three seasons on DVD. It holds up. That or the Venture Brothers. Good superhero adventures for overachievers and slackers alike.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 2:17 PM on June 22, 2010

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