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Girl Genius

Canon

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Not to be confused with...

Fans of Girl Genius (and this wiki) use the term canon (adjective: canonical) to refer to the body of work[1] that is considered "almost certainly true" with respect to the ongoing main narrative — that is, the story about which the majority of the comics published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at girlgeniusonline.com concern themselves.

Note well: the canon as defined here is currently incomplete, is probably inconsistent, and would seem inherently resistant to the admission of both completeness and consistency.[2]

Canonicity delineated Edit

To maximize the utility of this article, the concrete list is presented first; qualifications follow concerning the use of this list and the material in the items.

CanonicalEdit

  • Graphic Novels: The story starting, roughly, on the second page .
  • Novels: Girl Genius Novelization
  • Word of the Gods (WoG): Direct statements by the authors[3] and descriptive elements such as cast lists and prologues (some of which are available for free on-line, some of which are included only in the printed works (or PDFs thereof)).
  • Indirect Word of Gods: Sometimes the Word of God is relayed through other people, reports of conversations with or talks by the authors. These are generally considered part of the Canon, with the caveat that the person who reports the information may be unreliable.


Non-canonicalEdit

Although official material from or approved by the Professors, the following is not directly connected to the main narrative and thus not accepted as canon.

SupersededEdit

Earlier published Girl Genius-based works. Would have been considered canon "when they were new."

Insane or out of sequenceEdit

  • Othar's Twitter: Although WoG[4] says it is canonical, it is from Othar's view, and "the narrator is insane and has trouble interpreting reality". We don't know the time frame of the events related relative to the main narrative.
These apparently happen in the future (relative to the main narrative), but we don't know which future. (They can also be said to be taking place in the fictional present of the time they were written.)

Flat-out storytellingEdit

Stories told about Agatha and her associates and written down in a very convincing manner, no matter their veracity:

Other nonsenseEdit

Unavailable Edit

  • The forthcoming Girl Genius Sourcebook and Roleplaying Game, which is said to be, essentially, Secret Blueprints II.
  • Kaja Foglio occasionally has referred to a Girl Genius bible which was created for use of those involved in producing a film version. A "bible", in entertainment industry terms, is the equivalent of "Word of God" in fandom — the base reference for the characters, situations and interactions, including those to be revealed in the course of the production, written by the creators.
    The option to create the film expired without being exercised,[citation needed] and the bible is now outdated. It has not been released to the public and would be essentially pure spoiler, at least for the timeframe covered by the script (a spoiler that in many cases no longer spoils).[5]

Use of canon Edit

The safest, least controversial assumption is that what appears to happen in the frames of the main narrative actually did happen. As far as the wiki goes, when writing for main articles, the rule should be to take the facts, by this definition, at face value whenever possible.[6]

An obvious exception to the "what appears to happen, did happen" rule is the use of sepia tones (after Volume I), which indicate the illustration of a narrative in the past tense by a character within the story. Although these frames may illustrate fiction created by the narrating character,[7] they are assumed to accurately illustrate what the narrator intends.[8]

The rare frames in blue tones are treated as happening "concurrently"; although again, these are generally part of a bit of meta-narrative, though in the present tense. These show essentially no action,[citation needed] so the question of whether they are actual or notional is, so far, moot. [9] [10]

Similar to the "what appears to happen, did happen" rule, it should go without saying that direct answers by Phil or Kaja to fans' questions are taken at face value. The authors are not expected to dissemble in real time.[11]

Use of non-canon Edit

Since it's difficult to obtain much common sense from the story itself, it's tempting to turn to related works for whatever they can supply. The common opinion is more-or-less that the non-canon works cannot be used as direct evidence when arguing a point. There are details that have shown up first in them that later became canonical. [12] Nevertheless, until such occurs, they will only be accepted as circumstantial evidence. (As usual, standards are relaxed on /Mad pages.)

Othar's Twitter Edit

Othar's Twitter was originally an exercise in collaborative writing among a group, but others dropped out soon and now Phil does it himself. As implied in Non-canonical above, this work has inspired some of the discussion about the meaning of "canon" as related to Girl Genius and consequent queries to the authors. Although it is clearly part of the Girl Genius canon in the literary sense of the word, in practice it is not "canonical" for use on this wiki.

Final exhortation Edit

Remember the cardinal rule: This is mad science.

See also Edit

Canon, which shows that this discussion is not limited to Girl Genius.

References

  1. "the texts", including artwork and expressions in other media
  2. Because we want to treat Phil's statements as both canonical and false. These and other difficulties are explained in the Limitations section and in the companion article the "canon". Improvements are presumably possible at this point (~~~~~) though.
  3. The "word of god", so to speak.
  4. Othar’s Twitter Interview with Phil Foglio (January 2008)
  5. In any case, its actual contents are not only actually, but self-evidently unavailable to the dialectic (inasmuch as a constant stream of unambiguous words from on high preclude it). It is included here for completeness, and because the fact of its existence may be of consequence.
  6. If later pages call a previously-reasonable assumption into question, move the debate to the talk page, the mad version of the page (see Baron Klaus Wulfenbach/Mad for an example of what goes on a "mad" page), or to the Fan Theories forum.
  7. The Dragon From Mars
  8. An important example is that the Warrior Queen of Skifander in Olga's (presumed factual) explanation of Zeetha's behavior is (assumed to be) an accurate depiction of the woman, even though Olga has never seen her.
  9. One can imagine, however, a character lying to another about what a third is currently doing and have it be illustrated in blue tones.
  10. The blue apparitions in the midst of Bangladesh DuPree's orange frames are a special case. Here Bang is narrating a factual eyewitness account recorded in her phenomena log. Whether the monochrome orange of the majority of the frame is supposed to be accounted for by the burning buildings or it being a past-tense narrative is ambiguous. In any case, the apparitions are not of the same hue, which is taken to mean that Bang really did see them, as well as to suggest that the portal appears in that color.
  11. We could be wrong, you know. Especially with words like "canon" that can have different precise meanings depending on context.
  12. Zeetha's appellation "daughter of Chump" in "Revenge of the Weasel Queen" is a prime example, although it's difficult to document when it appeared in a cast list.


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