One of my favorite graphic novels of the last couple of years is the Girl Genius series written by Phil & Kaja Foglio with art by Phil. If you haven't ever heard of it go check out the Girl Genius website as the series started as a webcomic, which they still release regularly before being collected into graphic novels. Phil eschews the steampunk name in lieu of Gaslamp Fantasy, but whatever it is called the story is full of awesome. Below is the blurb for Agatha Heterodyne and the Airship City, which I hope is the first of many prose novels to come from the Foglios.
Adventure! Romance! Mad Science!
The Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare. It has been eighteen years since the Heterodyne Boys, benevolent adventurers and inventors, disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Today, Europe is ruled by the Sparks, dynasties of mad scientists ruling over--and terrorizing--the hapless population with their bizarre inventions and unchecked power, while the downtrodden dream of the Hetrodynes' return.
At Transylvania Polygnostic University, a pretty, young student named Agatha Clay seems to have nothing but bad luck. Incapable of building anything that actually works, but dedicated to her studies, Agatha seems destined for a lackluster career as a minor lab assistant. But when the University is overthrown by the ruthless tyrant Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, Agatha finds herself a prisoner aboard his massive airship Castle Wulfenbach--and it begins to look like she might carry a spark of Mad Science after all.
From Phil and Kaja Foglio, creators of the Hugo, Eagle, and Eisner Award-nominated webcomic Girl Genius, comes Agatha H and the Airship City, a gaslamp fantasy filled to bursting with Adventure! Romance! and Mad Science!
The description sounds like it will be a novelization of the start of the graphic story. Hopefully they'll add some detail about the world and history. There is plenty to work with. Night Shade Books will be releasing Agatha Heterodyne and the Airship City as a hardcover in January 2011.
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