About five years ago, the two smartest guys I know told me to read a webcomic and I ignored them. They reminded me frequently, wanting to share with me something they, two of my best friends, knew I would like.
I picked the comic up and put it down probably as many times between things happening in my life, and guiltily avoided eye contact with my friends when they asked me where I was in the story and I couldn't tell them any farther than the last time they asked.
Well, this year I decided to actually sit down and read this comic.
Girl Genius has won 3 Hugo Science Fiction awards of its 5 nominations, as well as 3 Web Cartoonist Choice awards.
The story follows Agatha Clay, the mad scientist protagonist of the story who we meet as a student of a strange science academy in the alternative steampunk reality of Europa, and whose story begins on just a very bad day. The kind of day that starts with a mugging and ends with explosions.
I'm about 60 pages into the comic so far, and absolutely enthralled. I wish I'd read it years ago; my friends were completely right.
Girl Genius Volume 1http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/