The Girl Genius comic was first published in the size and shape of an ordinary comic book. In addition to being far from ordinary in the estimate of its fans, however, its format was not quite ordinary, as the covers were of cardboard rather than glossy paper, to allow them to be adorned with fun cutouts of various types.
In addition to cutouts on the cover, the original comics usually contained coded messages that could be read using the decoder wheel included on the covers of the Secret Blueprints issue, a letter column, and additional fun articles and features.
The Secret Blueprints were the first item published in the series, having a cover date of January, 2001, and the first issue of the comic itself was published in the succeeding month. The initial frequency of publication was bimonthly, but that soon changed to quarterly.
The Secret Blueprints were published as issue #0 of the comic, and issues 1 through 13 were published. The content of issue 14 was prepared, but that issue was not published, althoughwas shown as part of the webcomic, and, of course, the pages of the Girl Genius story itself have appeared both on the webcomic and in the collections.
The last several issues were larger in size than a normal comic book, having the same size as the current published collections.
The comic books correspond to the Trade Paperback Collections as follows:
|1||Feb 28 2001||Girl Genius Volume I: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank|
|2||May 2 2001|
|3||July 5 2001|
|4||Aug 22 2001||Girl Genius Volume II: Agatha Heterodyne and the Airship City|
|5||Dec 12 2001|
|6||June 26 2002|
|7||Aug 28 2002||Girl Genius Volume III: Agatha Heterodyne and the Monster Engine|
|8||Nov 27 2002|
|9||July 16 2003|
|10||October 15 2003|
|11||June 3 2004||Girl Genius Volume IV: Agatha Heterodyne and the Circus of Dreams|