Why did it take me so long to read Girl Genius?
I've wanted to read or watch something with strong female characters, and now I want to join Agatha's harem. She's a mad scientist! She has Jägerminions (I love them!)! She loves death rays! She could be a horrible Mary-Sue, but somehow she isn't! Or, well, maybe she is, but she can definitely work with and/or around it.
The Cinderella parody was the best one ever (the above pic is from that), because she got the handsome yet stupid princes (yes, two!), *and* took over the kingdom. Also, Jägers in dresses! Maxim the not so ugly stepsister! And the quilting bees! *dies laughing* You could try reading that to get the CRAZY feel of the comic, but it does have a few spoilery characters.
IMO, the first volume is kind of weak because it's mostly about establishing characters
Mind, it does have quite a bit of fanservice, but it doesn't bother me as much as it usually does. Maybe because the characters aren't stick-thin, maybe because it doesn't bother them too much, maybe because they just look like steampunk Victorian clothes. The boobs aren't there to attract the male characters, and said guys rarely notice the rather obvious assets. What makes Agatha (and other women, and people in general) interesting to them is her brilliant mind and mad skillz, not her cleavage.