Digger, Ursula Vernon

Written by Natalie Luhrs

I'm a lifelong geek with a passion for books and social justice.

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December 16, 2013

Digger, Ursula Vernon

Digger, Ursula Vernon

I’ve been meaning to read Digger for years. But I am mostly-allergic to serial web-comics (I can barely manage to keep up with non-serial ones like xkcd and A Softer World) and I never think to look for print volumes, so when I heard about the Kickstarter for an omnibus edition, I jumped all over it.

Friends, the omnibus edition is gorgeous and I am so happy to have a copy for my shelves.  It also weighs about ten million pounds (okay, only 4 pounds but that is still really heavy!).  If you can afford to, get the individual volumes (the omnibus is cheaper than all 6 volumes, even at full price).  Or read online!  Luckily for me, the Kickstarter rewards also included a PDF and since I have a tablet, that’s how I ended up reading it. 

And it’s wonderful. And I can’t imagine reading it at the rate of four pages a week over eight years. The suspense! Because this has got plot galore and honestly, it’s amazing how everything ties so neatly together in the most unexpected ways.

It’s about a wombat named Digger and how she ends up far, far, away from home.  There’s a statue of Ganesh which is sometimes inhabited by the god, there are hyena-people, a demon child, and all sorts of odd nonsense going on that Digger would prefer not to deal with, being a sensible wombat, but there’s nothing to do but to get on with things.

And she does–and it’s a marvelous story, one that’s funny and sad and important in all the right ways.  Oh, Ed.

The art is gorgeous–I don’t know much about drawing or comics, but I simply can’t imagine this story having the same kind of impact done in full color.  I love the attention to detail and I love the sheer personality of the art.  It’s a perfect marriage of drawing and story and this novice comics reader found it very easy to follow.  Also, there are footnotes. Hilarious footnotes.

All in all, a great story. So glad I finally read it. So sad I’ll never be able to read it again for the first time.

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  1. Liz Bourke

    Warrior herbs! Grim-Eyes! Boneclaw Mother! Digger-mousie! Ed!

    Oh, Ed.

  2. Natalie Luhrs

    @Liz Bourke: Yes. All all all wonderful and weird. I especially love Boneclaw Mother and Shadowchild.

  3. Liz Bourke

    It’s fantastic. I keep petting my copy, because pretty.

  4. Trisha Lynn

    Slight correction: It was 2 pages a week, and lemme tell you, during the last chapter, it was HELL on Thursdays for us who were following along, because we knew we’d have to wait *five whole days* until the next page was uploaded.

    That’s one of the things I like and appreciate about serial comics on the web. You get that great “What’s going to happen next?” feeling that I’m sure Charles Dickens fans felt here in America without the “Let’s go and crush everyone on the dock so that we can read the next chapter” problems.

  5. Natalie Luhrs

    @Trisha Lynn: Ah, I must have misread something in the extra material in the omnibus. I’ve tried keeping up with serial web comics and I just can’t–they end up piling up in my RSS reader and I never get to them and then I unsubscribe because I feel guilty.

    There’s definitely a communal reading experience I’m missing out on because of this.

  6. Bryan Beus

    Thanks for the referral!

    Sounds like a tremendous amount of work.

    I’ll probably check it out online for now–I’m trying to get away from physical copies of books.

    How did you originally hear about it?


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