Digger
March 10th, 2011

Digger

Even at the very end, this comic can still surprise me. I had no idea that bandersnatch had unions, although of course they belong to the Sentient Draft Animal Local, much like pegasi, brontotheres, and soul-moose.

└ Tags: ,

Discussion (40)¬

  1. Pete says:

    It is funny that this came up just as Wis. rep. had decimated the union :P

  2. Crocuta says:

    Why is it those words “very end” bring more sadness than anything else. Don’t you dare say “all good things…” either! ;)
    What else will I look forward to on Mon/Wed nights?
    I hope you have another comic in the works! :)

  3. WorkingVolition says:

    NOOOOOO!!!! I MISS DIGGER ALREADY!!!!!!! D-X

  4. Andrew says:

    Wow. There is something very profound about the moment of completion of such an epic tale. I’ve been reading since early in the story, and I’ve looked forward to each update. Its quirky charm has brightened my day a bit, many times. Thanks for sharing your gift with the world. (I disable my ad-blocker on sites I support!)

  5. Tindi says:

    For the record, I find it HIGHLY amusing that Manuel has obviously been seriously discomfited by Digger’s friends. He seemed way too smug before, and seeing smug people get outsmarted is always fun.

    Back to squeeing at the Bandersnatch now. :P

  6. Affenkatz says:

    When this is all over, I want a book containing this entire epic that I can put on the shelf next to “Bone”. Also, I want it to become ridiculously popular and best-selling.

  7. I really need to stop reading episodic comics in real-time.

    As a novelist, I keep on writing my own versions of the future in my head, and right now they’re far more satisfying than where this is going. I hope there are a couple twists left, because there are loose ends and emotional tensions here that need some resolution…and as it sits, the ending doesn’t feel worthy of the rest of the comic.

    In my opinion.

  8. Ryusui says:

    I’ll admit it does seem a little DEM, but it works in a literary sense: this is Digger’s reward, a quick trip home. All she could ask for, really.

  9. Korlee says:

    I hate it when a good story is coming to a close. :(

  10. DanielCoffey says:

    The solution, of course, to “Digger is ending soon” blues is… buy all the books!

  11. slywlf says:

    No matter how Ursula ultimately ends the saga I’s love to see it go out with the best ratings ever, so http://topwebcomics.com/vote/10180/default.aspx ;-)

  12. Ryusui: I went back and read the ending again, and…no, it still doesn’t ring true for me. There’s so much dramatic and emotional impact to the rest of the comic – even the digressions and side plots – that it feels like all the characters, including Digger, have suddenly gone two-dimensional.

    Just to choose one example: Digger and Ed finish a multi-year quest to kill the undead hyena god and the demon that animates him – the demon that nearly engineered its escape to corrupt the entire world (or at least that side of it) – and the most anyone has to say about it is “Thanks for making a mildly annoying noise stop?”

    Like I said: it isn’t ringing true for me. It recasts the entire narrative as Statue of Ganesh manipulating everyone, even sending them to their deaths, in order to deal with a minor annoyance to a few of his priests. That diminishes the rest of this amazing and beautiful story.

    In my opinion.

    I hope I’m wrong, and there’s a twist or two left.

  13. AimOfDestiny says:

    Soul-moose? Are those relatives of dream-deer?

  14. Barry says:

    Tek, do Trader’s face-palms get counted?

  15. Nohbody says:

    Wait… “very end”, as in this is the absolute last strip to ever be posted? :(

  16. wombat32 says:

    @Barry. I think all facepalms are counted, not just digger’s.

    @Nohbody. I suspect there are probably another 10-20 strips or so to go, but she posted on Livejournal about having written the final ones down. They just haven’t been posted yet. We will see Surka and the trolls, and we will see Shadowlescent again, and we will surely see the big arrival at home, where she hops off the cart, walks into her burrow, puts her bag and ax down, and whips up some warrior tea, grabs a quick nap, then starts on the root cellar she didn’t get a chance to finish before she went missing.

  17. quiltcat says:

    ..glad to see Ed’s necklace has reappeared…

  18. Hunter says:

    …You are the weirdest person sometimes, Ursula.

  19. Hawk says:

    All good things…
    *ducks Crocuta*

    I am going to be very sorry to see this comic end. But at the same time, I will have time to get all my friends hooked on Digger, while the archives are maintained; and once I get all the books, I can always pay Ganesh-statue a visit.

  20. Nicole B says:

    @Affenkatz: You *can* buy Digger as a book! There’s certainly more than one, but that makes it better, right? :D
    http://www.sofawolf.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=31

  21. Gramina says:

    I would very much like to see a soul-moose. Please?

  22. Niall says:

    Being USEFUL to a trader is the best way to have him take you on. Go Digger!

  23. rueyeet says:

    @Crocuta sapiens: You mean, freeing He-is from SGV — and thus righting something gone terribly wrong on a deific scale — wasn’t a good enough reason? That’s kinda more than just a minor annoyance, from the god’s own POV.

    On another note…I sure do wish the books were available from Amazon beyond book #3.

    And last but not least….heeeee, soul-moose. I can’t help imagining a moose decked out in loungewear complete with cool shades and a smokey-toned sax.

  24. the doodler says:

    Heh, they’re unionized. That’s great.

  25. fixman88 says:

    Wow, the end is coming so fast! On a side note it’s neat to see that the Bandersnatch is a fellow union member ;P

  26. Nivm says:

    I really didn’t expect the end of this story to be “satisfying” in the common fictional way. In every story where the author focuses on “tying up loose ends” at the end, it just highlights this metaphorical curtain dropping where all the characters are suddenly doing or saying things they normally wouldn’t, just for the reader. Perhaps Ursula is doing a little bit of this, and I know people prefer it, but it would only hurt the truth she has built up so far. (Maybe not fact, but truth; being able to say that something is clear and right.) Just the same way that conjuring up some Happily Ever After reward, or some massive farewell celebration, would break away from all those heroes in real life that never saw either, but were rewarded by their own efforts.

  27. Mark Antony says:

    @Nivm While that does happen with some works, I don’t agree that that’s happening here. For the ending to be contrived, it would need to have the principles break character, or for there to be vastly unlikely coincidences that give a result that the principles have not earned. Neither is really the case here. Surka and Shadowlescent knew Manuel was Digger’s ticket home, and it’s completely in-character for them to take time out to help her out. And Digger IS being rewarded by her own efforts. It’s her unique mix of sensibility and kindness that made her such powerful friends, and now they’re helping her because of it. I don’t really see how any of this would be “for the reader”; it’s just how the story has wound up concluding, for better or ill for all those involved.

  28. Wolf says:

    I have not felt such anticipation for the ending of an awesome story since Inverloch. This is my favorite webcomic to date.

  29. larry g says:

    A Bandersnatch Union? It would have to be the Teamsters,of course.

  30. Lucius Appaloosius says:

    Union Bandersnatches……….. that would explain their antipathy to Bankers……… [email protected]=Q

  31. Nivm says:

    To Mark Antony: (QuotingMe:)”In every story where[...]Perhaps[...]would[...]all those heroes that[...]” Don’t imply that I have yet tendered an opinion to agree or disagree with (perhaps one, but you don’t mention it). I meant the note to be slightly chiding▬ cautionary▬ in response to certain comments on this page and farther back, and chose to omit targeting in the hopes of dodging superfluous arguments like this.

  32. Jenora Feuer says:

    Amusingly, the first thing this reminded me of was Prince Ivan. Actually, a number of fairy tales have ‘friends that the hero makes just by being a good person will turn out to be useful later’ as a theme…

  33. rueyeet: If it was important enough to send Digger and Ed to their deaths (even if only one died), how come no one else notices?

    The detritus of dead and dying gods is everywhere in this world, as SoG notes earlier in the story…what made this particular wrong so important to right? If it’s just the fact that it came up in SoG’s temple, it’s selfish and manipulative…and if it’s a true danger to the world and a truly monstrous wrong, wouldn’t you think someone else would notice or care? Like the hyenas, whose first god it is/was?

    And I found the end of Boneclaw Mother’s speech terribly out of character, when she starts going on about maybe having to sacrifice her entire tribe in order to kill Jhalm for altruistic motives. That rang utterly false to me, and completely counter to her fierce pragmatism. Combine that with not a single word spoken about the death of the god and father of her entire race…and the fact that her attitude when asked about justice for Ed was basically a shrug and a weak circumlocution, when she was brought to tears earlier in the comic by simply being reminded of his plight…and Digger meekly accepting that dodge, when she was so clearly tortured by guilt about Ed’s death, let alone not being able to honor it?

    No, it’s not ringing true for me. Sorry.

    That’s what I mean by “two-dimensional”: everyone’s lost the motivations that made them real, and is being forced to abandon what they previously stood for in order to force a quick last speech before being ushered offstage.

    It diminishes the amazing achievement that Digger is.

    In my opinion.

  34. Hawk says:

    Perhaps it seems that way, Crocuta, but I have to disagree with you. To me, BCM’s reaction is very pragmatic. It might seem odd not to discuss Ed and He Is, but honestly? The tribes don’t really discuss He Is all that much, to begin with. During Digger’s visit to the tribe, you never hear or see any mention of the male hyena god at all. He Is has been dead to the entire race for generations. We get a lot more emphasis on the legend of He Is because of the source of our knowledge of that legend – the myth has a deep resonance for Ed, and therefore for us.

    But for the average hyena warrior, He Is probably isn’t that important. He’s just an old story, and he died a long time ago.

    Not talking about Ed may also have been pragmatic in the extreme, because she was fully aware of how much pain Digger was in. What good would talking about Ed have done, really? It wouldn’t have brought him back. Forcing through a warrior’s feast for Ed would not have brought him back, nor reversed the years of exile, nor undone the events that led to it.

    As far as no one noticing: the people of the temple are sensitive enough to understand that Digger honestly didn’t frigging want to hear about it. She didn’t want thanks, she wanted Ed back. So, they respected her pain and left her alone, but for one representative who tried to convey what they had done. Now, what about the people of the village? Well, we don’t know, because Digger hadn’t actually reached the village. Maybe they did notice. Certainly the Hyena tribe noticed the situation – the Cold Servants were going out and causing trouble, while Digger was gone (at least that was the impression I got). Again, though, we don’t see the reaction of the tribe as a whole to Digger.

    I can appreciate how you might feel that things are being rushed, or things are being oversimplified, and that characters don’t seem to have the depth. But I submit that part of what frustrates you is that it’s ending. And you don’t want it to really end. Plus you, like many of us, would really like to see more of this strange, intriguing, fascinating world that Ursula has given us a glimpse inside…but if that’s not in her plans, it’s not in her plans.

    Last but not least: we’ve another few pages to go before the curtain falls. Save the judgment that Digger has been diminished for that very last page. Give Ursula a little more time to finish what she has to say. You still might not be happy with it, you still might not buy into her ending, but give it a chance :)

  35. The Occupant says:

    I know I will have to accept that Digger will end, but I really don’t want too. :(

  36. Ketira says:

    @Hawk – in a small way, I agree with you. However, epics tend to go in circles. We don’t know –yet– just how Ursula is going to end this. She could end this like JK Rowling did to her series (fast-foward a decade where Harry’s sons are entering Hogwarts) or go in a true circle that seems to go forward into Happily Ever After (like Edding’s The Belgariad/Mallorean epic).

    Until the last page (according to Ursula) has been posted, I’m going to keep reading. An example of surprise endings while the comic keeps going: Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire. I don’t think it meant to go past the ending of the “Storm of Souls” arc, but by that time, Mookie had built up such a following that he decided to come up with new stories.

    We’ll just have to wait & see who’s right.

  37. BunnyRock says:

    @AimOfDestiny: I hope so. We could have a whole shadow eco-system…

    As for the whole debate that’s flared up on whether the ending seems a little… flat… I feel BCM and Ganesh were acting in character and as three dimensional characters at that, but what i really want to see is how Grim-Eyes is acting. We’ve hardly seen her since before digger went into the tunnel, and if there is anyone’s reaction to the death of Ed I want to see in detail, it’s hers.

  38. rueyeet says:

    @Croc: This is probably more in the way of a musing than in any way an argument…but I kinda feel like the lack of fanfare over the deed rings truer to me than if folks had hoisted Digger on their shoulders and made songs about it or what have you.

    Digger’s the sort that would shore up her tunnels properly whether anyone else ever used them or not (or at least feel bad about it if she didn’t!) She and Ed didn’t cut down that heart for heroic accolades, they did it ’cause it had to be done. Not just because SGV, left to its own devices, would have eventually gotten out of hand, but because of the wrong done to He-Is. They couldn’t very well just leave him down there like that, could they?

    I get you that this could be seen as a bit of a “what was it all for, then?” letdown, but if Digger needed pats on the back to do what she saw as right, then we wouldn’t love her so much. And the fat lady has yet to sing — it ain’t over ’till it’s over, and who knows what may happen before that final page…

    @BunnyRock: I second the wanting to see what Grim Eyes has to say about all this.

  39. TekServer says:

    Lent is now over, and I have returned to finish reading. And yes, Barry, Manuel’s facepalm counts. I’ve updated the facepalm count page; you can find the link under my name.

    :)

Comment¬