Digger
March 17th, 2011

Digger

And that, as they say, is that.

Well.

Huh.

I have been doing this for so long that I find myself somewhat at a loss for words. For the last six months or so, I have been very focused on finally finishing Digger’s unexpectedly epic journey (some of you undoubtedly remember those first five pages, and my constant refrain that I was just doodling and not to get attached!) but I didn’t actually spend much time thinking about what to say once I did.

I guess the only thing to say is “Thank you!” So many readers have given me so much encouragement and support and time over the years that I won’t even try to name them all. I’d say it has been a labor of love, but that’s both a cliche and doesn’t really cover the obsession and stubbornness and the desire to prove that I really COULD finish a giant project, damnit, and the vague fear that if I just stopped in mid-comic, I would be hunted by an angry mob, which all factors. Also, love.

The final print volume of Digger should be available from Sofawolf Press later this year. I’ll put up a post here, and of course the comic will remain up as long as the hosts are willing to host it.

Possibly I’ll have something clever to say in a few days, in which case I’ll put up a post or something, but right now, about all I got is…dude. 759 pages. How ’bout that?

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Discussion (241)¬

  1. BunnyRock says:

    at the moment (excluding webcommics, my prefereances on those are listed elsewhere) I’m reading…

    Hellblazer (just finished the Delano era.) My green-lantern obsessed friends insist i read Dead-tree comics, and although i freely admit I’ve enjoyed everything they’ve recommended, I find myself far more drawn to the Vertigo Imprint than the main DCU. I started of my comparatively recent fling with dead-tree on-going comics (I’ve always read graphic novels, with a set beginning, middle and end, Watchmen, Murder Mysteries by Neill Gaiman and Bone being my favourites, but I’ve only very recently got into on-going comics which i’ve always considered soap-opera compared to the films of graphic novels) with The Sandman. And no, not THAT one. I’ve always loved Neill Gaiman, but the first dead-tree on-going comic i got into was the OTHER sandman after a very pretty, very geeky girl and a costume party complimented me on my gas mask (i was dressed as the pyro from TF2…long story.) and suggested i might come to the next party as Wesley Dodds to which i replied “who?” (or rather “Whooommpfh?”) Next stop: finish reading Fables.

    On the traditional book front just starting Kraken by China Miéville (because Perdio Street station was all kinds of horrific awesome.) and The Hyddenworld: spring by William Horwood (because I’m some kind of masochist and so read Duncton Wood and the sequels all the way though. dear god that guy is scary) my masochistic streak is also driving me to make an attempt on Finnegan’s Wake because, you know how it is, you’re reading Ulysses and you think “Wow, what I want is more of this but a lot more depressing” and The Alchymist’s Cat by Robin Jarvis because hey, the psychological damage the Deptford Mice did has all but healed now, so time to open up that old scar again.

    Need to buy Black Dogs at some point….

    If I was going to recommend one speculative fiction book of the moment, it would be Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel. And no points for guessing my favourite book of all time: the avatar should have been clue enough.

  2. As we’re on a new page of comments and this has become the de facto Digger forum, I’d like to remind everyone of:

    The Digger Comic Fan Fiction Page

    which features wonderful contributions from several of our regular commenters.

    Also there is a new story: Part 3 of After the Fall is up. As with the previous chapters, it covers events left offstage by the original ending. (You’ll want to start with Part 1 if you haven’t already read it.)

  3. Bwee says:

    @Ellemerr – …eh? Same Ellemerr from S*T? It’s Hak. Didn’t expect to see YOU here! XD

  4. Ellemerr says:

    Oooh. I’m easier to recognize than you. xP Hullo, Hak! *waves merrily* And how can you not have expected to find me? Have you any idea how often I’ve mentioned wombats or generally quoted this place? The undead veggies should at least have given you an inkling, even though most of them are peas and cabbage!

    Read my scattered comments. I’m pretty sure you’ll find out that yeah, that’s me alright. ;P
    Now I’ll have to find your comments and look for you in them, though… Haha. xD

  5. Tom says:

    Sofawolf Press says Digger vol. 6 will be available for purchase July 1.

  6. KenR says:

    Received my Digger Book 6 from Sofawolf yesterday, yay!

  7. The Digger Comic Fan Fiction page continues to grow…

    …and it’s far more than just fan fiction. Misely has taken facepalms to the next level with The Giant Digger Facepalm Collage, which contains every single facepalm from TekServer’s list. (Plus a few Easter eggs.)

  8. TekServer says:

    High praise for Misely! I had vague intentions of compiling screenshots of the facepalms, but I probably couldn’t have done nearly as good a job as Misely did (and the Easter Eggs were awesome!), so I’m quite happy to have this task removed from my list of “Round Tuits”.

    (Couldn’t find a comment section on the Fan Fiction page with the Facepalm Collage, and didn’t feel like digging around for a forum, so I just decided to post this here.)

    ;)

  9. BunnyRock says:

    Another possible addition to the fan-fic page (If Crocuta will have it) A Wombat army list for Warhammer fantasy that I inflicted on some of my warhammer playing friends. Complete with typical BunnyRock dyslexic substitution errors! (will fix eventually, as soon as I beat the original fiction I’m working on into submission)

    http://www.bunnyrock.com/Warhammer%20fantasy%20wombat%20list.pdf

    As an army list, it worked well enough in play testing. That is to say, it lost, a LOT, which is a pretty good sign that it’s not stupidly overpowered like most fan-made lists. The wombat artillery blew to pieces everything they could see, and the infantry went through most of their opposition like a knife through butter; but the lack of magic, high unit cost (and therefore small armies) and lack of any fast or agile units meant all the battles pretty quickly ended up as heroic last stands by turn three. That said, in a campaign allied to High-Elves and Empire to fill these wholes in the wombat defences (Plus kitting out empire generals in wombat-made master-crafted full plate armour under out house-rules “swap stuff with your allies” mechanic) it never lost.

    Geeky, stupid and a waste of time but darn it, I get easily bored. At least I wasn’t geeky enough to write one of those “slice of life” intros that all warhammer army books start with now-a-days…

    == “Fire!” Yelled General “Stamper” Ironclaw as the migratory tunnel-rats neared the hundred-and-fifty-yard mark. Instantly the field-artillery roared into life, followed a moment later by the sharper crack of the tapper-guns on his carriage artillery. The big guns tore a huge rent in the font rank of the horde, smashing that infernal bell that had been giving him a head-ache since they first stated trolling it, and smashing the rats to either side to pulp. He swept his keen eyes over the battle field, aided by his map-goggles, and smiled very slightly. The tapper guns had halted that Dammed magic-spewing wheel-construct too.

    “Excellent work master gunner! Load canister for volley at one-hundred yards! Master Underhew, tell you rifle-troop to cease independent firing, prepare for volley-fire by ranks at one hundred yards.” He turned to his aside. “We’ll hit them with all the fire-power we have at one hundred yards, and then counter-charge when they reach seventy. IF they reach seventy. Be ready to sound the advance.”

    “Aye General.” Said Sub-warsmith Quartzclaw, watching the gunners load tin-case shot, the bottom of the tins recessed to allow the bags of power to fit partly inside them and so control shot-distribution and different ranges, into the guns. They had been exhaustively tested for even shot distribution. He shook his head to think there were still people out there who just piled led balls into the end of a gun and hoped for the best. There’s just now helping so people, placental mammals for a start, he thought, readying his bagpipes to sound. He turned to the musician next to him “That contraption ready to play?”

    “Yes uncle.” Said Clean-state, shifting his weight to side to side to pump air from the bellows fixed to the soles of his feet. He’d designed his marching-band concert-organ with the presumption you were marching, and so it lost pressure when stationary unless you walked on the spot. The compressed air-tank fitted next to his armoured rump hissed alarmingly as it was topped up, and the thick pipe leading from it wrapped around his waist like a belt, into the ivory and ebony, mahogany and brass kea-board in front of him and then as it exited the other side split into dozens of smaller tubes, feeding the organ pipes growing vertically out of his heavy, teak back-pack. He stuck a sheaf of music papers in the lyres growing out of the top of the kea-board, and then peered at his uncle.
    “Where’s you sheet music Uncle?” Sub-warsmith Quartzclaw tapped the goggles he wore on his fore-head

    “Partially mirrored glass, carefully angled. Can see the battle-field through them and see a reflection of the sheet-music mounted back-to front on the front of my helmet at the same time. Got the music on a rotating rig, linked to a chronometer, so it scrolls from left to right at the proper speed. No fumbling with changing sheets for me.”
    He said, flicking the goggles down and trimming the wick on his bagpipe’s oil-burning boiler: he’d lost steam-pressure mid battle before, and without high pressure steam there was no way his music was going to be heard over artillery fire.

    “I got the idea from the generals Map-goggles, but of course, My design is a lot simpler. I don’t need it in three dimensions, so I don’t need the red and blue filters for different eyes, and I don’t need it geo-linked, so no gyroscope: if he turns his head, the Zoetrope in his helmet says stationary, so the section of the paper map-reel he sees changes to match the way the view changes if you look right or left, giving him continual 3D overlay of a map super-imposed on the actual land-scape…”

    The boom of cannon, and the sharper Staccato -crack of rifle and volley-gun fire cut him off mid-sentence.

    “Sound the attack!” roared the General. “Full advance! Remember tunnel seventeen!”
    Sub-warsmith Quartzclaw, nodded curtly, checked the pressure valve on his shoulder, tucked the insulated, chain-mail bound high pressure bag under his arm, and begun to play.==

  10. TekServer says:

    I read your Warhammer Wombat specs when you first posted them, and they sounded really cool then. This little mini-story almost makes me wish I was a Warhammer player …

    ;)

  11. Ellemerr says:

    Wow. Seriously wow. That was awesome. xD

    I’ll go away and tend to my stomach muscles and try to stop laughing now. (Not necessarily in that order)

  12. Ellemerr says:

    (By the way [with minor cursing at the lack of edit buttons], the above count for both Misely and BR. There is awesomeness everywhere! Tallywhoo!)

  13. “If Crocuta will have it” says BunnyRock pessimistically.

    Of course! It’s linked now on The Digger Comic Fan Fiction Page, as is your glorious intro above. (I linked it a while ago, but I thought I should acknowledge it here.)

    Frankly, I thought I was being somewhat optimistic when I made the DCFFP, figuring it would just be my own work. I’m glad to be wrong, and that it’s still slowly growing.

    TekServer: there are indeed forums on my site, but I’m happy to leave the discussion here, where readers will continue to see it and perhaps participate.

    Who was it that said the bottom panel of this strip, minus the word balloon, would make a great T-shirt? Because I agree.

  14. MadamAtom says:

    Speaking of T-shirts: I’m here to report a Shadult sighting!

    http://www.threadless.com/product/3090/Perfect_Timing/tab,girls/style,shirt

  15. Werebear says:

    I still miss Digger.

  16. TekServer says:

    Digger’s absence is a shadow on many hearts, Werebear.

  17. Do I still miss Digger?

    That’s a difficult question.

    I said my goodbyes in my writing. So in that sense, no, I don’t miss Digger anymore. Now that the story is complete in my own mind, there’s nothing to miss.

    Would I enjoy reading about Digger’s voyage home and Shadowlescent’s life? Sure. Would I enjoy reading more about the hyenas? Definitely. But those are different stories, with their own beginning and end.

    Yes, I miss reading Digger for the first time. That’s just nostalgia. There’s no shadow on my heart…

    …or my liver.

  18. CJ says:

    Ursula’s style is inspiring me in this year’s Nanowrimo, so I decided to reread Digger. Again. I miss it updating! And while I don’t expect or really want to see a sequel, I would love to find out what some of the characters are doing now. Particularly Shadowlescent!

  19. Werebear says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing myself, CJ.

  20. Melissa Trible says:

    I concur on a short where-are-they-now series of comics.

    Also, anyone else want to join me in urging Ursula to conclude the Conspiracy of Mammals ( http://us.vclart.net/vcl/Artists/Ursula-Vernon/Comics/Conspiracy%20of%20Mammals/index01-by-date.html )?

  21. Melissa Trible says:

    Er, that is, I concur on *wanting* a few where-are-they-now comics.

  22. Brandon says:

    Love the comic (it’s in my top three along with Calivin and Hobbes by Waterson and Girl Genius by the Phil and Kaja Foglio. Just one thought:

    Your shop should really link to SofaWolf press not Amazon as the Sofawolf website is the one that has all of your books. Otherwise people have to read through your posts to learn about Sofawolf and the other books and that’s probably stopping people who would otherwise be buying.

    Just thinking that you’ll sell a lot more books that way and that’s a good thing for everyone.

  23. Jassius says:

    On the 17th it will have been a year since the last Digger panel and still missing something.
    Even the mail associated to this account has gone dry.
    Just wondering how many of us occasionally end up checking the comments here.

  24. TekServer says:

    I, for one, still have the RSS feed in my list, Jassius.
    :mrgreen:

  25. I’m reminded nearly every time I check my website statistics: there are always a group of referrals from here, most of which go to the DCFFP.

    Furthermore, the traffic flow has been relatively constant over the last six months. Apparently people continue to discover and read Digger.

  26. Madam Atom says:

    You guys. YOU GUYS.

    Digger is nominated for a Hugo.

    Words cannot express the squeeing. :)

    http://www.locusmag.com/News/2012/04/2012-hugo-and-campbell-awards-nominees/
    (Scroll down to Best Graphic Story.)

    *happydances*

  27. BunnyRock says:

    I recently lost my job and have been feelign down the past few days, and i have to say thet news brought my happy back! thank you Madam Atom!

  28. Silverfish says:

    ^ Very cool : D

  29. TekServer says:

    Is this going to let me comment at all?

  30. TekServer says:

    (Sigh)

    Okay, commenting works. Let’s try this again:

    Happy Birthday, Ursula!

    :mrgreen:

  31. BunnyRock says:

    Sigh. I still miss Digger.

    I brought my wombat warhammer army out to play at a local campaign that was VERY easy on house-rules and fan-made army lists. With my new and improved army list (below) it did a lot better than before. It’s a little more mobile that before, and I added wombat-specific weapons armour and war gear (reactive armour and a motorized flail for my general… Danger! Danger Will Robinson!). Any warhammer players amongst you feel free to pass judgement (I know TekServer doesn’t play, and I’m not sure about Crocuta sapiens, but I suspect at least a few digger readers do.) I may write warhammer stats for Digger, Ed, Shadowchild and the rest o the gang. I fact I know I will sooner or latter, its just a matter of when.

    I still get the craving to write more Digger fanfic. In fact, I feel a sequel to my last one coming on…

    http://www.bunnyrock.com/Warhammer%20fantasy%20wombat%20list.pdf

  32. BunnyRock:

    Bolt Thrower album covers are my closest encounter with the Warhammer universe. I just blasted Realm of Chaos, if that helps. And I’m looking forward to any more Digger fiction you choose to share!

  33. Werebear says:

    *sigh* was reading Skin Deep, and saw the link here. So here I am again. :)

  34. TekServer says:

    I was watching my DVR’d Olympic coverage yesterday, and the commentators on a beach volleyball game talked about a team having two great diggers. Suddenly, a mental image sprang into my mind, fully formed: two wombats, bikini-clad, standing in the sand on one side of a volleyball net and looking none too pleased about the situation.

    ;-)

  35. MadamAtom says:

    itwonitwonitwonitwonitwon

    DIGGER WON THE HUGO!

    hee hee hee hee YES!

    (… I helped. :) )

  36. Altarboy says:

    It’s just over a year and a half later and I felt the need for another read through. This time with all the accrued commentary I missed the first time. Wow. I’m just gonna leave my mark on this page each time I come by, if you’re reading this, maybe you should too.

    You wouldn’t happen to know any Coyote (the trickster god) stories would you, Ursula?

  37. TekServer says:

    Welcome, Altarboy, to the ranks of the archive trawlers!

    ;)

    On an unrelated note, a book I’m currently reading – published a few years before Digger was started – references a man “watching a hologram involving two women and a wombat.” No further details were given, but you can imagine what horribly interesting (interestingly horrible?) places to which my mind went.
    I wonder if El-Ahrairant still has that brain bleach?

    :mrgreen:

  38. BunnyRock says:

    congrats! saw the news on sofa wolf! about time too!

  39. BunnyRock says:

    @TekServer I’ll post you a bottle old chap.

  40. TekServer says:

    I don’t know if you still read this, Ursula, but just in case: Happy Birthday!

    :mrgreen:

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