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 (242)¬

  1. Limax says:

    Thank you, Ursula, for such a wonderful journey. I have enjoyed every minute of it, even the parts that left me sad. I’ll miss coming here every day to get a new page, but I’ll have my memories and soon, I’ll have the books.

  2. Sil says:

    Oh, wow. I’ve followed since the beginning but I haven’t said a lot. This really was a wonderful story (I even used the scene with Shadowchild and Sweet Grass Voice for a project about good vs. evil!), and I’m going to miss it. I look forward to see what else you’ve got cooking up!

  3. For those of us in denial or wanting another fix, I’ve created a Digger fan fiction page with links to all the stories I know about so far.

    http://www.gnolls.org/other-worlds/the-digger-comic-fan-fiction-page/

    I’m sure there will be more as time goes on, so please let me know what you’ve found and enjoyed! (And if Ursula objects, I’ll take it down: it’s her world and her characters.)

  4. Rowan says:

    I had this nagging feeling all morning that something was missing from my day, and I realized that it’s b/c there was no Digger update. ~Sniff~ I want to go back and reread the archives, but I’m going to have to wait until I get home from work. So much time left in the work day…

  5. Fluteman Dan says:

    I shall order the available books and hope for a future ‘Compleat annotated Digger’. But for now I sadly remove Digger from my bookmarks. If I wish to return to the tale online I know where to find it. Thank you for the journey.

  6. Werebear says:

    It’s funny. I knew this wouldn’t have updated, but I couldn’t help but check it.

    Not sure if I said this, but….

    Onwards and upwards, Ursula, and best wishes in all your endeavors. :)

  7. Draco18s says:

    I am going to miss seeing Digger updates every T and Th from now on.
    Thanks for a wonderful journey.

  8. Limax says:

    You and me both, Werebear. :)

  9. Eric says:

    Thank you, Ursula.

  10. fixman88 says:

    This comic was so awesome and I’m glad I discovered it and had a chance to be a part of it. I’m kind of sad to see it end but it was a great run! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next. I was kinda hoping to see Diggers journey home… :3

  11. Romanticide says:

    I cannot believe it is the end, it was such a fun ride and for that I am grateful :D

  12. duskDiamond says:

    Its a monumental achievement. Simply glorious all the way through. It’s the end of an era, waiting for each page to see Digger and her friends progress, getting blown away by the depth and powerful storyline (and getting annoyed everytime I missed a page on the old website :P )
    Thank you very much for this story Ursula!

  13. tigertail777 says:

    Wow. This ending feels so abrupt, I didn’t expect that at all. Thanks Ursula for the wonderful tale that you took so much time to put into. I have to hope that sometime in the future when you don’t feel so spent that we might have some extra Digger adventures, but realize that is up to you. Kudos for finishing such an epic tale and keeping the quality constant throughout. Our lives have been made a little better for having shared the world of your imagination.

  14. Gravedigger says:

    Wow. It didn’t strike me until now, ten days after reading the final page, that Digger is finally over. I’ve named a female Drilbur Digger in memoria. (Yes, I realize it’s the wrong species of mammal, but that’s about as close as you’re going to get in Pokemon.)

  15. I’ll miss you, Digger. Ursula, I’m eager to see what you have up your sleeve for your next project. Thanks for sharing your amazing story. It was a sweet ride from cover to cover.

    Duck.

  16. Themightyjagrafess says:

    Thank you. I thought I’d have something more intelligent to say when this came, but I don’t.

  17. Rags says:

    Here’s to Digger-of-Unneccesarily-Convoluted-Tunnels, the most down-to-Earth (and under) heroine ever. May her claws stay sharp, and her tunnels [unintelligible muttering]. May she live to tell her grandchildren of her exploits.
    Godspeed!

  18. BunnyRock says:

    Wow. I knew it was ending soon, but coming back from a ski-trip to find that was a bit of a shock.

    A little miffed I Never got to see Digger confront Grim-Eyes about how she really fells about Ed, but then again, the fact is it didn’t NOT happen. This ending is pretty open-ended. It leaves a lot to the reader imagination, and I guess that’s the best way of doing it really. I know how Diggers good-buy play out in my mind, and perhaps its best it stays that way, for me and all the other fans. Plus the artwork is, as always, amazing.

    Well, there we go. I won’t say so long to our friend Digger-of-Unnecessarily-convoluted-tunnels as I’ll be trawling the archives for a LONG time yet, but i will say a big thank you to all the other commenters, especially Duckwhisperer, Rowan, Rags, Song Coyote, Lord the 22nd, Mark Antony, JewelWolf, WussMajor, KNO3, MadamAtom and, of course, Tekserver. You guys made it a very fun comic to comment on as well s read, and thank you for putting up with a geeky, weird little Englishman ravening’s. There’s more on my website if you ever need me.

    And a very big thank you Ursula. You may have caused nearly as much psychological damage to be as Steven Moffat, William Horwood, Dave Hopkins, Neil Gaiman or Richard Adams, but only because you are every bit as good a story-teller as they are. Every time I wake at three AM convinced there is a Cold-servant living in my cupboard, I’ll just smile, think of your wonderful webcomic, and hide under the covers and imaging Boneclaw and Grim-Eyes beating it up.
    I’m gonna miss it, and if you think this will stop me posting new comments here you are very much mistaken :)

    So Ursula…So long, and thanks for all the Hyenas.

  19. slywlf says:

    I hear you Werebear – it’s a little like the way I used to keep tonguing the spot where a tooth used to be, only this time it isn’t growing back :-(

    Actually I keep checking back because Ursula said she might have a comment or note to add and I don’t want to miss it. Oh well I guess one of these days I’ll go back and reread from the beginning, but right now it’s too soon since losing Ed…

  20. Werebear says:

    I’m doing the same, sly. :)

  21. Hatman says:

    Wait, so theres not gonna be a next book?

  22. jaynee says:

    Yep, I just checked again too, werebear. Like BunnyRock, I want to say thanks for sharing your thoughts, commenters-who-now-seem-like-old-friends, but most of all, thanks for sharing Digger’s adventure with us, Ursula.

  23. MadamAtom says:

    *waves at BunnyRock* Hey, thanks, and same to you!

    And: someone else who’s read Horwood? Wow. Okay, so I’ve only read the one book, but WHAT a book …

  24. MadamAtom says:

    We can still vote, y’know. Digger’s fallen out of the top 100 as of the month change, and that’s a shame.

    http://www.topwebcomics.com/vote/10180/default.aspx

  25. Treesong says:

    Slywulf’s comment about a missing tooth rings a bell with me–I haven’t been checking back in hopes of seeing something, but I still feel the lack every T-day. And now I have only Girl Genius and Kaspall to vote for each day.

  26. Marie says:

    Me too, werebear et al. And I also miss one of the most intelligent communities of commentors it’s been my privilege to read (and occasionally join).

    …sigh…

  27. The_Rippy_One says:

    It was a joy and a pleasure. Sometimes, we read something and wish that we could have those minutes back – I’d gladly pay thrice my time for the experience you’ve given us. Be well, now and always.

  28. JewelWolf says:

    I just finished re-reading this for the hundredth time. Each time I discover some subtlety that I’d missed or failed to understand the last time. I can’t help but think that I really want to see a Digger movie, but at the same time I can’t help but think that that would be an ungodly horror, to see what the movie industry would do to this story. Maybe a fan-made, low-budget, shot by your little brother on a Flip video camera version would be best.

  29. Tamfang says:

    Well then, I reckon I’ll start over.

  30. Korlee says:

    I keep coming here like so many others looking for that crazy non-existent update. Digger was a great story and still sad that it ended.

  31. Sam says:

    Hey, I’ve loved the comic for years, and I’m kinda sad that it’s over; but the real reason I’m commenting is that I saw some of your books in my local bookstore yesterday, which I think is just awesome.

  32. AlpineBob says:

    Hmph.
    Wombats.

    The Beginning…

  33. Werebear says:

    Just picked up Dragonbreath Book 4, Lair of the Bat Monster. Almost as good as the first one. I like it when it’s informative about a subject, as well as being entertaining. :)

  34. TekServer says:

    So much to say, I don’t know where to start.

    First and foremost, yet another thank you to Ursula, without whom we wouldn’t be here.

    Like many others here, I was a bit surprised by the abrupt ending, and not entirely pleased at first. What about Shadowlescent? What about the ramifications of the story’s events, the cultural effects on not just the hyenas, but also the Veiled?

    And then I gradually realized, again as others here have, that those details are are not really needed to end this story. They are not irrelevant, nor are they unimportant. But they also don’t need to be drawn; we can all see them already in our minds.

    So the ending was just as it should have been. Not perfect (none of us ever are), but very appropriate. I won’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed: I really thought that He-Is’ liver would be important to the story at some point, and I would have loved to see Shadowlescent one more time, preferably with a whole bunch of new little shadowchildren in tow, all with that wonderful, charmingly disarming joyous curiosity and innocent worldview with which we all fell in love. (”I ate a sock!” will always be one of my favorite lines ever.) But Digger is going home, and got to say good bye first, and what more could she (or we) really ask for? Undoubtedly she will have more adventures on her way home, traveling with Trader Manuel and encountering new odd characters – and vegetables – along the way. We can but hope that we will get a glimpse of those adventures …

    ;)

    I, for one, will not miss Digger. Digger, and her world, will forever be a part of me. Every time I see a couple of tomatoes, and imagine them growing tiny antlers and battling with each other; every time I look askance at the squash that came out of the garden, wondering how close it came to becoming vampiric; every time I ponder the personal lives of trolls (be they biological or professional); and of course, every time I see a wombat – any of these and a gazillion other things will remind me of Digger and the rich tapestry of a story of which she and we were privileged to be a part.

    Okay, my pain meds are wearing off now, so I’ll wrap this up. ;)

    The final facepalm count is 119: 100 by Digger and 19 by other characters. The final facepalm was performed by Trader Manuel two pages back, instigated by the Bandersnatch (and its/their union).

    Thanks to all the amazing, insightful comment creators, and special thanks to my geeky, weird little English friend, BunnyRock.

    “The Road goes ever, ever on … ”
    “Remember Tunnel 17!”

    :mrgreen:

  35. fishboy says:

    Finally caught up and finished Digger, it brought a smile to my face and a lump to my throat. A beautiful, funny, moving, inventive and engrossing epic you’ve created Ursula. Be very very proud.

    But now there will be no new wombat adventures in my future. I feel bereft :(

  36. BunnyRock says:

    @TekServer Tah. That means a lot to me.

    by the way, my weird, geeky, English little website is behaving itself a lot more now (still looks terrible, and until I lean to write code the comments sections are broken, but one step at a time). If you, or anyone else for that matter, feel sufficiently incautious as to want to see what it’s like in my mind, short stories will be going up there just as quickly as I can write them (one just up today), which given that my muse is easily distracted by Shiny Objects , string, Fanfic, butterflies, TF2 and cups of tea, it rather less often that I would like. I also apologise for just how weird some of the stuff I right is. All I can say is I’m not TRYING to cause anyone permanent mental damage. El-ahrairant is a harsh, if attention-deficit, mistress at times.

    Working on improving, if that makes sense.

    It goes without saying the site will soon have MORE digger fanfic than before. My offer still stands to put other people up if they arrange to E-mail it to me.
    BunnyRock.

    P.S. didn’t there used to be Digger forums somewhere? Maybe in the Graphic Smash forums? I was talking to Crocuta Sapiens the other day, and I said I’d seen some but now I can’t find any.

  37. Arcaton says:

    Thanks. For a great and gripping story, and (well) for fantastic artwork.

  38. The Procrastinator says:

    Congratulations and thanks to our Host and Artist for a truly excellent web-graphic-novel. In my opinion, it’s risen above the level of a simple webcomic, from the earliest stages. I must admit, I’m slightly torn now: I want to follow the oh-so-tempting links to buy hard copies, but I don’t want to lose the comments available on the website. Perhaps at a later date, once the commenters have said all that needs to be said (and I have shelf space!), I’ll treat myself.

    The final few pages seem a bit abrupt, but then this is really all that needs to be said about the Quest of the Chained One. Anything else is no longer part of this story, but deserves to stand on its own. That isn’t to say that I wouldn’t be glad to follow the adventures of Digger on her year-long journey home, and to find out whether her hallucinations about home’s destruction were due to anything more than bad air, but that is a different tale without many of the characters who have defined this one. Grim Eyes, Murai, and the Shadow are also gone on their own separate paths; their stories are now their own, and not those of this cast.

    The comments have provided a most interesting counterpoint to the graphic novel itself. I never expected, on starting to read about a Wombat engineer, to learn so much about so many other areas of tangential interest. My only regret is that I came to this so late, and therefore missed seeing things unfold week by week with you.

    Once again, my sincere thanks. May you receive only as much attention from the Gods as you would wish, and may your works always run to plan.

  39. Jessica says:

    Wait, so there’s not going to be any more digger journies? Aw I’m sad that it’s come to an end but loved the trip. After all in the end it was the journey that was important.

  40. TekServer says:

    @Jessica: Ursula is alive and well, which means that Digger’s world is also very much alive and well. I’m not hinting at some secret knowledge, just saying that I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of this world later (after Ursula has recovered somewhat from this epic journey).

    In the mean time, why not subscribe to the comment RSS feed, and interact with the occasional late-comer as they make their way through the archives?

    ;)

  41. BunnyRock says:

    we dont bite.

    much.

  42. TekServer says:

    Happy Birthday, Ursula!

    :mrgreen:

  43. TekServer says:

    (Er, make that happy early birthday. Ursula’s birthday is actually tomorrow, according to my calendar.)

    :oops:

  44. DD Ra says:

    Happy Birthday Ursula ^_^

  45. Fnord Prefect says:

    Happy birthday to you, Ursula!

  46. Ellemerr says:

    Happy belated, Ursula! :D I wish I had a present for you, but it seems that in terms of gifts our relationship will always be one-way, with me at the receiving end… And what gifts! Reading and re-reading Digger has always been a wonderful experience and I intend to keep at it until the end of time, the internet apocalypse, the ultimate failing of my memory, or the rise of true VR (at which point I will rather experience Digger’s world firsthand), whichever comes first. And although Digger’s tale is (at least momentarily) over, RedWombatStudio keeps updating (nice stuffed goat, btw), and I know that whenever I feel mad or rich enough Nurk is still out there, waiting for me… In short, Ursula Vernon is a gift that just keeps on giving. And I am very happy and grateful to be one of the many recipients. So thank you (again – I know this is becoming repetitive), Ursula, for being awesome and imaginative, and most of all for sharing your incredible mind with us. You make my world a better place.

    … So, this has been some journey. I remember finding a startled wombat, a large statue of Ganesh, and a speech-bubble mirroring the “whoa” in my mind all that time ago on Elfwood, back when the woods were the place I frolicked about with my fangirlism and horrible English grammar (I improved). I remember reading the comic on my laptop, which still functioned (more or less) back then, in bed (take that, print-enthusiasts!), while the night dragged on and on without me even noticing, which was really weird for me back then (I’ve learned to defy sleep by now, of course). I remember getting to the end of the free line and immediately laying plans to get daddy to spend electronic money on electronic comics, although none of the plans ever functioned. I remember the extreme happiness when the comic changed site and I could read on, and the tedious joy of eventually catching up with the plot and reading it update by update. And now here I am, after my first proper readthrough of Digger with no waiting for updates, no need for payment, and with all the commentary of the fabolous fanbase to hold my hand on the way… “Scrawled little arrows in different coloured chalk… and maybe the occasional suggestive limerick, as well.” It’s a fantastic feeling, standing here, at the end of the line, looking back at that incredible vista… and knowing that it’s not even over. I can still go back and start over, and who knows? Maybe I’ll discover some old leaves I didn’t talk to last time round, or I’ll find some new scrawlings on the walls of the metaphorical cave.

    And as everyone keeps saying, there is something special about the scrabbles of these particular cave-walkers. Actually, let’s make that “there’s something special about these particular cave-walkers”. I mean, just look at BunnyRock. What are the odds that a rock should look (nothing) like a bunny? What are the odds that said rock should know more than can possibly be healthy about an array of strange topics including but not limited to archeology? And TekServer! How can a man go through all of this, the commentary in particular, and not read Terry Pratchett? Unless he has now, of course, but you have to agree that he’s pretty unique nonetheless. There’s DuckWhisperer, WuseMajor, MadamAtom, JewelWolf, Lord the 22nd and his ever-changing avatar… There are memos about being shot by crossbows, discussions about the movement of the statue of Ganesh if he was a snail, there’s the story of Climber the lizard, if only in bits and pieces… There is almost too much awesome for one mind to contain. Which makes it even better that I’m allowed to share it with all of you. Or however that works.

    I could go on and on. I could talk about the end – how it came too fast but it probably would have anyway and ultimately I’m happy that it did end, and that it ended nicely, and that even if Ursula doesn’t go on with it someday I can still do that in my own head – but well. If I say everything now I can’t come back and say it later, or some equally far-fetched (il)logic. So I’ll just stop now. I guess I’ve written enough and maybe more than enough already anyway… ^_^;

    PS: BR, a forum sounds awesome. I’ve never heard of one actually existing, though… Was surprised to find no Digger page on the TV tropes forum/webcomics, but maybe you’ve just talked so much about that place that I’ve gotten the impression it’s inhabited in large part by Digger-fans. If one ever is made, count me into the memberbase, though. ^^

  47. TekServer says:

    For the record, Ellemerr, I have indeed started reading Pratchett. I’ve read (well, listened to, actually) “The Colour of Magic”, “Light Fantastic”, and “Equal Rites”, and I’ve recently started on “Mort”, and next up will be “Sourcery”.

    :mrgreen:

  48. Ellemerr says:

    Awesomesauce! By the smiley I’m guessing you’re enjoying them, too! ^_^ Equal Rites is one of my favourites, right below the Wee Free Men books. Little blue men for the win!

    I’m still amazed at your ability to not read them for so long, though, considering the crowd. xD They’ve got me watching Zim, addicted to Gunnerig Court, checking out a host of other webcomics, reading fanfiction (something previously believed to be impossible)… and so on. You’re probably not done, either. It’s insane.

    Oh, sweet insanity, enshroud me in thine fogencumbered wreath. Oh! To forget the world, and all of its dealings! Madness, here I present myself to worship you. Come quickly, sweet Nemesis, I beg of you.

  49. TekServer says:

    Well, the thing to remember, Ellemerr, is that the fact that I haven’t read [a particular book or series] doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Quite the contrary; I have literally read thousands of books, and 99.9% of them were in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. I don’t remember when I started reading, but I do remember that I read the Lord of the Rings (for the first time) when I was 9 years old. (In the 30 years or so since then, I have read it several more times.)

    But even with all of that, I haven’t really put a dent in the available material in my favorite genres. There are still hundreds of thousands of good books awaiting me, and more being printed every day. I can only read them so fast (I DO NOT speed read for pleasure reading) and still have time for other activities in my life, such as reading and commenting on web comics. Oh, yeah, and work; I still have to do that once in a while.
    ;)

    But I always file away recommendations from sources whose opinions I value (most Digger readers fall into that category) into the back of my brain for future additions to the reading queue.

    Oh, and FWIW, I currently “read” 3 books at a time: one in paperback (or the rare hardback) in bed before falling asleep every night, one audiobook in the truck whenever I’m on the road, and a second audiobook on my phone for walking, waiting rooms, etc. Currently my three are “Murder in LaMut” (Legends of the Riftwar: Book 2) by Raymond E. Feist and Joel Rosenberg (paperback), “Mort” (Discworld #4) by Terry Pratchett (truck), and “Juxtaposition” (Apprentice Adept #3) by Piers Anthony (phone).

    “His Dark Materials” has been officially added to my queue …

    ;)

  50. Ellemerr says:

    Good Sir, you have an excellent point. I haven’t even read all the books in my bookshelf… *heavy sigh* (Mind you, some of these are deadly boring school books that I somehow got away with not reading and probably will never read, but all the same, there are quite a few I thought I would get to faster when I got them… Oh well. There is still time! “Time for a hundred visions and revisions and a hundred indecisions… there will be time.”)

    And I’m currently reading a grand total of zero (fiction*) books. Cursed exam. So you sort of got me there. Yeah. xD

    (*I don’t generally count non-fiction as reading books, and certainly not if I have to read them for uni and stuff. *eyes the pile of such books next to her suspiciously*)

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