July 21st, 2009


For those feeling cheated by not getting to witness the big fight scene between Shadowchild and Sweetgrass-Voice, let me say that I could have drawn it. It would have been a single big black panel with several “———-!” sound effects. At the end, you still wouldn’t know who won, and it would have delayed this page by two days.

Also, it would have felt totally cheap to draw.

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Discussion (69)¬

  1. Zjonni says:

    He ate something that disagreed with him.

  2. Veronica says:

    @Zjonni badum-ching!

  3. Otookee says:

    So, why does Digger have a blanket wrapped around her waist like a towel – when she normally doesn’t wear anything below the waist anyway? 🙂

  4. Venhax says:

    Otookee: I assume that’s her in the process of putting on her vest.

  5. AnthonyF says:

    So. Shadowchild ate something that talks. Poor guy.
    How conflicted must that be? First thing like you, and …. yeah

  6. WuseMajor says:

    ……..It looks a bit like the skin lizards.

  7. lemonysundrops says:

    is it possible to throw up a shadow?

  8. DCL says:

    I can only look, laugh at the bugged out wombat eyes, and feel sorry at the poor shadow child looking so melancholy at the fact of what it did.

  9. jassius says:

    “Morning gets earlier and earlier”
    *groan* on that. 🙂

    Now, Is that a tear on Shadowchild’s face? Bad thing if SGV abandoned him without answers cause he refused to kill his friends and a bitter victory if he finally destroyed the only one of his species he came to know.

    Looks like Shadowchild has now his own small shadow in his heart 🙁

  10. mister_borogove says:

    An all-black fight scene wouldn’t be a cop-out! You’re a professional and that’s where the story went. I seem to recall John Byrne billing Marvel his usual page rate for a fight between Kolomaq and Snowbird in a blizzard — pages of all-white panels with the odd sound effect and thought balloon. (Yeah, Byrne’s a jerk, but not for THAT.)

  11. Azzandra says:

    …Is Shadowchild going through demon puberty?

  12. fixman88 says:

    Wow, that’s heck of a thing to see first thing in the morning….

  13. Our little Shadowchild is growing up.. in a rather abrupt sort of way, it appears!

  14. XJaxX says:

    Lol to Digger’s eye in the third panel!

  15. CannibalSmith says:

    They merged!

  16. crazy girl says:

    The first three panels are the exact reactions I had when I woke up one day, groaned, then reached for my robe and found a huge cockroach climbing on it..
    I don’t necessarily believe SweetGrassVoice wouldn’t run, when she is abote to be defeated.. But even if Shadowchild did devour her, I don’t think it had a good taste. It probably means also, that Shadowchild devoured a lot of knowledge with it as well, so in a sense, I would say he did “level up” or went through puberty or whatever. And I believe everyone would agree with me, that you can’t throw up acquired knowledge and wisdom.. 🙂

  17. Roose Hurro says:

    I did figure SC was gonna eat SGV, didn’t I…?

  18. crazy girl says:

    Oh and one more thing:
    I think Shadowchild is depressed because he ate something that could talk, or at least attacked it..

  19. jassius says:

    Yup! I was wondering about SC actual size after that fight.
    That eye looking *up* and the speech buble pointing *down* suggest SC may have grown up A BIT tonight

  20. Sweetmissblue says:

    I have the sudden and unexplained urge to hug Shadowchild.

  21. inlaid says:

    Shadow Adult!

  22. Kelci says:

    I’m actually really worried about this development. What happens to a demon when it’s been (presumably) eaten by another demon? I can’t imagine that it just completely dies and goes away. That doesn’t seem likely in terms of what we know so far and in terms of plot development.

    Maybe the thing SC saw was actually just a fragment of SGV’s self? Maybe the rest of him is still trapped in He-Is? Maybe SC didn’t actually win this fight? I don’t know and am bad at speculation, but I really look forward to finding out.

  23. Niall says:

    Sudden knowledge and maturation… SC is no longer quite a child, or the same.. Tread carefully, Digger. Your next answers to its question are vitally important.

  24. Barry says:

    This has slipped through, too. Up until now, it has been assumed in the comments that ShadowChild was facing Sweetgrass Voice, but we didn’t know for sure. Today Ursula confirmed it in her comment.

  25. Lachesis says:

    not that i’m rooting for this or anything, but…. everyone ASSUMES that’s still actually ShadowChild, not Sweet Grass Voice “putting on” an appearance after chomping down on the poor kid.

    sorry, playing Devil’s Advocate is a reflex action by this point in time.

  26. Abeo says:

    I am also of the mind that Shadowchild won the fight, and is guilty for having eaten a being capable of speech.

    However, I don’t think that this means the end of Sweetgrass Voice. What we saw was likely a projection of a small part of it, not the main body, which is bound to the god formerly known as He-is.

  27. Hawksong says:

    Even if SGV got away, that leaves our “child” with some really tough questions.
    Let’s say, for the moment, that SGV got in one blow and then fled, with words similar to “I’ll get you next time my pretty!”
    Shadowchild is left standing there, considering what just happened, and very likely being as close as its ever been to needing a hug. Every child has a hard time dealing with stressful confrontations and even the most brilliant and well adjusted child would be deeply disturbed by an encounter like the one we just saw Shadowchild get through.

    Now, let’s consider another scenario. Shadowchild attacks SGV, and actually eats whatever pieces of SGV are actually present in this time/space. That leaves SGV pulling back bloodied fingers (or an amputated limb), but still “alive” in the liver of He-Is, as was pointed out above. But where does it leave Shadowchild?
    Again, he may need a hug worse than he ever has. He may have absorbed some of SGV’s knowledge. Horrible as it is to contemplate he may have absorbed some of SGV’s mind/ego/persona. Depending on how demonic digestion works, he might be fine in a couple of hours, maybe with a nice dose of Pepto. It’s implied that demons cannot regurgitate, so I’m assuming for now that no matter how much Shadowchild might want to, he’s not going to be able to eject what he just swallowed.
    Perhaps the tear in his eye is because of what he’s learned…the confirmation that SGV had no intention of giving answers, ever. Or worse: what if Shadowchild just got, in one foul and bitter mouthful, the whole nasty story of He-Is and She-Is. How would YOU feel if suddenly you heard that your “parent” was actually very nearly a murderer, and you ARE the shadow that was on his heart, that enabled SGV to begin influencing He-Is? How could this possibly be a pleasant thing to contemplate?

    Even if all that has happened here, is that Shadowchild has just undergone an abrupt process of maturation…that’s painful. He’s an entity that very well might be able to look back on his “childhood,” and know regret. Because things will never, ever be that simple or wondrous again.
    Perhaps he weeps for himself.
    I think I might go cry a little now…something about loss of innocence is just very, very saddening.

    Fantastic art, Ursula…and fantastic story. Even if you make me cry a lot it’s great 🙂

  28. theysabet says:

    Poor, sad Shadowchild, who had to do some growing up the hard way. Not that there’s really any other way to do it, but *still*… Is it just me or is there more than a hint of ‘bird’ in his appearance now?

  29. brightshade says:

    Makes me think of the conversation with Ed, ages ago, about the damage it does to you when you murder someone, even if the cause is ‘right.’ I agree with jassius, a little shadow on the heart of shadowchild. ooof; my heart goes out to the little one…

  30. pelican says:

    I don’t know … Shadowchild ate the shadow of the murderous soldier at the village without getting corrupted by whatever knowledge/sins that guy carried, and he/she/it doesn’t seem to have absorbed anything other than flavor from the other things he/she/it has eaten … maybe just indigestion and a bad, bad taste? But, regardless, a hug and some reassurance of continued love from Digger hopefully will help.

  31. TekServer says:

    On one hand I agree with pelican that Shadowchild has never (that we know of) absorbed knowledge from his shadowy meals. On the other hand, however, none of his previous meals were demonic, either.

    Putting that aside, I personally don’t think there was any eating involved in the encounter. IMHO, there was a fight, a give and take of blows, SC got the upper hand and SGV fled; but not before SC took some damage (maybe minor damage, but hurt like hell anyway … ).

    Hmm … brings up an interesting possibility regarding demon maturity. What if, as demons age and get into these kinds of scuffles, they take damage that results in “scar tissue” (remember when SC talked about getting hit by the veiled’s magic sword?), which accumulates over time and prevents the demon from returning to its previous tiny shape? So the older and more “scarred” a demon gets, the larger it gets, because it stretches out to fight and can’t shrink back down all the way. (Just following an interesting line of thought … )

    @Lachesis: I don’t think this can be SGV. SGV himself (itself?) admitted that he was unable to reach out to SC until they came to this monastery. That, combined with SC’s comment about SGV being so stretched out, implies that SGV is still anchored (in the liver of He-Is, we’ve all generally assumed). https://diggercomic.com/?p=717
    The entity in the last frame appears ambulatory and does not appear to be anchored elsewhere …

    Anyhoo, I can’t wait to see how Digger deals with this development …

  32. Moselle Green says:

    I like not always seeing everything on screen, like fight scenes. I think it’s more subtle to sometimes let us see the aftermath instead. So I’m not complaining. ^-^

  33. jr says:

    Maybe it is time to drop the “child” from Shadowchild’s name and just call it “Shadow”.

  34. jr says:

    About an all black fight scene, draw it up anyway, and add it to the next Digger book. You know, as bonus content.

  35. Sabreur says:

    Oh gosh, can’t stop laughing. No complaints about just seeing the aftermath here, given that said aftermath is hilarious.

    At least, it’s hilarious *now*. I’m sure we’ll discover the horrible implications later.

  36. DeoxysRibonuke says:

    Hmm, I’ve always wondered; what gender IS Shadowchild?

  37. Tindi says:

    Poor Digger. I’m not a morning person, either, and that is one HELL of a thing to wake up to.
    O_O Shadow…? >_< Too early for this… 😛

  38. Archangel Beth says:

    As a mom… Shadowchild needs a hug. Can wombats hug shadows? What about Helix?

  39. Rabenkraehe says:

    @Zjonni: *Great* comment! Now how do I get the mouthful of coffee from my screen?

  40. sprrwhwk says:

    Remember, kids, never eat something bigger than your head!

  41. I agree with JR. Director’s Cut!! Put it the “fight scene” black page in the print version. I think it’ll pace it just right in the all-at-onceity of a book format.

  42. R.A. says:

    I’m not sure who looks worse. This strip needs tea, hugs, and cookies all around.

  43. reapicheep says:

    So, most people seem to assume that Shadowchild “ate” some or all of SGV. When I first looked at the panel, I assumed SC was bruised and rumpled from a fight. (“Yeah, but you should see the other guy.”) Maybe SC did ingest some of SGV, but we don’t know that for certain.

  44. Joel says:

    Hey..if Shadowchild ate even part of SGH…might that part not only influence Shadowchild’s appearance, but be able to subtly guide his urges? The little guy might start having “good mental voice/new EVIL mental voice” convos about eating his companions’ shadows (“After all, you didn’t seem to have a problem eating ME..in fact, you LIKED it.”) until he can either process/digest what he imbibed or expel it.

  45. LunarMusic says:

    Poor Shadowchild. Personally, I don’t think she actually ate any of SGV… she looks more conflicted than guilty, if that makes any sense. She firmly believes that eating things that can talk to her is bad… but she really doesn’t have any frame of reference for attacking another demon. She’s not sure how she’s supposed to be feeling right now.

    I hope Digger can come up with some good answers.

  46. Joyeuse says:

    Just wanted to see if anyone else noticed that when Digger notices ShadowChild, she is looking _up_ instead of down as before? Plus, the tail of Digger’s speech balloon in the last panel is pointing down, instead of up… I think Shadow Child may be, right now, quite a bit larger than before. I’m wondering if it’s, like someone said before, growing up?

  47. Mani says:

    I really hope the demon responsible for fucking up a whole race in a mythic origin story wasn’t actually just offed by a kid, offscreen.

    I’m really dying to see what happened on Thursday.

    Also, I wonder if what we’re seeing is a Shadowchild that lost the fight, and was tainted.

  48. It would appear that Shadowchild is going through his punk rock phase.

    It happens.

  49. motub says:

    Looking at it, SC looks like a kid the day after Halloween (or other holiday where kids eat a lot of candy).

    That would fit with what I see as the most likely scenario– SC got a good “bite” or two in, may have suffered a “whack” or two itself, but SGV probably fled, possibly partially due to the fact that it was too stretched to end this kid as it deserved for its insolence, and possibly partially due to shock that a ignorant kid would stand up to it (nobody else has, or we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place), and possibly due to moderate injury.

    But even a “bite” of SGV is a whole lot of shadow to eat, and shadow of a completely different quality than any Shadowchild has eaten before. And we know that “big”, old shadows affect it– remember how ‘drunk’ SC got on the Oak shadow?

    So, yeah, I’m thinking SC has a belly ache. And even if it doesn’t get thoughts/memories/impressions from the shadows it eats (though it kinda does), the implications of the fight on a purely objective level are serious enough that 1) SC would be aware of them (SC has just violently rejected the “friendly” overtures of the only other creature of its own kind it has found in all this time– does that mean it will never get its answers? Has it already gotten its answer, if SGV is its kind, and its so evil that even SC knows it?) and 2) SC would be frightened by them (SGV is an old and powerful being that already wanted Digger et. al. dead. Now its mad at SC too. That can’t be good).

    No wonder it looks very chagrined.

    What will Shadowchild tell Digger? And how will Digger respond to such a ‘turning point’ for her little friend?

    I’ll be staying tuned, that;s for sure 🙂 .

  50. joyeuse says:

    Digger seems to be looking up in the panel with the bug-out eyes, and in the last panel her word bubble’s tail seems to be pointing down rather than up as would be expected for SC’s normal size. Does this mean SC has grown in apparent size? Wonder what that means if it’s so.