November 2nd, 2010


The nice thing about webcomics is that when the creator does something you want to strangle them for, you have the button right there to send them angry letters. If you feel the need, go ahead–I may start a thread over at my blog for this, since it’s hard to have a discussion in the comments here, and I think people may want to talk about this at length. All that I ask is that you try not to spoiler–this is probably the only REAL spoiler of the whole comic, so…err…use your best judgment, guys.

But,well–if you are going to do great and terrible things, you must be prepared to pay a great and terrible price. Some characters come to you carrying their deaths with them, and I’ve known for a very long time that Ed was mortal and that it was beyond my limited powers to change. (The writer is often not nearly so in charge of the story as you might thing.) So I gave him the best end I could.

And if you still need to send me angry letters, feel free. It’s cool. I understand.

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Discussion (247)¬

  1. tigertail777 says:

    It is depressing, and sad but I knew something like this was coming it had to in order to keep the integrity of the story.

    But as others have said… poor Ed. And even more…poor Usrula: having to sit on this knowledge all this time watching how much people liked Ed, and still knowing this had to be done. I salute you for not taking the easy way out.

  2. Dusty668 says:

    Gonna miss him.

  3. Marty says:

    :( Awwww… *hugs digger-mousie*

  4. AngelicDirt says:

    … … … Nnnnnnooooooooooooooo! … T_T *clings to Ed*

    *sniffs* Ed die for great cause. I kinda realized that you probably wrote and drew this weeks and weeks ahead. And that no mater what we said, what was going to happen was going to happen. As a fan, I hate it. As an aspiring writer and artist, though, I love this kind of turnabout. If he lived, fine, but for what? The ‘yenas wouldn’t let him back in just because he killed a god. They might have done the opposite, considering who the god was. Nope, this way, even his supposed kin on his daughter’s mother’s side might honor him.

    He-who-was-Mightier-than-He-is… has a nice ring to it.

  5. Lord the 22nd says:

    I hope you’re happy that you ruined my good day.

  6. Madam Atom says:

    … and in one day, Digger drops from the 20s to the 40s.

    Can’t be coincidence.

    I’m disappointed. Anyone else who is, come help me fix it! http://topwebcomics.com/vote/10180/default.aspx

    Also: Yes, that’s Quenya that Ajac posted. It’s Galadriel singing as the Fellowship leaves her lands. Hang on, lemme look it up …

    “Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind, long years numberless as the wings of trees! The years have passed like swift draughts of the sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the West, beneath the blue vaults of Varda wherein the stars tremble in the song of her voice, holy and queenly. Who now shall refill the cup for me? For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of the Stars, from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like clouds, and all paths are drowned deep in shadow; and out of a grey country darkness lies on the foaming waves between us, and mist covers the jewels of Calacirya for ever. Now lost, lost to those from the East is Valimar! Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar. Maybe even thou shalt find it. Farewell!”

  7. TekServer says:

    What can I say, Ursula, that hasn’t been said in 206 different ways already? (And that number in itself says something … )

    Your writing of Ed’s death enriches the story. You would only have gotten complaints (at least from most of us) if it had cheapened the story, like some others that will remain nameless [cough]Dumbledore[/cough] …


  8. L Gore says:

    A day later, and the tears are still moist in my eyes. Ursula, I have watched your art work grow stronger and more confident, seen the beauty that you imbue in a stroke, the life that you bring to your characters. For this one moment in your story, you have transcended mere ‘comic book’ but have made this a truly an epic tale.
    Thank you.

  9. Jessica says:

    I loved Ed but we saw the writing on the wall. Ed was a true friend. He was an outcast and yet Digger still befriended him. We knew his horrible past and he’d never stop torching himself for that horrible mistake but he was bigger and stronger than he knew. He fought temptation and did what’s right. No one ever says doing what is right is easy. Sometimes it has a high price.

  10. Barry says:

    I’m astounded that nobody has yet quoted Murai in any of this:

    “The good man is dead. Who killed the good man?

  11. Niall says:

    No one killed Ed. And he was a good _hyena_ anyway.

  12. Jassius says:

    Thanks Madam Atom!

    I just realized no one had posted the vote link and was about to do it myself, but you did the job first.
    This last event just makes the story even more epic and solid, so my guess is we all got distracted by sad thoughts and forgot the votey thing. Lets see if that is it.

  13. Shizaru says:

    Thanks for not changing the character to try and save him. He will be missed. *hugs* I consider it the mark of a mature writer to let death happen to the characters we love. Doesn’t make it easy.

  14. Draco Dei says:

    “The Eds of our own world never get what they deserve”

    Well, depending on what one believes… I think many of us would agree that they never get what they deserve _in_ our own world. The next though…?

  15. Rebecca says:

    @Barry: Thank you for quoting Murai. Although that just made me think of how everyone was still standing-off above the ground, oblivious to the great fall of evil and the heroic death of one who died with a name.

  16. Niall says:

    Oh crap. Ed knew the price. Right here: https://diggercomic.com/?p=869

    And re-reading the last couple months’ pages is bittersweet… can’t see Ed the same way. A bit more echoey in his internal voice, a bit more translucent in my mind’s eye…

    Oh, Ed…

  17. I’m at work. Dammit, no tears, not here.

  18. BunnyRock says:

    @Duckwhisperer: you’re lucky. I’ve been hovering on the edge of tears for two days now, not quite able to have a proper prolonged cry. If you get the chance, go for it. I’m doubly sad as although we are all, in a way, united by grief now. We also all know that the comic is ending, and so we’ll drift apart. The only chance you have to cry for Ed as part of a group of like-hearted mourners is now. Don’t waste it.

    Dammit. I need to set up a Digger fan-site/tribute page for people to post tributes, Filks, fan-fic and to run the inevitable digger-based internet RPG that will peater out and die due to lack of interest after about a year like every other Internet RGP I get involved with, and to keep people together as a group and voting for Digger on the Polls after the final comic.

  19. Fluteman Dan says:

    I checked the start of chapter 12 for its title and found it has no cover page or name.Was this to avoid a spoiler? The title”Oh,Ed.” seems to have suggested itself.

  20. Creatura says:

    bah. I’m not sure this works. maybe if you’d killed someone along the way… you sort of made everyone invulnerable up to the end, and I’m really not convinced. well, poor ed.

  21. duskDiamond says:

    Its rare that a book or comic is written so well that it can reduce so many of us to tears. Even though we may question it we all know its how it was meant to be.
    I’m glad I’ll be able to go back and read his parts. The cries of “Digger-mousie” will live on.

  22. Yeah, I’ve got this coming up in one of my stories. I was like depressed for a week when I realized that would be the outcome for the character whom I’d become really attached to for his heroism and humility.

    But, you should totally switch that comment on the page a few back to be “what is this I don’t even” so that we can enjoy a chuckle right before we get the big reveal that one of our favorite characters just died. And then we can feel bad about ourselves.

  23. You guys being you probably already know this…

    When William Goldman wrote The Princess Bride, he got to the place where he kills Wesley. He said that he knew what he was intending on doing, that his hero would be brought back. Even though he knew what was going to happen, Goldman burst into tears right after he wrote that Wesley was dead. Ursula how’d you do when you drew and wrote this scene?

  24. slywlf says:

    I was not ready for this – I woke up yesterday morning to find some racing idiot had run over one of my cats, which threw my day into disarray and I only just got it together enough to read the comix – now this. I’m going back to bed for a few day :`-(

  25. Lica says:

    Oh, my God…I… oh… I don’t know what to say. For some reason I’m not angry at this, I was prepared for this possibility… somehow I think it works for me… it’s really so well done… I’m sad, but in a good way, I’m loving the way this is going, as tragic as this is…

    Now…perhaps is just a part of me hoping to hear Ed once more but… does that kingfisher is He-is? or…. is it the heart of Ed? (you know, that part in which the skins talk about the heart of dead man becoming kingfisher… https://diggercomic.com/?p=221 )

  26. Sixwing says:

    D: D: D:

    By which I mean, that was so awesome, and so inevitable. And made me tear up at my desk, at work, which I am now hopefully hiding in tissues.

  27. Wafflestoo says:

    Dang it… I’m SUPPOSED to be posting page 26 of my own webcomic tonight, but I can’t put seeing Ed’s pathetic broken lifeless body lying at the bottom of that shaft out of my head. Now I have only half of it penciled in and I’m way behind schedule.

    Hope you find it gratifying how much impact this has had… I only hope people come to <3 my characters so well.

  28. Lucius Appaloosius says:

    Alas……………………………… 7;=G

    “Life isn’t fair. Sometimes the wrong people die.”

  29. itsasafi says:

    i have not felt this heavy hearted about a character’s death in a very. long. time.

  30. Madam Atom says:

    I’ve had a post sitting here for most of today with a message: “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” So I’ve posted it on the Digger thread on Ursula’s blog instead; here’s the link to it.

    It contains filk. You have been warned.


  31. jaynee says:

    Um – I posted a comment yesterday, and now I can’t see it. Similarly, a comment I posted a few pages back has also disappeared. They weren’t dodgy or anything, in fact, on this page I wrote something along the lines of thanking Ursula for sharing Ed’s life with us.

  32. Bwee says:

    @jaynee Your comment is on…the next page of comments. The page chops them up into chunks of 50 for display.

  33. jaynee says:

    Oh – its not just mine, but all the early comments, including the Tolkien lay.

  34. jaynee says:

    derr. Thanx Bwee.

  35. Alondro says:

    Uhmn uhm… we can still save Ed! We just have to gather the Dragon Balls and… *is stoned to death* X_x

  36. fishboy says:

    So long Ed. Thank you Ursula for such a poignant and moving tale.

  37. waytoomanyusernames says:

    I suspected for a long time that Ed would die, I was hoping he wouldn’t.

  38. Lurkie says:

    Some characters come to you with their fate plain to see, at least for the author. Like a trumpet blast, or an flare of light, it cannot be missed. Other characters live their lives with no hint of what is to come. Then one day, they turn a corner and there is their death, aiting. It cannot be dodged or escaped, only met on its own terms. This isn’t a way of making the story “darker and edgier.” Stories that gratuitously kill off characters in the name of making the story “gritty,” without having a good reason for it, are, IMO, a testament to the writer’s lack of skill. Ursula does not lack skill.

    Frodo said it when he told Sam that for something to be saved, someone had to give it up. G’Kar said the same thing: “Some must be sacrificed, if all are to be saved.” Ed’s death was almost inevitable. I was hoping otherwise, but alas. This was not a bad death. Ed met his fate with dignity and conviction and well-deserved pride. He was never lacking for courage, even before he lost his name. During his exile, he gained a kind of serenity and a wisdom he never had in the tribe. From Little-Mother-of-Earthquakes, he gained a new name. No, this is not a bad death at all. It is not defeat — it is triumph.

    “From the stars we came,
    Unto the stars we return,
    From now until the End of Time.”

    Farewell, Ed. You shall be missed.

  39. Lurkie says:

    Rrrgh. The fourth line is supposed to read “their death, waiting,” not “aiting.” *growl-snap-snarl* (I hope that posting made sense, it’s *way* past my bedtime.)

  40. the unclean one says:

    killing a god……….hell of a way to go

    I only wish i could be so lucky

  41. Octane says:



    all righty then

  42. Ellemerr says:

    I was too disturbed, too heartbroken, too speechless to even attempt a comment the first time I read this page. So it is only now, half a year later, at my second proper from-beginning-to-end read-through that I stop to finally lay down my flowers at Ed’s grave.

    There are no mouth nor fingers capable of processing the words of sorrow such a death incurs; there are no sounds or alphabet to translate my wailing mind. But I will lay down my flowers and I will mourn you to the best of my ability, for you deserve no less.
    Oh… Ed.

    You were lost and now you’ve found yourself, and even if that meant you had to die, it is still the only thing I could ever have wished for you. The sadness is not in moving on, but in staying behind, and that is our heavy lot. Be at peace, Ed, and know that you were loved, in your own world and ours.

    Ursula, I know this has been said many a time, but I don’t think it will hurt to repeat it. You’re such a wonderful artist, and we are all so lucky and privileged to witness your work and be a part of yours and Diggers world. This black-and-white window you have opened for us is a gift I treasure dearly, and never have I been disappointed by the view in any way, and especially not here. It is sad, yes, of course it is sad, but I am still glad to have seen it.
    From the bottom of my kingfisher, thank you.

  43. The Procrastinator says:

    An earlier post: “If anyone in the audiance of Digger is a musician, I expect you to write a requiem!”
    I was actually thinking, as the kingfisher draws Digger’s attention to Ed, of the start of Verdi’s requiem playing in the background. I don’t have a link handy, but its slow build over two minutes from almost inaudible to a quiet chorus of “requiem aeternam dona eis” (may he have eternal rest) pitches perfectly to a slow tracking shot climaxing as the kingfisher lands on the chain. Followed by silence, through which “Oh, Ed” is the only sound. I’m more of a performing musician; I don’t feel up to composing Ed a new piece, especially when one of the best existing ones fits so well.

    A heroic sacrifice to free a dead god and destroy the Lord of Temptation. Not bad for a character who came into being as an afterthought because the artist couldn’t get a bear’s muzzle to look right.

  44. Ravenswing says:

    Sad for Ed.

  45. Squeegy says:

    The only rationalization I have is that by his own admission, he should be dead already.

    Kill your darlings.

    RIP Ed.

  46. Romanticide says:

    Reading again… still crying T.T

  47. TekServer says:

    Reading this again, after all these years, didn’t bring me to tears this time. Maybe it was because I knew what was coming from the beginning. Maybe it’s because I suffered a personal tragedy of my own not so long ago, and have since used up all my tears. (Don’t fret; I’m old enough to know that my tear supply can and will grow back.) It is certainly NOT because Ed’s death was any less poignant this time around. I think, mostly, the sadness is tempered by the smiles along the way at reliving all those happy Ed memories. I’ve noticed the same phenomenon with regards to my own loss: as time passes, memories are less often accompanied by tears and more often by a fond, if slightly wistful, smile.