In this fifth volume of Digger, covering chapters nine and ten of Ursula Vernon’s webcomic, our wombat heroine embarks on the journey into which she had been cajoled by the statue of Ganesh in the previous volume, accompanying Murai and her destiny towards a monastery in the Morrakgon Mountains that once had connections to the god shackled underground.
Along the way, they meet up with Grim Eyes, who had been sent to join them by Boneclaw Mother, hire a guide with an interesting history (and morphology) all his own, and are surprised to find that Shadowchild has been trailing them all along. One of the oracular slug’s prophesies comes true, with disastrous consequences that threaten to end their quest rather abruptly, but with a good dose of teamwork, wombat-style glow-sticks, and Grim Eyes’ first-aid skills, they manage to resume their trek.
Unfortunately, when they arrive at the monastery, they find it to be rather less inhabited than they had hoped, though not completely empty. Murai’s destiny is interrupted by the arrival of one of Digger’s relatives, from whom they learn the history behind the god who is chained underground. Their path forward becomes clear, but before they can return to the temple, Shadowchild gets a visit from a relative of his own, and for him the phrase “confronting your demons” takes on a whole new meaning.
Despite her humble protests, Digger continues to get rave reviews from the critics. Publishers Weekly says that Digger “…has inspired comparisons to Bone and Finder.” Eric Lindberg of Broken Frontier describes Digger as “…a rich fantasy adventure, a bitingly sarcastic satire, a meditation on myth and religion, and possessed of a quirky and beautiful black and white art style…” And Eric Burns of Websnark reminds us that “…Ursula Vernon didn’t come to comics via comics, but instead was a fine artist and illustrator who kind of segued into comics. It shows in her style, which is perhaps the most beautiful pen and ink work on the web. Vernon knows how to take black and negative space and make them into astounding pieces.”
This collection also contains a selection of correspondences and written material retrieved from the library of the Cerulean Hills temple of Ganesh. This material is part of the collection originally organized by Senior Librarian Vo dealing with the events in the spring and summer of the Year of the Golden Yarrow, a collection often referred to as the “marsupial manuscripts.”
2012 Hugo Awards Nominee
Winner of the Web Cartoonists’ Choice Awards in the categories of Outstanding Black and White Art (2005, 2006) & Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic (2006), as well as the Broken Frontier award for Best Webcomic Creator (2007), Digger has also attracted the attention of the wider comics industry garnering Ursula Vernon a 2006 Will Eisner Comics Industry Awards nomination in the category of Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition.