Digger, a graphic novel series by artist and writer Ursula Vernon, won a Hugo Award, Mythpoetic Award, and was nominated for an Eisner. It’s a primarily black-and-white comic done in a scratchboard style that plays well to Ursula’s keen insight on light and shadow. It follows the story of a surly wombat that took a wrong turn in a tunnel, and is trying to find home after finding herself in a rather odd world a-la Alice in Wonderland.
I’d recommend this book for most ages, with some parental guidance. Child abuse is one of the subtopics of this story, and though it is handled well, there are some parts that young people (or even sensitive adults) may find tear-worthy. Yes, it’s a comic, yes, it is silly at times, but Digger also doesn’t shy away from somber and serious topics, even if they’re happening to talking hyenas or snarking wombats. It is powerful, well-crafted storytelling, with great art, characterization, and writing serving a curious plot.
While you can read the majority of the story online, the dead-tree copy has much more detail than the web edition, allowing one to easier appreciate the work that went into this multi-year epic. It’s available in six volumes with color covers or omnibus format, and is a very long read. I’ve recommended this and gifted it to many friends and family, and it is a purchase I’ve never regretted.
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