The webcomics blog about webcomics

Huh, The Intended Title Didn’t Display. Oh, Well.

This page has previously mentioned Ursula Vernon’s Digger, although so far only as an example of art that clearly expresses emotion. This means that this page has neglected to mention any other aspect of Digger, such as the fact that it has an exemplary update record, sharp writing, gorgeous art, and is all-around the best thing on Graphic Smash. Today, it does something more.

Today, Digger gives us the first true webcomics philosopher.

Sure, there are webcomics characters that plumb the really deep depths of thought and the meaning of existence. You got your Utahraptor, your Weedmaster P, Ray Smuckles, fish, and even saucy English lasses, but for a top-notch conceptualization of the nature of Good and Evil, you have to look to a hyena named Ed (click here for today’s strip if you don’t have a subscription). Let’s let Ed muse on the Big E:

Evil is having reason, always, many and many. If hunter beats mate, has reason, always. Mate is lazy, burning food, is stupid, is speaking on and on.

Evil always has some justification; the logic and worth of the argument don’t enter into it, because Evil always sees itself as reasonable. And good?

Is only good not having reason. Little one hugs, no reason. Digger-mousie is giving name to nameless, say “Ed”, no reason. Skin-painter paints skin of child, no reason. Just is.

Good just is. There it is, boiled down to its essence, by a societal outcast guilty of some crime beyond imagining. Get yourself a GS subscription and start reading the other strips of Ed’s worldview (especially the creation myth of the hyena people … it’s brilliant); while you’re at it, notice how well Ed’s speech patterns form an accent that’s not contrived or overblown. Ursula Vernon’s work here is top-notch. You could say that she’s just that good.

Every time Ed turns up, I tear up a little. It’s Spielburgian levels of emotional manipulation, is what it is.

“First true philosopher in webcomics”? I’d think e.g. most of the characters in 1/0* would count as philosophers…

Unless “in webcomics” means “in webcomics I know of”.


Oh, wow! Thank you for the kind words–I’m glad you liked it! (It’s never the stuff I expect that ends up resonating with people, but I’m not complaining!)

I know from hard, cold experience that identifying most “firsts” in webcomics is like trying to grab raw eggs, and it’s especially tough with something as abstract as philosophy. But it’s still worth the attempt.

[…] Regular readers of this page will know that I loves me some Digger, with a special spot in my heart for Ed the hyena. Per today’s setup, looks like we got some Ed on tap. Now all we need is more Digger print collections, and all shall be well. […]

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