Australia today is not what it used to be. Civilization has settled into the southeast of the country, roughly from Adelaide to Sydney. Imported animals like sheep, foxes, and rabbits have replaced the older native animals. Kangaroos and wallabies are tolerated as “cute”, but other native animals have been relegated to zoos where they are penned in and stared at by humans. But there is a legend that somewhere in Australia, far from the human-settled southeast, isolated in the vast desert, there is a place where things haven’t changed and the original animal inhabitants live freely.
In the early morning of a day long after the war, a small figure walked slowly along one of the winding tracks somewhere to the east of Tennant Creek. On close examination, the figure didn’t look any different from most of his kind. He was about two feet tall and covered with short brown fur. He had a short, thick tail that dragged the ground when he walked upright and a ducklike bill where any other animal would have a nose.
The only thing that set Albert apart from any other platypus was that he was carrying an empty soft drink bottle. It was his possession of a bottle, coupled with the fact that he was hundreds of miles north of any running water, that made him different. (p. 2)
The series about a tunnelling wombat received more than twice the first-preference votes (p. 8) of the next-highest nominee, Fables Vol 15: Rose Red, with Locke & Key Volume 4, Keys to the Kingdom, Schlock Mercenary: Force Multiplication and The Unwritten (Volume 4): Leviathan taking subsequent places.
Digger won the Web Cartoonists' Choice Award for Outstanding Black and White Art in 2005-6, and Outstanding Anthropomorphic Cartoon in 2006, and has been nominated for several other awards, including the 2005 Ursa Major Award.
For the last six months or so, I have been very focused on finally finishing Digger’s unexpectedly epic journey (some of you undoubtedly remember those first five pages, and my constant refrain that I was just doodling and not to get attached!) but I didn’t actually spend much time thinking about what to say once I did.
I guess the only thing to say is “Thank you!”
Among the newly revealed images are fantastic images of half human/half animal creatures, a rare rendering of a wombat and numerous birds, lizards and marsupials. The find also includes stenciled images of arms and boomerangs. Full article is here.