College News

Macalester Alumnus wins 2012 Hugo Award for comic “Digger”

October 15, 2012

CATEGORY: College News
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St. Paul, Minn. - Ursula Vernon, author of the popular children’s book series “Dragonbreath” and a 1998 Macalester Anthropology graduate, has won a 2012 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story for her comic “Digger.”

The Hugo Award, presented annually since 1955, is the leading award for excellence in the field of science fiction and fantasy.

“Digger,” is a comic about a practical wombat trapped in a quirky fantasy world.

According to Vernon, it began in 2003 “in a tiny 400 sq. foot apartment on Grand Avenue... with my back wedged against a radiator that sounded like it was full of angry raccoons.”

Posted every Tuesday and Thursday, the story grew over the years to a saga over 700 pages in length, finally concluding on the web in 2010.

Sofawolf Press, an independent publisher based in Minneapolis, Minn., packaged and published the comic in six print volumes, the last of which was released in the summer of 2011.

In its early years, “Digger” won several webcomics awards for its distinctive black and white art style, and its print presentation earned Vernon a nomination for “Talent Most Deserving of Wider Recognition” in the comic industry’s Eisner Awards in 2006.

In 2009, science fiction and fantasy’s Hugo Awards added a new category for “Best Graphic Story.” It is under this category that “Digger” print collection has been nominated.

The Hugos are awarded each year by the World Science Fiction Society, at the World Science Fiction Convention or “WorldCon,” the premier gathering of authors, artists, fans and dealers in the world science fiction community. The Hugo Awards are voted on by members of “Worldcon,” which is also responsible for administering them. 

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 2,035 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.  Learn more at macalester.edu.