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Language Computeer
Fists of irony
On a somewhat lighter and less personal note than some of my recent entries, I want to pass on a recommendation I discovered via scans_daily, the Digger comic. (I posted this on del.icio.us yesterday, so read on if you've seen it and don't care.)

I am totally charmed by this comic. It owes a lot to Jeff Smith's Bone, and shares much of its sensibility; in particular, its completely infectious blending of informative, silly, and beautiful. Digger, a wombat, gets lost in a "magic hole", and comes up under a statue of Ganesh, with whom he she [see ETA below] has a metaphysical conversation and then decides to move on.

He She spends the night in an abandoned cave, but when the cave's proper owner shows up (and tries to eat him her) he she winds up making friends in a somewhat unlikely way. Where I am right now, Digger is granting "It" a name. Best dialogue ever:

Digger: Err. Is there something I can call you then?
It: It.
Digger, arms folded: Look, I can't call you "It". It'd play havoc with the pronouns. Can I -- I dunno, give you a nickname or something?
It: A name? Digger-mousie can do this?
Digger: Sure, why not? Um, uh, I'm not good with names. My pet mole was "Mr. Mole" and my fish was "Mr. Fishy." Uh... How about "Ed?"


I might also add that the commentary on each page is also fun; each one is like a blog-entry about the lives of the story teller. From the page linked above:
Like Digger, I am terrible with names. .... (As a small child, I had a goldfish named "And Justice For All" and I think that expended all my naming energy in one fell swoop.)
If I do manage to come up with a scheme, however, I stick to it, which is why my cats are named after gods--Loki and Athena, who are, respectively, absolutely straightforward and affectionate, and dumber than dirt. I learned my lesson. I will name my next cat "Satan" or "Marduk" or something, thereby ensuring a kind, gentle beast who treats my upholstry like a shrine.
I really hope that she keeps up with this quality through the whole thing.

Another lovely linguistics nod to overeducated knowledge geeks in the dialogue:
Digger, to Librarian:Ya got any dwarf maps?
Librarian: Dwarvish maps? God, yes. Every traveller for six centuries brought one back as a cheap souvenir of the Mysterious West. They're all in Dwarvish, of course.
Digger: Er. Do you speak Dwarvish?
Librarian: After a fashion. I can't do the clicks, mind you.

ETA I just finished the first volume of it and I had a lovely Delaney-reading-Starship Troopers moment realizing that Digger is female -- and there's no reason she shouldn't be. Awesome.
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