May 28, 1977
Pittsboro, North Carolina, USA
|Area(s)||Writer, artist, webcomics|
|Awards||Ursa Major Award; Hugo Award; Mythopoeic Award|
Ursula Vernon (born May 28, 1977) is an American freelance writer, artist and illustrator. She is best known for the webcomic Digger (2005–2011) and the children's books Dragonbreath and Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew. Ursula is also the creator of the The Biting Pear of Salamanca, a digital work of art which became an internet meme in the form of the LOL WUT pear.
Ursula Vernon grew up in Oregon and Arizona and studied anthropology at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota where she first took art classes. In recent years she has become known for writing and illustrating a number of children's books, her first being published in 2008. Prior to this she was more well known for her webcomics and as a freelance artist, particularly for her works containing anthropomorphic animals. Vernon regularly attends conventions to exhibit and sell her work and has been a guest of honor at Midwest FurFest 2004 and 2009, and the Artist Guest of Honor at Further Confusion 2010.
Ursula Vernon is the author and illustrator of the Dragonbreath children's book series, published by Dial:
- Dragonbreath (ISBN 0-8037-3363-1)
- Dragonbreath: Attack of the Ninja Frogs (ISBN 0-8037-3365-8)
- Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-Weiner (ISBN 0-8037-3469-7)
- Dragonbreath: Lair of the Bat Monster (ISBN 0-8037-3525-1)
- Dragonbreath: No Such Thing as Ghosts (ISBN 0-8037-3527-8)
- Dragonbreath: Revenge of the Horned Bunnies (ISBN 0-8037-3677-0)
- Dragonbreath: When Fairies Go Bad (ISBN 0-8037-3678-9)
- Dragonbreath: Nightmare of the Iguana (ISBN 0-8037-3846-3)
- Dragonbreath: The Case of the Toxic Mutants (ISBN 0-8037-3847-1)
Nurk: The Strange Surprising Adventures Of A (Somewhat) Brave Shrew (ISBN 0-15-206375-7) was published by Harcourt in 2008 and released as an audio book in 2009. It was Vernon's first published children's book. Other works include two fantasy novels entitled Black Dogs: The House of Diamond (ISBN 0-9769212-4-3) and Black Dogs: The Mountain of Iron (ISBN 978-1-936689-03-3).
Vernon's best known work may be the Eisner Award-nominated and Hugo Award-winning webcomic Digger. A fantasy story featuring an anthropomorphic wombat, it is also available in six paperback books published 2005 to 2011: Vol. 1 (ISBN 0-9769212-2-7), Vol. 2 (ISBN 0-9769212-6-X), Vol. 3 (ISBN 0-9791496-3-0), Vol. 4 (ISBN 0-9819883-3-4), Vol. 5 (ISBN 0-9819883-9-3), Vol. 6 (ISBN 1-9366890-6-5) and as Digger: The Complete Omnibus Edition (ISBN 1-936689-32-4) published in 2013. She is also the writer and illustrator of the webcomic Irrational Fears and the short stories Little Creature and Little Creature and the Redcap, all available online at Webcomics Nation.
Illustrations and art
Before becoming a published children's book author Vernon was primarily a freelance artist and illustrator and she still regularly produces new works of art. Her work includes the creation of digital art as well as the use of more traditional mediums such as watercolour and acrylics, with much of her more recent work being mixed media. Most of her art work is available as prints and Vernon has also taken commercial commissions such as book covers and game art.
The game Black Sheep designed by Reiner Knizia and published by Fantasy Flight Games uses art by Vernon on its playing cards. Her art work titled The Biting Pear of Salamanca became an internet meme in the form of the LOL WUT pear  and has been made into a resin figurine due to its popularity. She has also designed labels for a series of tea and soap products.
Awards and nominations
Vernon's cover for Best in Show won the 2003 Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration. She was nominated for the 2006 Eisner Awards in the category Talent Deserving of Wider Recognition for her work on Digger. Digger has won some Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards, and has been nominated for others, in the Outstanding Black and White Art and Outstanding Anthropomorphic Comic categories. Digger won the Hugo Award for graphic fiction in 2012 and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature in 2013.
- Vernon, Ursula; Patrick Keith (September 2004). "Interview with Ursula Vernon". www.epilogue.net. Retrieved 2011-03-06. "Digger, ... is a fantasy about a wombat"
- "Harcourt Children's Books Spring-Summer 2008 Catalog". Harcourt Books. Retrieved 2010-03-09.
- "Nurk". www.fullcastaudio.com. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "Comics Panel: June 13, 2008". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
- Cruz, Larry (July 16, 2010). "The Webcomic Overlook #127: Digger". Retrieved 2011-02-17. "best known for Digger"
- Boxer, Sarah (August 17, 2005). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK; Comics Escape a Paper Box, and Electronic Questions Pop Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-06.
- "Ursula Vernon's Comics". Webcomics Nation. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
- "Reiner Knizia's Black Sheep". Fantasy Flight Games. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- Ursula Vernon (February 27, 2006). "The Biting Pear of Salamanca". Retrieved 2009-03-30.
- "Biting Pear (AKA LOL WUT PEAR)". www.patchtogether.com. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "Award Winners 2003". Ursa Major Awards. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "Master Nominee List 2006 Eisner Awards". San Diego Comic-Con International. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "2005 Results". Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "2007 Results". Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- "2012 Nominees". Hugo Awards. Retrieved 2012-04-07.
- "Mythopoeic Awards: 2013 Winners Announced". Mythopoeic Society. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- Official website
- RedWombatStudio.com, Art website
- UrsulaV Ursula Vernon's deviantART page.
- Bark Like a Fish, Damnit! Ursula Vernon's public Livejournal blog
- Digger webcomic
- Ursula Vernon at Library of Congress Authorities, with catalog records