January 1st, 2008


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Discussion (25)¬

  1. Richard says:

    It really is refreshingly convenient that (almost) everyone can communicate with each other in this world. It’s these little suspensions of disbelief that make stories flow so much better.

  2. Lica says:

    The-One-who-laughs? so he got a name after all?

  3. SeekingTruth says:

    A nickname given by humans, not hyenas, so it wouldn’t count from the Hyena lore perspective.

  4. Arospace says:

    Like Digger naming Ed, to Grim Eyes he’s still it.

  5. Saphroneth says:

    The laughing god is a concept also used in Warhammer 40,000. In that, the implication (may not be true – mythology is weird) is that the Laughing god saved the elf – like Eldar from the death – feeding C’tan as part of a giant plot to trick the Eldar into trusting him. He may also be one of the C’tan. I suppose the idea behind this is that a laughing god may be a great asset – but the key is the question of who he is laughing at. It may be the very people he is currently helping, or it may be the whole world – in which case he may be insane.
    Whoo. Tabletop games as a sampler for comparative religion.

  6. bA nAn A says:

    -le shock-

  7. Brennan says:

    Suspected since Ed told the story!

  8. Jeanette says:

    The Laughing God, I think, was another name for the Coyote in the Gunnerkrigg Court comic, which was borrowing from some bit of mythology…

  9. Rowanmdm says:

    I read Gunnerkrigg Court, too, and I can’t remember if Coyote is called The Laughing God…now I’ll have to go reread the archives…once I’m done rereading Digger of course 🙂

  10. WJS says:

    Well, laughing god is similar to trickster god, a concept dating at least as far as old Norse myth that I’m aware of, probably much older. Certainly not a modern device, anyway.

  11. Sammi says:

    The dead god could also be the Sweetgrass Voice, or the source of it, and He-Is could have been the first of the cold servants. That said, I think it’d be more interesting if the dead god was He-Is.

  12. BunnyRock says:

    Interesting, the “laughing” noise made by hyenas is not a nose of joy, its a gesture of submission made by a hyena in extreme pain, fear or distress.

    Well done Ursula, bonus points…

  13. Lupus says:

    Reading through this comic for the first time, and I find all the informative comments really add to the story.

  14. Tindi says:

    If we’re going to be nerdy about this, Dragon Age’s wild elves have a trickster god as well. He’s called Fen’Harel, the Dread Wolf. He tricked the gods of both good and evil into locking themselves away from the world. Since he “spent centuries in a far corner of the earth, giggling madly…” I would say he is akin to what people think of a hyena. Holy crap. This burst of nerdiness has been brought to you by BioWare and me getting up too early this morning!

  15. Naler says:

    This comic was made all the scarier for me when, in addition to the foreboding shadows and scary concepts introduced, Itune’s Shuffle decided to play “Thriller” as I started reading it.

  16. capnq says:

    My handiest reference for comparative mythology is AD&D’s Deities & Demigods. 🙂 It blends the various Native American tribes’ mythologies into an “American Indian” mythos in which both Raven and Coyote are trickster gods.

  17. Murasaki says:

    I seem to remember a god called Coyote, also called the laughing god. But I’m not sure if they make that connection in Gunnerkrieg Court or not.

  18. Elkian says:

    Ah, the exquisite, infuriating art of answering without answering,

  19. VJ says:

    Well, Coyote certainly laughs, at least in GC. And if you recall Ed’s cave painting, there appears to be a dog/wolf-like creature (hyena?) grasping the sun… like Coyote.

  20. Lord the 22nd says:

    BunnyRock changed my perspective on how The-One-Who-Laughs is appropriate to the god who was once He-Is.

  21. JET73L says:

    Coyote is sometimes called the Laughing God or some variation thereof, but I don’t recall it being used in Gunnerkrigg Court. I could easily have forgotten, though.

    Yes, BunnyRock, I was also put in mind of that, and interpreted it less as villainous or trickster laughing and more as mad (insane) laughing (from the humans’ perspective) or an expression of unspeakable sorrow (from the hyenas’ and/or a sympathetic perspective).

  22. BunnyRock says:


  23. Silver Guardian says:

    Darn you all, now I’m becoming addicted to Gunnerkrigg Court. :p

  24. TekServer says:

    I’ve recently binged my way through the archive at Gunnerkrigg Court as well, though I’d long since forgotten it had been mentioned here (I arrived there via another path, which started at Goblins).

    GC is pretty good too, though perhaps not quite to the standards of Digger. Very little is.


  25. Squeegy says:

    We are all blown away by this stunning revelation. Wow. He-is. Really? Like the myth? Huh.