September 28th, 2010


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Discussion (49)¬

  1. jokergirl says:

    The tension is killing me.

  2. TekServer says:

    Well, relieve the tension by going over to TWC and voting, from as many computers as you can get access to!


  3. Jassius says:

    Ed has just remebered he is a little afraid of depths too 😀

    Remember this It is an small step for a hyena but a far too long jump for a wombat. So, Go Now!

  4. fixman88 says:

    Go Ed! You can do it…

  5. cjack56 says:

    But if Ed removes the tension in that chain there’s gonna be a really big SPLUTCH! when the heart hits the floor of the cavern-

  6. Grinny says:

    The godkilling sound!

  7. Veritas says:

    Poor Ed. It might not be THAT far a jump, but oh, the consequences should he miss, or slip…

    And I must echo fixman88. Go on, Ed, you can do it!

  8. Alondro says:

    Ya know, that giant heart reminds me of “The Chicken Heart That Ate Up New York City”, from Bill Cosbey’s old comedy routines. 😀

  9. Lindale says:

    Panel 2 is gorgeous (albeit in that slightly disturbing/surreal way that Ursula Vernon has…)

  10. Azure says:

    Ed is feeling the vertigo and motion sickness.

  11. Hawk says:

    Poor Ed! You can do it!!!

  12. Diatryma says:

    Oh, Ed, kneeling in the dark. That is absolutely beautiful.

  13. Madam Atom says:

    Oh gods that would so be me.

    I can do enclosed high places. Airplane? Fine. Balcony? Fine, if the railing’s high enough. Heck, I lived in a 19th-floor apartment for two years! With ceiling-to-near-floor windows!

    Six-foot ladder? Paralyzed.

    Poor, poor Ed. *hugs*

  14. perfesserbear says:


    Couldn’t have said it better myself, Ed. Boy needs some Powdermilk Biscuits: Heavens, they’re tasty and expeditious! They’re made from whole wheat, to give shy persons the strength to get up and do what needs to be done.

    Or a good kick in the — um — breechclouted butt…


  15. Helping Ham says:

    “Feel the fear…
    … and do it anyway!”

    Go Ed, you’ve been very brave before. You can do it now.

  16. rueyeet says:

    Hmm. Maybe it’s not just the heights that are making Ed hesitate…after all, he’s the one who pointed out that killing, even for a good reason, is always “a wrongess”. And who’d want to kill a god? even one that wanted to be dead?

  17. Blob says:

    “Ed is being hearing that courage is being fear holding on a minute longer. Ed is being thinking that he is being holding on to this ledge a minute longer until Digger-Mousie is bringing rope. That is seeming like good idea to Ed.”

  18. the dark ferret says:

    “He who hesitates is lost.”

  19. redbeard says:

    Ed is thinking the early worm gets the bird.

  20. Maureen says:

    Caught between a god and a heart place.

  21. @redbeard-but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese.

    This is a cool quote for Ed and all those that wrestle with doing the right thing in scary situations. It’s from the movie Angus.

    Superman Isn’t Brave. He’s smart, hansome, even decent. But he’s not brave. Superman is indestructible, and you can’t be brave if you’re indestructible. People who are different, and can be crushed and know it. yet they keep going out there every time.

  22. C’mon, Ed! Take heart!

  23. Exindiv says:

    Personally, I think at this moment the danger of the situation is momentarily eclipsed by the grossness of the situation. That’s a big, old, slimy, smelly, throbbing heart of a half-dead god. And Ed has to touch it. Eeeeeeeeeew!

  24. @Exindiv-Well as big, old, slimy, smelly, throbbing hearts go, I’m sure that it’s one of the nicer ones.

  25. Brushtail says:

    @ perfesserbear

    Yes, that is exactly what he needs, and some rope.

  26. Karyl says:

    Poor Ed indeed–be of strong chin Ed: You’ve already survived a lot that would have killed others.

  27. Wayne says:

    Don’t forget that this is a moment of theological crisis for Ed.

    This isn’t just “the heart of a god”, this is the heart of the one who was He-is, the ultimate outcast hyena male. This god is Ed’s god, the pariah, the nameless one.

    Ed is looking at the heart of his creator.

    On the question of killing, Ed also knows that he, Ed, is guilty of something the god never was: the actual murder of his mate.

    IF Ed is able to do this, it will not be because he wants to end the life of his god (personally, I think Ed pities the god, and would forgive him if it was possible for him to do so). It will be because it will destroy Sweetgrass Voice, the thing that put the darkness into the heart of his people.

    Go, Ed. It is your destiny. No one else in the world can do this.

    Poor Ed.

  28. perfesserbear says:


    True — every word of it. Good metaphysical summary of Our Story So Far.

    Then again, it would be so much easier if it was a liver instead of a heart.
    Do Hyenas like liver? Yes, yes they do!


  29. lemonysundrops says:

    cmon ed, you can do it!

  30. werepixi says:

    C’mon Ed, I’ll give you a Scoobie snack if you do it

  31. hartree says:

    Odd. I wouldn’t think a demon like SGV would have to stick to a path, or a rocky ledge. He could go right up and try to scare or sweet talk Ed. Yet, he’s staying back talking to Digger and sending the cold servants after her. If what Ed was doing to the heart was the real immediate threat, wouldn’t he be up playing to Ed’s doubts, or having the cold servants throw rocks at him, or arrows, or what not? Why mess with Digger when she’s just acting as a guard? I’m wondering if Ed’s realizing something doesn’t quite add up about what they are doing.

    But, maybe it’s just my contrarian streak talking.

  32. AltarBoy says:

    Jump Ed! Eat that heart! It’s probably easier than prying it loose.

  33. Crocuta says:

    Thank you for making Ed such a big part of the story! 😀

  34. Well said, Wayne!

    Everyone, aside from the moral issues, consider how tricky a stunt this is. He needs to jump and grab a chain, getting purchase on an object whose texture is unknown and may well be slippery. He needs to avoid falling after the initial jump, which is a risk if it goes swinging or if his weight unbalances the heart. There may be magical defenses involved. Then he needs to somehow use his crowbar to pry the heart loose, not knowing exactly how it’s connected. He’ll probably need to use both hands for that–staying up will be tough. Then he needs to somehow *keep hold of the chain* when the heart falls, and swing back to the ledge. If he fails in any of this, the fall will probably kill him.

    I would be hesitant, too.

  35. Bryant says:

    I seems to me that this is essentially a redemptive moment; given who Ed is and the commonality between Ed and He-Is.

    Maybe killing He-Is is not the solution… it would perpetuate the wrongness. All of the first born will continue to die unless He-Is is redeemed. Ed is the logical agent of redemption, as few have more fully born the consequences of She-Is-Stronger’s Pyrrhic victory over He-Is.

  36. the dark ferret says:

    Y’know guys, I’ve had the feeling for a long time that Ed was gonna have an important role in the endgame here. After all, He-Is is a male hyena. The Cold Servants are male-hyenas. ED IS A MALE HYENA…

  37. perfesserbear says:

    @Thorin N. Tatge–

    I must have missed it — how do we know the Cold Servants are male Hyenas? It’s the females who are the tough lot in the Tribe…


  38. Hawk says:

    Actually makes sense, from a certain standpoint, that the Cold Servants are at the very least other “Nameless Ones.” But, as to their gender, I’m not sure we found out. Anyone else know of a reference to this, offhand?

  39. Nohbody says:

    If I’m not totally misremembering an archive binge I took, the other month, there’s no mention of Cold Servant genders, just that they’re hyenas (or at least the one that was unmasked was one, but given the god being kept alive is He-Is, it’s not that likely, IMO the other CSes aren’t also hyenas).

  40. Nohbody says:

    erm, “IMO, that the other…”

  41. Revenant says:

    @The Dark Ferret

    “He who hesitates is sometimes saved.”

    — James Thurber

  42. BunnyRock says:

    @Maureen: Well done, that made be groan and spray tea all over the shop simultaneously.

    As for the gender of the Cold Servants, it’s said that when He-is and She-is spilt up, some of the tie be followed he-is, but most stayed with She-is, so I would expect a mix. Frankly, who really cares? He-is and Ed are the big players here, and both their sexes are known, and given the Cold are, or may as well be, undead, it’s not likely that they have much interest in the matter themselves. Only Peter Jackson and the inevitable bad fanfic explore the is of what are essentially zombies could have a sex life, so given they seem to be basically undead I’d hazard that it’s moot for now. Not that a post-post-mortem would be interesting to determine this definitively once all the fighting has finished, but given they are armed and mobile and creepy, taking the necessary detailed measurements of the glans penis/ clitoral-head-glans-pseudo-penis required to determine the sex of a live hyena whilst said hyena is attacking you would probably be inadvisable not to mention time-consuming, and , if you got it wrong, you consuming (most biologists trying to determine spotted hyena sex rely on suckling to actual tell them apart: baby hyenas know whose female and who isn’t, so trust them. Suckling also produces pounced teats on the females that are visible from a distance: given hyenas dominance displays involve mock-sexual not only do females have the same sort of equipment as males, they’ll use it in the same ways making the matter even more confusing, this is the only definitive clue that doesn’t require a tranquiliser gun, some vernier callipers, and lying about what you do for a living to your dear old granny*). Frankly If Digger’s suddenly decided that she’s into that sort of stuff despite no prior indication, then she has bigger problems than SGV.

    Huh, cold, basically zombies, emotionless, sustained on the blood of their creator, imposable to tell their gender, hang out in gloomy underground holes. I’ve been to nights like that in my local nightclub after a big My Chemical Romance concert in Cardiff.

    *I’d love to be able to say I determined the sex of hyenas for a living, if only to mock my friend who has a summer job sexing chicks. Puls introducing myself as “Real Name: Hyena Sexer” is something I must now try at least once at a party, just to see the look of peoples faces.

  43. Maureen says:

    Thank you for the appreciation, Bunny Rock. You and I obviously have the same sick sense of humor. 🙂

  44. Nohbody says:

    As an aside totally beyond what this comic would be concerned with, I don’t see why anyone actually interested in the sex of a hyena would need to go that far, outside of maybe someone doing a doctoral thesis on the subject. Even given the issues regarding female spotted hyena genitalia, males and females aren’t [i]that[/i] much alike.

  45. Nohbody says:

    And I fail at italics tagging, it seems. *sigh*

  46. slywlf says:

    Wayne – well summarized, and probably the root of poor Ed’s difficulty.
    Maureen – I’m lucky I had already finished supper and put the dish in the sink – rice and veggies would have been very hard to get out of my keyboard and off the monitor 😉

  47. BunnyRock says:

    @Maureen: Thank you. I find with this sort of thing my voice helps. It’s not a boring voice, but it flirts with boredom. It’s slightly nasal and as an almost offensively harmless neutral not-quite RP “BBC” accent that you get if you have the Phonological misfortune to be born in Surrey. No-one notices this as I vary tone and pitch often and make eye contact to artificially make myself a more interesting speaker, but when I need it I lull people into a gentle doze with it and them hit them with a dose of off-the-mark humour. My favourite trick back at uni was to ask people about their dissertation. Common politeness would them demand they ask me about mine.
    “Well,” [smile far to keenly, speak a little too monotonously] “I’m taking samples from bronze age red deer and re-designing the US Army forensic DNA analysis Lauroyl sarcosinate / Proteases K demineralisation protocol to see if I can extract sufficient quantities of Red Deer mitochondrial DNA for analysis so I can determine, [grin madly] based on the predicable rate of mutations over time, when red deer in my sample area split from the main births population. As you can imagine” [neardy laugh, raise your own drink to mouth, they will reciprocate, pause on the point of sipping and say] “it’s a whole barrel of fun. I’m really enjoying it” [ as they start to drink, make look then directly in the eye and then…] “ But enough about me, how’s your sex life.”

    That’s the drink-spraying ending I like to call the Tommy Wiseau

    @ Nohbody: you seem to be right: it appears my info on Hyena sexing is a little out of date. In the 1950s, until the 70’s researches had too much trouble getting close without disturbing the hyenas to make observations of natural behavioural clues as to sex or observe…ehem… fine detail without actually dart-gun-ing a hyena for close-up study. Now a days it seems researches have no trouble sexing hyenas non-invasively at quite long range (another sentence I would give my left nipple to be able to use in day to day conversation) and, indeed, actually taking measurements would only be required for major doctoral research, and all that can be said about darting an animal is given it creates so much stress and medical problems to the animal it should be avoided exept as a last resort. It is, however, still slightly better than the Victorian approach to determining a Hyenas sex: a Martin Henry and a dissenting table. Unfortunately a Martin-Henry seems to have been the Victorian approach to far too many problems.

    and don’t worry about the Italics, I one left them on by mistake and all the next people to post were italic too… the shame!

  48. Zelith says:

    @ BR: If I was a table I’d object too…

  49. BunnyRock says:

    @Zelith: Darn you spell check! I will have my revenge, in this life or the next! Your days of mocking the dyslexics of the world with unintentionally hilarious substitution errors are numbered!

    Dyslexics of the world! Untie! You have nothing to lose but your chins!

    (*Okay, that was an intentional joke, but spell-check originally rendered my words “hilarious substitution errors “ as “halitosis substation errors”. You see what I have to put up with? MS word is actively trying to stupid me to death.