January 11th, 2011


Apparently some nefarious art gremlins stole Ed’s necklace from the last two pages. I will be setting traps and hope to have them restored shortly.

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Discussion (48)¬

  1. Terry says:

    Oh Boneclaw Mother, you’re thinking thinky thoughts again, aren’t you?

    If anyone objects, I’m sure The Thing will commence.

  2. ellis says:

    That’s rather an Irish sort of thing to do isn’t it? Getting drunk and crying for people you never met? At least it’s less of a hangover for Digger than the whole liver eating thing.

  3. Tindi says:

    I agree with ellis; that is an extremely Irish sort of thing to do. And wonderful. Trust Boneclaw Mother to see the way through without ruffling any more feathers than need be.

    Also the emphasis on the word “you” in “YOU could do it” made me giggle. Because she could. She just prefers to be both loved AND feared. 😛

  4. smjjames says:

    So, Skin Painter was his name I guess.

    Also Boneclaw Mother is being very clever 🙂

    Does anybody know for sure whether Grim Eyes is in fact Eds daughter?

  5. smjjames says:

    Oh yea, Boneclaw Mothers muzzle looks a bit wierd in the first panel, just saying.

  6. Refugee says:

    I am going to have to, gulp, disagree with Boneclaw Mother on this. I acknowledge she knows her people best, and perhaps this is a good way to lead into it, but….

    But this is Ed’s story, Skin Painter’s story, and I’d hate to see it stolen from him like his name was.

  7. Bwee says:

    I like it. At least the hyena tribe will have one more good story.

    (Also, literal name is literal.)

  8. CyberCorn Entropic says:

    Refugee – His story’s not being stolen. It’s being strategically embellished.

  9. Quizt says:

    I suspect, Refugee, that this is going to work a bit like the inverse of Speaking for the dead, in the terms of Orson Scott Card. Andrew Wiggin’s listeners have a name and a certain number of preconceptions, but by the time the Speaking ends, their preconceptions have been turned inside out. Boneclaw Mother, in contrast, may well begin with a grand story of heroic suffering and redemption to draw her listeners in – and then upend their preconceptions when the story is revealed to be Ed’s.

  10. Ryusui says:

    @Refugee: Don’t take what she says so literally. She means that she’ll make sure Ed is honored, even if he’s never again acknowledged as part of the tribe. She could just declare Ed posthumously “reinstated” by fiat, but it wouldn’t have the desired effect.

    Remember Ed’s rejection of SGV’s final temptation? By the end, “Ed” was the only name that held meaning for him. Even though he’ll never be remembered for who he was, he’ll be forever remembered for who he became.

  11. Korlee says:

    Ed will be remembered and that is what matters. 😀

  12. Robin Bobcat says:

    Ah yes.. Plausible Deniability. Always a good thing.

  13. Refugee says:

    I understand, and to a degree, accept everyone’s objections to my comment. Hence, “I acknowledge she knows her people best, and perhaps this is a good way to lead into it”.

    But I don’t want anonymous Ed from a distant tribe to get the credit here. I want his own people to know who they chose to disown. To the degree that Boneclaw Mother is working towards that, fine.

  14. fixman88 says:

    I love Boneclaw Mother *hugs her* I figured she would come up with something devious yet clever! (did I mention I love Boneclaw Mother?)

  15. Gravedigger says:

    Oh Boneclaw Mommy. You always know what to say. Even when we don’t want you to. *sniff*

  16. Jassius says:

    I am with Refugee on this one.
    The same people who will praise his actions would spit on the ground if they guess *who* the hero was.

    But unless Boneclaw Mother has a hidden card, that should be the best thing to do aside from “forcing gratitude to the unwilling” thing.

    How did Boneclaw mother know the whole story from down there? Oh, wait “the thing” 😀 (Yes, I guess they have been talking for a while.

  17. Jassius says:

    And, sure. looks like “skin painter” could be his old tribe name. If that is so, it is either an unlikely slip from Boneclaw mother or she willingly spoke the eaten’s name, which could be considered *almost* a restoration.

    @Ursula: The necklage? I believe the same person who helped her into bed when she fell like dead took it out and left it on the nightstand were she just picked it up in time for this strip 😉

  18. Jassius says:

    Doh! That was Ed’s necklace missing not Digger’s
    Gremlins in my head too 🙄

  19. Nicole B says:

    Even amidst the joy that Ed may be given the honor due to him by his tribe, don’t forget to vote!

  20. Hawk says:

    Sometimes, I think we don’t get what we want. We might want Ed to be remembered for all that he was and all that he became…but consider this: the hyena that insisted on exiling Ed in the first place (Blood Eyes’ sister, remember?) is still around. Short of someone killing her and silencing her objections, there’s no way that the tribe will accept that an Eaten could ever be so courageous.

    Plus, Grim Eyes knows who Ed was. Boneclaw Mother knows who Ed was. Owl Caller knows. They won’t have to be told, and their remembrance is even more important than the tribe’s remembrance.

    Knowing BCM, she might already have a way in mind to get Ed’s story into the communal tribal myths. I think Ed would be pleased enough with being among the heroes of his tribe’s stories.

    The hyena way seems to sort of be “Cattle die, and kin die, and so one dies oneself…but one thing I know that never dies, the deeds of a brave man’s life.” Deeds over names.

    (And if there are any Norse literature buffs out there, apologies for the slightly inaccurate quote.)

  21. The_Rippy_One says:

    Boneclaw mama be rocking the oral history again. Nomination for Hyena goddess of rocking out: filed.

  22. Fluteman Dan says:

    So ‘The Eaten’ will be forgotten,which was always his fate. Ed, the unseen hero, will grow in the telling and enter into tribal legend.

  23. Karyl says:

    love the unfolding story of Ed, as told by Bone Claw Mother and seconded by Digger.

  24. Azure says:

    The key is in the wording. “A relative at a distant tribe.” Digger named “Ed” so he’s her “son.” And since Digger is Boneclaw Mother’s “daughter” and comes from a distant tribe… You see where this is going. This is why BCM is so awesome!

  25. Niall says:

    Boneclaw Mother will start the story of Ed… and maybe, down the line, after her passing, and when new kits are around, Grim Eyes, old and much wiser, tells the story of Ed a little differently, filling in the holes…

  26. ToraKiyoshi says:

    So Ed gets a proper burial, and his skin is preserved for generations to come. He’ll probably end up the most honored hyena in all of hyena history. Good job, Boneclaw Mother!

  27. Hunter says:

    How convenient that Boneclaw Mother had an ancestor that did the same thing Ed did…But what about Grim Eyes and Owl Caller?

  28. amethyst42 says:

    Well played, Boneclaw Mother, well played.

  29. Ketira says:

    I agree with amethyst42….. and they sound like Vikings, but without Valhalla. Either Vikings or Irish….

  30. Gramina says:

    I suspect Skin Painter was a title, rather than a name, but I could be wrong; either way, it’s an improvement over “the Eaten.” (!)

    And I suspect that Ed being a “relative from a distant tribe” is about as transparent a fiction as Digger being BCM’s daughter — you may remember that one went through fairly fast, too. I suspect this is Bone Claw Mother’s way of saying “fine, you can pretend this isn’t the fellow you treated so abominably if you must, but you *will* listen to the *story.*”

  31. LadyRutile says:

    As far as the hyena tribe honoring Ed… Life isn’t fair. And this might be pen and ink, this might be pixells on a screen, but this is also life, writ small. I’ve been following Digger around for a long time, Ive read the archives from the beginning, more than once, and I trust that the Author knows what She’s doing. And She’s brought me to tears, more than once, which only proves Her mastery of Her craft.

  32. Those that know of Ed’s sacrifice are the ones that will care. Obviously Digger, BCM, Owl Cawler, Ganesh and his followers all know how incredible Ed’s sacrifice is. I do hope someone tells Grim Eyes at least. I get the feeling that Grim Eyes doesn’t completely know the whole story of Ed’s sacrifce for her in the first place.

  33. MercuryInRetrograde says:

    I don’t care what the tribe thinks of Ed, I want GrimEyes to see him as a hero. That’s what’s really bugging me. The fact that the relationship between Ed and his daughter is being swept under the rug.

  34. jr says:

    I was about to leave a comment, then saw Gramina beat me to it. I agree that Skin Painter is probably a title. That way Boneclaw Mother could refer to Ed’s previous persona without saying the name. I had noticed the missing necklace, but pretended that it was hidden by Digger’s fur. There’s still some skin lizard fonts to fix too.

  35. Nohbody says:

    Personally, I didn’t think the lack of the necklace was all that big a deal. I mean, humans with tooth necklaces don’t wear them in their sleep. Getting jabbed in the neck and upper chest doesn’t sound like a prescription for a good night’s sleep. 😛

    (Granted, humans don’t have fur or a relatively thick skin for protection, either.)

  36. rylen says:

    I feel the myth works best with a “nameless one” fighting the demon over what was once He-Is’ corpse. It has a symmetry, SWG tempted He-Is, leading to exile. Ed is an exile who frees He-Is.

    Boneclaw Mother’s solution is pragmatic, but does not add the important new details to the hyena’s oldest story.

    Some religions have public truths and mysteries carefully shared out. I can see Ed’s story preserved in that fashion.

  37. Sarafina says:

    Heh, BCM is doing the “True From A Certain Point Of View ” *. Sneaky, sneaky BCM.


  38. mouse says:

    I don’t think Grim Eyes knows Ed is her father – she reacted in sheer horror when she first heard Digger had been consorting with “the Eaten”. Remember that, all her life, the version of “the Eaten” that she probably heard was from her aunt, the one who hated him and wanted him exiled. That would make it very hard for Owl Caller or Boneclaw Mother to say “Oh, by the way, you know that exiled person your aunt raves about? That’s your dad!” Once Boneclaw Mother tells the story of Ed, Ed will be a hero. And it’s a lot easier to take finding out who your father is, when you know he ended up a hero, than when you think he’s just the guy who murdered your mother. (It may also make it easier to listen to why, exactly, he had to kill your mother – she probably hasn’t gotten the whole story on that, either).

    And I suspect the truth is one of those things that will get around the tribe, even with no one saying it out loud. Hyenas are good trackers, they must be pretty good at connecting all the dots.

  39. ellis says:

    I don’t want the fairy tale ending. In the fairy tale Ed kills the bad demon, Ed lives, the tribe is humbled by his achievement, Grim Eye’s falls into his arms and the whole tribe forgives him and takes him back. And all that would take something away from Ed and what he’s done.

    He knew perfectly well there was a chance no one would ever know that he saved them. And he did it anyways. That’s what makes him a true hero. He did what he did because it was the right thing to do. Not because he expected any reward at all. In the end, simply being Ed was good enough for Ed.

    I think he would be grateful to Boneclaw Mother for trying to honour him but he wouldn’t feel a need to be honoured. He’s past all that. It’s Digger who can’t get over his sacrifice and the guilt that she didn’t manage to save him. And maybe that’s why Boneclaw Mother is creating his legacy. Because she feels guilty about what happened to him too. Grim Eyes might turn out to be a better person if she doesn’t know the whole story. That’s a lot of baggage to be lugging around for the remains of a life time.

  40. Refugee says:

    Just to clarify: I’m not saying Bone Claw Mother should command unwilling gratitude of her tribe; that would be the act of a despot.

    Nor am I expressing my wish that the tribe immediately realize the errors of their ways and begin telling campfire stories of Ed’s bravery.

    I simply want them to know who it was that did what he did. I don’t want any of the fairy tale endings, but I don’t think Ed’s tribe deserves one either.

    They do deserve the truth, as we all do. Despite Bone Claw’s title, they are not children; and, as we all do, they will become less childish in proportion to the truth they face.

    There are no easy answers, and my respect for Bone Claw will be no less regardless of her decision on this. I just feel very uneasy when leaders tell their people comfortable lies, or hide uncomfortable truths. Can’t help it.

  41. Ellis says:

    The truth isn’t always a comfortable thing to have around. People like to tell themselves that truth is pure and virtuous. But actually truth is often ugly and complicated. I don’t disagree with you. But as someone once said – the truth, you can’t handle the truth. Sometimes it takes a spoonful of sugar to get the medicine down. How’s that for an unnatural pairing of quotes!!!! Good leadership is a messy business and BoneClaw Mother definetly isn’t afraid to get her paws dirty!

  42. Maureen says:

    Everybody will know everything. They just won’t say it in so many words in this generation. Next generation, the Eaten Who Got a Name will be more freely spoken of. (And if Boneclaw Mother has some goals for increasing justice in her tribe, like providing a legal precedent for Eaten to earn back new names, that wouldn’t be surprising.)

  43. MadamAtom says:

    Well done, Mother. Well done, Artist.

    Can’t think of anything to add to that, really. (Which has as much to do with having just had some wine to celebrate my return from snowbound exile in Atlanta than anything else, but still.)

  44. WafflesToo says:

    @ Mouse- Those have been my thoughts exactly on the matter for a good, long while. We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out.

  45. WafflesToo says:

    …and I do so love to drink and cry for people I never met. Especially when the drinks are on the house.

  46. Wolf says:

    Heh, I knew Ed’s name was Skin painter. And Bone-claw Mother is very wise and tricky. A good character.

  47. I agree with Refugee: this doesn’t ring true to me, at all.

    Boneclaw Mother might try this dodge, but Digger would never meekly accept it. So I’ll be the unpopular one who stands up and says that out loud. But as my fourth-grade teacher said so kindly, “Improve, don’t just criticize.”

    So I wrote “After The Fall”, which diverges from the story as written starting at this comic.