Episode 155

Zombie Cliché Lookout:
Zombies, especially the slow, shambling ones, represent the horror of inevitability. Sure, you can defeat one or two (or twenty, or thirty) but against an innumerable horde, you really don’t stand much of a chance. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the run or barricading yourself in place, at some point the zombies are going to get to you. People, being ever-optimists, never believe this, and their struggle against the inevitability of the zombie horde is the essence of drama in zombie stories.

89 Comments

Digihuman

I’m sure what she MEANT to say was:
“Get Jeff on the otherside and block the door!”
or
“Block the door, and get Jeff to make sure it’s sealed on the other side.”

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Dave

Well she probably wants someone slow on this side of the barricade should the zeds make it through. It’s just like surviving a bear attack: you don’t have to be faster than the bear, just faster than one of your friends.

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Larry

One thing that makes me curious about zombies is this; if you could send out someone who is infected but has not turned completely, could you have them redirect the group away from the survivors if they pretend to assume the role as one of their own? I don’t think zombies really follow a specific leader of the group, but I don’t know. Also I noticed a spelling error in the second sentence of the Zombie Cliché Lookout. The word “change” should be “chance” right. Sorry about being picky.

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Dave

It should indeed be “chance”, and is now. Thanks for pointing that out.

As far as your zombie question goes, it wouldn’t work in the BotD universe. Jeff, while infected, is still a living person, and thus still food. He’s not a zombie until he actually dies and comes back.

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Dave

That’s something that hasn’t been revealed yet. Like a lot of other things, it’s not a hard and fast rule in zombie stories.

BrickVoid

So what you’re saying is if he gets bitten again that he could turn from that second bite? Just so we’re clear on this sort of thing. 😉

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BrickVoid

Perhaps Jeff would be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to find out if that would work! 😉

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Dave

You never know, although I will say that this isn’t something I’d ever considered, so it’s unlikely to show up in the next couple weeks (buffers are great).

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the dude person

Haha, yes, they certainly are! I’m really up a creek at the moment, without any buffer whatsoever. 😉

Anyway, Jeff doesn’t really seem like the “ultimate sacrifice” kind of guy, to me…

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Dave

That’s a scary place to be. I’m going to try to do a little shooting tonight, since I’ve yet to film Friday’s bonus strip.

the dude person

Hah, good luck with that Dave!

I don’t know how I can find the time to do any shooting tonight… I only have one more episode actually written in the script anyway.

So I suppose it’s really more like I’m up the creek without a paddle… or a canoe. 😉

At least the Bonus Features strips seem relatively easy to shoot (compared to an episode of BotD). You use already-built sets on purpose, and if you show the edges of the set, then who cares? In the Bonus Features, it is what it is: a set. It also seems like the Bonus Features won’t be too special-effects heavy, or require intense camera angles, depth of field, special lighting, or even just tricky minifig-posing.

Wow, when you look at it like that, doing the Bonus Features was a genial idea on your part! 😉

Dave

Yeah, the Bonus Features are significantly less labor intensive. I’ve got two written that are going to require a set build, but both should be pretty simple.

Genial indeed.

Louise

Chekhov’s Gun Chainsaw is screaming at me! Since it first made an appearance I’ve been waiting for it to end up attached to somebody’s arm. The way it’s been positioned in frame lately is making my genre-savvy senses tingle.

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the dude person

Sam “had black hair,” you say Dave? HAD?!?

I guess we most likely won’t being seeing him again… Alive, anyway… Either that or things won’t end well for him.

Dave

Man that thing would be a bitch to move. As I recall, water weighs something like eight pounds per gallon, and that fish tank is taller than the characters. They’d need a fork lift.

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BrickVoid

The Force from Star Wars lifted a X-wing fighter out of a swamp with the power Yoda had. if an 800-year old being from another planet can do that, I don’t think lifting a fishtank would trouble a Jedi much! 😉

Now, if only you had one in your webcomic! 😀 These zombies would be running away for their own undead lives! 😉

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Silver Fox

Yes there’s an endless horde of zombies. has anyone ever considered that the number of zombies should go down in numbers after a time? Especially if lone survivors are picking them off here and there? Or the zombie just finally decays and falls apart?

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Dave

The number of zombies should absolutely go down, however, the numbers of survivors should as well. Since the number of survivors is already so much smaller than the number of zombies (otherwise it’s no fun), then it still/always seems like an endless horde. Most stories don’t stick around long enough to see this through to a logical endpoint. World War Z is the only exception I can think of, actually.

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zombiemutts

“has anyone ever considered that the number of zombies should go down in numbers after a time? ”

Most books are pretty darn short after the ourbreak but a few deal with that. But like Dave said WWZ talks about it the most.

I can’t think of any movies tho. Well I guess Fido sorta does…that giant pile of crap that it is…..

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Dave

Those movies don’t really make a hell of a lot of sense though. I don’t think they have anything intelligent to say about zombies.

Dave

“Good” would be a stretch. The first one is all right, but by no means good (full disclosure: I have a bit of a thing for Michelle Rodriguez, who is one of the primary characters, so this might affect my grade a bit). The second one is garbage, the third one is garbage with a few interesting ideas that were mostly ripped off from Day of the Dead, and the forth is garbage with a couple cool set pieces.

The movies kind of just climbed into their own ass after the first one.

Nekrospike

I remember reading a book called Star Wars: Death Troopers. I highly recommend it…I’m now scared of wookie zombies D:

Dave

Someone else on here (possibly you) recommended that. It seemed like a cheapo mashup. Did it actually have a solid story?

the dude person

I read Death Troopers.

I am a GINORMOUS fan of Star Wars. (Emotionally speaking, not physically of course! Not yet, anyway….) And obviously, I’m also a fan of zombies.

Naturally, when I saw the two together (something I had thought about years before…. *grumbles about alien mind-reading devices*) I had to read it.

I was disappointed. I found the storyline to be pretty weak, nothing compelling or terribly noteworthy about it.

There were some pretty gory moments in there, which I liked. But I felt that the choice of characters (not to spoil anything) was a cheap plot twist that made it feel more like poorly-written fan-fiction (which I’ve read a lot of, unfortunately) than anything else.

The writing in general was great, but the story was flat and somewhat unbelievable (even in the Star Wars universe.)

I think it was an interesting combination of the two genres, but I didn’t like certain aspects of it, that just didn’t sit well with me.

In short, as a Zombie Star Wars book, I give it an 8/10.

As a Zombie novel, I’d say it’s about a 6/10

As a Star Wars book, I give it a 4/10.

(Hey Dave, what if I expanded on my min-review? Would it be BotD blog-worthy? 😉 )

Dave

Yeah, if you expanded that – reviews generally run in the 500 word range – it would most definitely be blog-worthy! Shoot me an email if you’re interested and I’ll get you setup with a login.

the dude person

Well, I haven’t gotten to WWZ yet, but I’ve almost finished reading Brook’s Zombie Survival Guide. Brooks states that the “Solanum,” the virus/contagion/bacteria/chemical that IS the zombie disease, acts as a sort of preservative that keeps bacteria and other organisms that cause decomposition at bay (all natural lifeforms seem to want nothing to do with Solanum.) He also goes into the possibility of an “embalmed zombie,” which would supposedly take many years to finally decay.

But for now in BotD, the zombies are essentially endless. When you’re in a group with less than 10 people, 500, or 5000, or infinite zombies doesn’t make much difference in the immediate future; the odds are still against the survivors. Sure, all they’d have to do is survive until the zombies disintegrated, and there’d be no zombies left. But survival is the entire point anyway, isn’t it? I’m sure it’d take quite a while.

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zombiemutts

Dude Person…you want a used copy of WWZ? Its in decent shape…not great.

All of my books are in perfect condition…until I loan them out anyway thus the “decent shape.” If you still have my email shoot me your address and I will send it to you for the low price of zero dollars.

But please be patient…it might be awhile before I get to the post office.

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the dude person

That’s very kind of you to offer, Mutts! 🙂

But no thank you. As it turns out, I already have my own copy… I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. 😉

zombiemutts

Yessir I did. I was against it for years but finally caved in. Its more than paid for itself already and is so easy on the eyes.

Books just collect so much dust and we had too many just sitting there. My better half and I have many leather-bound books and our apartment smells like mahogany.

Lich Barrister

But books basically work as decor, as well! …at least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

The sticking point for the digital switch has been sharing, in all honesty – I like trading books with select friends and relations. And it just wouldn’t be reading Stephenson without a weighty tome on the lap, either.

But the digital cost for “Reamde” is a lot lower than the hardcover…

zombiemutts

I will use every slimy tactic possible to survive amongst the badge wearing cattle in my way but in the end even Carter Burke met his fate.

Dave

I have. I’m still not sure which cut I like better. I think the theatrical cut has better pacing, but the director’s cut has a lot more depth. Also: robot guns.

I guess I like the director’s cut better. Anything that give me more Hudson.

Mason

Hey was Barbara in the scene where the police are vs the zeds? and also if she was did she at some point up with Inez???

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Dave

No, Barb wasn’t in the safe zone, which is downtown. Barb’s been trapped in the hospital since the beginning of the outbreak several days ago.

Don’t worry, though. I haven’t forgotten Inez.

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Calicade

Maybe they should get more into politics and watch the news in the morning. That’ll wake ’em up.. BUT IN THE MEAN TIME -Click click-

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BrickVoid

Wouldn’t it be funny if Jeff turns into a zombie at the exact second a zombie pack jumps on him? Would they still eat him in that scenario?

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zombiemutts

Personally I think so. With small packs to wandering swarms of undead I envision them randomly and savagely getting into fights tearing each other up and just as randomly stopping. Zombies operate with a hive mind instinct and at its core its complete chaos. Every creature on earth will fight each other when too many are in an area from bugs to humans so I don’t see any reason why Zombies wouldn’t act the same. Zombies don’t have enough control and their brain doesn’t function fast enough to suddenly turn switch out of kill mode when someone turns so I find it very annoying when in books or movies they suddenly stop tearing into someone when in a unsated frenzy just because the virus takes effect.

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Dave

In BotD, you have to die before you turn, and then there’s still a delay between death and coming back. So what your describing couldn’t really happen.

However, like Mutts, I believe that even if Jeff died prior to the zeds “getting him” so to speak, they’d still tear him up right good.

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zombiemutts

What do you think about Zeds turning on each other? I am not saying it would be a riot of fights but I do think if you were to watch a swarm move you would see small groups tear into each other while the rest wandered on oblivious to the fight.

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Dave

I don’t really like the idea of them turning on each other, but I can see some jostling and light aggression here and there.

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zombiemutts

Fair enough. But just to be clear I am not talking about the genocide scale. Let’s say a swarm of 1,000 zeds wandered around for a week or so.. I just think 10 or so would be wiped out from random aggression. Every living creature at some points turns on each other especially when grouped together so I just dont see why Zombies who would be the most violent killer ever seen on earth would be excluded.

the dude person

I think it all depends on how (or if) the zombies in a given story can detect differences between live humans, and undead ones.

It also depends on if zombies can feel anger and aggression, or are emotionally numb, and are just carrying out their “life processes.”

Then you get to accidental deaths in such a large group of zeds, like if a few were inadvertently trampled to oblivion or crushed in a zombie “stampede.”

If you get into zombie stampedes, then you also have to consider whether or not zombies follow any sort of horde behavior and stick together in groups, or if each zed operates completely independently…

There’s a lot of variables that would decide whether or not zombies would kill each other at some point, it seems.

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