Episode 373: Have We Met?

Zombie Cliche Lookout: The Breaking Point

Stress is an interesting thing. Under a little bit of stress, we can be pushed into our best performance. That stress serves as a motivator to get us to give the task our all, and we’re able to thrive under it. And then there’s the other side of stress. When that little bit starts getting strong and stronger, and what once motivated you starts looming large overhead like and angry god. There’s a point when the stress becomes completely unmanageable (like, say, during a zombie apocalypse), and that’s when people break.

Of course, no two people are going to break in quite the same way. Some people might have a cathartic emotional experience, which somehow gives them the strength to carry on after the emotions subside. Others just give up. And some people become violent and dangerous, lashing out at whatever is around out of an uncontrollable sense of fear and dread. Sometimes, those people turn into monsters.

About this Episode:

I’m quite happy with that last panel there. Lou looks quite threatening and Murphy – whom we’re used to seeing looking authoritative – looks completely pathetic and insignificant in the background.

I’ve also played around quite a bit more with my lighting, and found that I can drastically reduce the light bleed by blocking around the lens, and now I’m thinking a lens hood might be a solid investment at this point.

Discussion Question: Long Term Survival Vehicle

This one comes from Just a Guy on the forums. In case you haven’t seen it, I posted a thread there to submit discussion questions (something I get stuck on quite a bit). This is the very first one, and I think it’s a good one.

Finding yourself in the zombie apocalypse, what is your ideal long-term survival vehicle, and why? Do you want something big and powerful? Something that can carry a lot? Something fast and sleek? Self-powered?

92 Comments

just a guy

i choose a police car 1 they have a decent gas millege like thier civilian cousins 2 they have a gun mount ,useful for snipers and rifles 3 some police cars are equipped with puncture resistant tires useful for rocky roads 4 police cars are jury- rigged useful for keeping the driver safe and ramming into zed

you would be pretty lucky to find a running police car if its not running you could scrap it for parts. nothing screams ‘badass’ like taking the lights off a police car and sticking them on your car

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Dave

A police car is a good choice. Downsides would be lack of off-road capability and relatively low storage space.

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Legoman 400

Question:Can zombies survive the cold weather? If so, where would you go to survive?

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just a guy

also i would use a school bus 1 they are easy to jury-rig 2 they are the safest vehicle on the road because they are built for impact 3 if they can protect kids they can protect people too

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Dave

Lots of storage space, you could throw a sleeping area inside fairly easily. On the downside, they’re big and slow and not terribly maneuverable.

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just a guy

but they have the capibillity to survive a horde that would usually overwhelm a small truck

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Dave

True enough. The weak point is the door, which I would think would be easy enough to barricade.

Calicade

LOOK AT MAH BICYCLE! I think the Bicycle is what I’d choose as a vehicle of choice. I’ve been wanting to get a good bicycle and making some sort of saddle bags for it to help haul things around. I also know how to ride a horse and that’s also a possibility, but I think I still like bicycle the most. (The most you’d have to worry about is WD40, where as with a horse you have to worry about it getting the proper nutrients). Speed on either would be a problem, but not so much versatility.

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AC

i know what you mean about bringing a bike Calicade, my bike is pimped for apoc, 4 pegs goo in both tires, it even camoflouges into tall grass, now thats that i call heavy duty.

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Dave

A bike seems like a solid choice to me. I too have been wanting to get a decent mountain bike (also: fitness).

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KimJ_in_Oregon

Totally agree with the bike premise. Won’t run out of gas, small and maneuverable. If possible, I would rather stick my bikes on the bike rack of my SUV for more choices, but I’ll happily take a bike for my family in the worst case.

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AC

i might actually camp in a trailer at a rest stop, i mean, why not? no looters are going to show up in large groups at a rest stop right? And if someone does show up, just hide in the trailer, theres even drinking fountains out there. No food though, maybe you can bring a few containers of food, after all, a trailer can carry a lot.

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Dave

Most rest stops have vending machines. Crap food, but better than nothing. Some of them even have restaurants.

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AC

i was thinking about that. i just wasn’t quite sure, my parents took a 10 day trip to Sweeden, so i could’nt go on a road trip this year. So i’m trying to peice this together without putting a false statment

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Dave

No worries. I imagine there’s a lot of variance with rest stops depending on where you are.

just a guy

one of the worst vehicles for long term is the ambulance large,cumbersome,clumsly,and an extreme gas guzzler the only reason ambulances can make it trough traffic is because people know how to get out of the way,unfortunately zombies and abandoned cars dont have that ability,also ambulances are most likely to be found in zombie hot spots and they might be filled with walking corpses that the paramedics picked up

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Nom Zoms

I agree with Just A Guy. Police cars are beast when it comes to these scenarios. If only Dodge Chargers like the kind the FBI, NCIS, and other government agencies used weren’t gas guzzlers. Those thing are great other than the MPG. I think Buicks, Jeeps, Kias, Hondas,Hyundai’s, and Nissans are good cars, but gas guzzling and slow like a few of the dodges and Fords. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages, expecialy in an apocalyptic world. Any opinions on my list of slow and gas guzzling list?

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Nom Zoms

I am also thinking about the movies Olympus Has Fallen and World War Z. In both garbage trucks and box trucks, basically the bulky, yet durable, trucks were used to push through cars and zombies. Plus, you can modify them to add a snipers nest, living quarters, or like in Olympus Has Fallen, chain guns and mini guns! Still not fuel efficient, though. It’s that pesky gas. Always take double what you need. Then, if possible, tripple that. Just take as much gas as you can get, and if you modify big trucks with weapons, remember, fuel and fire DO NOT MIX! So flamethrowers could be a big no.

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Nom Zoms

Never mind. But Calicade makes a good suggestion: being minimalistic. If the zeds ain’t sound tracking, motorcycles and quads are the way to go. But if I see a guy trying to outrun zombies on a pretty pink moped, I think I have some ammo to spare. So please, ___Insert_Name_Here___, do not ride a pretty pink moped durring a zombie apocalapse, because it may not be the zombies that kill you, but maybe embarsment (Or me!!!) Just kidding, I wouldn’t kill ya for that, but I sure would try to help you get something other than that. It’s just bad!

just a guy

box trucks are a decent choice 1 they dont jackknife like 2 they are far more fuel efficient than a 18 wheeler, they have less cargo space 3 they arent as cumbersome as thier bigger cousins,but one sharp turn and they could rollover. if you are looking for a box truck make sure it has fuel flex because fuel flex can take bio-diesel,thus making fuel finding easier

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Dave

I wouldn’t think a garbage truck would have a ton of utility beyond just being big and have. At least with a box truck you have lots of room.

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Nom Zoms

You could hallow it out if you have time, which modt of the time you don’t

Dave

I don’t think you can talk about it in terms of the manufacturer. Ford makes some very efficient vehicles, while Honda makes some that aren’t as good on gas.

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just a guy

also A fire truck is probably the worst choice for a zombie survival vehicle. It’s the size of a bus, with the kind of fuel economy and maneuverability you’d expect from a vehicle that big. Buses at least make up for it with an outstanding cargo capacity, but in a fire truck, this space is taken up by pumps and other firefighting equipment that can’t be easily removed, leaving precious little room for passengers or supplies. Loot it for fire axes, hooligan bars, battering rams, other weapons and extinguishers, and whatever medical supplies it can and will carry, assuming it’s not already picked clean, then use it to block off a road.

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Nom Zoms

But always remember that back up alarms are loud, so if they’re sound detecting zombies, just leave them where they are.

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Dave

One positive – with ladder trucks at least – is that you could use it to get into and our of tall buildings and the like. But yeah, not terribly practical.

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BrickVoid

This guy is just screaming “got bitten or scratched by one of those things”, doesn’t even know it, and will probably turn at the most inopportune moment possible! 😀

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Superblok2

I think the best vehicle would be a Honda Civic or an electric car. Not my gas guzzling Ford F150. Hondas are nice quiet fuel efficient cars and they are strong make and easy to mod. Plus: most of them have trailer hitches. Electric cars would be great because of the solar-rechargable batteries. The only reason for them not to be good would be the vulnerability. They have walls as thin as a tin can so they could be super light and thus better on one charge.

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Dave

Electric cars would be good so long as the electricity stays on. If you have some way of generating power (solar, wind, etc) it’d be cool. Otherwise? Liability.

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Phantom

I’ve convinced myself a Volvo is indestructible. You can push that thing to the limit and it’ll still run. The Marauder is an interesting idea, but where am I supposed to find one of those beasts? I mean, the Top Gear guys had to go to South Africa to try one if I remember correctly.

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AC

well Lou can give out 2 clips of ammo without making a big deal about it, maybe ol’ Lou met up with batman, and batman beat the crap out of him and said, “Give me ammo, or give me death.” or, something like that

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Nom Zoms

Me neither. So Lou shoots Murphy, or does he shoot batman? And where does the two clips of ammo come from? I’m confused!!!

Tommycat101

A Humavie (I don’t think I spelled that right). The military armored vehicle. It’s got room to fit people and supplies, and it’s tough and nice speed. I don’t know about gas though…

By the way, Dave, where did you get that shotgun?

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AC

armored vehicle eh? Well being the youngest, i have the least limmited amagination, and im sure that the best vehicle would have good gas millage, not a lot of windows, spacy, but not to big, has containers for storage, has a good enough hpr engine, and last but not least, a gps/tv screen. Well all together, i think that an SUV would win out overall

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just a guy

like i said suvs have horrendous gas miledge which even with the right auto parts you would only get about 5 miles difference. you’d be seeing more gas stations than you would zombies

just a guy

an apc is probably the best millitary vehicle to use. They are usually designed to deflect 50.cal giving them the protection of a tank and many come with their own weaponry (gennerally at least one 50.cal and occaisionally a 20-30mm canon or 40mm grenade launcher). They are also a good source of supplies as they are meant to be able to support teams of 6-12 soldiers in the field for up to 48 hours.and did i mention they have decent off road capabilities too.

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ZQFMBG

I think panel 3 is the first time in the entire comic Murphy has ever changed his face.

And for a post apocalyptic vehicle, I’d have to go with the Toyota Hilux (the older ones, because I think they made a new truck and called it the Hilux too). I chose this one because what if this apocalypse was nuclear warfare and they used EMPs? Then all electrics would shut down and most cars wouldn’t work anymore. However, the Hilux is old enough that it has no electronic components in it.

Also, I once saw a video where they did all these things to a working Toyota Hilux, and they gave a guy (I think he was some sort of expert mechanic or something) a wrench and pliers I believe, to try and fix it in 15 minutes and he pretty much did it every time. One of the most extreme tests was when they put the Toyota Hilux (the same one they used in the other extreme tests, so it had already been under a lot of abuse) on top of a 10-15 story concrete parking garage, and they used controlled demolition to collapse the whole building. The man was able to get it running again, however it didn’t go very fast after that.

But that just goes to show how tough the truck is. If you had better tools then him, and maybe some spare parts, you’ll be able to keep it running for a long time. Just keep away from 10-15 story parking garages ready to blow and you’ll be fine. I’ll try and find that video again for ya’ll.

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Bane7

Don’t you remember the early days? Murphy changed his face sometime before strip 50 I think but he has done that before.

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ZQFMBG

Actually they do. EMP’s are totally intentional. An EMP is the same thing as a nuke, they just detonate it high in the atmosphere.

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Dave

I have to disagree here. An EMP is a side-effect of a nuclear detonation. You can have them without nuclear detonations. Yes, the military has found they can use this as a weapon, and have figured out ways of making it more effective, but it’s not the same thing as a nuke.

ZQFMBG

Actually my bad. Nukes that are detonated like this are called HEMPs, which are detonated hundreds of kilometers above the Earth’s surface. Apparently, nukes produce Gamma Rays which are converted into EMP in the mid-stratosphere over a wide area within line of sight to the detonation. Wikipedia is awesome.

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ZQFMBG

And you are also correct there, there are now non-nuclear EMP devices. But the device I was talking about was an HEMP, which I didn’t know it was called.

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xxbminusxx

as long as im on my own im choosing a nice mountain bike with a set of roller blades in my pack. In a group i hope to not be on the road as much as possible too many variables. If im home when the apocalypse starts ive got very good base of operations.

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Mad..

Personally I’d stay away from roller blades. Unless you are some sort of ace roller blading guru, with quick release blades you can get out of in a hurry. Also I agree with Dave… they aren’t exactly ideal for anything but nice flat roads.

You’d be better of with a skateboard in my opinion… because you can jump on and off and carry the board, and gives you the same sort of mobility that roller blades offer… you’d still want to be pretty good on a skateboard though.

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Dave

Good point about having them strapped to your feet. Seems to be that’s a liability more than anything else.

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WJS

This isn’t looking good. Lou would probably have shot Murphy by now if he was planning to, but all it would take is one of the others to come looking for Murphy and startle him…

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Mad..

To me transport is situational, and all have pros and cons.

For example a bicycle is great for mobility, stealth, easy maintenance, and no gas needed. However they offer no protection, storage is limited and anyone that has done any cycling knows how fatigued your legs can be if you need to jump off the bike and run!
Whereas a military vehicle offers protection, has good storage, should be able to off road, and you don’t get tired. However, can a civilian drive that tank/APC? and most military vehicles are gas guzzlers… that’s why its normally the guys with the best supply lines that win a war.

Obviously there are pros and cons to every vehicle, which I won’t list here because that will become long and thesis like… I have thought about this, and what I would probably go for in a apocalypse scenario is:

A camper-van type vehicle with motorbike/bicycle on the back. Gives me options for the dynamic ever changing situation I’ll probably be faced with.

A lot of people travel the country like this, once they are set up for the night, or have found a car park big enough for the camper-van they then use the smaller mode of transport to go into town, see sights etc. I have even seen them set up to tow a small 4WD vehicle… so you could even go down that path of having a camper-van towing a 4WD with some bicycles on the roof of the camper 🙂

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just a guy

one of the best alternatives to vehicles is the diesel train 1 trains are incredibly powerful , in just one they could mutilate a zombie to shreds
2 they are fast 3 they have endless cargo space (with the cars attached) 4 and they could get to places most vehicles couldnt 5 A diesel engine can be left idling unattended for hours or even days, especially since practically every diesel engine used in locomotives has systems that automatically shut the engine down if a problem such as a loss of oil pressure or coolant loss occur.

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Mad..

Again pros and cons.

Cons of a train… you are restricted to where ever the rails take you, and we see trains derail often in normal world conditions… not sure I would want to take a train for a charge when the end of the world comes… who knows what state the rails in front of you will be in.

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Nom Zoms

A lot of Zeds if it’s a passenger train or you have to enter through a station, though

AC

speaking of loosing it by the way, how do you loose it all? I like drawing dark, shadowy buildings, but when my dad statmented all of my drawins as “something i hate seeing” so he told me to draw a picture of fruit, or he would throw away all my drawings, so i drew a bowl of fruit, with a decapitated bloody hand, seeing how he reacts now.

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AC

well i really can’t draw happy pictures, and my grandpa, was abusive even if he was in a wheelchair, my dad said he used to hide in the basement from him, maybe thats what caused it

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The WarBeast

It doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle you take. With this lousy ethanol fuel all the gas will be bad in 6 months time and the cars will be unusable. Diesel will last a long time but the supplies are relatively limited compared to gasoline. Get a bicycle.

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just a guy

ha ha ha…..no suvs are the worst vehicle in a zombie apocalypse The only reason that these vehicles ever became popular was because gas used to be extremely cheap. Thanks to the spike in prices over the summer, few people are buying them anymore. This should tell you something about the usefulness of these things. Fuel economy is a horror, with even smaller, more efficient examples getting in the mid-high teens, and bigger ones sometimes sinking into the single digits. On top of that, most of these vehicles are absolutely gargantuan, while lacking the utility of their pickup truck counterparts. Finally, some of the larger examples, even those sold under entry-level marquees like Ford and Chevrolet, are filled with the same kind of high-maintenance electronics that luxury cars have. Bottom line: don’t even bother with these, unless its a good SUV, like a Jeep Commander. Examples include the Chevy Suburban, the Ford Explorer and Expedition, the Hummer H2, and the Cadillac Escalade. The best to use are the Toyota Landcruiser (in the US) and Landrover Defender (in Europe) due to their simplicity and ease of maintenance, while also achieveing a decent gas millage (the Defender TD5 can do 26-28mpg and can even come as a pick-up version). The Landrover Defender or Toyota Landcruiser are your best choice in Africa. Both are diesel, and will run on virtually any oily fuel source. An engine oil/ kerosine mixture will even keep it running for a while, and vegetable oils can also be used for long periods. The Landrover Defender with the 300Tdi engine is arguably the easiest Landrover to maintain and repair, and spares are available all over the continent. Look for tyres with an aggressive tread pattern because these will give the best performance on surfaces that might be covered in slippery zombie blood and gore, or body parts.

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just a guy

on the other hand Compact SUVs have limited cargo space, but they make up for this with superior fuel economy (often in the 20-25 mpg range) and maneuverability. Many also take a hit in off-road capability, although some, particularly those made by Jeep, are fully capable off-road (coming at the expense of fuel economy, which is in the high teens). With their small size, respectable fuel economy, limited off-road capabilities, and large cargo capacity when compared to cars, compact SUVs are perhaps the only trucks that can really be viewed as useful for lone survivors or small, traveling groups, filling a niche similar to station wagons.

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Don't touch the button

Love your comic dave. My vehicle of choice(if in your comic) would be an office chair with a motor. In reality, maybe a Honda or police van.

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