Episode 436: It’s Hard

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Painful Past, Painful Future

George Santayana once said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” This is usually paraphrased as “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I do like this paraphrasing for what it’s worth, but I also think it profoundly changes the message. Past and history, while similar, have vastly different connotation. People tend to think of their lives as having a past. History seems to be saved for bigger things: the Civil War, the fall of Rome, etc. Because of that, the quote is usually interpretedĀ  in terms of global history: stop madmen like Hitler before they get too powerful, and that sort of thing.

But of course, it applies to events big and small. When you make a mistake, you have an opportunity. You can turn that mistake into a learning experience and better yourself, or you can wallow in it. That’s often easier said then done when it comes to extremely painful personal experiences, but there it is.

So what does all this have to do with zombies? After all, if you make a mistake when trying to survive a zombie attack, odds are you won’t get an opportunity to learn from it. I guess you should just try to learn from other people’s mistakes and history. Yeah, let’s go with that.

About this Episode:

It’s kind of weird transitioning from shooting something like that dark, claustrophobic tunnel to this bright, open chapel. Not only is the lighting different, I also have a lot more opportunity when it comes to framing my shots. I gave into that temptation a bit with the first panel. And this is the cropped version, the original shot was even wider.

Discussion Question: Coping with Trauma

Let’s say you and Sam are buddies. What sort of advice would you give him for coping with and getting through the trauma he experienced with his wife? Or, more generally speaking, what sort of strategies could a survivor use to deal with the psychological assaults that would come part and parcel with surviving the zombie apocalypse?



This “no second chances” thing is exactly what I don’t like about Dave’s storyline. It’s like something was set in concrete and dumped overboard to settle on the seabed to slowly acquire barnacles forever.

Dave could change that, but it’s up to him, I personally would favor there being a way for someone to come back from the walking dead but with the ever-present risk that if they die again, they would become a zombie again.

I also don’t much favor the person dying and automatically coming back as a zombie, I’d much rather that they must be infected somehow beforehand, whether known about or not, in order to become a zombie in the first place. It’s a logical progression in any form of infectious disease, something had to exist to start it in the first place, and there should always be a small chance that the survivors can learn of what started it and wipe it out if they’re doing the right thing. Whether it happens in the comic or not is another thing but it should always be there in some form or another.


I honestly dont know what I could say to Sam other than something tropey and stupid like “She would want you to survive” or “You need to live on for her” I mean really, they guy has just lost EVERYTHING. This is one of those philosophical points that I get hung up on when people argue that a purely evolutionary path brought humans to self-awareness. Animals survive simply because their instinct tells them to. They dont need a “reason” to go on, they just do. Humans, on the other hand, can see the pointlessness of their situation and actually evaluate the feasibility of choosing not to survive. In that way, sentience becomes an impediment to survival. I mean, at this point, what keeps poor Sam from just eating a bullet and ending it all. In his eyes whats the point of taking one more step. The only thing that I can see keeping him alive is that his group needs him. If Sam and I were part of the same group then I would try to impress upon him that we need every warm body to work for the overall survival of the group. I know he seems kind of cowardly and worthless and not worth the resources he would consume to keep him alive, but then I would try to impress upon him that he has a responsibility to rise to the occasion and step up.


Ha, I just noticed that the golden decoration pieces on each side of the altar are actually… fish.
I wonder what kind of weird cult these guys are havingā€¦


I’m sure this is some kind of reference to Scrimshaw. Speaking of which… it’s been a while since we last saw him!


I don’t know if somebody pointed this out already, but discussion question: Let’s SAY you and Sam are buddies.

Nom Zoms

I’m honestly stumped. This is hard to do in any normal scenario, but in the middle of the apocalypse?!? A really tough subject, sir!


Indeed it is. I’ve always been in awe of people who can comfort others in times of trouble. It’s not an ability I have, that’s for damn sure.

Nom Zoms

Agreed. But it is easier to explain this to a child because they don’t completely comprehend the subject. It’s kind of a like the “They’ve gone to a better place” kind of thing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>