Episode 736: Spread Out

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Sheep Dogging

Once again we’re seeing how one of the zombie’s key weaknesses can be exploited. By acting only on the instinct to feed, zombies can be easily distracted and led away. This is, of course, not without risk. Should even one zombie see or hear prey other than the diversion they’re supposed to be following, the game is up. Zombies will track the closest, most available prey. Again, this can be used against them, but can also easily backfire.

The trick is simply getting things started. If you can manage to capture the attention of only a couple of zombies, the others will quickly follow. After all, if one zed has a lead on prey, the others would be foolish not to join in on the hunt.

About this Episode:

I always end up loving episodes that feature a lot of zombies mobbed up somewhere. It just looks cool and it reminds me of why I started this silly little comic to begin with. It is, however, quite a pain in the ass to pull off. Any episode featuring multiple zeds take much longer to shoot than a typical episode, and the more undead on scene, the longer it takes.

The big problem is that I can’t keep the mob too static. They have to move around a bit between shots. Not all of them, certainly, but enough to make it seem like an actual crowd. The other thing that eats up time is the fact that I’m clumsy and tend to drop a figure at least once per episode, and that figure typically knocks over a bunch of others. I then have to reference my previous photos to figure out where everyone was supposed to be.

I guess this whole operation would be easier if I wasn’t such a spaz.

Discussion Question: Zombie Pied Piper

Let’s hear your ideas on how you would lead a group of zombies away, and what you would do with them once they started following.

7 Comments

BrickVoid

I suppose if Dave’s zombies are true to form, they’re probably going to forget where the last time they say prey was, or have a lot of difficulty remembering it unless it attracts their attention again.

They probably have some instinctual tendency to check certain areas for signs of prey, but hopefully these zombies will wander off and disperse. Of course, they might disperse too far, meaning Barb might have her work cut out for her if these zombies merge into other hordes. 😀

How far can one get in Dave’s webcomic, anyway, before running into more zombies? 😀

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Dave

Good thoughts here. You are correct about their memory and dispersal. They will chase things away and not really “remember” that they were hunting something before. They way it works in my mind is that they can only really handle one thing at a time. They’re chasing one thing, and if something else comes along that first thing is abandoned in favor of the second. That said, they could always re-notice the first target.

For your other question, the zombie hordes aren’t really predictable, nor are they evenly distributed. You’d be more likely to run into one in a more densely populated area, but because they tend to group together and wander, you just never know.

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BrickVoid

As for a simple zombie noise trick, how about a can or other enclosed object that keeps rattling inside? If weighted correctly, and positioned in such a way that rolling it tends to keep the momentum going, they could be found weeks later staring at a can they think has something to do with food! 😀

Reply
Dave

Hah, that’s a great mental image. I’ll bet it wouldn’t take much to rig up a small actuator to a solar charge to keep the can shaking.

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Darg

I have yet to see it, but I’d love to see a zed unsuccessfully attacking a mirror repeatedly because it mistakes it’s reflection for prey.

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