Episode 49

About this Strip:
I like to joke that these power outage strips are great to do because they help cover up my bad photography, but holy cats were those flashlight effects a pain. I’m fairly happy with the results, but there’s certainly room for improvement.

For some reason I’m endlessly amused that no one seems to know the maintenance guy’s name. He seems like he’d be a pretty important fellow at the studio; you’d think people would make some effort to learn at least his first name.

Zombie Cliché Lookout:
It doesn’t matter how modern and flashy the horror flick is, it’s still common to see directors putting their characters in the dark with only an underpowered flashlight to illuminate a tiny sliver of the screen while the rest remains shrouded in murky darkness. This plays off people’s fairly considerable fear of the dark. Sure, most of us gave up the nightlight a long time ago, but plop the average adult in a dark cave, and just see how long it takes them to start losing it.

Throw in the fact that there are flesh-eating zombies in that cave, and I’ll bet they freak out in less than a minute.

I have some experience in this regard (minus the zombies). During a geology class in college, the professor took us to a closed-down gypsum mine. After hiking in for a ways we all turned off our flashlights and just sat in the dark for a few moments. Never before have I experienced complete and total darkness. It was horrifying. I doubt we were there for even thirty seconds, but the sense of dread latched on almost immediately and the seconds crawled for what seemed like an eternity until the teacher told us to turn out lights back on.

The cheap flashlight trope is also nice because it lets us get just a hint of what could either be help of danger. Look at the maintenance guy in the last frame there: is he looking a little gray and zombified, or is that just a trick of the light? Films like Rec and the American remake Quarantine used the technique a lot, and to great effect.

17 Comments

BrickVoid

I think we’ll have to wait until Monday when the author publishes the next comic, but something tells me that’s not a trick of the light. 😀

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Replica

Good. I hope its as good as episode 42, the best bcn episode 42 acording to Replica (me). And this is the kind of story where if its 100% unsure if its a monster, its probabably a monster.

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Dave

I dunno if it’ll be that good.

The something special I have planned is in edition to the comic though, so there is that.

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BrickVoid

Dave, I’ve just found a problem with the Friday zombie creations you feature each week.

You don’t seem to have any links that go directly to the zombie photos themselves, only to the user’s name. This means I have to go hunt through their entire photo gallery to get to their zombie creation, which is a bit time-consuming.

If you could post a link to the photo gallery hosting the zombie creations along with the user’s name, that would be a great help!

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Dave

You know, I used to do that and I’m not sure why I got away from it. That’s a really good point and I’ll start doing it effective tomorrow.

Thanks, BrickVoid!

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Siabur

Once I find something that works in photoshop I either make an action out of it or a style, 1 click time savers. The flashlight effect is good.

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Dave

One of these days I need to sit down and learn how to do that. I’ve been using PS for years now and have just never bothered. It’s pathetic on my part.

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Adelaide C. F.

I realy like this one! The flashlight looks pretty realistic and the last frame looks like a work of profesional 😉

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alanB

A little late maybe but I used to regularly do live roleplay in Chiselhurst Caves in Kent, UK which are mostly old chalk mines. I loved the absolute silence and darkness when I wandered off alone on clean up days.

There’s a tour that takes in a lot more of the caves than the LRP section which I went on once and the tour guide told everyone to turn off their torches and stand quietly to appreciate the silence – while we were doing that he snook off to an old metal cabinet which he then wacked really hard with a hammer creating the biggest boom and the loudest shrieks of terror I’ve ever witnessed (I sure was glad to have had forewarning of the surprise which obviously the other tourists hadn’t).

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