Episode 159

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Zombie Cliché Lookout:
Saying goodbye, especially when you know it’s a final goodbye, is important. In a survival situation, it’s a chance at closure. It could mean getting over a loss faster, which means less time spent distracted. Of course, being in a survival situation probably means you don’t have a whole lot of time to get everything off your chest. Those hidden feelings, regrets, and thoughts left unsaid that you’ve been sitting on all these years? You’ll likely never get a chance to plow through them all before it’s too late. Goodbyes happen fast, so if you’ve got something you’ve been waiting to tell someone, maybe it’s time to stop waiting.

72 thoughts on “Episode 159”

  1. This just in “Dead Island is an upcoming film produced by Lionsgate. US movie maker Lionsgate Co-Chief Operating Officer and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake announced in a statment that it had acquired the film rights to Dead Island on September 27, 2011.[2]
    Stefan Sonnefeld who worked on Cloverfield and Prince of Persia will join Sean Daniel (“The Mummy”), who was reportedly involved with a “Dead Island” movie project early on, will produce the film.[2]
    Drake stated that “Like the trailer that will serve as its primary creative inspiration, the film DEAD ISLAND will be an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling. Like the hundreds of journalists and millions of fans who were so passionate and vocal about the ‘Dead Island’ trailer, we too were awestruck [by the trailer]. This is exactly the type of property we’re looking to adapt at Lionsgate — it’s sophisticated, edgy and a true elevation of a genre that we know and love. It also has built in brand recognition around the world, and franchise potential.” I am in zombie heaven!

    • This concerns me greatly: “an innovation of the zombie genre because of its focus on human emotion, family ties and non-linear storytelling.”

      Good zombie stories are about human emotion and family ties, not zombies. The non-linear storytelling could be a neat gimmick, but it’s not a core thing. The fact that they don’t understand that tells me they don’t take the genre seriously in the least. Jumping in on the zeitgeist wagon.

      • I think the mug deserves to be on the Character Bios page. 😉

        • Whoops, this was supposed to be down a little 😛

        • No worries. We all love the mug. Second only to Scrimshaw.

        • Lol a film…Well it was a novel before the game. Or the novel was based on the game WHATEVER!

        • There’s a novel too? Good lord!

        • Now we just need a TV series, then there will be everything!

        • Don’t forget the radio show.

      • ” non-linear storytelling.”

        Translation. Flashbacks, dream sequences or perhaps future story lines that may never happen. This was the deathblow to shows like Lost and Heroes.

        • God Heroes was disappointing. So much promise.

        • My wife still loves “Heroes” and has all the seasons on DVD. I watched the first and second, with the third so annoying after two or three eps that I quit. I hear that the AV Club recaps are funny…

          I think it was when I argued that Mohinder’s superpower was gullibility that she gave up trying to sell me on it. Gack, what a failed premise.

        • Hah….I don’t think I stuck around long enough to see it the formidable ability to be duped as I gave up pretty early. Sylar and Peter were unbelievably bad actors and I just couldn’t buy into their roles.

          Sylar was portrayed like he had a fairly severe learning disability while Peter always seemed to be doing a very poor impersonation of Keanu Reeves.

          And this is coming from someone who championed Alias and The Sarah Conner Chronicles.

        • I gave up on Heroes, like Lich, after the first couple of episodes of the third season. I kept saying, “This is just a sophomore slump, it’ll come back”. It didn’t.

          Also, like Mutts mentioned, the dude playing Peter was one of the worst actors I’ve ever seen. Every time he was on screen it was like the show was challenging me to not change the channel.

      • Hold on. Frankly, if a Zombie story is primarily about humans, it’s not very enjoyable. That’s why a Zombie show (like 24, but with zombies) would never work. It’s the same thing as that Terra Nova show, I accidentaly turned that on last night, and I didn’t see a dinosaur for about 10 minutes. Mind, I only watched it for ten, but that besides the point. The majority of it was focusing on relationships (as in, Bob wants to go out with Sue, but….) It’s like me saying “Lets make a comic about a Depressed News Person!” and then focusing the comic on the mental health of his cat.

        • Name me a zombie movie that’s mostly about the zombies. I’ll go over a few of my favorites:

          Night of the Living Dead – primarily about the conflict between Ben and Cooper

          Dawn of the Dead – primarily about the characters re-establishing life, and then refusing to let go of it in the face of overwhemling danger

          Day of the Dead – primarily about the scientists versus the military, with the main characters stuck in the middle

          Shaun of the Dead – primarily about Shaun growing up and getting his life in order

          28 Days Later – primarily about the lengths people have to go to survive, and if they can still be human despite it

          28 Weeks Later – primarily about how the military – or people in general – simply can’t plan for or contain all contingencies.

          I could keep going. The zombies are cool, but I can’t really think of a story where their the focus is on the zombies.

        • I can name two books that are really only focused on zombies .

          One is called Zombie Ohio and its terrible

          Another one is called Dying to Live: Last Rights by Kim Paffenroth.

          Follow me here…
          It’s the third book in the series to get to this point but some zombies can talk, reason, feel emotions and express them through speech to body language.

          As ridiculous as it sounds Kim made it work and it’s nothing short of brilliant. The right story teller can make anything work but it’s rare to be able to pull some things off. Kim is one of the smartest people on the planet and writes text books along with teaching phd courses.

        • They’re making 28 Months later

        • Dave- I really liked Night of the Living Dead. The characters weren’t too sane (especially Barbara!), but the whole storyline of the truck, the other families, and the kid being infected makes it a favorite for me.

          Nekrospike- Are you serious?! 😀 Any idea when it will come out?!

        • Night of the Living Dead is in my top three of all time (the other two being Goodfellas and Duck Soup, for those keeping score at home). It’s just a tremendous movie, especially considering who, when, and by whom it was made.

          I’m totally on board for 28 Months Later. I’d also be up for a prequel, 28 Minutes/Hours Later.

  2. Need chainsaw action. Now.
    Also, the group is not giving the mug enough credit. Look at it! It’s out there on the front line holding the barricade in place!

    • The mug plays a pretty pivotal role in Episode 160.

    • Whoot! Chainsaw!

      Will we get to see Jeff wading into a horde of zombies with his chainsaw?

      • I solemnly swear, Jeff will attack zombies with his chainsaw.

  3. Wait where’s Gene?

    • He took off all ready; Ted is lagging behind for whatever reason. Barb actually came back to grab him.

  4. I definitely agree that chainsaw action should be happening sooner rather than later. If goodbyes are so important, maybe Dave should come back to them in some sort of flashback sequence or something similar.

    Right now, the story is starting to really bore me and when that happens I stop visiting webpages until it’s passed or in severe cases, stop visiting entirely. I sincerely hope Wednesday will have lots of chainsaw action!

    Over to you, Dave! 😀

    • Jumping ahead to the action and then using flashbacks for character scenes isn’t what this comic is about. This is story and character development, occasionally punctuated by zombie action.

      That said, the chainsaw does see some use in Episode 161. I think everyone will be pleased by this.

      • One more week.

        • Hah.

          Remember, it’s the journey, not the destination.

      • This is BORING – I repeat, B O R I N G! I don’t mind character development if it’s not at the expense of a great zombie terror about to unfold. Most successful movies really don’t spend this much time on one person, they just go through very short, very fast scenes. I would expect no less of BotD! I sincerely hope you speed future character\ development cycles up a lot, Dave! I’m coming back to BotD to see zombie action happening, and I expect that you will want that too!

        Either that or publish more episodes of BotD, I could quite easily see where you could shoot more character developent scenes as weekly filler, if you add in 3 strips extra per week, you could keep the character development progressing while moving the story itself long at a reasonable pace.

        I really hope BotD can leap ahead in terms of getting down to the nitty-gritty of zombie action, and soon! 161 can’t roll around soon enough for me! 😀

        • I appreciate that you want action, I do, but I think little scenes like this are important. So far in the story, Ted has been a self-obsessed ass. Here he’s seeing the sacrifice that a colleague is making for him, and is re-evaluating his priorities and how he treated Jeff in the past. Is Ted growing, or is this a short aside before returning to the norm? We’ll see. The ambiguity helps make him a more interesting and dynamic character. Without it, he’s just the same self-obsessed asshole he’s been since the first episode.

          And I don’t think scenes like this exist “at the expense” of action. These things are not mutually exclusive. Doing this episode with Ted doesn’t mean I can’t do another episode with Jeff kicking ass with a chainsaw.

          I never intended for BotD to be week after week of zombie slaughter. Because that sort of thing cool for a couple of weeks, and then completely tiresome. The drama in a zombie story doesn’t come from visceral action, it comes from putting people in a box, poking them with sticks, and seeing how they react, both to outside threats and to each other. The action is important, and gives weight to other aspects of the story, but it is by no means everything.

          In terms of doing more comics in a given week. Let me put it this way: I work a full time plus job. I’m generally in the office 50 or so hours a week. I also do work on the side building and maintaining websites, which is what funds the comic. I’m trying to grow this business with the eventual goal of being self-employed. My wife works about a 60 hour week, we have a two year old son, and I love spending time with them. We’re also getting our house in order to put it up on the market in February.

          Each comic takes me about a half-hour or so to put together, with episodes like 161 that have more action taking about twice that. Could I do it faster, and possibly sacrifice some quality? Probably, but I’m not going to do that. Could I drop some of the other balls I’m juggling to get some extra free time for the comic? Not right now, anyway.

          I’d love to do a five day a week comic, but it’s just not in the cards right now. I’m trying my damnedest to do three days a week (the Bonus Features thing, while fun, is a bit of a test run here). Maybe I’ll be able to, maybe I won’t. Time will tell.

          In the meantime, I’m sorry if you think this is boring. It’s the story I want to tell.

        • One thing you might want to correct is the total lack of noise on the other side of that door. If a bunch of zombies are about to break through on the other side, one thing you can be sure of is that they’re making a hell of a racket! Last I checked, your zombies weren’t silent ninja attack zombies! 😀

        • There’s only so much space in a panel, though – each bit of “noise” would eat up image. One of the many things I appreciate about BotD is the amount of space given to the image rather than filling it with text like a certain strip I make does. Wait, what?

        • Pssh, whats wrong with kids these is the fact that all they want is action..
          -More old man like grumbling- I’m to old for this, in my late teens and I have to look at this!?
          -Throws shoe at kid on yard-

        • Like Lich says, the lack of sound effects behind the door is primarily a question of economy of space. I don’t like a crowded frame, so my thing is to show you what’s going on, and then trust you to keep that in mind going forward.

          Remember the Bonus Features comic with Klaus the zombie wrangler? That’s what the comic would be like if I constantly added sound effects and zombie dialog. It’d be crazy overwhelming.

  5. One of the things I hate the most about final goodbyes is when it happens in video games, especially RPG’s like the Final Fantasy games. Usually there will be a strong character that will join your party and then you decide to give him/her your strongest weapon(s)/armour only to find out that they get killed off later in the game by some event. While the game guides are fairly good at explaining the point at which you should unequip your character, sometimes you decide to avoid the guide because it includes spoilers. That’s why I usually save my game from now on when I reach a point where an event may occur.

    • So when the character dies, you can’t just pick up his Plus Ten Sword of Swording? Does he fall into a chasm or something?

  6. Since we’re in a hospital setting at the moment, I’ve got a related question for Dave: In BotD, if a patient who has no apparent brain functions registering gets bitten, IE they’re considered brain dead or not expected to wake up, would that bite kill them and turn them into a roaming zombie or not?

    Would it also be the same for patients in some sort of coma?

    • A comma zombie.

    • Yeah, people in comas or with brain trauma should reanimate, providing the brain trauma isn’t too severe. For instance, if a person is both completely paralized an in a completely vegetative state, they might reanimate, but like the faculty to actually do anything.

  7. Comments on this strip matching panel 4. Subtle and intentional joke by Dave knowing what the reaction would be. Genius is rarely understood in its time.

    • “Genius” is almost certainly pushing it, but I appreciate the kind words.

      • You just don’t understand IMO.

        • Silly Dave! Doesn’t even know.
          -Snicker snicker, nudges zombie to encourage snickering-

  8. I wonder if he will turn before the zombies got to eat him. Will they back off and treat him as one of thier own? Will it confuse them enough to let the others get away? The suspense is killing me!
    BTW – I love the character development and the blood-thirsty throng needs to chill. lol

    • Then he could team up with the horde and hunt down Gene, Ted, and Barb. Twist!

  9. off topic

    Walking Dead is now streaming on netflix for those who want to see it again.

    friendly service announcement from botd.com

    • Also, they’re going to have a marathon of the whole first season before this Sunday’s premier. So if anyone missed it, here’s your chance to get caught up.

      And bringing this back up: which would you guys prefer, live blog of the premier, regular review the next day, or both?

      • Looks like it…This Sunday, OCT 16TH is going to be a day of Walking Dead. Looks like they are playing all 6 episodes of season 1 leading up to the season 2 premier. Kind of odd..you would think they would build up excitement by a 6 week catch up but whatever.


        As for the blog. I personally would preder a review or whatever the next day. Mainly because I may miss the show in real time.

        • Right on.

          I requested screeners from AMC so I could get my reviews posted at midnight, but never got a response. Ah well.

        • We both struck out…I requested a free can of “Tactical Canned Bacon” to review and was ignored as well.

        • Bastards.

        • It was a stretch and a very long long long shot but worth a try.

        • I’m sure if the New York Times requested a review sample, they’d get it. Double standard!

        • Liberal media wins again

        • -Grumble grumble- Damn liberals..

  10. Not that I don’t like this episode, I mean it’s great, but it’s dragging a bit at the moment. If I don’t see some chainsaw action on wedensday I shall explode…:D

    • I can’t promise chainsaw action on Wednesday, but I can say this is the last of the heavy dialog we’ll see for a week or so.

      • YAY!

  11. I feel as though they could have put the couch next to the half-wall (the one by the vending machine), and push and drag the vending machine next to it, creating a barricade. I’m sure these burly men could have moved the vending machine.

    P.S. And then saved the mug!

    • That’s a pretty good layout. One thing to note is that the half-wall goes all the way around the vending machine. It’s be more work to pull that thing out, but the resulting barricade would be even stronger.

      I kind of wish I had done it that way now. Ah well, hindsight is 20/20 and all that.

  12. Hmm? is My new gravatar working?

    • 🙁 Negatory. I must look into the problem!

      • Looks different to me. Same zed from series 1 just a different pic right?

        • Nope! I think it’s working now.

        • Working now, and it’s glorious!

        • LMAOO!!!

  13. Hey I was reading the comments and I really appreciate what your doin especially since you have a lot on your plate and yet you still find time to do this epic zombie comic i think its awesome and you seem like a really awesome dude too keep it up!
    PS that guy seemed kinda unreasonable 😛

    • Thanks Mason. I put that up not to elicit sympathy or anything, just to explain why there can’t be more BotD. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun too. If I wasn’t enjoying myself with this comic, I wouldn’t be doing it.

      BrickVoid isn’t unreasonable. He wants to see some action and he’s getting impatient. I think he’ll be pretty happy once everything is said and done.


    • Wrong page.. ._.