Episode 194: Oh Yeah, Zombies

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Zombie Cliché Lookout: Oh Yeah, Zombies

In zombie stories, the zombies aren’t the only issue with which the characters have to deal. No, there are always other problems, from securing food and water, to finding shelter, to interpersonal conflicts within the group. It’s almost as if these stories are trying to tell us that the zombie apocalypse isn’t going to be a picnic.

But here’s the thing. All those other issues? They kind of have to take a back seat when the cannibalistic ambulatory corpses show up on scene. It’s call prioritizing, and survivors who can’t prioritize don’t tend to last very long. The trouble comes when people get so wrapped up in their other issues that they somehow completely forget they’re standing in the middle of the street, in a city that’s been completely overrun with the walking dead. Sometimes they’re lucky enough to get a frightening little reminder, and sometimes they’re just lunch.

The weird thing about zombie stories is that the writers have to balance things out. That means that, despite the fact that there are walking corpses everywhere, people still have time to have leisurely conversations to develop their characters, and in depth fights to help add dramatic tension. Also: exposition. So much exposition. But when the writers sense that the audience is getting bored, in come the zombies to make things interesting again.

Discussion Question: New Recruits

In the zombie apocalypse, you will invariably run into other survivors, and some of them are going to want to join up with your team of survivors. How do you decide who gets in and who has to jog on? Is it based entirely on merit? Do you let in the skeezy looking guy who knows how to distil fuel, but turn away the mother of two with no practical abilities? How much emphasis do you put on your gut feelings about people?

55 thoughts on “Episode 194: Oh Yeah, Zombies”

  1. Walking dead style. I will get friends and family. When I decide I have enough people I won’t except any more. Then I will do what I have to. Anybody watch doomsday preppers. I’m suprised there hasn’t been a zombie one.

    • I haven’t seen that show, although it does look interesting.

    • I think I’d be the same Guy. I’d only want so many before the group becomes to big to manage. Even if you’re holding down a fort, there is room for only so many.

      Like I said below, no psycos but you still gotta hold your own weight.

      • Oh yeah. People get unmanageable in a goddamn hurry.

  2. Hmmm…I guess I would take a mother since she wouldn’t really have any good protection. It also depends on what kind of people I run into. For example I wouldn’t let some psycho idiot who just wants to blow away all their ammo into my group.

    • The trouble with psychos, the really dangerous ones anyway, is that you can’t always tell that they’re nuts.

      • That’s a hell of a sampling bias though. They’re only that dangerous because they take you by surprise. Most dangerous psychos you can spot if you pay attention.

  3. See, I have the opposite issue – when things get too tense and action-packed, I want some exposition to crop up. Preferably on topic, but funny is good, too.

    Scene – zombie has a tightening grip upon the arm of a 2nd-tier protagonist, and, after said protagonist shakes free of the grip by slamming the zed’s head with a rusty spade, says “Take that you stinky… barbarian!” The zombie, it turns out, is a 19th century historian and is jarred back into him old mentality briefly and quotes a German about how the English think that soap is civilization.

    Who would I take? Good exposition people. Information is power, even if I’m relying on the borrowed capital of traveling with the information people.

    • You know what that tells me, Lich? That YOLT needs a long, protracted zombie arc in it.

      • Ah, but not with only one zombie. That could get slight.

        Though who knows what being chopped up and put into a suitcase has done to ol’ Brewster Frye? Hmm…

  4. What are the chances these zombies are an elderly, aged bunch that recently turned when the local aged care place was overrun, and can only walk at 2 steps an hour? 😀

    • Easiest zombie apocalypse ever!

    • Would they even be able to bite you?

      • As long as they had their teeth in when they were zombified.

        • Denture could work, but I’d imagine more of the zeds would lose those before too long.

        • That would be really strange to have an elderly zombie, so weak and slow, gumming on someone as they try to eat.

      • legomiles and Siabur – hahahahahahahahahaha!!

    • If you underestimate them, or ignore them(like the one in the background), the group may get slaughtered. Or not, of course.

  5. A mother of two? There’s practical ability right there! Who you calling impractical, Dave? 😀

    • Well, moms do tend to know a lot, but in this specific example, she doesn’t.

      • You’ve never been a mother of two then! Especially when they’re young and at the stage where Mum will beat to death any threat that wanders too close! 😀

        • Well said BrickVoid

  6. I’m a pretty heartless guy, so I’d definately take a shady fuel-maker over a mother of two. If the children are of any use I’ll take them though. If they’re babies, they might as well be thrown to the zombies. What good does a screaming pile of smelly flesh do when you’re surrounded by the living dead?
    If I ran into a police officer or something, I’d let them join, but only after we check for infection.

    If anyone is infected, we’ll let them join as long as they tell us when they’re about to turn so we can kill them before they do.

    • Christ, yeah that’s pretty heartless.

      See, I’m a big softy. I’d like the mother of two in and probably end up getting killed for it.

  7. The tied up zombie is being real quiet. Maybe he’s up to something!

    • Yeah, they probably shouldn’t be turning their backs on him.

  8. I like some good non-zombie based occurrences (it’s why I’m such a fan of The Walking Dead) but it’s best not to get distracted.

    I don’t know about survivors. I believe groups would be best (humans are pack animals essentially) but you have to be very careful as people can be rather unfriendly at points (coming from a walking dead-style perspective mostly here), but admitably I would hardly appear useful myself. Regarding others, I would probably attempt to get my own family and then just whoever was useful, as long as they were safe to have around. Maybe not the most moral, but practical.

    • Practical people will probably live the longest.

  9. What a good question Dave!!

    As a single mom of 1, I’d side with the mommy and protect my kid from the psyco but as a mom, I think I’d be pretty fierce in the ZA. I’d kill anything that may even think about hurting my baby.

    With that said, I’d have the same expectation for the other mom and if she couldn’t keep up or help out, she’d be toast. I’d try to help her but not at the risk of my boy.

    • I like this response. I’ll help you out, mom, but you gotta keep up.

  10. As some one who knows how to distill fuel. (Bio-fuel i.e. white lightning. Being from Appalachia has its benefits) I would choose the mom with two kids.

    Two other reasons for that.
    1. I don’t just want to survive I want to thrive and to do that means I need an army. Which means lots of people. ( My long term strategy in ZA would be a lot like the strategy used to fight the aliens in the legacy of the aldenta series. They were practically zombies.)
    2. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t help them.

    • Moonshining is awesome. Hat’s off to you, sir.

    • You’re awesome daniel. But I do have to say that the army thing made me think breeding. Single mommies don’t put out so easy. Lol

  11. Damn, tough question…can’t I have them both? The major problem with larger groups is it’s easier to lose track of people, that ‘s when you get that person who’s bitten and hides it, and not a soul notices until it’s too late.
    Larger groups may be able to hold a fort down better, as long as you have the right peoples to mingle in there as well, if I was a group of just Mom’s with children I’m screwed, but add in some hunters etc…that’s the beginnings of a society. Do you really want a society though is the tough one.
    Dave…I don’t like this question, my heart wants to say save the mom…my gut is telling me to let her and the kids walk on. I hate to say it though, I’ld take her in, I’m too much a softie, distiller guy can survive better than Mom and I’ld want to give her kid’s every chance I could, just as I’ld hope someone would do the same for my own.

    • Look at this deep, thought provoking question. Not what one expects on a lego comic about zombies.

  12. I love zombies 🙂 also I would save as many survivors as i could so that way there i would be safe and have a lot of backup 🙂 plus i love the comic Dave it is so cool!!

    • Thanks Packard!

  13. hey how do u get a pic so people can see it like all of u people do like the lego images

    • http://en.gravatar.com/

  14. I hope they go get the survivors the people in red are talking about

  15. u know the cameraman the reporter and the guy from city porwer

  16. power*

    • Yeah, it’d be a shame to leave them behind, especially since people seemed excited about the reporter coming back.

  17. This is a hard one as it depends on which point and timeline of the ZA we are in and the severity of the zombie plague and what the rules are.

    Assuming it’s an initial infection and that once a handle is on it not mutating again and not an all are doomed regardless because all are infected and will rise up again and it’s just a matter of how long do you survive before dying.

    At the early stages of a ZA, it would be gather family and friends and barring that, the unfortunate every man/woman for themselves to get away and prevent being infected. After a point, you’ve got to see who else made it, rebuild and regroup. There are only so many people on this planet. X number will be bitten and turned…. so X number of zombies. X number of survivors will be able to kill off and put to final rest these walking corpses. To a point, you can effectively clear out an area and create a free zone. And hopefully we see that while it seemed for a while the dead were winning, the living will turn it around.

    The idealist in me would want to take the mother of two. That’s two new people who will have the potential to continue the human race/species. But the harsh, harsh reality is, if those two babies were really young. Then it would be like a story I heard of some refugees escaping out of Nam, the mother having to drown and kill her own baby in order to silence them so that the rest of the group could escape to freedom undetected. I wouldn’t want that in the ideal world, but a ZA would force a choice like that.

    In a ZA, everyone will have PTSD and Trauma of one sort or another as reality and society is just falling to pieces. The extreme psychos like Shane and the two at the bar that Rick & Glen encounter, I wouldn’t want. But a harshness is they’d be some of who survived and who had to be dealt with when trying to gather survivors and rebuild, regroup society. In the end, anyone living, breathing and uninfected who can hold themselves together well enough in the stress of the Brave New World that a ZA creates is who I’d want. The guy who can fight, the guy who knows stuff and once a clear, free zone is made, the people who can farm and build.

    • ” To a point, you can effectively clear out an area and create a free zone.”
      Eastern State Penitentiary!

  18. Good question.

    Well, for starters, it depends on the lines of command in the group that already exists. I would not be running a group of zombie survivors as a dictatorship, nor would anyone else I was hanging out with (I’ll avoid the scary fascists when the zombies come out to play). So there would be some sort of voting dynamic at work.

    But it if was up to me? I’ll want people who want to work together and can cooperate under intense stress. I think that’s actually more important to survival than particular combat/survival skills. I’ll take the helpful, optimistic, communicative guy over the freakish loner/ex-Navy SEAL. If zombie flicks have taught us anything at all, from the original “Night of the Living Dead” to the present, it’s that the zombies don’t beat the survivors; the survivors beat themselves through suspicion, paranoia, and internal strife.

    • “The survivors beat themselves through suspicion, paranoia, and internal strife.”

      Very well said.

  19. The weak shall be treated as my pack mules to carry my belongings.

    Once we’re low on provisions and their assistance is no longer needed they will be eliminated from the group one way or another of my choosing. So they better be good at finding supplies if they want to live.

    • My thoughts exactly!

      • Damn, you guys are hardcore.

    • All hail Lord Mutts!! And his flowie cape. Lol

  20. Accepting everyone would be a good thing. The mom and the psycho could serve as food, ant the kids as zombie bait. Serving as pack mules slipped my mind, but it’s surely an idea. Maybe they could pull one carriage or two…

    • And*, oops!

  21. one of my friends has a plan to collect as many people as he can ( from our grade eight class and from the other grade eight class and use most of them as cannon fodder.

  22. RE who do you take?: It’s nice to see some others who seem to see things more or less my way. The guys who are basically saying “If you can’t kill zombies you’re worthless to me; go out and die” freak me out.
    I’d take anyone I thought I could safely handle. I’d probably only turn away obvious and immediate threats. Most of the disadvantages people are quoting for a large group aren’t that bad, like the thing about it being easier to miss infected? Create and enforce some procedures to keep an eye on people and that’s minimised, and everyone in the group is an extra pair of eyes. I can’t stress the importance of extra eyes enough; remember Shannon?
    And just about everyone has useful skills of some sort, even if it’s only doing housework – hey, someone has to cook and clean and whatever. Poor living conditions sap morale more than any enemy ever will.