Episode 235: The Rules

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Zombie Cliché Lookout: The Way it Works Around Here

In a zombie survival situation, it’s helpful to have a set of basic ground rules that everyone in the group follows. These can do everything from avoiding detection (no loud noises, no bright lights), to keeping the peace (decision must be approved by majority vote, all decisions final), from making sure everything gets done (assigned duties) to dealing with internal problems (dissension punished by expulsion from the group).

The funny thing about rules is that, while they are extremely important, getting a diverse group to agree on them is never an easy feat. Everyone has a different idea of what’s important, and – believe it or not – a lot of people think that they’re a natural leader, and should be the one to make these sort of decisions. The bigger the group, the more difficult coming up with a set of rules is going to be.

About this Episode:

You notice how when “Dad” talks, his balloon is big and encroaches on the other panels, and then when Sam talks his balloon is really small and fairly close to him? That’s what passes for clever art in this comic.

I also juxtaposed the two characters a bit, with “Dad” floating to the left in panel three, and Sam to the right in panel four.  Again, this passes for artistic expression in my book.

Other News:

Don’t forget, Evan (formally ZombieMutts) is looking for discussion questions for July/August, when I’m out on paternity leave. If you have any brilliant ideas, make sure to drop him a line.

Discussion Question: Zombie Mashups

The zombie genre is a pretty versatile on. We have zombies in comedies, historical epics, political satires, fantasy (everyone caught up on Game of Thrones?), and anything else you can think of. So the question is, in what sort of movie/book/comic/game/etc. would you like to see zombies show up?

54 thoughts on “Episode 235: The Rules”

  1. Typo alert: Dad’s last word in panel 3’s word balloon should be “quiet”. 😉

    Also, how does he know that keeping quiet will stop zombies from overrunning the place? 😀

    I sure hope he’s got an impregnable fortress, or they’re a goner if some of the zombies figure out there’s food inside! 😀

    • BV, they’re in a Hanson Fanclub HQ. Even zeds know those places are deader than Jonathan Edwards’ political career.

      As for a setting: has there been “Zombie Pret-a-porte?” I imagine the possibilities for satirical commentary and riffing would be impressive.

      • I googled Pret-a-porte and came up with Pret-a-porter – do you mean off the shelf or off the rack type of setting? 😉

        • That is quite a movie poster.

        • Off the rack, ready to wear, yeah. “Porter” was probably what I wanted.

    • Typo fixed; thanks for pointing that out.

  2. Zombies in Space. It sounds pretty basic, but I’ve only seen it done right once.

    • When was the once?

    • You should read Containment Room 7. There is a review of it here somewhere and it was epic.

    • I was also thinking that I’d like to see Aliens dealing with Human zeds. Like the last humans escape in a shuttle only to have the virus spread on the shuttle. It lands on Mars or something and the advanced life hidden there has to deal with the zeds and whatever affects it has on thier biology and how it mutates.

      • I’d watch that.

  3. I’ve been watching a lot of “Grey’s Anatomy” with the wife lately. I think a hospital relationship drama with zombies would be good.

    • Hah, there’s one I didn’t see coming!

    • Good one Steven, they did kind of touch on that in Grindhouse if you recall.

    • I like that one. It was barely touched on in the beginning of Dawn of the Dead? The one where they end up in the mall.

      But that’d be one to watch, as doctors deal with patients coming in with the first throes of the virus and they’re quickly realizing what they’re dealing with.

      • Oh yeah, it was briefly in the remake wasn’t it! Mostly for fakeouts though.

      • In all respect, there are three types of TV shows I am sick of: cop shows, lawyer shows, and doctor shows. No amount of zombies would make me want to watch one, ever again.

        I mean, for the love of all that’s good in the world, can I get a decent television drama that’s not about lawyers, cops, or doctors, even peripherally?

        • Procedurals get pretty boring after a while. There’s not a lot of new spins on cop/doctor/lawyer shows. But old people love them on CBS (the most successful network by the way), so I don’t see them going away anytime soon.

        • Speaking of zombies, you mean?

        • Hah!

        • I can see it though, a Zombie Lawyer, advocating the rights of his clients that they have to feed on human flesh or they’ll starve.

        • So easy, even a zombie could do it?

  4. Hmmm… Not my thing. The last zombie mash-up I read was the Marvel Comics story. I thought it was terrible- not two-great-tastes-that-taste-great-together :-p

    What kind of mash-up would work? The problem I have with zombie fiction is that the author tends to elevate their threat to the level of the technology of the survivors. In Night of the Living Dead, the survivors only had one rifle; the zombies were slow and shambling. In the remake of Dawn of the Dead firearms were relatively plentiful. The zombies were commensurately more powerful. This is a crutch for bad writing. To make the story work, the zombies have to be consistent.

    To me, zombies go with the end of the world. How about zombie infestations at other times in history when people were sure it was the end of the world: bronze age Assyria (2800 BC), the first century AD, the Napoleonic wars, WWI, etc.

    • Zombies in history would be fantastic. That was part of the Zombie Survival Guide, and it was enjoyable. I’d love to see it on a larger scale (full movie, novel, etc).

    • See, if the ancient Babylonians or Romans could deal with zombies with bronze or iron weapons, it should be a cakewalk to keep them down with an M4 and a GLOCK 17.

      We’ve had Nazi zombies, but not Napoleonic zombies. Imagine the farmhouse at Waterloo, the Château d’Hougoumont, surrounded by zombies.

      • Oh I’m imagining it.

        For NaNoWriMo last year I did a zombie western. I needs a lot of editing though.

        • The best zombie western I have ever read was Jonah Hex: Two Gun Mojo by Joe Landsdale.

          That was two-great-tastes-that-taste-great-together!

      • Considerably though, people of our day and age barely know how to survive. There’s also the mentality of ‘democracy’ that people always get when it comes to leadership. Though I’m sure when talking of Romans it would be just as bad…

        • The Romans had an emperor for a good part of their history. And the Roman republic was a lot different from ours. For starters, imagine if only white, upper class, land-owning males could vote. Things would be a lot different.

        • In a lot of the country (the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest), though, you’d just need to open a zombie season, no limit. As long as there is beer and ammunition, there would be no zombies, at least if they’re the same zombies the Romans took out with spears.

        • I imagine a lot of people in my backyard (Midwest/Great Lakes) would love an open season on zombies.

        • Until the beer runs out. Then they all go home. 😀

        • Calicade, the problem is that if your zombies can be defeated by Roman soldiers, modern soldiers and police could contain them almost effortlessly. Even in places with no civilian arms, it would never get to the point that people would need survival skills.

      • Bo – try reading “Dawn of the Dreadfuls.” It is a prequel to “Pride Prejudice and Zombies” and the better of the two. Chateau surrounded by zombies it is. lol

        • Yeah, next month, when my schedule opens up.

  5. So at what point does Dad tell Sam to keep his hands off his daughter?

    As to mash-ups and zombies, there’s not a whole lot I really read and get into. I like this comic. Walking Dead and Shawn of the Dead… but there haven’t been to many others I’ve seen or seen and liked.

    But historical zombies would be cool or more sci-fi level of zombies in space. Those could be interesting.

    • Hah, another Sam/Emma relationship watch!

      Zombies in space, done right, could be very cool.

  6. Yea. Its called dead space or black opps zombies Moon Base

    • What was this in response to?

      • I think he meant to add it in reply to either you or silver fox up above

    • dead space is more alien monsters, and some people don’t want to buy call of duty(assuming that is what you are saying and you don’t mean for them to pirate it).

  7. Dave – i was looking the comic over again and I get the feeling that you used the overstepping to show how agressive and overbearing the dad is going to be. Am I getting to deep there?

  8. Victorian-Age zeds would be a good idea. Never seen it done before, but there’s a good setup, with new worlds being discovered, and strange exotic resources being sent home, the Armed Forces off every which-where, the large majority of civilians being sick weak things or portly gentlemen born with a silver spoon in their mouth. It would be amazing to see the capsize and collapse of society.

    • That would put a whole new spin on the “thin red line”

      Lines of Redcoats firing four rounds a minute at hordes of shuffling undead!

      It’s just crying out to be done…….Richard Sharpe meets the Walking Dead hehehe.

  9. Nice episode, Dave. I’m finally caught up on Bricks of the Dead!

    “You notice how when “Dad” talks, his balloon is big and encroaches on the other panels, and then when Sam talks his balloon is really small and fairly close to him? That’s what passes for clever art in this comic.”

    That is fairly clever, although it didn’t occur to me. I just assumed “Dad” the Badass (Dadass?) had more to say.

    “I also juxtaposed the two characters a bit, with “Dad” floating to the left in panel three, and Sam to the right in panel four. Again, this passes for artistic expression in my book.”

    That is pretty cool, now that you point it out. In film, it’s standard practice to have a master shot, in which you show both characters participating in dialogue – this shows the audience where they are (essentially the first 2 panels here) – and then you can do medium shots of the individual characters on their respective sides of the screen (panels 3 and 4), in compliance with the “180-degree line rule.” If a character is on the right side of the screen in one shot, according to convention, he should be on the right side in the next shot if he’s facing the same direction, unless there’s a straight-on shot imbetween the two.

    So essentially, you’ve followed film convention beautifully.

  10. I would absolutely love to see zombies in Minecraft. Yes, I know there’s the mob, but I think a dedicated zombie/wasteland survival mode. Maybe even Co-op.

    • IKR??? actually, get zombiecraft. It makes it like the COD zombie mode.

      • With the minifigures ‘The Monster’ head, I could build a small horde looking identical in a blocky-style world. The new ability for Minecraft zeds to break down doors is becoming close to Hollywood movies.

        • yeah, now the only safe option is to put a tacky block of dirt in front of it.

        • Until you have plenty of iron, anyway. Nobody’s going to break down a metal door, be he zombie or living.

  11. In the back of my head I just heard jersey shore. There was a movie called jersey shore shark attack. I watched it because I hate jersey shore. I wanted to see them eaten by sharks. So jersey shore.

    • i saw the commercial for that and almost fell out of my chair laughing. did they all get eaten?

      • Well (spoiler) no. I wish. Same happened here so I decided to watch it.

  12. That all makes sense, although I personally would be trying to clear out some space around the compound. That might take more men than he has, though.

    I dunno, pretty much any film or TV is improved by adding zombies. They’re like monkeys that way, y’know? As to something specific I’d like to see with added zombies, I couldn’t really say.