Zombie Cliché Lookout: Message Movies
When an artist (and I’m using the term pretty liberally here) makes a statement about something, it almost always tells us more about the artist’s perception than the thing he/she is making the statement about. George Romero is an excellent example of this. Everyone remembers the anti-consumerism messages in the original Dawn of the Dead (they mysteriously disappeared from the 2004 remake), but Romero tends to push something in most of his films. The best example of this is the incredibly uneven Diary of the Dead, in which Romero uses practically every aspect of the film to decry the dangers of new media. I didn’t learn a damn thing about new media while watching Diary, but I learned a whole lot about Romero and his feelings about the way media is changing in the internet age.
About this Episode:
Okay, so we’re seeing some characters who have strong religious feelings. This was hinted at a bit before (remember when Emma said something about how they hadn’t been saved?), but this is where we’re diving in with both feet. Religion is obviously a very touchy subject. People who have faith in their religion don’t tend to like it mocked, while atheists are often irritated when they perceive religion being foisted upon them. I’m not trying to do either here.
In zombie and post-apocalyptic stories, religion is often used in various ways. Sometims it’s a positive thing: religion brings people together and gives them hope in difficult times. But more often religion is the cause of more problems, generally cults who act as secondary or tertiary antagonists.
Bricks of the Dead is going to cover religion through the lens of the clichés in classic movies, novels, games, and comics. Please don’t read to much into my personal feelings about faith, or specific religions from these episodes. I am agnostic, and I don’t generally like to talk about religion at all. It is, in my opinion, a very personal thing, and your religious view (or lack thereof) are none of my business.
End of disclaimer.
Discussion Question: What’s the Best Religion?
Hah, just kidding.
The Real Discussion Question: Pets in the Zombie Apocalypse
I’m a dog person. I don’t have a dog now, but I’m sure as hell going to get one once things in my life settle down a bit. Probably a German Shepherd because, well, I like GSDs.
At any rate, having a pet could have all sorts of benefits and drawbacks in the zombie apocalypse. Ultimately, would you prefer to have an animal companion with you, or would the drawbacks be too much? If you do opt for a pet, what sort of animal would you want (dog, cat, beat with chainsaw arms, etc.)?
I made some updates to the site yesterday that will enable me to do some other things I’ve been toying with for quite a while. Unfortunately, some of the look and feel of the site was changed in the process. I’m sorting things out slowly, please be patient.
“Discussion Question: What’s the Best Religion?”
Haha, I think this site would crash from the number of resulting comments. I think if there’s any topic that should never be discussed on the Internet, it’s religion. I hope no one sees that, and quickly scrolls down to comment without reading the rest. You should be more careful with your large boldened text! 😉
I really like the lighting you’ve done here, it sets the scene perfectly. Also, that cross design is simple, but it looks great! The chapel overall is very nicely built. I was actually toying with getting to the topic of religion in Zombie Outbrick, but predictably, you’ve beat me to the punch.
I have a handful of topics I generally won’t discuss. Off the top of my head:
2. Politics (exceptions for certain specific items)
3. Money (how much you make, what your mortgage is, credit, etc)
I have found that no good came come from talking about any of these items, especially with people you don’t know terribly well.
Sam should be wary of religious zealots! 😀 I wonder how long it’ll take him to finish the set for the exterior of the church? 😀
*’Him’ should be Dave, sorry.
Hah, I was wondering if you meant me or “The Colonel”.
Yeah, in zombie movies, religious folk are generally pretty dangerous, for one reason or another.
Well, there are militaristic religious folks, and pacifistic religious folks. Most religious groups I’ve read about tend to go one way or the other, and the militant ones tend to be dangerous. I’ll give you one guess which ones are likely to survive in a zombie situation…
A chapel was the last thing in mind when he was to show the “compound”. I expected them showing off an arsenal but, well, can’t make everyone happy.
Biggest concern on having a pet would be, how do you controll him/her? If it is a fish or hamster, it is quite simple, but owning a dog or cat in this type of civilization is hard already, I hardly imagine them in Zombie Apocalypse. It is having another survivor in the group, needs feeding, water and someone to take care of him/her and someone to look after as well. The are also a concern for we won’t know until it happens( we all know it will sooner or later) if they can be affected by the virus as we will. If they are, they would need to be held in special treatment for you can’t tell them don’t lick yourself, you will get sick. This being very unlikely for human viruses are rarely or not compatible with animal DNA but they can transmit viruses in fur or in bites. All is rspeculation by my part.
On the other hand, dogs can be used to gather food in hunts, for the are natural trackers and hunters. They can be great ways to cheer you up in times of dismay. When you pat and scratch a dog you become a happier person. Really, look it up if you like. In the case they don’t get sick from the virus they will be a great defence and alarm against not only zombies but unpleasant visitor such as looters and others. At the end of their life, even if it shall hurt you deep in your heart, they are a also a source of food. Guess why there were very little dogs after WWII in most of Europe.
Still I have not answered the question, so here it is. Yes I would take a pet, my dog Sam. Not to eat him, but for us to go on until we both go down.
Very well thought out response, Phantom. I tend to think that the good outweighs the bad.
However, the other thing to consider is how you would deal with losing the animal should something happen. Losing your pet is extremely traumatic in good circumstances, I’d hate to imagine it during the zombie apocalypse.
Oh, and just because the chapel is his favorite spot doesn’t mean they don’t have an arsenal elsewhere.
Soooooooo, wil we see the arsenal??? 🙂
I’m not saying there is an arsenal, just that this doesn’t rule one out.
Around these parts, a church would make a fine command center, if you have enough people to hold it (and you don’t have a moral aversion to squatting). New churches have to have seismic ratings. Earthquake-proof=study as hell. That’s a home run.
We have a lot of churches around here pushing a thousand years old. That means solid stone construction, small, high windows, and really heavy doors. You could pound on one with your bare hands for years, and not make a dent.
I currently own 2 dogs. A boxer and a dalmation.
I own a cat. You’ve seen it before Dave, on my Gravatar picture.
Indeed I have. I believe I even commented on it at one point.
My dog Lucky is a German shepherd /chow mix. She was a rescue, they had found her living on the streets nursing a litter of pups. She has been very loyal and protective, of our whole family. I wouldn’t want to go through any kind of apocalypse without her.
Also I really like the chapel build. Simple yet elegant.
GSD/Chow would make for a beautiful dog, I would imagine.
She is beautiful, which for some reason makes strangers want to walk up and pet her. I don’t understand how people fail to process the fierce bark and ‘Beware of Dog’ sign.
People just walking up to strange dogs and reaching for their faces never ceases to amaze me. Even if you know the dog is friendly, it’s still a dog. Hold your hand out, kneel down, and let the dog come to you. Don’t make a dog nervous or uncomfortable. Oh, and what about maybe asking the owner first if it’s okay to approach the animal?
People can be stupid.
Before I do anything else, I want to say… Updates look awesome!!! Love the colors buttons.
Thanks Angie. Most of that stuff (buttons, link text, etc) are all stock. Eventually I’m going to build a custom theme.
FYI – That first panel isn’t just a black rectangle. It’s a photo just like the rest, only really, really dark.
super detailed there Dave. Did you really turn off the lights or do you use software to darken the picture?
I struggle to use the photo editing software that came with my laptop. that you can put this together with pictures is way impressive.
Tried both. The no-lights version didn’t look good, so I ended up taking the shot with full lighting, then adding a black overlay at 97% opacity.
Just making a black rectangle would have saved loads of time 🙂
Haha, don’t worry, I’m not a timesaver either, especially when it comes to lighting. I actually use both Photoshop and actual lights to get the lighting effects in the darkened office Chris has entered in ZO most recently. I actually have to Photoshop the light from the doorframe (that couldn’t actually be there and allow the camera enough space to shoot 90% of the time). If there’s one way to waste time on a zombie comic, it’s Photoshopping the lighting in every panel.
Anyway, did you lighten it up? I can see it a little better now…
Hah, I would never have known.
Sure enough, I was able to take that rectangle into Photoshop and un-darken it a little, and there’s Dadass and Sam looking toward the cross in a shot similar to panel 2. Perhaps you should have just used a black rectangle, or else not have made the image so dark. Still, I commend you for attention to detail!
Hah, yeah. I honestly don’t know why I bothered. I guess just to see if anyone would notice, and then I got impatient and gave it away.
I could give a whole seminar on wasting time.
Yeah, things like that can be frustrating – sometimes you just have to tell your audience what you’re doing.
And I would certainly listen to said seminar, and then realize that I already knew most of the topic matter. 😉
Do what I do: give him an interesting hat.
Dadass? I love it!!
Dave – we should vote:
Sgt. Angus McBadass
You guys realize I’m intentionally dragging our revealing his name just to keep getting awesome names like “Dadass” and “The Colonel”.
Thanks angelina, I thought it made for a nice abbreviation of “Dad the Badass.” 😉
And haha Dave, I bet you are! No one ever comes up with interesting names for the Boss in Zombie Outbrick, you should count yourself lucky!
Colonel Angus McBadass Dadass (retired) for his full title 🙂
I have a dog. I’d still want a dog in the apocalypse. Dogs are good. 🙂
Hah, dogs are good. What sort of dog do you have, Steven?
Black lab/hound dog mix. Looks like a long, lean lab with big, floppy ears, sad eyes, and a white blaze on the chest and chin.
She’s awfully cute.
I couldn’t trust an animal for anything to be honest. Though it might be helpful to have a pet, the price of having to keep one around ranges up to life staking.
Calicade… you have trust issues! lol
Well all of my dogs I’ve ever had tend to bark as loudly as possible at night, and always found a way to get out into the streets.. We finally set up a fence.. I couldn’t trust one to stay.
so sad! perhaps you should switch to cats. they are super snugglely and actually get a bad rap.
I know.. I do like cats, but I’m the only person out of my ENTIRE (In the most literal sense possible) that likes cats.
My dog isn’t terrible bright. Pretty, though, being half Golden Retriever and Half Newfoundland. Would take way too much food. She’s 3 and eats a lot, even just being 90 pounds. It’s another person though. I don’t know if I’d take her or not…
I feel that a Black Lab mixed with a smaller dog would be great mix.
Only ninety pounds? That’s a pretty big dog.
I have a beagle terrier mix that is a bark-aholic. He is really protective (to a fault really) and I’m pretty sure that he would die fighting for me. And, he would die early. I’d be heartbroken.
Besides, unless your dog is already trained to help you hunt, will you really have time to train a dog during the ZA?
I’m thinking a cat would be the best pet companion-wise since they are independent enough to find their own food but love a good belly rub. They also are always scanning for noise and would be able to alert you with their body language.
Yeah, a barking dog would be a double-edged sword. They could alert you to dangers, but they could also draw danger to you with the noise.
My pet dinosaur will help during the apoc.
Hah. Now everyone is jealous of Nikolai.
I’d be jealous… but that’s one heck of an extra mouth to feed.
Yeah, and if it’s a carnivore, you’ll start looking mighty tasty soon enough.
Very true. And if dinosaurs will eat rotting meat, what’s to stop one from chowing down on a horde of zeds? That wouldn’t end well… (although it would be quite convenient at first…)
Hah, at first. Having a zombified dinosaur trying to eat you isn’t exactly my idea of a good time.
It’d probably make for great entertainment value in a cheesy zombie flick, though. 😉
It’s one of those things that you know would be stupid, but you’d watch it anyway, just to make sure.
but, as a zombie, who’s to say that it can move as quick as a dino, and not at a shamble like other zeds, still frightening, but not quite as frightening as zombie sharks.
Living in the middle of the country, where we have no salt water, and consequently fewer sharks than my coastal brethren, I say bring on the zombie sharks!
Zombie Landsharks… I’m just waiting for SyFy to run out of stupid giant monster movie ideas and get to that one!
(Also, who turned out the lights? Everything’s gone dark! Although part of me rather likes it this way – there’s much less visual clutter in the comments section.)
you may be safe from zombie sharks, but if sharks can be zombified, why not birds?
Haha, if humans can’t run when zombified, how would zombie-birds fly? And if they couldn’t fly and they were just scraping around on the ground on tiny toothpick legs, I doubt they’d pose much of a threat! 😉
Can dinosaurs get infected???
Well, if we’re talking about a reality in which dead people walk around and try to eat people, that also includes living members of a species that has been extinct for millions of years… why not? 😉
Best conversation ever
I’m totally making a new comic, and starting with this.
I’d read that!
Zombie dinosaurs…….BRING IT ON! 😀 😀
I am not really a dog guy. Real life is not Mad Max or, (even better)A Boy and His Dog. In real life you have to feed the dog (or eat the dog- “A dog is a fine meal”). Unless you have a working dog, it’s likely to be a noisy, undisciplined hot mess. It won’t likely go down like the dog in the DotD remake. The bad guys will notice a yappy mutt.
I kept thinking the dog in the Dawn of the Dead remake was going to get eaten – I still don’t understand how he got by undetected.
I think a lot of the dog/no dog argument depends on how zombies differentiate (or rather, if they differentiate) between dogs and humans – do they try to eat anything that moves? Or just anything that doesn’t smell like rotten meat (other zombies)? If their brain (and senses) are decaying, and humans can’t generally smell each other (well, in the apocalypse, without soap and running water, that’s probably different…), how do they tell what to run after and attempt to ingest?
The zombies in DotD obviously needed some distinguishing, uniquely-human characteristic to attack that the dog apparently lacked.
There are worse threats than zombies, even in a post-apocalyptic world. Maybe the zombies will ignore the dog; but will the other survivors with whom you are competing for survival? How quiet can a dog be when the chips are down? I mean, if you have a Schutzhund-trained Malinois that’s one thing; but if you have a house pet, forget about it.
(in the previous comment, I actually meant to write, “what to shamble after and attempt to ingest.”)
my point exactly.
This discussion question has given me flashbacks of I am Legend lol survivor with his dog and you can see how it worked for him It actually did though but it had plus and minus dog saved his life but their was the heartache of the dog sacrificing her life for her master! This to me is a good example of pros and cons of having a cainine companion
“Everyone remembers the anti-consumerism messages in the original Dawn of the Dead (they mysteriously disappeared from the 2004 remake)…” Really, sir? People in a Shopping Mall being chased by brain-dead eating machines (or dead brain-eating machines, as may be the case)? I thought the message was being hammered home with a cricket bat, myself! 🙂
Oh, and a helper monkey trained to drag bloody meat away from me a very quick speeds is my pet of choice! I’d call him “Decoy”.
Quick question- Where could the light-switch had been so that the Sarge (or whatever the hell his name is), could be standing in front of the alter when the light are turned on?
the light switch is actually a button on his belt, and he couldn’t find it behind his dadarangs and keys to the dadassmobile
The answer is very simple, Nikolai.
Don’t question Dadass.
“If you’re asking how they eat and breath and other science facts, repeat to yourself: It’s just a show, I should really just relax!”
I’m not much of an animal person, but I guess some sort of carrion-eating beast.
I probably wouldn’t keep a pet. But if I did, I’d name it “Food.”
Honestly, I have a dog right now, she’s small, a miniature Schnauzer actually and I’ve had her for a couple years. Bringing her along WOULD NOT be a good idea because she really loves people where she might not be able to tell the difference from a walker or a human.
Better off just to let her go, and be free than be eaten by a zombie in my care…
I don’t have a problem with religious folks as long as they don’t pester me about it, but the fact that these guys have a huge chapel in their house and it’s Dadass’s favourite room really bothers me. These guys are clearly hardcore about it.