Episode 247: Toughen Up

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Tomorrow We Start the Hard Stuff

If you want to break down a person (and who wouldn’t?) there are a lot of different ways to do it. A lot of them are pretty creepy, but we’re not going to worry about them here. Instead, let’s just looking at wearing down and building up.You take your candidate and put them through hell. Let’s say changing their diet, isolating them from their normal comforts, and then exercise/work them like they’ve never been exercised/worked before. And when all that’s over, tell them that tomorrow things are going to start getting tough. If that doesn’t knock them down a peg or two, I don’t know what will.

In the zombie apocalypse, life itself is going to be tearing you down. You’ll be forced out of the comfortable paradigms of your life and have to use your fight of flight instincts like never before. And the next day gets even harder. So you either get tougher or you get eaten.

About this Episode:

This episode was fun to shoot. I knew I wanted to use an upward facing camera angle here, but I just wasn’t able to pull it off in my lightbox without everything getting really dark. The problem was that, in order for me to get the camera below the “stage” so to speak, I had to pull everything right to the edge. No matter how I arranged the light, everything looked pretty drab and murky.

Finally, I figured out a high-tech solution. No everyone is going to have all the stuff on hand to pull this off, but it’s something to work toward. What I did was to take some random cardboard box I found in my basement (and we have a lot of them these days since we’re ramping up to move) and put the stage on top of it, then put the whole thing inside the lightbox. It worked perfectly.

Other News:

As you may have assumed, based on my complete neglect of the comments over the last couple of days, I am a proud papa again. My daughter got here ten days early, but everyone is happy, healthy, and home from the hospital. We’re also all pretty tired, since newborns aren’t really known for their ability to sleep through the night. At any rate, I’m officially on break for a bit.

Don’t worry, I’ve still got the rest of this week’s comics coming, plus a review and interview scheduled for tomorrow. I’ll try to get the LEGO Zombie Creation of the Week up for Thursday, but I make no guarantees there.

Discussion Question: Embrace the Suck

We all know that life in the zombie apocalypse isn’t going to be picnic (except for the zombies, who will be picnicking on you and everyone else if you’re not careful). So what sort of lifestyle changes can you make right now to help you with coping with the general suckiness of life with zombies.



oh, and i think that the best zombie killing wepeon, is bear spray, just ask my uncle


Learn how to freaking farm? There is a big ass change for the zombie apoc. Me at least.

The high-tec solution surely needs resources most of us won’t be able to get indeed…

On other news:
Congrats Dave!


Congratulations on your new daughter! Maybe one day she’ll make a webcomic of her own, but probably not a zombie one! 😉 Hopefully she’ll make it out of LEGO or it’s successor! 🙂


I don’t want to spoil the news but Dave is about to start a new brick comic based on the “Friends” theme.


Ok, lots of things to say here…
First of all… Woohoo congrats Dave ! I’m really happy for you guys.
… I love your high-tech solution for the shooting. I’m going to make a mental note to try it out myself first chance I get.
… I did not realize Abe had such a swing! Way to go old man!
… the gun in his hand seems to be jumping around between frames… is he so eager to use it?
… regarding the hover text of the last frame… a bat? Let me guess, Abe has a favorite baseball bat.. he even gave her a woman’s name? (I’m sure most people here will catch my drift… not that I want to start a debate around it but.. I wonder if I’m the only one in here who feels sick about the issue #100 of TWD?)


maybe abe just wants to find a football and chocolate heli, ha!


of course a kid is hard to raise until they’re 4, everyone expect 2 comics a week


Congratulations to you and your wife! I sincerely hope that the early delivery went without complications. Judging by your site and how you think, your kids have the coolest dad evah!

Silver Fox

Congrats Dave….

Ah for the love of Fanatics. Dear Lord, save me from your followers.


First, congratulations. Family is precisely why we prepare (“society” certainly isn’t worth saving, but family is).

What can you do now to get ready for the Collapse?

1.) Cut way back on your internet time. Replace it with exercise.

2.) Get out of debt. Crippling consumer debt cuts way into preparations. Cut up your credit cards now.

3.) Plant a garden. Even a window box increases self-sufficiency and responsibility.

4.) Cut back on luxuries (see two, above). Stop spending money on movies and eating out and put something aside for that Rainy Decade (food, water, tools, seed, extra boots, etc.).

5.) Like the man above said, get yourself right with the Almighty. I don’t care what anyone’s religion is, or even if they’re only “spiritual”. Believe in something. Consider the Twelve Step Program: Folks can’t get over addiction without the help of a Higher Power. It’ll help one cope with the changes. “Better find religion, before religion finds you.”

6.) Make friends with like-minded people and family. No man is an island, and holding it together when the world is falling apart will take a community. That is, someone has to watch out while you sleep, or weed your garden, or run your still.

There are a lot more; but I hope this will generate some more discussion.


Great post, Bo!

But with all due respect I strongly disagree with point 5. Religion is fine but it is far from mandatory for addiction recovery. And 12 – Step programs are a disaster. They were revolutionary and CAN BE helpful, but they are outdated nodes. It’s amateur group therapy where success lies in the odd chance there is a strong central figure leading the chapter.


Regarding 12 steps, I’ve seen a lot of them in psych nursing; and they hand out a lot of copies of The Big Book at the U of U hospital; but I don’t have a dog in the fight. My point was there aren’t atheists in foxholes. When it really hits the fan, we’ll all be praying. That, or lying about it.


I most seriously doubt that. I think more soldiers come out of war atheists than believers.


Uh oh.. Now now fellows.. This is not a road we want to even come close to going down.


Heh. It’s interesting conversation. No hard feelings at all.


I’m sure both of you are intelligent enough to avoid getting to rough about this, but I’m concerned about anyone else that might get involved.


i love this comic and like you said bo, a garden is a good way to be economicly friendly, take some time off your comic, take a week off it, spend some time with your family, maybe even come to some of your daughters events, awnser less comments, do one of those guest comic strips, do anything to spend more time with your family, and less time in your basement, maybe even show your family in the comic, anything, do anything to help and support your family, we’ll be fine, its your family that matters more


If you’re a big gamer, start taking up DnD as soon as possible. Because in a world where electricity and video games aren’t coming out? Well at least you have a rule book, and imagination left!

Yes that post is completely biased, because I love DnD, it though is true and might even make the mind a bit more wise/creative towards real life situations.


No skill-based games? 😉

I’d agree with you; but I can’t stand level/class-based games.


If you think DnD doesn’t take skills (witts/brains) then you need to play again.

There’s actually plenty of different variations that actually avoid classes/levels, but instead go completely free and open.

All flesh must be eaten is one of them, it’s a zombie game under the Unisystem that involves making your own character. There are mechanics there but it’s open enough and has enough resources to where you can make it as realistic as possible.


I was meaning skill-based games like Call of Cthulhu or GURPS compared to level/class-based games like D20 and all D&D variants and derivatives.

the dude person

Wow, you really get to see Dadass’s dark side come through in this episode.

I love the low angle shot you used for the first panel. I had similar issues getting a low angle shot of Chris for the last panel in Episode 56 of Zombie Outbrick. Sliding the baseplate off the edge of my desk only worked to a point, because of the lights (one is clamped to the edge of my desk anyway), so I got fairly low and had to zoom in quite a bit.

I feel like that first shot could’ve been tighter (the more you put the characters in our faces on-screen, the more intense it will come across), but otherwise it’s a beautiful angle. Nicely done!


I took a couple tighter shots there too, but I liked the white space in the one I ended up using. I don’t really know why, I guess I felt like it made things slightly disorienting.

the dude person

Yeah, that makes sense. I suppose symbolically, the chapel is dominating the frame, and it’s driving Dadass’s actions (and by extension, determining Sam’s fate).


Shit, things just keep getting better and better for Sam, don’t they?

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