Zombie Cliche Lookout: The First Strike
One of the things that makes zombies so scary is numbers. A single zombie, yeah, they’re all dead and torn up and uncanny. That’s scary, but it’s also very beatable. You can destroy or outrun a single zombie with minimal effort (unless you’re underestimating them or they catch you unawares, but those are different cliches altogether). Now when you get a few zombies together, things get a little more serious. Throw in cramped quarters, lack of light, sleep deprivation, or any number of other handicapped, and the field goes from being more or less level, to completely stacked against you.
But in zombie stories, the horde is generally going to be proceeded by a single zombie, maybe two. Just enough to give us a false sense of hope for the survivor. We watch him/her deftly avoid or take out that first zombie and we think, “They just might make it.” And then there’s the slow pan up to reveal dozens more closing in.
About this Episode:
That third frame there? I thought it would add to the action to shoot it at a bit of a jaunty angle. I think it gives it a kinetic feel, especially in comparison to the second frame, which features a close-up of the zombie versus Clark action.
And then the zed sort of rolls into the stream in the final panel. I don’t know; I like it.
Discussion Question: Find the Error
Let’s see how keen eyed my readers are. The last couple episodes had a mistake in them, which has been rectified here (I blame lack of sleep due to having a new baby). Can anyone pick out what it is?
I have a lot of faith in you guys, so I’m guessing it gets spotted within the first few comments.
Ah! the classic sideway picture for an attack, i just love that.
You and me both.
im not sure how to reply to that
My best guess? If you see the “wood” trunk or brown piece in episode 251 you see it completely empty, nothing on top of it. As for episode 253 it has what appears to be a machete or a knife, I can’t tell for sure. Am I right?
Clark’s glasses are gone?
That one was very, very planned.
I’d say you definitely spotted that knife that suddenly appeared! 😀
As of Episodes 253/254 there is now one on the tree stump. 😉
It fell off the tree stump when I moved the set, but I didn’t notice when I filmed those episodes. When I came back later to shoot the next few I saw the problem, but it was too late to fix.
In that case, I think you should edit it out of the last two episodes and have Clark ‘find’ it behind the tree stump. It would make more sense that way, zombies wouldn’t care about knocking a knife off a tree stump, and you could always explain that kind of thing away with “Well, the shots were all at the wrong angles so I couldn’t get the knife until Clark actually went for it!” 😉
I wish I would have had time for that. I shot all this stuff right before moving, so there was a very limited window to get it right.
And this set, unfortunately, did not survive the move (one of the few LEGO casualties).
Nice! And I also have a question. When is BoTD coming back to its normal schedule?
We’re going to slow roll it. Next week we’ll get back to two days a week for a couple of weeks. After that, back to regular schedule.
Those constellations aren’t visible from this hemisphere!
And you shouldn’t have your fire right next to your tent like that!
Hah. Did you read that story about the astronomer who get changes made to Titanic so the film would feature period-accurate starfields?
Lich, that comment on the constellations made my day. You actually made me check back the episode to see if there were any stars.
Dave, I had not heard of that story about the astronomer… that’s just insane!
Yup, it was the article about Neil deGrasse Tyson from the AV Club a few months back: http://www.avclub.com/articles/neil-degrasse-tyson-got-james-cameron-to-fix-titan,71829/
And my deadpan works online sometimes! Hooray!
That’s the one. Hell of an interesting bit of trivia.
Well that certainly didn’t take long!
The way Louis looks at continuity, I am surprised he didn’t mention it in the last episode.
I’m sure he would have, had he known the knife was supposed to be there.
Um….why’s Clark just standing there? He should either start kicking ass or just run. Any in-between’s probably a bad idea in a zombiepocalypse.
Yes indeed, looks like he takes your advice in the third panel.
Yeah, but in panel 4 it looks like he’s just waiting for it to happen again.
He should at least grab his spear or something, fighting zombies unarmed is a death sentence.
Perhaps he’s assessing the situation and formulating a plan?
That’s actually going to be the topic of an upcoming super-duper guest essay. It’s an acronym that means “Observe Orient Decide Act ” and it’s crucial in survival situations.
There you have it. Clark is OODAing. Sounds kind of dirty, but it’s not.
The theory is that all conflict, from the battlefield to the board room is a time-based struggle for one or more limited resources. The object then is to make your opponent run out of time first by effectively managing yours, under pressure and against the clock, as it were.
Seems like a pretty sound theory to me.
I’ve heard of the OODA loop before, in a combat context. The gist of it is that if you can reach act before the enemy, he then has to go back and reorient himself, taking into account what you just did. As I understand it, this is the underpinnings of the modern theory of initiative – you keep the enemy reacting rather than acting, forcing him through the loop too fast for him to keep up.
This is also one area that the zombies actually have an advantage, IMO. They make very simple, instinctive decisions, taking them through the loop faster than a human. This obviously says nothing of the quality of those decisions, but the point is that they are acting, not standing around dumbfounded. One doesn’t typically think of zombies taking the initiative, but that’s because the word has been somewhat bastardised. In a technical sense, they most decidedly do.
Love how he just goes Jackie Chan on that zombie.
Clark’s got balls as big as church bells.
As for the knife, can’t say I noticed before. Oftentimes I’ll read BotD first thing in the morning, before I put my readers on. Without the cheaters, sometimes I miss details like that.
So guessing Clark is going to skin them all like raccoons. I sincerely hope that’s not his eating/cooking knife… :p
Does Clark look like a guy who is afraid of a little cross-contamination?
(From the guy who has separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables)
Hah, we have a couple dishwasher-safe, non-porous cutting boards for meat. Vegetables get chopped on the regular old bamboo boards.
The zombies appear to be considering who will rush Clark next.
Gotta have a strategy.
worst case senario; Clark runs of to who knows where into the looters, the looters kill the zombies and him, best case senario, he get’s hit by Murphy’s car. which is worse?
Getting hit by a car is the best case? Good lord Clark has some bad luck.
Man…I am really on board with the alien mini-fig torso as one of the best zombie torso’s. I need to get a dozen.
And why the hell can I never stay logged in anymore……
I tend to get logged out ever couple of days, but I always assumed it’s because I used about four different computers.
I have four Greys; but I like them as Greys, not as zombies, but as abducting, probing, Greys. 😉 I do wish I had a couple more, just to have a squad of drones for my new Alien Villainess.
Is your computer saving cookies at all? I’ve noticed that with my setup, I only have to enter my info once per session. As long as I don’t completely exit FF, the fields remain.
They make great Grey Aliens, but I love them as shirtless zeds. They just look for sad and hollow.
Oh, I know. You have found a great use for the Gray torso; and I might agree with you, if zombie heads were easier to get. In most cases, Grays are at least as scary as zombies (have you seen Communion?).
I so want to use the Grays along with the Alien Conquest minifigs when I get around to doing some alien apoc scenes.
I’ve got a fairly steady job now, so hoping I’ll be able to start with a 3-in-1 house of a Friends house next month.
That reminds me… I’ve got to do my bad pun build with that figure. I’ll get to it tomorrow, I hope.
@Lich – That should be interesting
@Bo – The best resource I’ve seen for zombie heads is Citizen Brick. They make some nice stuff.
Oh, I completely missed the new job thing. Congratulations Bo!
ya kick their asses clark!!!!!! sorry for my language i just love bricks of the dead!!!!!!!!!
All things being equal, I’m not going to lose any sleep over someone saying “ass” in the comments. I’ve said worse myself many times.
heh, i always thought that “ass” was the 3rd worst swear
Now everyone is wondering what the first two would be. I have a couple theories.
There’s that one word that still manages to offend about everyone. Hint: it’s popular in Britain, and does not start with an “F”.
This from a guy that grew up in a house where saying “turd” would get ya a smack on the head.
Does it start with a “C”, because that one’s on my short list.
That’s a fun word, right there.
Sure to get you slapped by wives and mothers everywhere.
Funny, the male version of that word is polysyllabic, and also starts with a “C”.
Polysyllabic? I’m blanking. The one I’m thinking of is monosyllabic.
It ends with “sucker” and was Richard Nixon’s favorite word.
Ah, I was omitting “sucker”. I’m probably on Zombie Nixon’s enemy list now.
That is so awesome. He should be a guest in one of your comics. I found an older minifig lately of a navy blue pinstripe suit that would make a great Nixon body, very presidential. The hair would be a challenge, to make it really look like Tricky Dick.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we need male-pattern baldness wigs for minifigs.
Should suggest that to BrickForge. They make custom hair. Send it off to Brick Warrior, too.
I agree that there is a dearth of male minifig hair.
Not a bad idea.
B and F
Hopefully Clark has gone through some knife training.. I need to go through knife training, never know when you are going to have to protect yourself with a knife.
Start with Get Tough!. When you’ve read it and practiced it a bit, I highly recommend Pekiti Tirsia, if there is an instructor in your area. They’re not always easy to find. Ask around the local knife message boards. Try a Google search. There are good instructors out there. Oh, the “Southnarc” (Google it) DVD’s are amazinf, best I’ve seen.
Thanks Bo! I’m starting to exercise… I don’t think I’ll be doing a lot of running, but I will be doing a lot of walking and hitting the bench for low tension muscle focused work outs. Having something that will also train me in non-firearm combat is also a great way to get a bit more fit and be prepped.
When I was a younger man, my wife and I trained the blade extensively. It’s great fun, if mentally and physically exhausting.
I’m trying to get a real early start on all my proper combat training. Since I was a little boy I’ve always wanted to be that bad ass that could fight off the bad guys.. But then again I use to watch Walker Texas Ranger with my grandfather before he died.
@Bo – I love your relationship building: knife fight training with the wife.
When we were dating and first married we did knife training and jujitsu together four nights a week. It was great.
I’ve asked around my friends.. And none of them seem to be interested in it. Any tips on doing it all alone?
Actually, I do have some ideas. How much room do you have? I’d put a pell in the backyard. A pell is a post that you can use as a sort of surrogate partner. You can make them swing, or hang old tires from them.
Don’t try to make it too complicated at first. Get a copy of Get Tough and Kill or Get Killed (both available as free downloads- check Google). Learn about three attacks and work hard on footwork. Then you can branch out and work on adding some Filipino elements. There is also more American stuff, like Bowie techniques, that will add some depth to your training.
Also if you have the time and money you can get into an MMA gym and think always “How would I add a weapon to this?” I always thing integration when working on fighting, from the rifle to the boot.
Alright, awesome.. I’ve been practicing mostly blows, but that is a good idea. As for the integration of the Pekiti tirsia daga combat, I loved what I saw, and MMA hasn’t ever seemed all that bad of something to learn in case of self defense. But as you said work on that foot work, which is something I definitely need to do.
I’m surprised that that dude is still alive.
We’ll see for how much longer.
is that a spoiler? i really dont enjoy those, and besides, clark naturaly has bad luck, look at any of the comic’s that he’s in
Absolutely no spoilers here.
Um, if you’re walking around in a zombie apocalypse, you have bad luck. I’m pretty sure that is the definition of bad luck, right there.
Clark may have made a tactical error here; but if he survives, he’ll remember it.
I imagine that camping in a zombie-filled world is a lot like camping in bear country, for what it’s worth. A little foresight will go a long way.
Clark needs a .45 and some bear spray, stat.
my uncle has a .45 and he says that the gun will probibly shoot through that zombies head, and the one behind it, and the one behind it. those guns are awesome, or maybe it was a .44, who cares.
I have a hypothesis about bear spray. I posit that it would be a good deterrent against the living in a WCS. My favorite example is the minivan scene in the Tom Cruise War of the Worlds remake. When the family is trying to GooD, a mob swarms the van. That’s when you hang a can of bear spray out the window and hose down the crowd.
Too bad it’s about fifty bucks a can.
One of the best scenes in the whole film. While flawed, War of the Worlds really does the whole “breakdown of polite civilization” thing really well.
Yeah it was a terrible film; but the minivan scene, along with the one where they try to empty the refrigerator and all it has in it is ketchup and mayonnaise are great- real eye openers about getting your shit together and being ready. Those two really stick out in my mind; and I’m pretty sure I’ve only seen it once.
I wouldn’t say it was terrible; I still enjoyed it. It could have been a lot better though.
I think the reason I said it was terrible is that as I recall it ended like the book or the first movie. The people “won” through no fault of their own. That, and I really don’t remember much of it. If it were an amazing movie, I think I would have seen it more than once, or maybe even bought it on DVD. Like so much of Tom Cruise’s work, it’s strictly popcorn fair, a disposable movie. Watch it. Enjoy it. Dump it. Repeat.
The ending really was disappointing.
I wish they would have done a surprise reversal. Instead of the aliens succumbing to the common cold, or what have you, the people of Earth would die off because of some virus or bacteria the aliens brought with them. Like American Indians and smallpox.
Hay guys, yesterday someone started the ‘What would you do during the Zombie Apocalypse’ debate. Some people said that they would…
-Wear suits of armour from days of old
-Hole up in their (suburban area) house with a couple of girls (?)
-Bring lots of fresh fruit ‘energy’ food
-Stack up on AK47s and Shotguns they found (we’re in the UK, no guns!)
-If they needed to sacrifice someone to the zeds it would be me.
Feel free to start nitpicking.
Well, folks love to fantasize about zombie outbreaks because it frees them briefly from their humdrum workaday lives. Survivalists love to fantasize about it because it’s the ultimate “I told you so” and would instantly validate their years of preparation. I don’t have the most experience; but I have seen a lot of people, the kind that make these ill-thought observations, not fully consider the consequences. To me, preparedness is not flippant. I don’t depend upon finding “AK47s and shotguns”, because I know there won’t be anything other than what I have stored myself.
As for “holing up” with granola bars and girls, well, I thought that was every teenage boys fantasy, no zombies required.
You really should have killed that first one, Clark. Shoving it away is all very well, but it’ll just get back up. If you take it down for good now, you don’t have to deal with it later.