Episode 267: Zombie Survival Ethics

Photo of author



Zombie Cliche Lookout: The Good Samaritan

Being a hero in a zombie story is often defined as being a person who somehow survives in the face of incredible odds. Being a good person seems to be optional, and – often – a liability. This leads to all sorts of interesting questions about the nature of survival, and whether it’s really worth it if price of surviving is trading your humanity.

This often serves as a divisive element within groups of survivors in zombie stories. One characters – who might be an asshole or simply a pragmatist -wants only to keep moving and survive, while another – either a true hero or completely naive – needs to help people along the way.

About This Episode:

The interior of the news van is probably a little boring. It is, by necessity, a separate model than the actual news van. As a model, well, it’s not much of a model. Little more than a white wall and some seats on a plate, I needed this to get interior conversations without looking terrible. In order to look reasonable, the interior model is eight studs wide, while the actual news van is only six.

Discussion Question: Halloween Traditions and Plans

This Wednesday is Halloween, so naturally I’m interested in what everyone has planned for the most spooktacular holiday of the year.

I’ve got two kids, but one is just a baby and will be staying home (the forecast is calling for rain and possibly snow; joy), so I’ll be taking my son out trick-or-treating. He’ll be going as Buzz Lightyear, I’ll be going as an overweight 32 year old man. We should make quite a frightening pair. Later that night it’s time for my Halloween tradition: watching Night of the Living Dead and going to bed.

I lead a crazy life, no?

84 thoughts on “Episode 267: Zombie Survival Ethics”

  1. Agreed zombies dont run, unless your in a video game

    • Obviously you don’t consider some of the re-makes to be zombie movies then? ;D

      • Well, they don’t run in this comic. In other zombie stories, that’s totally up to whomever created them.

    • agreed

  2. If they don’t hurry up and back up, they’re going to get there only to find Clark is a zombie! 😀

    • I think that’s one of Ted’s fears.

  3. fucking storm messing with my head

    • Oookay.

      • it is when you have an attatude like that.

  4. sorry this stupid hurricane is pissing me off wat were u guys talkig about?

    • Zombies, mostly.

      • nice halloween tradition dave always watch horror movies on halloween too

        • Naturally. I’ve just been watching this particular one for a long time now. I’d probably watch more, but with kids you can really only sneak in one after they go to bed (at least if you’re like me and go to bed early).

        • Do you have a high-quality copy? Since it’s in the public domain I have found that most copies are shit.

        • Indeed I do. It took me a couple of tries to find it too: Night of the Living Dead

          There’s a lot of garbage out there. Colorized versions, bastardized pan and scans, bad prints, etc. This one is solid.

    • is there a zombie movie (besides zombieland) where none of the survivors actually die?

      • But (spoiler) Bill Murry dies in Zombieland.

        But to answer your question, none that I can think of.

      • hes the only secondary charecter, i dont think that its a big thing.

  5. Hmmm…

    The Tardis effect. It’s larger inside than outside. But yes, I use the simple Wall Pieces to for a lot of buildings. Especially when I’m setting up for scenes that need to be torn down later for the next episode. It can feel very cheesy and cheap. Hopefully with a good story and dialogue, people are willing to over look that.

    As to Halloween, church is doing a “Trunk-or-Treat on Halloween, so I’ll be taking my daughter, then we’ll hit up a neighborhood or two to go door-to-door. She’s dressing up as a witch this year, I may pull one of my Werewolf masks and accompany her. And coming home, I’m likely to watch werewolf movies that I have a slew of, not zombie flicks. Though I’m likely to pop one of the tamer ones in so as not to mess up my folk’s sensibilities.

    • I’ve only ever seen one werewolf movie I’ve liked (An American Werewolf in London). What are some that you would recommend?

      • Twilight?

        • what about those wolf things in the hunger games? does that count?

        • I’m not familiar with the wolf things in Hunger Games. I really do need to read those books.

        • Umm…. the only reason I would recommend Twilight, movie wise is to watch the cgi effects of the Quilet Shape-Shifters.

          The wolf things in the Hunger Games are a genetic mutation or muttation as they’re called in the books. I’ve only read the first book so far and found it to be a very good young adult book.

          Let’s see… Werewolf movies… classics are the old B&W Wolfman. Everyone else is following off in the footsteps of this movie for how werewolves are treated in nearly all later werewolf books and movies.

          The Teen Wolf t.v. series, Being Human (either SyFy’s or BBC’s versions – though many will say watch the BBC series).

          If you like some comedy and humor, the original Teen Wolf movie is alright.

          Another classic is The Howling. I personally like Brotherhood of the Wolf for the historical basis around the historical Beast of Gévaudan, Dog Soldiers is pretty good if you think of it in terms of a soldier movie with werewolves.

          Weirdly enough, back to a Twilightesque, because of the same director and how they handled it, Red Riding Hood. But look at it more as a teen movie first.

          I personally like the Underworld series.

          Though most werewolf movies, if you’re not careful can also be a thinly veiled skin flick. Plus the whole, full moon, werewolf attack can get old if everyone’s sticking to that plot point.

        • I remember wanting to watch Brotherhood of the Wolf, but sort of forgetting about it. I’m always a sucker for stuff with a historical perspective.

          Dog Soldiers also sounds very familiar, although I don’t think I’ve every actually watching it.

          I do need to watch the original Wolfman. I think that’s the only classic monster flick I haven’t seen (not counting sequels and the like).

        • Then you should watch the original B&W Wolfman. If nothing else, it’s a classic.

        • I wish I still had Netflix. I wonder if TCM is going to be running it this week.

        • the wolves in the book of the hunger games were actually all of the dead tributes, how could they have left out something so awesome?

        • Well TCM is indeed running it. I have it setup to record and am looking forward to checking it out in a couple of days.

        • oh hey dave, i know a good spot for you to vacation sometime this summer, theres a place up in south utah, and since its a ski resort and no ones there in the summer. it only costs $100 per room, Great deal!

  6. Got a trunk-or-treat tonight and tick-or-treating on Halloween. Son Number One is a spot-on Harry Potter. I’ll try to get some pics up on my Flickr later. Son Number Two is Prince Philip (he’s three and has a serious Sleeping Beauty fixation right now). I was trying to get a Severus Snape costume together (since I have the same hair as Alan Rickman’s version of the role), but it didn’t work out. It’s hard to find a cassock in Salt Lake City- go figure.

    We don’t do horror movies anymore what with a six year-old in the house. The Better Half isn’t really into them anyway. Maybe I can talk them all into one of the Boris Karloff/Bella Lugosi classics, maybe, if I am lucky.

    • Sounds like a solid plan, and you can’t go wrong with Lugosi.

      • i put togeather a zombie survival kit, all you need is a tent, 2 bottles of water, a knife, a radio, and some sort of big wepeon. if you have any other suggestions, reply.

        • oh, and i forgot seeds and 3, 72 hour kits anthing else?

        • Food? First aid? Something to start fires? Something to cook in? Some way to purify water? A signalling device? Extra clothes? A tarp or two? Maybe a poncho?

        • Sounds like the next topic for Bo’s (almost) famous guest photo essays.

        • Im not Mexican Dave.

        • Neither is Clint Eastwood, but that dude rocks a poncho like no other

          And Bo, yes please!

        • maybe i can make a waterproof tarp for my tent with the poncho, or i could use it to me a rain flap for my dad’s .357 magnum.

        • You could build the entire shelter out of it and not have to carry a tent.

        • i have a plently big tent, if only me and someone else slept in it, we wopuld still be able to carry tons of food in it,and the pancho can be secondary food shelter.

        • oh and dave, Clint E. was wearing a saratto, not a poncho.

    • Oh and Bo, Salt Lake City even had gangsters, try to be a baseball player and bring a baseball bat, some flattened my dad’s tire before.

      • I’ll be a concerned dad with a .45 auto, the same thing I dress up as every day… 😉

        • Hah

        • I wish that i had the lisence for a gun like that, my uncle prepares for the zombie apocolipse too. only he has about 14 guns in his garage, including a crossbow, and an M4. he has 10 more in his house.

        • Do you need a license for a handgun in Utah, or just for the CCW?

        • No licenses or permits are required to own or possess a firearm. You can buy from an FFL or private party. The license of only to carry a “concealed and dangerous weapon”; and it’s “shall issue”, meaning that barring restricted persons and people with previous convictions of moral turpitude, the state has no choice but to issue the permit.

        • Okay, cool. Same thing in Michigan. There’s a pistol permit that is apparently no big deal to get, but having a CCW circumvents that altogether.

        • MY uncle lives in Idaho, but still, he keeps a gun in every room of his house, kinda like on I Am Legend. Only my uncles not black, just awesome and a good shot, pretty much awesome

        • Keeping a gun in every room sounds a bit wasteful; wouldn’t it be better to just keep one in a holster?

  7. On the topic of the comic: the nurse will save the day!

    I hope she had the foresight to pack some good stuff when she left the ED.

    • Either ED is a typo, or needs to be added to the Survival Glossary.

      • ED=”Emergency Department”. It’s what they call ER’s now.

        • Huh. I think ER is a lot better because it doesn’t make me think of erectile disfunction, which is nice.

        • They call them “departments” now because they are often huge, especially Level I centers, with multiple bays and surgical suites and not just one room.

        • well im no ass, ill remember to stay away from hospital’s and casinos in the zombie apocolipse.

        • Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Unfortunate abbreviation though.

        • I’m sure medical-type folks get over their sniggers in about five minutes and move on with life.

        • Well yeah, they’re professionals. I’m just some immature guy.

    • why not both?

      • Oxycontin and Viagra, the staples of surviving any zombie apocalypse.

        • Hah!

        • are those some kind of element? i dont even want to know.

        • Prescription drugs. For pain and lack of erections.

        • And if your erection lasts for more than for hours, get thee to the ED. 😉

        • I just dug this out of the spam filter. Apparently WordPress doesn’t like that kind of talk. Hah!

        • I think that im afraid to go to Bo’s hospital now.

        • If I was in full-on nursing mode, I wouldn’ve used the generic names for the drugs; but that would’ve left many scratching their heads.

          We are blessed to have the only two level I trauma centers (plus a third that specializes in pediatrics) for miles around. I don’t work at any of them; but would gladly, if they ever had any job openings.

  8. I plan on hanging out with my friends, as we have planned (some of us) our Halloween costumes, and trick or treating where as I plan on giving mine away because of the diet I’m mainly going for the fun of it.

    I plan on going as a Post Apocalypse survivor with an Airsoft shotgun, my gasmask and a lot of military clothing as well as my BOB which I will either empty out and fill it with something else or just lock it down tight to where I can feel if some one is tugging at it. Hoping to look like a total bad ass, I also have this C4 bag that I’m going to be using to hold the candy in.

    • Sounds like a sweet costume.

    • i wish that i had C4 to glue to a zombies face, seaking of which, in i am legend, Robert sacrifced himself with a hand gernade, he wouldnt have had to do that if he just threw the hand gernade where he knew where the zombie base was, that couldve saved time.

    • Hi Calicade, not sure what part of the world you come from but a small word of advice with regards to going out with an airsoft shotgun……not that wise……most people cannot tell them apart from the real thing and generally freak out when seeing someone in the street with one. In the UK here that would get you a visit from an armed response unit. I work for a company that sells airsoft kit worldwide and we always advise people to be sensible with their kit. I’veo heard to many tales of people being confronted by armed police in the middle of the night just because a nosy neighbour saw them carrying kit from the car to their house.

      Be safe and sensible and have fun. (hopefully the law is a bit more flexible in your neck of the woods)

      • Yeah the area I live in it isn’t to odd to get such an off the wall costume.. Hell one Halloween I went around as the one of the four horsemen (death) and I had a big ass sword.. A real big ass sword, the police where I’m going as well are laid back.

        Plus where I live has a bunch of positive feed back to the thought.

      • Don’t those things have the bright orange “not a real gun” barrel tips?

        • Not my friends.. He pretty much took it off of the gun.

        • Oh yeah, that might not be a great. At least it wouldn’t be around here.

      • a kid up by the high-school over by my house tok his off then took it to school, he now has 3 weeks in jevinile, (however you spell that)

        • Sounds like a dumb ass that was seeking attention.

        • perfect prediction.

  9. No comment on the Whedon on Romney video? (Hint: utterly site-appropriate): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TiXUF9xbTo

    • I’ve avoided it because it’s election-related, and I’ve got some pretty serious political malaise going on right now, but I just checked it out.

      God I love Whedon.

      • So, the question you gotta ask yourself is how much irony and satire did Mr. Whedon interject into that video. Otherwise, I have to really question his observational skills.

        I am not partisan, and my goneral thoughts are that both parties are runing this country into the ground; and I am stocking up on canned goods regardless. Bacon, beans, bullets, bandages, batteries, and bullion (metal, not chicken or beef) should be the order of the day for anyone paying attention.

        Yeah, if Whedon was being remotely serious, and not playing a character, then he’s not nearly as smart as I have been giving him credit.

  10. I stayed up until 10:00, me and my brothers are sick now