Episode 320: Only a Little Bite

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: It’s Nothing

At the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, people probably aren’t going to take those first few zombie bites too seriously. Don’t get my wrong, getting bitten by someone would definitely be a big deal, but once they’re “recovered”, odds are they’re going to have a lot of other things to distract them. Little things like getting home through the horrendous traffic jam, and finding your separated family are going to take precedence over that little bit you got on your arm earlier that day.

Of course, the good times won’t last, and before too long people will figure out that bites = zombies. If you happened to get bitten, you not only have a death sentence, you’re a ticking time bomb ready to go off and endanger the rest of your group.

About this Episode:

I went back and forth quite a bit on the subject of how to infect Sam’s wife (that was quite a weird sentence to type out). Part of me wanted to make it the focus of this flashback, where it would all build to her getting bitten. The other half of me, the half that won out, wanted to see what happens after the infection occurs.

Discussion Question: Zombie Diversity

How much diversity do you like to see in your zombies? Some people like them looking fairly uniform: just a bunch of rotting corpses milling about, occasionally eating people. Others like their zombies in every flavor of the rainbow, from boring 9-5 working stiff zombies, to costumed clown zombies, 800 lbs morbidly obese zombies, and everything in between.

Personally, I prefer something in the middle. I don’t want my zombies too diverse, because that tends to look more cartoony to me. I like it when the majority of zombies are fairly normal looking. However, I always love when the occasional interesting zombie is thrown into the mix, just to liven things up a bit.

47 thoughts on “Episode 320: Only a Little Bite”

  1. Dang. Where I come from, generally random strangers biting you is a pretty big deal.

    • Hah, indeed it would. I’m sure Sarah was going to bring it up at some point, but she was pretty focused on her big news.

  2. I, too, prefer a kind of middle-ground look to my zombies; nothing too spectacular for the most part, but nothing too uniform either. I like to see a good mix of zombies in normal clothes – business suits, sundresses, pajamas and robes, jeans and t-shirts, with the occasional police, fire or military uniform tossed in later for good measure.
    Having a group of zombies milling around in every day attire kind of cements the idea that most of the populace were caught unawares by the outbreak and were likely just going on about their lives, either truly ignorant of current events or willfully ignoring them when things turned really bad.
    Mixing in a few first responder or military uniforms later on in the outbreak, is a good way to subtly show just how bad things have gotten and that the main characters are really on their own; there won’t be jeeps or helicopters full of Army, Marine, National Guard, SWAT, etc. troops dramatically rushing in to drop zeds and pull our heroes to some safe zone – they’ve already fallen before the undead hordes and have joined their rotting ranks!

    • Really well said Darg, and I’m definitely on the same page. The only thing I would add in is the occasional “costume” zombie for flair. Nothing too crazy, just something like a cheerleader or a clown.

  3. Welp.

    Honestly, this would be m worst fear. My family, yeah, that’s bad, but the woman I fell in love with and want to spend the rest of my life with? That would be way too emotionally straining. No wonder he snapped.

    • And the discussion: I tend to not really make too many zombie things, but when I do, I prefer to stay in the middle. I like to mostly have civilians, but I do tend to toss in some public safety/military zombies.

      A soldier zombie would be the most disconcerting kind, I think. At least after identifying a friend or family member. It would show just how relentless the zombie horde or just how incompetent out anti-zed strategies are.

      • One thing that’s frustrating about making zombie stuff with LEGO is that there are so many more fantastical minifigs available compared to the mundane. If you look at Town/City, for instance, it’s hard not to have an army of police and fire people, and only a small selection of regular civilians.

        • I am always on the lookout for plain-Jane minifigs, whether at the store or places like Bricklink. It bugs me that my ratio of kitted-out tactical minifigs, of any faction, is about eight or ten to one. Then the civilians for the most part, are either in business suits or hyper casual. There aren’t too many figs in jeans and t-shirts.

        • I know, I have the same problem. Recently I’ve been working on my zombie project (I’ll let you in on that when I’ve got more done, Dave). I have this organizing container where I organize and contain all of my LEGO minifigures. I thought I had this huge collection of awesome minifigs (cause I had recently bought a lot of city sets) , but turns out most of them were police officers, some sort of rescue people, and people who look like they just got out of their 20 year prison sentence (and some still serving it). I only had a few citizen looking ones, which were only about 10-20% of my collection.

          However I was a little luckier with my zombie heads. Long story short LEGO gave me one for free from one of the Monster sets and turns out I had more than I thought. I can actually use all the Uruk-hai heads from LOTR sets as zombie heads, plus I have a few other so I have 9 or 10 heads in total. Only one of them is and “actual” zombie head.

          But anyways, yeah. It’s impossible to find good city sets with a good amount/quality of minifigs that actually look like citizens. Most of them are police and firefighter sets, which are pretty cool sometimes, but they need more “citizen” sets.

        • I wish they made two toned sleeves. That way we could have short sleeve shirts or short sleeves with a long sleeve underneath. I have a feeling we are all in the same boat tho. Way more “special” minifigs than “average” ones.

        • The focus on unique characters over average Joes is a perennial complaint for me, as is the focus on male characters over females. If I had my way, we’d have a much more true-to-life selection of figs.

          And two-tones arms? Yes please!

        • Back in my day we didnt have no fancy minifigs…and leggos just came in big sets of bricks…t’wernt no fancy sets niether. No Hogwarts or Star Wars…just a big ol bucket of bricks and a few wheels thrown in.

          Actually, toward the end we were starting to see the little rods and axels and gears too. Oh and the little motor with the battery pack.

          What I have learned about minifigs I have learned from this board. Still, I dont understand why some company doesn’t just manufacture a kit with a bunch of blank heads in different colors and a sheet of decals of facial features that you could use in different combinations to make up your own heads.

        • Remember the original figs that didn’t have arms?

        • SHHHH! You are admitting age! haha I will plead the fifth to that question Dave!

        • I have been recently composing a Zombie army myself. roughly 35+ lego zombie heads, 10 goblins and ork heads and 100+ self decaled heads. The big issue I have is regular looking torsos (not plain) so I bought some curved torsos and have been hording the BAM box with just torsos at the lego store. Bottom-line not enough Regular Minis

    • I can’t come up with anything worse than losing my family. That would most likely snap me like a twig.

      • As we discussed before, that is my worse fear!

  4. I am liking where this is going, to have someone slowly turn, right at the beginning of the story, chronologically, will make Fatty there an early expert on zombification. It’s a little played, another cliche of zombie stories, the slow change. It’s always the small bite that slows down death. I don’t know why we think it always has to work like that; but it does.

    Maybe Dave will change it up and have her change quickly?

    • I’m glad people seem to be digging the backstory. I was worried it would be too much of a departure from the regular story.

      • Regarding a victim with a smaller bite turning slower, could that be explained by saying that the bite doesn’t transmit a disease that spreads through the blood, but something more like gangrene that is more localised. Could that explain why smaller bites take longer to have full effect? Might it also explain how amputation is effective against some zombie infections? I don’t have terribly good medical knowledge, so I’m just throwing that out there.

  5. At first I thought that Sam would loose his wife in some quick and violent manner. Torn apart by zeds most likely, maybe while Sam looks on helplessly because hies either physically prevented from helping her or because he freezes in panic. Now that I see where the story is going I have to agree that it makes more sense to do it this way. Although Im still betting that this flashback is actually Sam recounting his story to hist “host”

    • Re: Sam talking to his host
      Indeed; I sort of set this up the last time we saw Sam, and this is how I plan to return to that story down the road.

  6. I think to really explain Sam’s torment would be to have her turn quickly and force him to kill her. Not giving him time to think about what happened, thus making him replay it over and over wondering if he would have taken the time he could have “helped her come back”. I Think him going on questioning if he had the ability to bring her back would tear him apart, especially knowing he also killed his first born.

    As for the discussion; I like the middle ground too. However, as sick as it may be, I think there should be a lot more kids for realism. There are more kids than adults in our population, thus we should see quite a few. As for costumed Zeds…not sure about that…unless the apocalypse happened during a comic con or better yet Halloween.

    • I’m really liking all the predictions you guys are coming up with. Fun!

      • Making your job a little easier! HA!

        • Hah!

          On the other hand, if someone were to guess exactly what I had written, I might be tempted to change it to be more surprising (I think this is something the Lost writers did, and it didn’t work).

        • Aww, don’t do that! That would be no fun 🙁 In that case I guess I’ll “predict” everything I don’t think will happen, forcing you to go the way I wish! Or will I? Ha ha ha, I have planted a seed of doubt within you! Now you will continue on with your little LEGO comic whilst I meticulously pull all the strings behind the scenes for this comic!

          Or I’ll just sit back and enjoy the show, cause I’m too lazy to think that hard.

        • Don’t worry ZQFMBG, I have no intention of doing that. I hate it when people do. Tell your story; if you’re changing things up just to keep people guessing, your story probably wasn’t worth a damn in the first place.

        • Nor will the run fluid as well as your continuity will suffer

        • Absolutely. Not a great way to write a story, that’s for sure.

  7. Oh noooo… This comic is too sad!

    • Hah, we’ll get back to zombie-killing mayhem soon enough.

  8. Hmmm, my wife’s name is Sarah, is currently pregnant (she is early stages) with number two (yay!) and she fell off her bicycle the other day scared the heck out of me! So who knows what my reaction would be if she had been bitten and was going to turn into a grisly ghoul! I am totally digging this Sam back story, he is way up in the favourite character catergory now. And I love that Sarah face!

    Discussion point: My theory on the make up of zombie hordes is this… generally speaking to turn into a zombie you need to get bitten, and then survive the remaining encounter with the zombie, because if you stay around, then they just eat you! So my theory as to why there aren’t many kids/obese/old people/disabled turned zombies is because they are the vulnerable ones, they get caught by a zombie and they get eaten… no chance to turn and become a proper walking automaton. Whereas your general population would be fitter, faster, stronger than the vulnerable ones, so might survive that zombie attack, but due to being bitten they turn.

    Thus we have a zombie horde that is mainly made up of average joes, there is the odd obese person, the odd kid, but generally they are fodder in early stages of the out break unfortunatley. Walking Dead has got it going pretty good, there is a good age range of mainly average joes with the odd kid or other vulnerable type in there.

    • Oh god, I know that fear. My wife was in a minor car accident when she was about two months along with my son. It scared the hell out of both of us.

      • The idea that only people who get bitten but escape will turn is a good one, but it puts an extra limit on both zombie population and reproduction rate. Since less people turn, you’re going to get less zombies, and groups big enough to overwhelm people won’t tend to get any larger, stopping the formation of large hordes.

    • My wife and I’s first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, so EVERYTHING like that had use scared!Hope your wife is ok an congrats on #2!!

      • Oh yeah, that’s more than enough to make your paranoid about every bump.

        • It was, but now we have two lovely rugrats to keep us young…and tired lol

  9. Hey just a random thought what is your stance on the possibility of a zombie cure? I know once they are zombied out they are clinically dead so restoration would be impossible, but for a recently bitten person do you think there could be any hope???

    • I think it’s plausible, but I think it works better as an impossible quest that characters might embark upon to get the story moving.

      As far as recourse from bites, I really like the way The Walking Dead does it. Immediate amputation may stop the spread. Or it might not. Or you might bleed to death and zombify anyway.

  10. I don’t tend to like zombie soldiers, because the government failing kind of… I don’t know. I still have a lot of faith in them/it.
    Anyway, my LEGO stuff, when there are civilians fighting zombies in their own, I’d because the government is holding out but can’t retake some of the country. Only supply drops.

    • I do like the idea of little pockets of the government surviving in bunkers and the like. Or rumors thereof. It makes things interesting.

      • Thats one of the best things about an apocalypse story….Rumors! Is there a safe area? Is there a location for a cure? Is there a supply location? hehe Love it! Perfect push like you said to move the group and story!

        • I couldn’t agree more. Rumors and misinformation are tons of fun.

  11. I suspect that early on, you’d have a lot of first responder zombies. Soldier zeds would come later. I agree with the esteemed Editor about diversity. I’m very middle-of-the-road on types of zeds.

    First timer, BTW. Love this page. I literally check in every day 🙂

    • Thanks OldGrenadier! I appreciate your kind words and hope you keep commenting.

  12. I really don’t see many soldiers getting bitten. If we’re talking about a Romero style case where everyone who dies rises, though, I can see soldiers potentially killed by rioters. Human rioters are a lot more dangerous than zombies, and soldiers might possibly hesitate a little more before firing on their own citizens, even when rioting.