Episode 343 – Smart Move

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Don’t Be Stupid

Given the choice between disarming yourself and living, or getting shot, the decision generally becomes pretty easy. Not getting shot is generally a pretty solid strategy in life, and you never know when you might be able to get the upper hand on the bad guys if you stay on your toes and keep your eyes open for opportunities to present themselves.

On the other hand, maybe you’re just badass enough to take out the bad guys before you can get shot. Probably you’re not, but I guess you never know.

About this Episode:

The challenge with this episode was to show Clark and Ted throwing down their weapons, which isn’t a terribly easy task with LEGO®. I can’t say I’m 100% satisfied with the results here, but it works.

Other News:

We’re breaking schedule a bit this week, and I have another review posted today. I know, reviews are typically a Tuesday thing (and sometimes Thursdays), but this was at the request of the publisher to coincide with the release of the book. At any rate, the book is called The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide, and it was written by Creek Stewart of Willow Haven Outdoor (who also did the book on Bug Out Bags I reviewed a while back).

Entertaining stuff, and there’s another cool bonus here: the publisher sent me a couple swag packs with autographed copies of the book and a couple of other cool things. Check out the review for details.

Discussion Question: How Far is Too Far?

I’m pulling another discussion question right from the comments here, because that’s how I roll (in point of fact, you guys kick ass and the comments here are a wealth of awesome discussion). This time, it’s how much reality do you really want in your zombie apocalypse stories? This comes, naturally enough, right from the current plot arc. We’ve got three male prisoners who have Ted’s wife and children captive; what level of violence are we up for when it comes to our zombie entertainment?

As far as I’m concerned, my level isn’t very high. I’m all for killing zombies and plenty of action, but that’s about the end of it.

23 thoughts on “Episode 343 – Smart Move”

  1. Remember Michonne and the Governor in TWD comic? Yeah, that’s pretty much where I am. The only part I can never see without wanting to barf is when she takes his eye out with the spoon. What level on a scale of 1-10? Well, I can go with a high 8 on comics and drawings, but on videos I can’t see what they’ve done in TWD show. The point where I stopped watching was when they opened Lori up to get the baby out. Dear god that made me sick.

    • It’s really interesting that when you talk about being bothered by the Michonne/Governor stuff, it’s her attacking him rather than the Governor raping Michonne. I didn’t have any problem with her torture of him, but I usually skip over the parts of the comic that get into the rape.

  2. Umm, magical forces of editing, can you please remove the dead after TWD? That would be pretty cool. Thanks…

    • Your prayers have been answered.

      • All praise the editing gods!

  3. I’m happy to go to the bug house loco kind of scale on how crazy things get. That being said I wouldn’t say it actually needs to be shown, inferring something terrible can be far more powerful.

    • Good point here, Mark. Implication can often be more powerful that saying things outright. That’s one of the reason I think a lot of older movies are scarier than the ones we have nowadays.

  4. It depends on the circumstances – excessive, unjustifiable violence – especially against someone who doesn’t deserve it – is sickening to me.
    On the other hand, if they did something to deserve it I’ll tend to cheer. To use Phantom’s TWD comic example; I cheered when the Governor’s people found what Michonne did to him, but found Carl’s summary execution of the surrendering Woodbury kid in the show to be repulsive.
    Why? The Governor was evil had had done much worse, and so deserved everything Michonne did to him and more, whereas the kid in the woods was likely drafted and didn’t have a choice. Even if he did choose, he made that choice under false pretenses based on the lies the Governor told him and the rest of Woodbury; when he learned the truth he was willing to surrender and seek forgiveness, but Carl took that away from him in cold blood, which is just as evil as when the Governor did that to the soldiers he murdered.

    • Excellent point here, Darg.

      My one counter-point would be that, concerning Carl, I don’t think his actions were that unjustifiable. While the Woodbury people were working on false pretenses, Carl (et al) didn’t know that, and had to act only on the information available to him.

      Should he have shot? That’s debatable.

  5. 1. It’s the apocalypse with a backdrop of cannibalism and desperately devolving human race.

    2. Free-Speech and the Freedom of Expression go hand in hand.

    Having said that . . .

    1. We are bombarded by human atrocities and natural disasters every day, everywhere we turn. Escapism, by definition, is to get away from.

    2. One difference about this site is that it’s thought producing and engages in in cogent conversation. The Legos are the gimmick that gets you in the front door, but the questions, moderator’s skills and ensuing discussions are what keeps most of us in and wanting to return.

    3. Legos attract children; they are, after all, children’s toys. No matter how much we diss parents for not censoring or controlling their children’s Internet access, you are going to have kids naturally attracted to your site; keeping unintended audiences, as well as intended audiences, in mind is respectable writer craftsmanship.

    • This is an excellent point as well, Luis. BotD is for grown-ups, but uses a very popular children’s toy as the medium. That’s misleading – intentionally so, granted – and something I need to consider as far as how far I’m willing to take the content.

    • 1. Agreed, just turn on the news, open a newspaper, listen to a radio bulletin. Some of the stuff they can get away with showing on the evening news would never get anything less than a R18 billing in the cinemas.

      2. I love this comment, the story is great and we are always waiting to see what will unfold next, and in the “wait” time we get chatting about all sorts… some of the stuff we talk about on here is really thought provoking and it is what gets me coming back a couple of times a day instead of a couple of times a week 🙂

      3. Fair call, I suppose if a kid wants to see violence they could just open their web browser or news paper and see worse, kinda what you were talking about in your first point. But as a parent, if my child stumbled of BotD tomorrow, I’d have no issue with the content thus far.

      • “But as a parent, if my child stumbled of BotD tomorrow, I’d have no issue with the content thus far.”

        That’s really cool, Mad.. I have a sort of sort rule about content wherein I try to roughly adhere to what would pass as a “PG-13” movie in the US. So a bit of violence, and mild language, but nothing too extreme. It works for me.

        • I think that an important thing would be to throw out just the needless stuff like spamming profanity or vulgarity that a lotta movies have that just doesn’t serve a purpose in general and detracts from the plot.

  6. my, my, I had no clue my little comment would be today’s topic. well you’ll never catch me not addressing the white elephant in the room. so on “that” subject I’m not sure what I wanted to happen. the moral upright human in me says I would never want to see that sort of imagery anywhere about anything and you not touching it is fine by me. while the sick monster that is my subconscious says that their was only one outcome and while I don’t care if I see it or not it should be addressed, because that is what would happen. short of the prisoners not finding teds family their is no excuse not to include part of what is expected to happen in an Apocalypse.
    that said this is your comic and I will respect what ever you chose I personally would have had it happen (not necessarily shown to us) but its implications and the affect it would have. because as of right now I have no real hostile feelings towards these prisoners yeah their dicks but Clark is a dick too so I can’t hope for their deaths when they haven’t done anything that would earn them a death. not to say that this sort of incident should be used for character development because that would be the cheapest move in the history of cheap moves.

    • It was a darn good comment, F&F.

      I think it’s really interesting how you’re of two minds about this. I think that most of us are, at least at some level. While certain types of violence really, really bother me, at the same time I realize that the world just works that way (as awful as that is). Ignoring it in the comic does make things less realistic, but at the same time, I think that’s okay since I’m doing this as a sort of escapist adventure.

  7. You can dance if you want to, you can leave your friends behind… Because if your friends don’t dance than then they don’t dance then they’re no friends of mine.

    We can dance… We can da– No wait.. YOU HAVE TO DANCE.

    This is my reply to the hover message.

    • I always wonder how often those little jokes get noticed.

  8. Regarding panel three and the issues you had with portraying the dropped weapons. Two things I might of done, firstly have the weapons on the ground closer to the guys that dropped them, and secondly, have two noises, a ka-thud for the hammer and maybe something a bit more “tinny” for the knife. Just my 2c… would it have worked… who knows? 🙂

    In terms of violence… for BotD i’d suggest you want to stay away from torture, rape and other related incidents… wouldn’t feel right in this story or medium, especially considering the extras series and the fun you had with that etc… made things a bit more light hearted. Sort of like Shaun of the Dead, while it is a brilliant zombie flick with some gore and violence, it didn’t cross the “line”.

    • Re: panel three
      I did have two different noises on there originally, but thought it looked too busy, so I consolidated down to one. I’m still not sure if that was the right move.

      Re: violence
      Interesting that you bring in the “Behind the Scenes” series; I hadn’t considered BotD in the terms of a production and how what could potentially happen behind the scenes adds levity to what can be a pretty dark story.

  9. I have a different perspective when it comes the extremism, there is no limit. In my opinion TWD hasn’t offended me in anyway. I believe people today are served a cushy version of violence. I work for a broadcast news company and even here we give you a watered down version of Deaths, Rapes, Attacks and Natural Disasters enough to scare you but not offend you. Personally I think anything that involves “Zombies or the Apocalypse” should be noted as more adult materials even if its Lego, clay, Paint or whatever medium is being used. Although a LEGO rape scene is not going to hurt my feelings, at all (in fact it may just look ridiculous). I am a fan of letting your own imagination fill in the blanks but in certain situation thing still need to at least be explained. Besides if you make a Zed or End Days scenario and don’t offend someone you may be doing it wrong.

    • Lots of good stuff here, Brickthrone.

      First up, I think you mentioned that a LEGO rape scene looking ridiculous is really important. I would be loath to downplay such a horrifying thing as rape by making it look silly in a comic. I think that would send a lot many terrible messages.

      As far as the public getting a soft version of violence, absolutely we do. I’m of two minds on this issue. On the one hand, I think seeing real violence and the profound effects it has could make us think twice about glorifying fictional violence a bit. On the other hand, I think seeing too much real violence runs the risk of just desensitizing us, which has it’s own problems.

      It’s definitely an interesting issue (and one I might just steal for another discussion question).

  10. A little late to the party. :I

    I think it could be implied (not directly) that the prisoners want to…ya know, but they are prevented from doing so by other forces…Maybe the one-eyed fellow has a soft spot for their female victims and keeps the others in line? Maybe they’re too distracted by fortification efforts and would be stopped before they go too far.