Episode 344: Coving Bases

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Contingencies

One of the reasons why bad guys seem to last so long into the zombie apocalypse is that they are absolutely ruthless when it comes to taking chances with people. Let’s say that there’s a chance that the good guys might be hiding out in a van to ambush the bad guys as soon as their backs are turned. The bad guys just take out the van and anyone inside it.

Good guys wouldn’t really do that, because who knows who could be inside there. It might be a mobile orphanage for all they know. And then the good guys get ambushed.

About this Episode:

I’m having fun with these prisoners. They were originally meant to come back into the story much, much earlier (and they were also meant to interact with the Cheryl/Stewart/Murphy group), so it’s nice to finally be able to use them after a very, very long delay.

Other News:

We’ve got two items in other news today.

First, Monday is Memorial Day in the US, so the comic will be taking the day off to spend with family and enjoying the (hopefully) nice weather. We’ll return on Tuesday with an awesome review from DexScotland.

Second, don’t forget we’re running a giveaway for two Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide gift packs. Check it out.

Discussion Question: Awareness Versus Desensitization

And I’m taking another discussion question straight from the comments, because that’s just how I do.

This one is sort of heavier than normal: can we be desensitized to violence? Could taking something horrific and recreating it in LEGO actually take a lot of the power away from the act, and make it seem less terrible?

I have a hard time with this question. Part of me says yes, because it makes sense in a logical way. Another part of me says that this line of argument is very similar to ones used to ban video games (and very related to the “marijuana is a gateway drug” argument).

So what do you think?

23 thoughts on “Episode 344: Coving Bases”

  1. The flow in this comic is confusing….Barb just vanishes, and I didn’t quite get what the prisoners were doing until I read the annotation.

    And on an in-character note….I can’t believe those prisoners are wasting (literally) a perfectly good vehicle. They should at least take the gasoline first…

    • Oh, and yes, if this was a drawn comic, some of the scenes would be pretty gruesome. With LEGO, you just lean the zombie against the dude and add a blood effect. If you’re drawing it…you could just go to town on the, well, ‘detail’.

      • Indeed you could. I actually like that about the LEGO. A little abstraction is nice.

    • Perhaps some bullet holes in the van next time?

      • Yeah, that’s probably a good idea. I’ve generally resisted things like that for the sake of keeping things cleaner, but when I’m already adding blood and muzzle flashes and the like, that seems like a lame reason.

    • I originally had “Let’s just make sure no one is hiding in the van” in the script, but I excised it because I didn’t want to be too heavy on the exposition. Sounds like that was a bad move.

      • Should of just said “Check the van boys.” Rattarattaratta

  2. Oh lol I really thought Barb was about to pull some Judo or something and take out all 3 guys . . . Sadly I was wrong O.o

    • That would be kind of awesome.

  3. I thought I was becoming a bit desensitized to blood, guts and gore, I mean we see so much of it on TV and in movies I must be right.


    And here’s how I know. Go and watch either Rise of the Footsoldiers, Essex Boys or Bonded by Blood. They are all based on the same true story of the Rettendon murders in 1995. Movies have some blood and gore, no big whoop.

    Now go online and hunt down the real life images that were shown in court of the guys that were murdered. It’ll take some time, but once you find the images you’ll know whether or not movie violence has made you desensitized. Its gruesome stuff.

    • Interesting Mark, I agree but for different reasons. I have been watching horror films since I was 5 and war films like Deer Hunter when I was 11 with my step dad who was in Vietnam. I thought I was tough until one day when I was 14 and saw a neighbor kid get his head run over in front of me. The smell and visions still ring in my head. Throughout the years I have seen much worse (in real life) but I know for a fact you can train your brain to deal with a scenario but with out real life situation you’re never ready for it, ts different every time. The same for fighting I’ve seen black belts fall to street fighters with no training all to often.
      And I know this is a bit off point but I find (on TV or Movie) rape scenes bother me that much but when I watching a show with cheating partners I find it very hard to watch.
      Oh look full circle. I can’t remember if it was Faces of death or Traces of death but I could watch those all day long except in one of them they had a sex change operation. Now nothing against those who want that op but I could not watch it. Very damaging grabbing and praying. lol

      • Very interesting. My wife is the same way about cheating partners. Nothing kills her support of a character faster. It’s crazy.

    • I definitely know what you mean about real life images versus reenactments. I’m solid for violence (non-sexual) in movies and TV, but seeing pictures of real people? I’m a baby.

      I get really into organized crime every now and then (one of my many periodic interests), and seeing the crime scene photos has always really bothered me.

  4. My job has me desensitized. There’s a reason why it happens to the human mind, it’s a learned reaction to be utilized as a coping device. Being desensitized does NOT generate dangerous behavior in a person. Crazy is just crazy, and THAT is what is responsible for rape, homicide, sadistic acts, etc. Desensitized means you won’t crack when exposed to something chaotic.

  5. Two years ago today I commented on this website for the first time, suggesting new ideas for the comic. Since then, I’ve been watching this website grow into something I now check regularly. I would have posted this earlier, but my hard drive broke.

    • Exactly two years and one hour precisely!

  6. what are the prisoners doing at the fouth panel?wasting ammo?

    • Shooting the van to take out anyone that might be hiding inside.

      • oh….

  7. Of course it can’t desensitize a person to it so much that it won’t effect some one to see it. Just because you blow some one’s head off in a game, see some one get decapitated in a movie, or even read/see some one be dismembered in a book? It will never be the same as actually seeing some one being attacked in such a way. We are only desensitized to the thought of it, but when it happens you will break down and your mind will fail to understand what’s happening. That of course is unless you’ve had proper training & have been around it all your life (emergency res ponders will understand).

  8. I love Bricks of the Dead even though I don’t watch anything with zombies due to my vivid imagination creating nightmares. At first the blood splatters were particularly gruesome but now I can’t wait to see what happens next so I guess I am desensitized.
    I would say if they statistically compare PTSD in war vets that watch alot of gruesome TV, video games etc verse those that dont they’d be able to assess any connections and attitude differences. I would say gratuitous blood & violence ridden scenes in movies don’t help society too much. Howabout in many African countries where knife killings are rampant, is it real life or media? If the murder in London was not on TV general public would likely have not responded as they wouldn’t have been able to gauge it from words. The public on site seemed pretty shocked into doing nothing. Seems like if they weren’t expecting worse more people would have done something to stop it. Does that mean they were very sensitive to the potential violence?

  9. y’know, i think that the lego graphic’s thing makes sence. i mean, this is an example = porn, would you rather watch people, or lego people going at it? not to mention that your super desperete if you do.

  10. Boy, these guys really are vicious little fucks, aren’t they? I was half expecting him to let Barb tend to Gene once they were sure they were no threat to them.

    Sure we can be desensetized to violence, but the way the censorship brigade go on about it as if that’s a bad thing really baffles me. Being desensetized to violence means you’re less likely to lose it when exposed to violence, not that you’re more likely to commit violence.