Episode 400: The Dinner Bell

Photo of author



Zombie Cliche Lookout: Zombie Bait

I can’t tell you how many horror books, movies, and games I’ve experiences where a character will use the phrase “You just rang the dinner bell”. It’s quite a cliche, but it’s so evocative that it just keeps showing up, long after most people are even familiar with the concept of a dinner bell. It goes a little something like this: a long time ago when people used to work on the farm, they’d work all damn day. And when it was time to eat, the dinner bell would sound so that people could come in from their labor long enough to eat a good meal. These days, we keep an eagle’s eye on the clock, and know exactly when we should be done for the day. Dinner is whenever we want, and if we get a little peckish at 3:30 or so, then it’s time to hit the vending machine.

With monsters, the dinner bell is little different. It’s just something that happens to tell the zombies that there is prey available, and that they should come and get it. Instead of a fine spread of chicken and mashed potatoes, it’s survivor de jour, a treat for even the most discerning of shambling corpses.

About this Episode:

Wow, 400 episodes. I don’t know about you guys, but I think that’s a pretty good accomplishment.

Discussion Question: …And Still Going Strong

So we’ve made it 400 episodes into Bricks of the Dead, which means it’s about time for some community feedback. Tell me what you guys think of things. Is the plot still moving in an interesting direction? How are my characters doing? What am I doing that you like, and what would you like to see me stop doing? It’s report card time at Bricks of the Dead, so lay it on me.

42 thoughts on “Episode 400: The Dinner Bell”

  1. Typo alert: Zombie Cliche Lookout: Second sentence, after the second comma, “even the familiar” I don’t think the article “the” belongs in there! 😀

    (FYI: That’s what part of a sentence “the” is, an article in a sentence, the other two kinds of articles are “a” and “an”.)

    Maybe it should be written as either “familiar” or “familiar with” but it really depends on what Dave intended to put in there. 😀

    Typo alert two: Sentence redundancy error, Zombie Cliche Lookout, second paragraph, first two sentences should be concatenated into this: “With monsters that dinner bell is something a bit different.” Also, the remaining part of the second sentence should have the “I” in “it’s” capitalized and actually is long enough to become a sentence proper.

    I usually avoid using too many “it’s” or variants thereof it’s a little redundant when not needed. 😀

    Typo alert: Discussion Question, second sentence: “thing of things” – thing–>think. 😉

    If I had to lay a report card on Dave, it’d be a gigantic one consisting of all his typos I’ve spotted so far, and I’m not sure how far below “F” I’m allowed to score him! (j/k) Dave actually deserves B+ or better most of the time! 😉

    Keep up the good work, and work harder at spotting the typos! 😉

    • Good lord, BrickVoid, I think I’m getting worse.

      All fixed; thanks for your sharp eyes.

  2. Why is Murphy standing there talking when he should get them loaded up and moving out right this minute? If there’s one thing you don’t do when you know zombies are coming for dinner, it’s stand around andtalk about it. They should get back to looting what little they’ve got time for from the shop and hightail it out of there long before the zombies get to dinner, which is obviously going to be Lou. And since the dinner bell just rang, some zombies that arrived late will be looking for dessert! 😀

    • Because exposition is fun!

      • I wonder how much fun he thinks getting chewed up by a zombie is? We’re about to find out! 😀

  3. Oh, before I forget, happy 400th episode accomplishment, Dave! Achievement get! 😀

    • Achievement get indeed! Thank you, sir.

      • Happy day on 400 comics! PLEASE do not end BotD so early, Dave.keep on going and make it an exciting turn for our survivors!

  4. These characters have really changed. By the way this is going, I can see the characters leaving Lou behind, but not before Imes shows why they should do that.

    • I doubt they’ll have time for Inez to do that, the zombies wait for no explanation! 😀

      • Oh, I’m sure the zeds will wait patiently while everyone has a lively debate.

        • That would suggest intuition, which would suggest intelligence, which would suggest there’s something bigger than zombies happening in this webcomic! 😀 Which is not something I would figure Dave doing in a webcomic full of zombies that eat people and don’t wait for anyone or anything, just the sight of food! 😀

    • I’m really trying to make both Murphy and Inez reasonable people that offer different ways of dealing with the same problem, with no explicit right or wrong. I don’t know how well that’s coming through, but I’m really pleased to see how many people are backing one character and looking down on the other.

  5. Congrats on 400 episodes!

    • Thanks Louise!

  6. The big 4-0 (0)! Congrats, Dave!

    • Thank you, Nom.

      • The saddest part is noting every good thing must come to an end. 🙁 But that means we should enjoy every episode more and more. Thanks for the great comic, Dave! Keep it up

  7. I’ve really enjoyed the comic, and the community that’s grown around it. I can only imagine how hard it is to keep something like this going in the middle of life. I appreciate that.

    My only problem has ever been keeping all of the stories straight. There must be at least four different stories going on. I imagine that the story bible is to get them all together eventually. My only hope is that none of the subplots end up as plot holes. We’ve speculated quite a bit about where the story is going; but the only one that knows is Dave (and sometimes I get the impression he’s not 100% sure).

    I say carry on with your four-to-six panel self, BotD. We’re along for the ride.

    • Yeah, the divergent stories are a little weird. I had planned on bringing people together way sooner, but it’s turned out that I’ve split more people out. I have an overall plot thread, but I keep coming up with new ideas and having to change things up.

      At this point, my original idea could almost be made into a completely separate comic.

      • Then why don’t you? 😀

        Parallel universes in BotD would be nice, if you could get the separate groups sorted out and stabilized a bit. 😀

  8. Congrats on 400 Episodes!
    I will admit that sometimes a new episode of BOTD is the bright spot in my morning.

    Is it the plot? Yes.

    Is it the characters and their development? Yes.

    But mostly I think its the passion of the storyteller. I have no reason to blow sunshine up your skirt, but you do all this work for its own sake. Your not some hack grinding out another story because he has a boat payment due. You do it because the story is inside of you and NEEDS to come out. You NEED to tell it, to share i, to have it heard. You do all this work purely out of your own love for the work itself. To me that is what makes something art and worth my time.

    Keep it coming, noting beats a good story, and there are so few anymore.

    • Wow, thanks for your kind words, Damage.

  9. Something to aspire to, 400 episodes. Congrats Dave!

    And yes, slops on! Come and get it zombies!

    I think you’re doing a fantastic job, the characters are very interesting. Heart breaking as it can be, there’s no one character to get attached to and know that they’ll always come out on top because they’re the title character, the star. Bad things can happen. But you’re not so quick to instantly do the body count game of making it obvious who’s there just to be zombie feed. Characters survive and make it to the next stage of story because they’re lucky, they use their brains.

    • Not having one character be essential to the plot has always been one of my goals here. It gives me a couple of disadvantages, but by the same token, I’m able to play with perspective a lot. The fact that it puts everyone at risk is a nice bonus.

  10. Congratulations on 400 episodes!

    I love this comic and appreciate that it’s free. Please just keep telling us your stories, Dave. 🙂

    • I like that it’s free too, although I’m always open to donations 🙂

  11. Well done on reaching the 400 episode mark!
    It must be tricky for you to know when to switch story arcs as each 4 or 6 panel strip equates to a couple of minutes of ‘real time’ (in my opinion anyway)
    Keep up the good work and here’s to another 400! there are certainly a few folks here that will continue to tag along for the ride 😀

    • You know, that “couple of minutes of real time” thing can be really tricky. If you read through the whole comic, very little time has actually passed here. It’s something I want to address by getting the characters somewhere that they can sleep and allow time to pass a bit. Someday.

      • Do what all the evil Hollywood directors do, while all groups are surrounded by Zeds, move the world forward a month or two. It seems to work best in no hope chances. Hopefully I’ve given you some ideas 🙂

  12. Agree with the above comments.

    I’m a pretty huge Bricks of the Dead fan boy… I love the story, the character, the community (hey team!) and the fact you do this while raising your kids, holding down a job, and all that “real life” stuff makes it even more impressive.

    Congratulations on 400 episodes!

    PS: Would a zombie hurry up and eat Inez please… 🙂

    • Balancing it with real life is a big reason why I do this. It gives me some balance. You can only work so much, you know?

  13. I love your comic! Congratulations on reaching the 400th episode!

    I only started reading January of this year, but I was hooked from the beginning. Your comic shows the love you have for everything zombie-related and Lego. There is a lot to be liked about your comic, one of the best things I like is the character development. I’m really wondering about where some of these ‘people’ are going. Especially Sam! You said you made the comic a little more realistic and less Lego, but I really can’t tell the difference, it was always about the story, and it still is. What I do notice is that the story seems to be delving deeper, also because of your own ‘texts’.

    I thought as a critique I would say the story lines where sometimes dragging, but it isn’t true. I think I get this feeling because I have to wait for the next episode 🙂 Reading back the stories I don’t have the feeling anymore, and you take enough time to tell the story you want to tell.

    Ah well… I’m rambling again, the short version, I love this comic, I love the progression in everything you’re doing with it.

    You even gave me the inspiration for my own web-comic (http://bit.ly/14qFS91 a shameless plug, I know 😉 )and doing that made me really appreciate all the hard work that goes into yours… and keeping up for 400 episodes…. well…. wow!

    • Thinking the story is dragging because you just want more? That sounds like high praise to me!

      I checked out your comic. Really, really great photography and composition! Keep up the good work.

  14. Congrats on the 400 episodes. You’ve done a great job so far, and I hope you keep up the good work for a long time. But, as long as you are asking, I guess the only thing I’d like to see is a little bit more unexpectedness. Other than that you are doing fantastic.

    • Yeah, unexpectedness would be good. I need to keep you guys guessing.

  15. I think Dave’s 400th anniversary celebrations got crashed by a bunch of zombie autograph hounds! 😀

    They want your autograph, and they never stop asking! The only way to stop them is to knock them on the head! 😉

    • No, I got crashed with two sick kids, which meant zero internet time yesterday. Sadface.

  16. Brilliant job on reaching your 400 episode! I especially liked the blown apart head in this episode. I’m always excited to see what happens next and the charectors do have strong personalities so I’d say they have developed more over time. Congratulations!

  17. Congratulations!

    I dearly enjoy and appreciate the comic and your efforts, good sir. The creative effort, focus on technical details are amazing.

    The best part for me is your incredible capacity to keep the site civil and respectful. Hella cool strength of character and leadership qualities in you.

    Oh, and thanks also to your family for making this happen. It takes time and commitment, and it wouldn’t happen without their support as well.

  18. I’ve been a BotD fan for a couple years now and it’s been pretty awesome definitely something to look forward too every couple days!! Keep up the good work!!

  19. It’s already 400? Damn.. To think.. At least 100 of those have discussion questions, and still managing to scrap the bucket for more questions!

    Congradulations on the 400th Episode, still seems very fresh and just starting. I feel like the characters are finally coming around to be.. More emotional more people like I’m starting to get them more and more.