Episode 418: Lou Who?

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Off Screen Death

There are a lot of reasons a story might choose to kill a character of screen. For movies and TV, budget might have something to do with that. Discounting practical issues, this is usually done to keep the audience in the dark about exactly what happened. Did that character really die? Was it an accident? Were they murdered? Were they eaten by zombies? Sometimes there’s one witness, who also turns into the primary suspect when people think murder is a possibility.

This is often used to cause unease in a group. People get paranoid, and lose trust and respect for others. Left unchecked, a schism can form that can destroy the group, or at least cause it to split apart.

About this Episode:

To reposition Murphy’s arms in each shot, I had to pick up the wheelbarrow and put it back down. I really tried to keep the placement the same, but my guess is that there is quite  a bit of minor movement frame to frame. This sort of thing can introduce jarring continuity issues, which will bug readers. To mitigate this, I only used one shot that shows the actual position of the wheelbarrow on the ground, with the rest being close-ups to give me more latitude.

Other News:

As you may know, this Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the US. That means two things for you guys. First, I’m not adding any content this Thursday or Friday. We’ll be back to normal on Monday. Second, that’s the cutoff date for the Historical Zombie Challenge. If you’re interested in entering, then you’d better get cracking.

Discussion Question: Off Screen Antics

In a lot of shows, films, and books, if you don’t actually see a character die, then the odds are they’re not really dead. George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones on HBO) is a pretty good example of this. MINOR SPOILERS Every time a character is said to have died, that character is usually just fine. The same thing is true for when characters fade to black. You think they’re dead, but more often than not, they’re still alive a few chapters – or books – later. END SPOILERS

I think this has a way of conditioning people to mistrust off screen action in a story. If I get faked out enough time by this, I’m not going to believe a character is really dead anymore, at least until I see the body, and maybe not even then.

With that in mind, do you guys think Lou is really dead? Simply abandoned? Perhaps hidden away somewhere that he might be able to survive, but won’t be a burden on the group? Why might Inez do something like that?

22 thoughts on “Episode 418: Lou Who?”

  1. I don’t know if Lou is really dead or not. It might depend upon what Inez found in Lou’s back room (right now it reminds me of the piles of shoes and belts the man and his son found in The Road).

    Regardless, I would not trust Inez, if I was Murphy. In fact, in a zombie apocalypse I doubt I would trust any new people; but Inez has really given me bad vibes, ever since they got to the retreat.

    • The shoes and belts thing was really creepy, wasn’t it?

      • The way Inez is acting, Lou did not do a good job of hiding the bodies.

        Dave, I think you’re going a great job with BotD. I hope you find a way to really make it profitable, at least with swag from reviewing, if not out-and-out profit. Sincerely. I am having a ball on your page.

        • Thanks you, sir!

          I don’t make much off the ads. It’s almost enough to cover hosting. The review swag is always nice, and I’ve gotten a few generous donations as well. Also, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to run a comic.

  2. Typo alert: Discussion Question, second paragraph, second sentence, after the comma: anyone–>anymore 😀

    I’d also suggest removing the brackets and making the bracketed words part of the sentence proper, just insert a comma before the left bracket at the logical word junction.

    • Thank you, sir. Fixed both.

  3. I’m not trying to play foul here, but I really think the obvious happened: Lou died, became a zombie, Inez on realizing this, just dis what she had to. QED. 😀

    • *dis–>did, sorry. 🙂

    • Maybe so, maybe so.

  4. As for Wednesday’s comic, I predict they’re going to figure out where Murphy is, it seems people going missing are popular this week! Dave could even use that as a cheap extra comic for Friday! 😀

    • *sighs* I meant Brent, not Murphy! 😀

      • Lou?

  5. My birthday is tomorrow, & I will be turning 13, so I have 1 request:
    Dave, can you make Wednesday’s comic a bit long as my present, please? That can also cover up the comic on Friday.

    Thank you.

    • Comic’s already in the bag, Legoman. But happy birthday!

  6. Oh no!!! I think either she left him to die or she just lost him and maybe he still is alive???

    • Could go either way.

  7. This wheelbarrow thingy just tickles me to no end. 🙂

    I find off-screen deaths more unsettling, and they stay with me longer. The whole imagination is more compelling than visual idea.

    For example, in Paul Gallico’s novel, “The Poseidon Adventure,” yep, the one that led to the movies, the little kid disappears, and you keep waiting, and waiting, for him to show up again. I remember how heartbroken I was at the last page and finally knowing he was really gone and dead.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Dave! Hope you and your family have a great week! And thanks for work here, truly enjoyed and appreciate you sharing your disturbed mind with us!

    • Oh, that really is unsettling, Luis. Yikes.

  8. Off-screen deaths … Waitaminute! Didn’t Inez just kill a bunch of zombies with a car? My suspicion now is that Lou was among them! 😀

    • IF Dave’s zombies are living creatures, and IF Lou was paralyzed below the waist, then it follows that Lou was not walking around when Inez was out playing zombie pinball.

      If they’re reanimated dead (my preferred trope), then all bets are off.

      • IF Lou was “conveniently” a zombie, and in front of said motor vehicle, all bets are off! 😀 If we were meant to know Lou’s fate Dave would’ve simply shown us his preferred version of that fate. 😀

  9. Has Inez gone Caroling? I have never liked or trusted off screen deaths on the other hand just off screen (where you can hear them) is something I would prefer. Damn you Lou!!