Episode 456: Time to Leave

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Negotiation from a Point of Weakness

In recent years I have starved to embrace something that I’ve long avoided: negotiation. I don’t know why, but it was something I was always pretty uncomfortable with, but I somehow overcame that and try to negotiate everything I can these days, from my rent payment to my salary. One thing that I’ve learned along that way is that, if you’re going to negotiate, you need to have something for leverage. With the new house I moved to, I was able to leverage my willingness to sign a two year contract to get the landlord to shave a couple hundred bucks off the rent. Sometimes you have to get a little creative, but you can generally find something to use.

And then there are those times when you can’t. You’re not willing to give up your side, but you also know you have nothing to really offer the argument. What’s left to do but negotiate anyway, out of spite if nothing else.

About this Episode:

I returned Sam to his previous, more serious expression in the first two panels. The idea here was to convey he had developed a bit of confidence thanks to grabbing Abe’s rifle. Then, when Abe rebukes him, he’s right back into his enraged state.

Other News:

A quick health update: I got all my sutures out yesterday morning, and my x-rays are looking good. If all goes to plan, I’ll be able to put weight on the broken leg in two weeks. Fingers crossed.

Discussion Question: Will Sam Shoot?

You all had to see this coming, especially after the non-official discussion question in the last episode. So what do you think, regardless of whether the gun is loaded, unloaded, jammed, clear, etc., will Sam actually pull the trigger if Abe won’t back down? And, if he does, how does that change the way you view Sam?

30 thoughts on “Episode 456: Time to Leave”

  1. Monday, there’s going to be a BLAM! no matter what! 😀 If Sam doesn’t shoot Abe, someone will probably have shot Sam or Abe. 😀 My money’s on Abe not making it past Monday’s strip alive, regardless of whether Sam tries to shoot him or not! 😀

    Why? Because it sounds like Sam’s finally snapped and needs a mental institution, which is going to be kind of hard to find in a zombie apocalypse! 😀 His choices are dictated by recent events, not by what he thinks he wants to do so even if he does shoot, it’s all predetermined! 😉

    • Sam may indeed have snapped. He’s had a rough few days.

  2. Good to hear that your recovery is going as hoped for!

    So about Sam… I don’t think he’ll pull the trigger. That’s just not Sam imo, and that’s really something. Killing Z’s is one thing… but a human?

    If he does, I won’t see him any more different than I already see him. On the one hand he already changed. On the other hand I can still that IF he pulls te trigger is a sort of temporary madness.

    And I am still wondering; what exactly is Sam so mad about towards Abe? They knocked him down etc… but that didn’t anger him before. And Abe asked the question that had him relive his painful past and Abe is trying to manipulate him. Is that enough (for now) for Sam to kill Abe in cold blood? If it weren’t for the temporary insanity I think Sam is going through now… I would see Sam very different.

    My compliments on the characterization of Sam! You really make the plastic come alive, and the discussions here proof it! 🙂

    • Thank you kindly, FL!

  3. I think that Sam will shoot. It’s just a matter of time before Sam snaps more, and I think under that calm and collected mask Abe is getting nervous… If Sam does not shoot, my interpretation of him will change, like it did with the change in Barb from the nervous nurse to the badass zombie shooter we were left off with. It won’t make him seem badass to kill or at least try to kill Abe, because it really means he’s trying to kill his problems and unresolved issues.

    Thanks for reading, peace!

    • I like that you point out that Abe could be nervous, but have a really good poker face.

      • Either that, ore more likely, there aren’t any good faces that match Abe and have a different facial expression! 😀

  4. make sam shoot abe in the leg

    • Maybe so. Maybe he’ll shoot and miss.

  5. Next Time On…Bricks Of The Dead


    • Brevity: the soul of wit.

  6. I too think there is going to be a shot fired. I believe I know Dave well enough to conclude that he did not build up all that tension just let it go with a “click” on an empty barrel. Now will it be Sam shooting or someone else… let’s not forget they are not alone in this church and all the other members of Abe’s group are both armed and capable.
    What is important is that Sam does not want to shoot, he just wants to be left alone – so my bet is that he is not going to be the one shooting.
    My money is on a member of Abe’s gang, shooting Abe in the back or knocking him down because he/she sees this situation as an opportunity to be freed from his grasp by escaping with someone.

    • Some very well reasoned thoughts here, Greg.

  7. Sam is going to shoot the M1 one armed! He must be truly enraged, or not thinking clearly. (I DO know how hard it is for legos to hold a gun in both hands) It looks like sam is in a no-nonsense mood)

    I think Abe is testing him to see if he can be used as an asset.

    • That fires a .30 round. I’d imagine you could shoot it one handed, but you wouldn’t be terribly accurate unless the range was minimal, like it is here.

      • Sam is nervous, upset, and generally enraged. He probably does not have a steady hand! However, I agree in the small space he would probably hit Abe. (if it is loaded)

        • Or he could throw it at Abe! Plot twist!

        • It would hurt to get hit by a rifle.

  8. 1/ I still thing the gun is loaded (even with last episode’s mouse-over text).

    2/ I don’t think Sam will shoot. He seems really close to though but the more time he hesitate, the less chances are he shoots IMO.

    3/ IF he shoots, well 1st I lost my 2 cents, then I think he will not shoot to kill, maybe just scare Abe to prove him he’s wrong about something (something I can’t figure out right now… Wow that is weird).

    Dave I hope you have more ideas than me on this one !

    • Check out the mouse-over this time.

      • But Sam does not know that it is unloaded….(Abe must know, it is his rifle)…Unless he is able to tell the weight difference of an unloaded gun.

        • Again, the mouse-over is just a joke. No spoilers here.

      • I did check… It’s just that… Not too many of us think it was unloaded… So…

        • Indeed, it seems like opinion has shifted on that since the last episode.

    • Pi3rk, at this point Sam is really crazed about Abe, his wife and his situation. If he shoots, he will most likely shoot to kill, unless he shows extraordinary self control. He has not so far.

      • I just want Sam to surprise me… ;). Legoone you’re absolutly right

        • Yeah, I think Legoone has reasoned this out quite well.

  9. I don’t think Monday’s episode should be about shooting anyone, much as I would like for it to be! I think Monday’s episode should silent, except for their thoughts, I’d sure like to know what’s going on in both of their minds right now! 😀

    • And yes, I know Dave doesn’t use thought bubbles a lot, but perhaps he could straighten out what we think they’re thinking right now! 😀

      • You’re right there, thought bubbles are something I rarely use. I think I did it in one comic, and that might have been a guest comic for someone else.