Episode 465: Negligent Discharge

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Gun Safety, Or Lack Thereof

I grew up in a house with guns in it. My dad was an occasional hunter and shooter, and had a few guns safely stored around the house. As soon as I was old enough to show an interest in them, off we went to do some shooting, book-ended with lots and lots of gun safety. I was taught not to keep my finger on the trigger. To treat every gun like it was loaded and always point it in a safe direction. That I was personally responsible for every round that exited the barrel of the gun when I was using it, so I’d better make damn sure I knew where it was going and what might be behind my intended target. If I wasn’t 100% sure it was a safe shot then I didn’t take it.

Naturally, I assumed every kid had this sort of experience with their dads. Gun safety is pretty important, after all. That’s why I’m always so horrified to see the way characters treat firearms in TV shows and movies. They’re constantly running around with their fingers on the triggers, pointing them wherever. Characters are more concerned with striking cool poses than being responsible. And that’s why I always like it when a little bit of reality gets injected into the story, like the infamous scene in Pulp Fiction with Marvin.

About this Episode:

Poor Abe has had a hell of a time. First, he wasn’t able to convince Sam to see things his way. Then he gets into a fight. Then he’s shot and killed. And, now that he’s turned into a zombie, he’s lost all his facial hair and his eye patch. This is, of course, due to a lack of zombie heads with facial hair and eye patches, which I admit is a pretty niche need.

Discussion Question: Where’s the Bullet Going?

So I tried to be a bit tricky with this one and not show the immediate aftermath of Danny’s shot. He gets bitten and fires accidentally, but what or who does that bullet hit? Does it take out Clem? Emma? Does it hit the wall harmlessly, or perhaps ricochet off and take out Sam?

37 thoughts on “Episode 465: Negligent Discharge”

  1. It’s going to shoot that SMG out of Emma’s hand.

    • That’s be quite a shot.

  2. I kind of expected zombie Abe to attack Sam instead. I guess he just attacks the first person he sees, who happened to be Danny in this case.

    Anyway, if I have to guess where the bullet will go, it’ll probably hit Emma.

    • Yeah, I think zombies tend to take the path of least resistance.

  3. Typo alerts:

    Zombie Cliche Lookout, second paragraph, fifth sentence, change bolded word: Characters are more concerned with striking cool poses that being responsible. that–>than

    About this Episode, fourth sentence: Then he’s show and killed. show–>shot

    Discussion Question, third sentence: Does it take of Clem? of–>out

    Some real typos there, Dave! How’s your leg healing up, by the way? 😉

    • Fixed them; thanks!

      My leg’s doing quite well, actually. I actually went for a bit of a hike this weekend. I couldn’t go very far or very fast, but it sure felt good to be out in the woods.

  4. I’m hoping Emma survives, Sam gets a new love interest and gets all confused about life in the ZA. The alignment of the gun doesn’t look like its heading that way though….

    • That would be nice for Sam, wouldn’t it? He’s had a hell of a time.

  5. I normally don’t like a lot of blood spatter but ol’ Abe there seems like he should have quite a bite being that he was trying to be ruler of everyone whilst alive. 😀 I think Dave should edit this comic so that where ol’ Abe bites Danny is having at least a small blood spurt or drip coming out of it, for effect’s sake! 😀

    I wonder how long it’ll take this trio to realize they have not one but many problems on their hands now? If nobody shoots Abe, he’s probably going to bite someone else. Danny is now infected and once he dies and turns, he’ll probably side with Abe on who’s next for dinner, unless someone takes careful aim and hits him in the head, preventing further zombies.

    I really hope ol’ Abe there trained them how to react in a zombie situation, otherwise this lot are totally screwed, and if Sam makes it out of there alive, it’s going to be pure fate that will let him out! 😀

    • Actually, they only need to hit Abe in the head with something – more shots will probably bring hordes of zombies trying to storm a church! 😀

    • Of course, there’s also the problem of who that shot takes out, and if it’s a head shot or a body shot, which I predict will make even more zombie problems. To see the outcome of that will be very interesting indeed! 😀

      • I went back and forth on adding some blood to indicate a bite. Maybe it should have been included, but I wanted the focus to be on the gunshot, which is why I left it off.

  6. Its going to hit Emma. Looking where the gun is pointing, it will hit emma.

    Also: bullets don’t ricochet. A lump of super-heated lead hitting a wall will either dent, go through (if it’s a high enough calibre) or instantly mould to the shape of the wall, like what happens when you are shooting metal targets. You don’t find the solid bullet after, you find a little lead puck.

    I liked Danny, and not just because of his hair 🙂 because he was the one of the 3 that showed humanity. I was hoping that the others would get him to shoot Sam, he couldn’t do it, and sulk off. Eventually helping Sam escape.
    But Dave always has a master plan! And I am intruiged on how this will play out.

    • Interesting about bullet ricocheting. Is that true of all bullets? Even FMJs and the like?

      • Pretty much.


        The metal jacket is actually pretty thin and deforms easily once the bullet strikes a surface hard enough to ricochet off. Sometimes if a bullet strikes a hard object at an angle the bullet will fragment on impact sending a spray of fragments away from the struck surface at an opposing angle. But these have usually lost so much energy in the initial collision that they are no longer lethal.

        The only possible exception would be “steel core” ammo which is sometimes used small arms by the military to defeat body armor.
        I dont think any us manufacturers ever marketed it to the public but there used to be a lot of it floating around as imports form Eastern countries. Its now illegal to import, but an outfit like Abes might have bought a bunch of it on the surplus market before the feds clamped down.

        • Wow, good info, sir!

  7. Aw, man. Poor Danny. That bullet’s gonna blow a hole in the wall, but I hope that’s about it.

    Can’t wait to see how this plays out!

    • Yeah, I liked Danny too. He reminds me of a friend of mine.

  8. I say Clem gets it.

    • Poor Clem doesn’t even have a gun.

      • The ZA is a bitch.

        • Yes sir.

    • Agree that Clem is the ‘lucky’ winner. Karma.

  9. I like Danny’s Minifig special the torso. If the bullet hits Emma hopefully it will not do much damage (bullet graze only). I want to see her more in action. 🙂

    • I too really like the torso. I wish LEGO made more casual style torsos like that.

  10. Oh my, things are definitely taking a “from bad to worse” turn. I vote for a headshot on Clem!

    • That would certainly improve Sam’s chances.

  11. I’m glad that you have had gun training and feel all should be trained, I feel the same. With all the “prep-ers” out there I’m surprised by how few teach the kids and the future about guns, just a permit and a have a nice day smile.

    Now for where the bullet goes… Unless he knows how to bend bullets flight paths…and using a protractor on a shielded iPad. The paths line up at the lady’s ear. However you could do the cliche about the drama jump / shove, or since there is this level of noise, you could “teleport” in a herd of dead heads.
    “Teleporting” zombies is how the walking dead and marvel zombies got the zeds into the drama mix. Making for 1 lucky shot!

    • It really bothers me how irresponsible a lot of gun owners are. It gives the rest of us a bad name.

      • It is not just the irresponsibility of people, it is also the fact that America is deeply interned into making sure it is counter-culture centered. We glorify Al Capone knock offs, drugs, and reality online/ tv shows (& lawyers) that tell us we don’t have to take any responsibility for our own actions.

        I wish we got back to the counter-culture that took responsibility, did more guerrilla gardening, lego patching, and reverse graffitied urban renewal art, etc…
        Time will tell how far the rabbit holes go.

  12. My guess would be Sam and Clem will have to team up if they want to survive this double or maybe triple Z attack (considering the lost bullet hits Emma, also considering they turn super fast). I kinda like impossible storyline and impossible duo…

    • That is always a fun setup.

  13. Kinda looks like Danny’s gun is aimed toward Emma, if she’s lucky it could only be a grazing shot.

    I think Abe’s reanimation brings up an interesting point, that whatever causes the Zeds in this world, is so common that everyone is already infected, just that dying is what triggers it out of dormancy or it is able to attack that host body when its defenses are down.

    • Very good point, Mattexian. I’m not sure that it’s something that I’ll ever directly address in the comic, but it is one of those background mysteries that I think make stories more interesting.

  14. It’s going to ricochet and go through all 3 off their heads magically. Why not, it’s BotD after all!?! Sorry for inactivity, real life stuff. These dang stars wouldn’t know what to do if they were handed a real gun. Good points and comic strips as always, Dave.

    • Hah, that would be quite a shot.

  15. Playing catch up

    Hope Emma survives but not seeing a love interest with the guy responsible for her family’s death is just a video game dream.

    Bullets do ricochet. It is a simple matter of how they hit an object as to whether or not they penetrate or bounce. Want to try it? Take some rocks and find a body of water. Throw rocks at water at various angles. See what happens. Some of you may remember skimming rocks.