Zombie Cliche Lookout: Dominoes Falling
Traditional storytelling follows a pretty standard trajectory. You start with the exposition. The story has to be setup; we need to know the rules of the universe, what’s at stake, and who is involved. Once that’s all established, it’s time for the plot to get rolling, and things start to build up. Any 100-level writing class is going to tell you that this is rising action. As the story progresses, shit gets more and more real and the pace picks up. At some point, we reach the point of climax (boom, sexual imagery). The climax is where everything that’s been building up so far is directly addressed. After the climax, things start winding down. This is called the falling action, and gives us the immediate repercussions. Finally, we arrive at the denouement, which is where everything is wrapped up. We might even flash forward in time a bit to check in on our characters in the future.
Zombie stories typically don’t stray very far from this typical linear model. Ongoing stories, like this comic, work slightly differently. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still telling a linear story, but because it’s something ongoing, there’s a lot of different strings going at the same time. That way, as we check in on different characters, we can jump around to the various stages on the model.
About this Episode:
I tried to keep the framing and setup of the last two frames very similar, because I thought it would be cool. I kind of wish, in hindsight, that I had gone for a mirror image look, but I’m still pretty happy with it.
Discussion Question: Super Powered Zombies
I read a lot of zombies books. I mean, a whole lot of them. And, of course, I’m only scratching the surface of what’s out there. That makes things kind of tough for a zombie writer. How can they stand out from the crowd? One popular approach is to tweak the zombies. We have fast zombies and slow zombies. That’s pretty normal. But what about zombies that can teleport? Zombies that can dodge bullets? Zombies that can fly?
What do you think of these approaches? Are they still zombie stories? Are these monsters still zombies?