Episode 479: Getting To Know Each Other

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Disarming New Friends

Food, water, guns, ammo, machetes, those will all be harder to come by in the zombie apocalypse. But perhaps the thing in the shortest supply is going to be trust, especially among strangers. You just never know how desperate your fellow survivor is going to be. You don’t know how many people they have back in camp, and how much those people might need supplies. Your supplies. You also can’t ever be sure when you’re dealing with a full-on psychopath.

The trouble is, both sides are going to be feeling the same thing. They just don’t know if these new people are any better than the zombies, so it behooves them to be as cautious as possible. That means, if one side manages to get the upper hand, they’re going to want everyone else disarmed. Of course, the disarmed people aren’t going to be to happy about that, and taking away their weapons isn’t going to do much to engender their trust.

About this Episode:

So, speaking of Stewart’s machete, I  had to cheat a little bit on this one. It’s just stuck onto his backpack with a small dot of sticky-tac. I wanted him gathering up sticks, which takes two hands, but it would be absolutely suicidal to go out into the woods unarmed.

Discussion Question: Off-Camera Dialog

In this episode, a person is off-camera giving Stewart commands. This made me think, how much sense does it make to add a tail to the dialog balloon if it doesn’t actually point to anyone we can see? Do you guys prefer tail-less dialog balloons for these types of episodes? I think I kind of do, although you could make the argument that the tail points in the direction that the voice is coming from, which may be important. I’m definitely curious what you guys think.

39 thoughts on “Episode 479: Getting To Know Each Other”

  1. Typo alert, Zombie Cliche Lookout, second paragraph, third sentence: managers–>manages

    About this episode, second sentence: “It’s just stuck it on” Remove bolded word.


    • Fixed both. For that second one, I think I rewrote the sentence at one point and just missed editing that part. Thanks as always.

  2. About the dialog balloons, it depends on how far away the person actually is, to me it looks like they’re hiding in the bushes and could by now be right by Stewart, especially since the tail was a little shorter looking in the last panel. If you want someone to sound distant, make the word balloon tail off-panel or eliminate it entirely and make it into some sort of bordered dialog balloon that indicates a person far away. Just my 2c worth, Google will probably have a lot of ideas on how to create different dialog balloons for different situations, so I think you should definitely check that out.

    • Note about off-panel tails for word balloons, you could have it indicate the direction of the person, or you could move the tail about to intentionally create confusion or someone moving. I’d suggest going with whatever fits what your storyline calls for. 😉

      • Yeah, I’m going for a reference of direction at the moment. More for the reader than anything else. I just don’t know that it necessarily matters.

    • I didn’t think about doing a dotted line or something like that. Interesting idea.

  3. As for Stewart’s reaction in the last panel: I’m wondering if he’s spotted someone or something his new antagonist (I wouldn’t call him a friend because he’s not.) hasn’t spotted yet? Perhaps something dangerous, like a zombie coming towards that gunshot? Only Dave knows for sure, but I think Wednesday’s episode should have our antagonist at least a little concerned where Stewart’s head is looking! 😀

    • I thought he was just looking at his machete

      • Hah, always a possibility.

    • Interesting read. It might be that Stewart sees something. Or maybe he’s trying to figure out if there are multiple people out there. Or maybe he’s in the woods with Cheryl and is looking for her. Hard to say.

  4. About the backpacks, why did I think some of your characters were using the 30158 backpacks and not the 2524 backpacks? Or am I just seeing badly lit backpacks? 😀

    • I guess you’re right BV, I think they use the 30158 earlier. The 30323 polar backpack would be perfect though! Not to big, 2 holders. All benefits of 30158 and 2524!

      • Mmmh… the problem is that even with a backpack with clips on the side you would not be able to attach the machete properly. If I’m not mistaken the handle of this custom accessory is not round (unlike the official MF accessories) so if you insert it into a clip, the blade would end up perpendicular to the backpack, not parallel, and this would look weird.

        • You’re absolutely right, Greg. It looks really weird too.

      • Also a good point. I try to keep things consistent and have them always use the stuff they’ve previously been shown to have, unless they find something new.

    • Murphy has a different backpack. It’s not official; I believe it’s a BrickForge item. That’s the one with clips on the side.

      I actually don’t have any of the official backpack with the clips on them. I should try to grab some off BrickLink or something.

  5. If the character knows where the sound is coming from; use a tailed balloon. (at least when the voice and the character are near to each other) If the character doesn’t know where it’s coming from, don’t use it. But it’s not an iron rule… if I think it’s necessary I will deviate from this.

    • I think so far Stewart doesn’t know where it comes from because he is looking in different direction (panel 2 and 4), the use of non-tailed balloons would make sense here.

      I myself use a different types of tails depending of the situation but I always use them (pointing them to corners of the panel for non displayed characters).

      That brings me another question I asked myself when creating my own comic : Does zombie should moan/grunt through balloons ? or just insert background sounds ?

      • Oh yeah, I like that read on things.

        In regard to your question, I always have the zombies’ moans in standard bubbles, although I think it would work just as well to make them background noise, since it’s not really dialog, per se.

    • Seems like a good rule of them, FL.

  6. Haha. The person is totally in the Bush beside Stewart. Jk

    • Dang, I thought this new character was a talking bush!

      • Oh man, you guys figured it out!

        • My 2 cents that the new characters is a veteran sniper ( shot Stewart where he wanted) equiped with full camouflage clothing (the talking bush Greg was talking about)!

  7. Tailed balloons for outside panel speakers. If you have more than one how are you going to know the difference? Also it gives you some perspective.

    • That’s kind of how I’ve always approached it.

  8. Tailed balloons; it gives a sense of directionality for the off-camera person. Generally, non-tailed dialogue balloons are used to indicate directionless dialogue, such as from a loud speaker, voice over (such as in a flashback sequence) or other talking that you can’t tell the direction of.
    Though, it helps prevent some confusion if you angle the tail toward the speaker but keep the point of the tail off-panel, otherwise, like Brickvoid said, it looks like the voice is coming from the bush. Unless the speaker actually is hiding in the bush, in which case, good job lol!

    • That’s a good idea about the the tip of the tail.

  9. BTW. Stewart is awfully trusting all of a sudden and that surprises me. I’d thought he would have scrambled for cover after that first shot immediately, before starting to talk. I mean, if the person shooter has to ask if he is alive in the first panels (Stewart is sitting so that should be obvious), that would mean he does not see Stewart so he can still run for some kind of cover.

    • I don’t know, I’ve seen a person dead in sitting positions on a bus once. Not the sort of thing you’d want to see, but yes, it can happen that someone will die in a sitting position and remain motionless. 🙂

      • *sitting position, sorry

      • Well, not in this case, Stewart got up from lying on his back, frowning (which may be obscured by the cap, I’ll give you that) and the (heavy looking) backpack would’ve pulled Stewart over to the back. Besides his head is erect (okay, It’s Lego, I know). The person on the bus would’ve looked asleep I guess, and would not be sitting like Stewart is sitting.

        If the person would have seen Stewart he would’ve seen him get up from lying on his back to sitting position.

        “it can happen that someone will die in a sitting position and remain motionless.”
        I’d hope they remain motionless… but I’ve seen otherwise… (don’t ask)

        • I’m glad you noticed the shading on the hat. That’s something I’m trying to do here. I want to suggest that this it’s somewhat dark here, maybe dusk or dawn. That way, the person talking might not be able to see Stew’s face very well.

      • Man, BV, you’ve had some crazy experiences.

    • I don’t know that this indicates he’s trusting. He might just be in shock and not sure how to react. A lot of people just freeze.

  10. I prefer the tailed balloons as they give direction (like others have said). Moreover, tailless balloons mean voice over (“Meanwhile, back in the forest…”) or voice-from-above (“Noah! Build me an ark!”) to me.

    • Those are some mighty fine examples, Kim.

  11. I use and like to see tails that go off camera in the direction of the voice when there’s a person within the “four walls” of the scene doing the talking. Save the tailless stuff for voiceover narration.

  12. I’m in complete agree with the rest on the tail vs. non, but since we know the direction of voice, the direction the character is starting walk, and that the voice is disarming him…we can safely assume he is also in visual range of what I’m assuming is a holestered gun. No one can assume how good anyone is with a gun, but if you see one, well aren’t you going to do something about it?