Episode 483: Small Steps

Photo of author



Zombie Cliche Lookout: Building Trust

We’ve been talking a lot lately about meeting other survivors in the zombie apocalypse, and how it’s both terrifying and potentially life saving. The best way to transition away from terrifying and into partnership is by building trust, which is no easy task. Like all big projects (eating an elephant, as the cliche goes), you have to take things one step at a time. No rational person is going to develop deep, abiding trust in a stranger in a few minutes. That only happens with time and effort.

Of course, this is often not a regularly paced, linear journey. It can easily be derailed. If, for instance, you were to betray someone’s trust and they found out about it, you’d be worse off than when you started. Not only will you have to re-earn that trust, but you’ll now be working against your own dishonest history. In the zombie apocalypse, there might not be time for all that.

About this Episode:

Stewart’s peevish expression is really coming in handy for these interactions. He looks annoyed, which I think really sells the fact that he doesn’t trust these people quite yet. It’s not when a character’s face contributes to the mood. Often, and especially with Stewart, this isn’t the case. Since I can’t substitute other faces on account of his sunglasses, Stewart always looks irritated, which doesn’t always match the mood of the story.

Discussion Question: Baby Steps Toward Trust

Let’s say you’re in a situation not dissimilar to Stewart’s. How could you work with other survivors to build trust, especially if they’ve disarmed you, and also outnumber you? Now, what if the shoe is on the other foot? Let’s say your zombie survivor group has disarmed someone for your own safety, what can you do to convince them that you’re friendly?

16 thoughts on “Episode 483: Small Steps”

  1. Typo alert, Zombie Cliche lookout, second paragraph, third sentence: ‘than than’–>than 😀

    Discussion Question, third sentence: show–>shoe 😀

    • Fixed all.

  2. Regarding Stewart’s sunglasses: They can be taken off, IRL, I mean. So what you do is look for heads without glasses that are suitable for Stewart, as obviously he can’t always wear them 100% of the time. Obviously, you’ll want to pick a head or heads which have multiple expressions. This could offer the opportunity for some real character development regarding Stewart! 😀

    • As to where the sunglasses disappear when not being worn? Pockets! 😀

      • We also don’t really know what color hair he has under that cap. More character development opportunities here I reckon! 😉

        • Actually, we have seen it, but only twice (if I recall correctly). He has blond hair.

      • Hah, he’s got plenty of pockets.

    • Well, kind of. I’ve not revealed it yet, but there’s a reason Stewart never takes them off, even when it’s dark like now: they’re prescription.

  3. In a situation like this, I’d probably walk off and wait for them to stop me (which they would do) to show them that I’m not going to be a hostile individual. I would do something similar if it was the other way round.

    Recently I have made this new design for a T-Shirt, and I wanted to hear some feedback about it first. A lot of people say that they can see a picture of a dog if they look at it the right way!
    How could it be improved?


    • Very nice! What’s the significance of six fingers on the hand?

      Also, what are you using to draw this? If you intention is to get it printed on a t-shirt, I’d use a vector-based program like Illustrator. It looks like this image is pixelated, which you wouldn’t want on a shirt.

      • The sixth finger is only there so it doesn’t look like a STOP sign!
        The design was hand-drawn, and then uploaded to Paint.NET to make the block colours. A low-budget method indeed! I will probably get a free-edition as I’m only using it once.
        One last question though: can a picture of a dog be seen in the design? I can’t see it at all.

        • Shiet, I see a dog now. I’ve wasted a lot of precious studying time drawing that.

  4. In Stewart situation 1st thing I’ll do is cooperate… Let’s face it he is unarmed, outnumbered. Wanna build trust ? Do what the guy with the gun says.

    Trust is something people gain from other people ready to give it. It’s a kind of trade, so let’s trade some stuff/information/help before I give you my trust and you give me yours.

  5. Not comfortable talking about this? Is Stewart being held hostage by two armed strangers or on a first date? Maybe he thinks this is a job interview? At least the kidnappers are using soft interrogation techniques with simple leading questions.

    Beef thief here’s a hint for this type of situation. Walking away from the people who took the time to scout you, surround you, disarm you and question you on their terms will tell them you are uncooperative. They will then either shoot you dead, shoot to wound and ask not so nice questions or stop you, beat you, tie you up and then decide how to get the information they want from you. People who take the time to establish their power and authority over you will take your walking away as a rejection of that power and will do what it takes to get it back.

    If they don’t stop you what are you going to do? Go back to camp empty handed? Great now you’ve lead them to your people and they will scout you out and decide how they are going to handle you and the people you’ve just given up to them. Don’t go back to camp and try to survive on your own? Realize they aren’t stopping you and go back to them in an even weaker postion then when you started?

  6. I can see the dog. The head of the ax in the head the curved end of the crowbar is the tail, and the two other ends are the feet. The emblem with the hand is the body.

    In Stewart’s situation i agree with Pi3rK he does not have much of a choice right now.

  7. In my opinion, the monent you relax in the Apocalypse is most likely your last. It’s a big risk even to sleep with one eye open, so if I were Stewart I would be far more diligent than he is being right now.