Episode 524: Only So Competent

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: No Plan, No Clue

Given enough time, people can get used to just about anything. Zombies are certainly strange and terrifying, but eventually survivors are going to come to terms with them, and adapt their lives to the fact that the walking dead are a constant reality. This is an interesting time for zombie stories, because it represents a paradigm shift in characters. At the beginning of the story, they were terrified, and had to act purely on instinct. Some survived, most didn’t. As more and more people were weeded out, the remaining survivors began to develop survival strategies and are much better equipped against the zombies. At that point, the characters and story are fundamentally different from before.

Of course, some characters take longer to get to this point than others.

About this Episode:

I really liked playing around with forced perspective with this set, so I thought that I’d return to it and add another factor: micro-zombies in the background. To do this, I thought I’d use 1×1 round bricks with 1×1 round plates for heads and hair/hats. Seeing the effect in the comic, I’m not sure whether it came out as well as I thought. In fact, I was so conflicted about whether those specks would be recognizable as zombies that I tweaked the script a bit to give one of them a bit of distinctive dialog.

On the other hand, I’m kind of excited about pairing Stewart and Brent together. They’re easily the two least mature characters in the comic, so I hope to use this to explore the zombie genre from a different angle than I usually do with my more capable characters.

Discussion Question: Adaptation

How quickly do you think people could realstically grow used to living in a world where flesh eating zombies are a daily reality, and why do you think that? I think you guys are going to have some fascinating answers.

16 thoughts on “Episode 524: Only So Competent”

  1. Typo alert, Episode title: compotent–>competent 😀

    Zombie Cliche Lookout, first paragraph, third sentence, after the comma: represent–represents

    • Dave, there was a begin–>began typo there but I’m letting it slide because I think it sort of makes sense from a certain angle of reading. English is a wonderfully complicated language! 😀

      • Fixed this one too.

    • Fixed both. God I hate making typos in the headlines.

      • Query: You didn’t happen to mean “comported” for the headline typo, did you? Comported is a form of comport, meaning “to carry oneself with dignity”. I’m curious if your typos are starting to evolve. 😀

        • Actually, I mean which words were confusing you there. 😀 Switching vowels like o and e isn’t easy on most keyboards. 😀

        • No, I was going for competent. I just spelled it wrong.

  2. As to the micro zombies, they’re fairly passable from this distance, not too bad, you just have to be careful not to get them focused too well so that the blur effect will hide the fact that they have no limbs. 😀

    • Hah, good call there.

  3. Regarding what Stewart and Brent should be doing, the first thing is to not worry about the supplies for the moment and keep an eye out for zombies on their backs. This is because the danger is never from the enemy you’re watching: no matter how badly done, a common movie trope is that good guys are watching bad guys and never notice someone behind them and thus get captured or surprised by the bad guys! 😀

    In this case since the bad guys are zombies, there’s definitely a big chance that Stewart and Brent need to plan on watching their own backs! 😀 Even paralyzed ol’ Lou could creep up to them in their current state of unawareness! 😉

    • Excellent point, BV.

  4. The little mini-zombies work for their purpose.

    I think we would adapt amazing quickly. Look at how quickly humanity adjusts to other horrible things. We’re designed to adapt quickly to new situations. Well, or die.

    • Indeed we are. I think a lot of zombie fiction underestimates mankind’s ability to adapt.

  5. Adapt or die is a lovely saying. Shame many people die instead of adapting. While each person will take different times to adapt (some are ready now) others never will. I mean where do you think all those zeds are coming from? They are the ones who did not adapt.

    • Indeed they are.

      Adapt or die is fundamentally true, but that doesn’t make it easy.

  6. Not that it matters much, but this episode doesn’t seem to have any mouseover text. 😀

    Of all the thing I never notice, I pick now to notice it! 🙂