Episode 607: Pivot

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Zombie Cliche Lookout:

Surviving in the zombie apocalypse requires a lot of luck, as well as a fair bit of attention and flexibility. Any potential survivor lacking these traits isn’t likely to last for long. Luck is obvious; all it takes is a bit of bum luck and you can kiss your ass goodbye. A lack of attention likely means you won’t notice the zombie waiting quietly in the dark corner until it’s too late.

Flexibility is an interesting one. On the one hand, many situations call for focus on a single goal, ignoring issues that aren’t entirely pressing. But in a survival situation, regardless of whether zombies are involved, there are rarely issues that aren’t important. Thus, it’s extremely important to be able to make quick decisions about priorities and shift focus on a dime. Sure, blocking the entrance is going to prevent more zombies from coming in, but it won’t do you a lot of good if a zombie takes a big bite out of you.

About this Episode:

In the third panel, Clark is throwing himself backwards to buy some time and line up his shot on the zombie that’s about to attack him. I’m not sure I really pulled it off. In my defense, that’s a pretty athletic move to try to pull off with a LEGO minifig with extremely limited articulation.

Discussion Question: Using Firearms Indoors

In the last two episodes, a character has fired a gun inside. Now this is an extremely common occurrence in popular fiction. However, in the real world this would cause a number of issues. First of all, guns are a hell of a lot louder than they seem in movies and television shows. Firing indoors, where the sound would just bounce around, would be a good way to blow out an ear drum, or at the very least have everyone hearing an annoying ring for the next day or so. And let’s not forget, bullets don’t simply stop when they hit a zombie; depending on the type of round, velocity, and what it hits, they’ll very likely just keep going, hitting whatever is behind that zombie.

The question is, what do you guys like to see? A more realistic portrayal of firearms, or a more TV/movie-centric focus on action? A little of column A, a little of column B?

47 thoughts on “Episode 607: Pivot”

  1. I always like when stories go with realism. I’ve seen in TV shows, especially The Walking Dead, times in which the characters go deaf from a bullet fired right next to their ear, but I wonder how the noise would be in a great battle, such as in the confrontation of the Prison/Woodbury, in which there are tanks firing, bullets flying everywhere. I don’t know how guns work in real life, but I’m sure that a battle like that could diminish your hearing.

    One time, I was playing True Crime: New York City, and in the beginning of the game, before you shoot the protagonist puts on earplugs. I found this scene interesting because it makes much more realistic.

    Also, perhaps next episode you could have Clark going deaf for a few seconds due to his fire. Maybe you could pull this off by putting the words ‘RING’ in the panel or putting the background out of focus, but you’re the story teller here.

    • yeh what are you im franklin from GTA V

    • I’ve never shot a gun indoors, but I’ve done lots of outdoor shooting. Without proper ear protection, you’re looking at days of ringing. I can’t imagine how bad it would be inside like that.

    • hey wassup callofgaming what u think who will win?

  2. When it comes to guns, sometimes they can be extremely loud, or they might not actually be quite as loud as they seem. It really depends on what type of gun it is, and I’ve seen live shots of real gunfire on TV, and it doesn’t seem too loud from the cameraman’s point of view. Of course, it probably is a lot louder than movies make it out to be, but hey they have to make the special effects and sounds come together to create a coherent fictional scene, so they have to make concessions somewhere. I’m okay with movie sounds, where necessary. Otherwise, I’d say stick with realism where you can.

    • In those situations, the cameraman is undoubtedly wearing strong ear protection, and the volume on the screen isn’t representative of reality. Have you done any shooting, BrickVoid?

      • No I haven’t. I have heard cars backfiring in the street, and very loud noisy cars going by occasionally without a muffler on, and I doubt the gun noise would be a lot louder than that unless you’re standing right next to one. That is not something I’d advise anyone do, anyway.

    • yeh so they have guns from GTA V like MP5 ak_47 and carbine rifles i think Dave have to put this new weapons very powerful what u think Dave

  3. As for what Clark did, it looks okay to me, although I really think you should use effect noises or emotes where he’s doing some specific move and hasn’t just fallen over or been misplaced in the scene. 😉

    • That’s not a bad idea.

  4. oh nice comic

    • Thanks.

      • Dave i think u have to put new weapons like carbine rifles ak-47 rocket launcher two very powerful guns with 200 hundreds bullets what u think is that work

      • Dave i think u have to put shotguns very very power full and carbine rifles with torch light and with new clothes like jackets gloves legs pads and torch Dave i think u have too choose this new weapons hopes thats works

        • As far as weapons go, the idea here isn’t to give all the characters extremely powerful weaponry and watch the bloodbath. I tend to prefer improvised weapons in zombie fiction instead of firearms. With this characters, they managed to get their hands on a few guns from the prisoners, but they don’t have any extra ammo, so their usefulness is pretty limited.

  5. For this comic, you have been quite realistic so far and I appreciate that. To keep consistent, You should probably make this gunfire cause some problems. Shooting should always be used as a last resort, as it is in my line of work. The throwing himself backwards does not seem like the kind of thing that a teen-ager pumped up on adrenaline would think to do. Not complaining though, as that is the smart thing to do. I’m a bit worried about Ted, as he is downwind from the bullets. That is an MP-5 that Stewart is using, and 9mm bullets are not known to go all the way through a body, so Ted probably will not be hit. Also, If someone shoots an MP-5 like that, because it is the same caliber as Officer Murphy’s pistol, it will not go flying back from the kick or anything. If Stewart is reasonably toned, it will not be the cause of much kick. I’ve shot one at the range and it’s like a big pistol.

    • That’s actually Clark, not Stewart. He’s a bit older, in his mid-thirties.

      I’m definitely getting the impression that you guys want to see consequences for firearm use, which is awesome.

      • Also, I didn’t realize that 9mm rounds didn’t tend to over-penetrate. Interesting.

      • oops, it looked like stewart because of the glasses, sorry for the confusion

  6. Stick to the realism or as much as a zed apocalypse comic can. But here is a realism problem for you. Last episode you mentioned the zed plague is spread by bites and scratches. Then you had Ted’s mouth, nose and eyes covered by a tremendous spray of blood and vaporized brain matter. So for realism Ted should be a zed in 3,2,1 GO.

    • Right you are; the chances that Ted didn’t get any fluid in his mouth, nose, or eyes is pretty slim.

  7. Dave im really really sorry your comic is good im just trying to ask u a question

    • It’s cool, don’t sweat it.

      • no im sorry im just trying to ask u a question and u angry on me everybody asking u a question

        • No one is angry; what’s your question?

  8. my question is where this comic goes and who will win? in last comic ted clark or sam

    • That’s not something I can answer. I’ve got a lot of plans for the plot, but it’ll come out as the comic is released.

  9. look Dave i have not friends i wanna friendship with u no talk with me on this site

    • i mean no one talk with me im just trying to ask everybody they say muaz im sorry we can’t friendship with u this is a situation

      • No worries, muazqamar. I think we’ve got a bit of a language barrier here as well. We’re cool.

        • u friendship with me

        • Sure

  10. First of all I heavily favor a degree of realism in my fiction, especially where firearms are concerned. That being said I strongly disagree with what was said about the 9 x 19 parabelum cartridge. It is a relatively small caliber (about .35in) high velocity (supersonic) round that is widely known for its penetration. It was primarily developed as a military cartridge way back at the turn of the (last) century.

    Basically three factors effect how far a bullet will penetrate any given media. First is the type of media itself of course, second is the speed of the bullet, and third is the type of bullet itself. The simplest and most common ammunition used in automatic and semi-automatic firearms is whats commonly called Full Metal Jacketed (FMJ or “hardball”) where the lead bullet is fully encased in a this jacket of copper or steel. These are used because they are much less likely to cause feed jams and because they are mandated by the Geneva convention because the bullet doesn’t deform or expand when passing though flesh. (more humane) Because they don’t deform they tend to pass right through a person unless they encounter heavy bone.

    The 9mm is the single most popular handgun cartridge in the world and is used by 60% of US law enforcement. HOWEVER most of those are “expanding” bullets designed to “mushroom” when they encounter flesh and have far less penetration. In face, New York was the last city to mandate the use of FMJ rounds in police firearms for reasons of political correctness and they had to give it up in 1999 when several studies showed the number of bystander casualties caused by overpenetrating FMJ rounds.

    So to sum it up, the 9mm is a penetration monster, but the MP-5 (or variant, they are also available in 10mm and .45ACP) used here was originally a SWAT team weapon and most likely isn’t leaded with FMJ ammo.

    On to the noise issue. There is a hell of a lot at play here, but in general 2 factors affect the noise level produced by a firearm. One of course is the report of the weapon itself, the sound made by the rapid combustion of the propellant. The second, believe it or not, is the tiny sonic boom made by the bullet breaking the sound barrier. Supersonic rounds like the 9mm or .357magnum make a far different noise then sub-sonic rounds like the .45ACP or .38special. (almost all rifle rounds are supersonic)

    I have fired both a 9mm and a .45ACP indoors without ear protection (I was young and stupid and I don’t recommend it!) I recovered my hearing much faster with the .45ACP then the 9mm.

    I own several guns in 9mm, but because of the overpenetration and noise issues, the one I sleep next to is a .45ACP. (Which, by the way, I will replace with one of those new revolvers that fires a .410 shotgun shell as soon as I get around to buying one)

    • hey where u come from

    • Wow, excellent, excellent information Damage. This confirms my understanding of 9mm ammo and it’s tendency to over-penetrate (especially with FMJs and hitting squishy stuff instead of bone). Thanks for the in-depth info!

      • My pleasure Dave. The misunderstanding about the 9mm is understandable because a lot of people used to regard it as an underpowered cartridge with insufficient stopping power compared to other popular LE and personal defense rounds like the .357magnum or .45ACP. Its actually a very effective cartridge provided you use a bullet design that expands and allows it to transfer its kinetic energy effectively.

        But in a ZA scenario it would be my cartridge of choice. It has light recoil, would be relatively plentiful since its used by most LE and all military handguns, and most pistols chambered for it have high magazine capacity. The Beretta M9 is the standard military handgun for all US armed forces and has a 16round capacity (15 in the magazine and 1 in the chamber). Forget the big caliber revolver our favorite Sherriff carries, it kicks too much and is slow to reload. If you just gotta destroy the brain 9mm FMJ is the way to go.

        • A 9mm will likely be my first real handgun (I’ve got a Ruger Mk3, but that’s just for plinking).

          I love the Python. It’s a beautiful gun and all, but good lord is it out of place on the show. And don’t get me started on how Rick “aims” the damn thing.

        • Lots of great handguns out there in 9mm. Tons of configurations and options. Do your research and shop carefully. I love Sig-Sauer but they are very pricey. The new generation of Smith and Wessons are very good and much more affordable. I don’t know your area very well, but around here there are lots of indoor ranges/gunshops that rent guns for u to shoot while your there. Its a great way to try stuff out and see what works for you.

        • Oh yeah, I love researching. I won’t be buying anything anytime soon. All our disposable income these days is going toward paying off student loans so we can buy a house. No gun for me for a bit.

        • Just be wary of the “gun counter cowboys” There is one store in particular in my area that I walked out of in 1996 and haven’t been back to since. I went in there with a non-gun enthusiast friend to purchase a simple revolver for him to use as a carry gun because his business used to involve lots of cash. By the time the “SWAT wannabe” salesman got though with him he wound up purchasing a Kimber 1911 Commander at over twice the price he originally intended. It was his money to spend as he saw fit, but the 1911 is a much more complex, bulky and intricate firearm that you need to train with and keep very clean in order for it to be serviceable. Its also much more difficult to carry concealed as required by law. He never trained with or carried the gun because he later admitted to me that it was to big and heavy.

        • Believe me I understand. Im dying for some new toys but the money a save up for them always seems to get diverted. I just lost a big chunk of my “daddys new AR-15 money” to replace a dead lawnmower. The joys of domesticity.

        • Oh man, I hate that kind of high-pressure salesmanship. I’ll definitely get some personal recommendations on shops before I try to purchase.

          Hah, good luck with the lawnmower!

  11. Going to be cheeky here… the Lego minifigs don’t have ears, so in reality this should be a silent comic 🙂 🙂

    But seriously, I’m happy either way you go Dave, its your comic and we are lucky to have someone creative and committed such as yourself to provide us with this entertainment on a regular high quality basis. Also we have a great little community of regular audience and chatter going on, which you encourage, which keeps us coming back.

    Didn’t intend for this to turn into a Dave is great comment… but it did, and it’s true, so it can stay 🙂

    I’m intrigued as to what Dave is going to do with Ted and the fact he may have ingested some zombie, from memory we haven’t seen this happen in this zombiverse yet, so it is an unknown like it is for the characters as to what will transpire.

    And Lastly, frame three. Works well when you see frame four, but as a stand alone I don’t think it is going to be able to be pulled off that well, so seeing it in context with other frames works, solo… not so much.

    • If ears are a problem switch to elf and orc lego minifigs, both have very large ears molded.

    • Hah, I’ve never complained about compliments.

  12. hey Dave i have a idea new weapons and new jackets like gloves legs pad gas mask and u see zombie never eat them hope that works

    • It would probably work, but there wouldn’t be a lot of tension if no one was at risk.