Episode 615: Goodbye Cruel World

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: It’s Time

One of the most horrifying things about zombies as a monster is the fact that, with just a small bite or scratch, they can doom their victims to become another zombie. This causes two issues. The first and most obvious is that this allows the zombies to very quickly perpetuate their numbers while simultaneously weakening that of the living. The second is psychological. Becoming a zombie is an absolutely terrifying prospect, and one that can cause victims to do a lot of very unpredictable and dangerous things. Just look at how often characters in hide their wounds, effectively turning themselves into time bombs.

There’s another aspect of infected survivors, which can have a profound affect on the morale of the rest of the group. I’m speaking, of course, of the awful responsibility of euthanasia that falls on the rest of the group. Not only are they putting the doomed person out of their pain and misery, but preventing them from reanimating and infecting others. World War Z (the novel, obviously) handled this extremely well, with a new class of society rising out of this terrible responsibility.

About this Episode:

Barb and Clark have been hanging out on the periphery of the scene in the last couple episodes, discussing their plan and – in Barb’s case – grabbing a screwdriver to use to do the job.

On an unrelated note; I apologize for my lack of interaction in the comments over the last couple of days. Work has been pretty insane, giving me very little free time.

Discussion Question: Mercy Squad

As I mentioned above, World War Z took the idea of killing the infected in interesting directions, creating a sort of subculture that was responsible for the task (in Russia, I believe). I’ve always found this idea fascinating, and I’m curious how you guys think it would impact society. How would these people be treated? Would they be respected, somewhat like religious or spiritual leaders? Or shunned? Would they be able to affect any degree of power and influence?

29 thoughts on “Episode 615: Goodbye Cruel World”

  1. Typo alerts: “become another zombies” zombies–zombie (remove s, it’s the singular form not the plural you want here.)

    “Just look at how often characters in hide their wounds, effectively turn themselves into time bombs.”

    Should read somewhat as follows, there’s part of the sentence missing here, definitely needs rewriting in any case, though:

    Just look at how often characters in stories and shows hide their wounds, they effectively turn themselves into time bombs.

    ” rising out of this terribly responsibility.” terribly–>terrible 😀

    I don’t know if Dave has enough free time from work to fix these typos, but as always, they’re there for when he has time to go fix them! 😀

    • Fixed all. That’s a lot of typos.

      • You still need to remove the “in” from that first typo. 😀

        • Actually, checking into it further, you shouldn’t remove “in”, sorry, instead, you have to add in after the above mentioned word the following: “stories and shows” 😀

  2. Regarding the episode itself, and the last few, in fact: I feel like the pace is rushing through the comic, and that Dave’s workload has been partially driving him to skip some parts, like where they discuss what has to happen to Ted with the kids, I thought we were going to have that happen, at the very least? This episode looks a lot more like they’re going to try and remove Ted’s infected body part, than to actually euthanase him. If they were going to properly euthanase him, they’d have to deal damage to his head to make sure he didn’t come back as a zombie! I really hope Dave can work around his day job somehow, to do this story arc properly, although if he’s gotta make the bills come in, I can understand that.

    • You’re right in that I didn’t directly address the kids being told about what was happening; I wanted to suggest it more by context than simply lay it out. I’m experimenting with that stuff taking place off-screen, at least in some circumstances.

  3. “Mercy Squads” would only become available after some semblance of civilization returned, or they would only be active in settlements. They would be revered differently in different cultures. In the western world, they would be viewed with contempt and disgust for taking away our loved ones, though in more “pagan” areas, such as the phillipines and the South American jungle they would be viewed with revere for cleaning up the sick.

    I have a possible discussion question: Would the Police and Military be able to withstand a slow-zombie attack? With all of the tech and skilled fighters in both occupations, you would assume they would be able to survive. In World War Z Max Brooks covers this in the battle of Yonkers where all of the technology failed to bring victory, but realistically if all else fails, just drive tanks over the zombies, or shred them with 50. Cals.

    • Excellent question, SB. I’m going to use that for Wednesday’s strip.

      • Dave im sorry will u please forgive me

        • Stop insulting people, posting inane conversations with fictional characters, advertising your comic, and start actually interacting with people.

  4. Interesting question Dave. I haven’t read World War Z (honestly because I cant find it in an audiobook. All I can find is the movie edition and I have been told not to waste my time with it.) The idea of a class of people concerned with euthanizing the infected is intriguing. Its hard to say how they would be treated by society as a whole, especially in these days when the debate of doctor assisted suicide is so prevalent. Ive often wondered if the practice ever became widespread would a special group class of physician develop whose trade it was to evaluate people who wanted to end their lives then oversee the procedure?
    I keep thinking about the “sin eaters” of the 18th and 19th century, shunned by society but playing an integral role at the same time.
    Then there a the religious implications, suicide is a sin in the vast majority of religions. It would be interesting to see these “euthanizers” rise up as a clerical caste, who could grant absolution and take steps to prevent the abomination of reanimation at the same time.
    Lot of potential here.

    • I believe the only audio book of WWZ is the abridged version. I’m told it’s quite well done, but it’s still abridged. You should pick up the novel. It’s quite excellent.

      As far as the movie goes, the only thing it has in common with the book is a title. I liked it well enough in it’s own right, but they’re so completely different it’s hard to even compare the two.

  5. The SyFy show Z nation in which society is not rebuilt on any kind of grand scale instead of a caste killing those about to die or who had already turned made something of a ritual of it by saying ” (Person’s Name) I give you mercy.” This allowed the person doing the killing to absolve themselves of the quilt of killing someone.
    Interestingly in the first episode of the show they have to “give mercy” to an old woman dying of cancer. The female lead does it and afterward the male lead thanks her saying he could not “give mercy” anymore since it was just too much for him.

    • I’ve watched a couple of episodes of the show. It’s quite a mess, but that aspect of it was at least interesting.

      • im not insulting the people im just asking to u what happend in last comic who will win

        • 1. You’re responding to the wrong thread.
          2. You are insulting people; you called one commenter a “bitch” before I removed your comment.
          3. I already told you, I neither can nor will explain “who will win.”

  6. im not insulting the people i love them u ask them im insulting them or not

    • I’m not asking you. I’m telling you. You just insulted someone. I don’t allow that here, period.

      • ok ok just forgive me next time i understand good language and good boy please forgive me this time

        • That’s fine; you know the rules.

        • Just use your preferred search engine to research the following: “Just follow Wheaton’s law: don’t be a dick.” The word “dick” is an euphemism for “idiot” in this context, it does not refer to a certain part of your anatomy. Whenever you encounter an unfamiliar word, use a site such as dictionary.reference.com or search for “usage”, plus the word you’re unfamiliar with, before going around and responding to or using it in replies.

          You should also use your preferred search engine to find some sites related to the elements of the English language. The syntax, grammar, and composition of a sentence are all important elements of a sentence, and the words are usually nouns, adjectives, adverbs, or verbs, or other types of elements. Study it until you understand it quite well before posting more in English comment sections, it will help you greatly in the long run if you understand what it is you’re actually trying to say. Don’t be worried if your English sentence composition is bad, as long as the meaning is conveyed, people can usually figure out what you’re trying to say.

  7. please forgive me im crying im just a boy small boy

  8. Wait, wait…so Clark and Barb are taking Ted upstairs, that is being overrun with zombies? Yes, Clark has barricaded the window but it’s not safe. Hopefully nothing bad will happen.

    • Nothing worse than a bit of zombification or getting eaten by zombies, yeah … That’s the ticket! 😉

      • Yeah, those experiences would definitely be near the bottom of my to do list.

        • Actually, I mean that those experiences are upstairs just waiting to happen, in Ted, Clark, and Barb’s case! 😀

    • Hah, yeah, let’s home they’ve got the rest of the windows and doors blocked up.

  9. I think that those who deal with the infected would end up roughly equivalent to the people who have to look after bodies during any epidemic, regarded as a “necessary evil”.

    • Right you are; sort of graves registration sort of duty.