Episode 618: Forever Alone

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Standing On Your Own

When it comes to zombie stories, they tend to come in two flavors: those that find strength in numbers, and those that focus on a sole survivor. From a survival perspective, surviving all on your own seems like a long-term dead end. You’ll have to take more risks, have no one to watch your back, and be all the more careful about things like sleep or using the bathroom.

From a storytelling perspective, however, solo zombie survival stories can work quite well. It’s a lot easier for a person to put themselves into the story when there’s only one character, and that’s a big part of the draw of zombie survival stories. We like to imagine ourselves in these awful situations and how we would do better (or maybe worse) than the actual protagonists.

About this Episode:

When we last saw Sam, he was making an impassioned plea to Emma to come with him. I thought it looked like he was doing a pretty good job of it too. Unfortunately, it looks like he wasn’t able to convince her, so he’s on his own for the time being.

Discussion Question: Zombie Evolution

Today’s Discussion Question comes courtesy of BrickVoid: “If zombies could evolve or mutate, what would they become? Something even more terrifying than the living beings they originally came forth from? Or would they evolve into another species, like the homo-sapiens and other related species did?”

“One of the most challenging tasks of any good writer is to take something fictional and apply known theories to it regarding a certain subject. Zombies being what they are, can’t mate, but does that necessarily mean they can’t mutate their body cells into a new form of zombie? I think not! Think outside the box, not inside of it!”

Once again, this isn’t my question, so I’ll do my best to answer it.

I think this depends a lot on how accurate you’re trying to be. Zombies can’t really evolve in the traditional sense, since they don’t use sexual reproduction to pass their genes – including any possible mutations – along. That said, BV implored us to think outside the box, so I’ll give that a shot. Let’s say that the zombie outbreak is caused by some hitherto unknown contagion. That contagion could certainly mutate, and pass these mutations along to the newly infected.

22 thoughts on “Episode 618: Forever Alone”

  1. Typo alert in Dave’s answer: “including any possibly mutations” possibly–>possible

    I’ll let Dave decide if he wants to fix his own answer! 😉

    • I make this typo entirely too often.

  2. Looking at this comic, it seems as if Sam’s decided to hunt down any zeds he sees before they see him. Is this strategy a wise one? It could be a really short story arc if Sam’s whacking zeds on the head attracts some zeds, or if he strays too close to them due to paths he might have to take. That being said, at least Sam has knowledge of how these zombies pursue their prey, will he have learned anything? Only time will tell! 😀

    • At this point, I certainly hope he’s learned a few things. I guess we’ll see as this arc plays out.

  3. Sam seems a lot more badass and austere since the last time we saw him. Great work on this episode, I’m glad you’re back at pursuing this storyline! Although Sam is a little stupid to be wandering alone at night.

    • Thanks!

      In regards to Sam wandering at night, he doesn’t really have a choice. Emma kicked him out.

      • Yeah, I guess I should’ve thought about Emma kicking him out. Anyways, I’m really excited to see how this arc plays out. Sam just looks so cool in that last panel.

  4. oh nice

    • Indeed.

      • Dave please im sorry please friendship with me again

  5. What if it evolves to infect other species? other mammals to start with perhaps even insects. Imagine the mosquito transmitting the zombie virus, good luck stopping that after the initial human outbreak happened. Or
    If the virus mutated so infection was transferred by just touch.

    • That’s an excellent idea; one that I see in a few zombie stories, but it certainly doesn’t come up that often. I think we’d be well and truly screwed.

  6. I was just going to take the angle BrickThrone did. It seems the first kind of mutation we could expect would be one in the virus itself, allowing it to jump species.

    Other mutations are also common in viruses. Imagine if it became airborne. Imagine if it could turn a person without fully killing them — could an infected person then be cured? (Think of Will Smith’s experiments in I Am Legend here — I know, not really “zombies” but still…)

    • Another excellent suggestion!

  7. Sam!!!

    • Yes indeed!

  8. Yay, Sam is back!

    • I’m glad to see so many people like Sam.

      • me too

  9. Fortress of the apocalypse <= a manga worth it's salt, when it comes time to "warp" our humanity in the dead
    (deadmanity ? Idk what one would call it.)

    Also I would like to say, that environmental stuff should be a factor into what ingredents make the zed:
    Example: zed walks and bumbles around in a burning building, therefore it should be a closer to death zed on fire.
    Same should apply to toxic goo, electricity, and forest muck.

    I also liked how the resident evil series had crows that fed on the dead, making zeds apart of the food chain again, so maybe a dead zed, dead eater (someone with a board that they slap their forehead with calling "bring out your dead" to stick a random reference in).

    However since I hold to thought a wet zed is a happy zed (for means of virus deployment) then a cold zed shouldn't be as active.

    Still, Go Sam, go!

  10. It might just be me… but that zombie head looks like it could be Dave’s lego head zombie version, easter egg? or coincidence?

  11. The Girl with All the Gifts has an interesting take on zombie evolution.