Episode 622: A Nick of Time

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Zombies Abhor a Vacuum

Taken individually, a zombie isn’t terribly threatening. The zombie is easy enough to take out, at least assuming you know how. It’s even easier to simply avoid the zombie altogether. I mean, there’s not really any sense in taking the risk of getting bitten when you can simply walk briskly by. This is why you don’t usually see single zombies very often in zombie stories after they’ve gotten going; they’re simply not that scary.

Of course, we do occasionally see a single zombie. That happens at the beginning of the story, and is used to demonstrate a few things. First, it shows us the monster alone to allow us to get a really sense of it. Second, is shows how the zombie is able to “reproduce”, so to speak. Finally, they often also show us how the zombie can be killed. Of course, as zombies have become more and more popular, these demonstrations are less important.

Since single zombies don’t really offer much of a threat, the story raises the stakes by increasing the numbers. One zombie isn’t really a big deal, but a couple dozen is a whole different story. The numbers of zombies are generally increased steadily. We might start with a few zombies, but more and more slowly stream in until we reach a point of critical mass.

About this Episode:

Apologies again for calling in sick on Friday. I’m still feeling pretty terrible, but good enough to get the strip out.

Also, hey, I remembered to make it dark out.

Discussion Question: Avoiding or Destroying a Single Zombie

I made the assumption above that it’s generally better – that is safer – to simply avoid a zombie rather than try to kill it. But is that always the case? Surely leaving a zombie alone simply leaves a danger for someone else to deal with. So what’s the better approach here, in both the short and long term?

21 thoughts on “Episode 622: A Nick of Time”

  1. I’m still getting used to this new layout format: For instance, the preview of the text for the comic often includes the headline so what I initially read is something like this:

    “Zombie Cliche Lookout: Zombies Abhor a Vacuum Taken individually …” It’s not any kind of error, just a strange way in which the blog or site software (whatever) handles a preview of what’s in an episode.

    I don’t know if Dave can work around this, or if this is just his software being what it is, but maybe he can look into what he can tweak. 😉

    • Also, it looks as if Dave started adding subtitles to the Zombie Cliche Lookout around Episode 181 or thereabouts. 😀

      Interestingly enough, on the first episode, the Words “About this Episode” were the first words you’d see under the comic title, not “Zombie Cliche Lookout”. Dave swapped it over from the second episode, and it’s been at the top ever since! 😀

      • The funny thing is, I did the first twenty or so episodes at the same time. Sometimes I’m just stupid.

        • nah u not stupid Dave u awesome your comic good

    • It’s on my list of fixes already, BV.

  2. Well, Sam and his new found friend should be okay, if they don’t make too much noise. if they’re quiet the zombies will probably keep going in a relatively straight line, since they seem to be walking away from the doors! 😀

    That being said, what would cause a zombie to change direction, in the absence of anything resembling prey?

    • I’d say An obstacle of some sort. Not necessarily a wall or anything like that. Just maybe a space where the ground is uneven.

  3. nice i think sam okay

    • He may well be; we’ll have to wait and see.

  4. Discussion Question:
    I think it makes sense to deal with one zombie so someone else doesn’t have to do that later.

    +I hope you feel a lot better very soon, Dave 🙂

    • I’m getting there. Feeling crummy still, but at least I can work today.

  5. Send in the clowns, and the cops too, I guess.

    • Hah, indeed.

      • I wrote up a Discussion Question for the next episode, just clowning around, Dave can use it if he wants to though:

        Dealing with a clown who’s become a zombie may seem like a joke, but the reality is that people will need to be ready for the unexpected. How well do you think you’ll fare when you find an unfortunate comedian turned zombie headed your way? Will you be prepared to do what’s necessary in the face of a seemingly hilarious situation?

  6. Man I HATE clowns.
    As far as the lone zombie, its situational.
    Usually I don’t like to leave anything behind that might bit me on the but later (literally)
    and one less zed walking around is one less that might be in a swarm later.
    But at the same time any engagement carries risk.
    I guess the rule of thumb would be that if Im just passing though I leave it, if Im going to be in the area for a while I take it out.

    • As far as the clown hatred goes, do you also hate masks? Is it an uncanny valley thing?

  7. but i like clowns

    • I like clowns too. However, it’s pretty common for people to be afraid of them. I know quite a few people with a fear of clowns myself.

  8. The real question is do zombies like clowns?

    Or do they think they taste funny? 😀

    • Depends on how far you want to take it:

      If the zombie’s only previous experience of biting a clown was a wax replica of one, they might well recognize other clowns as prey that tastes funny, but not in the sense you’re implying. That would, however, imply that the zombies in question have developed a memory of previous food items they’ve sampled, which means they’re a particular variant of a zombie that somehow kept a memory trait from victims that got turned into zombies.

      Most zombies will very likely outright bite whatever they recognize to be prey. They’re not going to care if they bite the President of the U.S. or a hobo, they’ll still bite them the same, so clowns would be bitten without prejudice or favor, the only choice the zombie would be making would depend on which person the zombie saw first, and it would therefore have started chasing them first. 😉

  9. I think that wether or not to kill a lone zombie is situational, and it raises assumptions such as; is it a slow zombie, does it have the capability of calling other zombies, is it fast, do you have a gun, do you have some kind of blade or bludgeon etc. id say use your best judgement according to the kind of apocalypse ur experiencing