Episode 701: Options

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Time to Panic?

There comes a time in every good zombie story (and most bad ones too, to be honest) where someone just needs to freak out. It’s all perfectly understandable, of course. They’re under a tremendous amount of stress, have probably lost loved ones, and are likely suffering from lack of sleep. That’s a lot to ask of a person who hasn’t gone through special forces training, and so there’s generally at least one person who can’t quite handle it.

This is where the leader in zombie survival story is really put to the test. One person’s meltdown can quickly become contagious, spreading to the rest of the group in no time. This destroys morale, which can make long term survival all but impossible. A good leader must act quickly, decisively, and effectively. Failing at any one of those things is a surefire recipe for disaster (and zombies eating people’s faces).

About this Episode:

Looking at this episode now, I can see the hint of a smile on Teddy’s face. I figured shooting it from the side would make him look panicked, but now I’m thinking it looks like I was just too lazy to swap out faces before I snapped these photos.

Discussion Question: Pushing The Panic Button

I assume most of us aren’t current or former special forces operatives who can handle ludicrous amounts of stress. In fact, I’m thinking we’re mostly pretty normal folk. Parents, students, professionals, etc. We do fine during normal circumstances, and probably have no problem with rising to a challenge, but sooner or later, something is going to trip us up. The question is, what?

This is probably a tough one to answer; honestly, I’ll bet most of us couldn’t tell what our melting point would be outside of the traumatic loss of loved ones. But play along and take a guess, why don’t you?

11 thoughts on “Episode 701: Options”

  1. Typo alert: “There comes a time in every good zombie stories” Either “stories” needs to be changed to “story” or the “every” in this sentence needs to be changed to a different adjective as it’s most certainly not the right one for this sentence. 😀

    “I assume most of aren’t current or former special forces” Do you mean “most of us”? Or some other reference to the regular posters who hang out at BotD? 😉

    “something it going to trip us up” it–>is 😀

    “But play along a take a guess” Change first “a” to “and” 😀

    Also, there is no mouseover text for the comic, just the episode number. 😀

    • Fixed all. Man that’s a lot of typos. And I was doing so well for a while.

  2. Teddy’s smile is kind of like the Home Alone kid, who was originally played by Macauly Culkin. 😀

    It means these zombies have no clue about the world of hurt that is about to be unleashed on them! 😉 When zombies run from someone, that person is truly to be feared! 😀

    • Hah! I like that read on it.

      • There was an interesting comic story I’d read some time back, where a Decepticon Transformer was put in a metal shell and his personality suppressed. The premise for unlocking his personality was that enough battle pressure (for lack of a more fitting term) applied in the right places by his Autobot enemies unlocked his true personality which had been hidden in his inner circuits.

        It made the character seem nigh invincible until the reality sunk in and the Autobots figured out how to get the real personality back.

        I wonder if zombies might, under the proper circumstances, remember things about their former life that would cause them to temporarily stop being a zombie, or perhaps cause them to cease being a zombie, after remembering something? 😀

        This might be feasible under the premise that there is some part of the zombiefied brain still functioning and which has higher memory functions suppressed. I don’t know if you’d ever use it in your strip, but hey, I can dream, right? 😉

  3. Right now I would say the current US Presidential election has pushed thousands to the breaking point. When does it end again?

    • It’s been pretty stressful, that’s for sure. I’ve been seeing lots of fights between normally pretty calm and composed people.

    • US Presidential Elections are pretty complicated nowadays! 😀

  4. Not sure I could be that guy, but I’m sure it has to be tough to realize you’re not the man anymore your wife or children place their truth in for surviving…

    You led them for some weeks now, going through a lot, and all of a sudden a better established group take care of you, and everything was running without you, and you don’t take decisions anymore, and your wife or children feel they should stay with this group where you’re not a leader anymore…

  5. Actually I dont think it would be the hordes of zombies pressing in that would cause me to go stark raving bonkers and imagine seeing looney tunes everwhere I go.

    Not that…I do all ready…just to clarify…

    It would be the lull between zombie attacks. You see, eventually you realize that there is a certain pattern to surviving zombie hordes. Zombies are relentless, intimidating and smell to high heaven, sure, but they are not very creative in coming up with ways to catch and eat you.

    Once you figure out how to bunker down in realitive safety, keep yourself fed and watered, and find shelter, Eventually you are going to find yourself with a lot of free time. Since we in the western world are conditioned to have something to /do/ for 24 hours a day existing in a world with out access to the internet, the tv, the books, the hobbies, reading Bricks of The Dead, the day to day schedual you have come to know, even human social interaction…it will take a while to get used to having quite literally nothing to do.

    Of course any sane and rational person will just start using their imagination and get over it. For others I imagine this will be the breaking point that causes them to don their spiked leather vests, urban tribal face paint and form gangs of 80’s post end of civilization biker gangs.

    Let that be a lesson kids. Watch less tv. Use your imagination. Dont become a future post appocolytic Mad Max extra in the zombie appocolypse!

    • Or hole up in/near a library or similar location 😉