Episode 774: Lines

Zombie Cliche Lookout: Separate Ways

I frequently talk about the importance of community and cooperation when it comes to surviving the zombie apocalypse. I know it’s fun to imagine oneself becoming completely independent, but it’s simply not realistic. Humans are social animals that depend upon one another for a variety of reasons. Obviously, there are the practical concerns. You can get work done more efficiently with multiple people sharing the load, especially where there is any need for specialization in tasks. Security, too, is a major concern. You’ll be much better able to defend yourself in a small group than on your own.

Of course, as with any story, there is more than one side. Sure, you’re typically better off with multiple people than solo, but that isn’t always true. What if, for instance, you were with someone who was really clumsy and loud? They would pose significant danger to you simply by attracting in zombies. Or what if you simply can’t trust your companion(s)? Whatever benefit you draw from being in a group is quickly cancelled out by the constant fear of being betrayed.

About this Episode:

Color balance is off a bit in that last panel. I didn’t notice it when I put the episode together a couple of weeks back. Now it’s kind of driving me nuts. I tried to fix it in Photoshop, but I just keep making it worse.

Discussion Question: Trusting Clark

This time around, you get to be Barb. You don’t know what he did with Vicky and the kids, but you doubt his actual story. Bearing that in mind, what would your actual concerns be about staying with him? What would the risk actually be? And, if you can’t really articulate a risk, would you still feel better being “safe than sorry”?



Typo alert: “Obviously, thereโ€™s are the practical concerns.” I don’t think there needs the ‘s on the end of it, either that, or the “are” is superfluous here. Up to Dave to fix! ๐Ÿ˜€


Fixed. That must have been a re-write that didn’t get edited correctly.


That’s it? No big drawn out argument, or some impassioned “I need you around for a bit longer.” plea from Barb? Like, she might say “We’ve got to find them first!”, and he might retort with “To what end?” This, on the other hand just feels like a cheap knock-off movie ending, one that the producer threw in to make it blatantly obvious there was never any sequel to be had, ever! ๐Ÿ˜€


Sorry you’re disappointed with the way it’s shaping up. They way I wrote it, Clark is inherently distrusting of other people. He fell in with this group because he needed to, but didn’t like the idea of having to keep the kids along. He thought Barb might be a good partner, but isn’t willing to push back. He’s simply not social, and is more than willing to head off on his own rather than face down Barb’s accusations.


Barb is a harder nut to crack–Clark I feel I gave a good analyzing to, but she’s been more contradictory for a character.

As a paramedic, she would have taken the Hippocratic oath, which starts out, “First I swear to do no harm…” Some one who’s dedicated their life to persering life should never had pointed a gun at another human being to get their way, regardless of how right they felt.

Barb is moving further away from her previous self. Most people label different actions as “opposite” when there’s a whole spectrum of color to choose from. She might simply become someone who’s comfortable with the threat of violence but still never use it, or may become overly violent to protect those she feels are most vulnerable.

The kids are a big monkey wrench in all this postulating I’m doing. Most human beings side with children immediately if something bad might happen to them, while disregarding anything bad that might happen to an adult. Clark was most defiantly NOT in the right to abandon the family at the first sight of a zombie, but Barb might have not been in the right to question him on his story either–she had not proof of him lying at that point, only suspicion.

In the end, I just took the long way to say “I don’t know,” to all of this. Barb is going somewhere emotionally, and all I’m sure of is that it won’t be the place where she started from.


Behind the scenes with Barb (and I realize this is probably not coming through): this is misplaced rage. She sees herself as capable, and thought she had formulated a plan to get them all to safety. When more than half the party ends up missing, including two innocent kids, she’s filled with anger and looking for some sort of direct, east answer. She doesn’t really trust Clark, and he’s being cagey, so she jumps to conclusions.

Neither of these people are in the right.


That’s an excellent point. Traditionally we like to think one party’s right, the other’s wrong.

When it’s completely possible for both parties to be right and/or wrong. Have to remember that going forward.


Yes! Exactly. I think we naturally want to side with Barb because she’s a nurse and has so far seemed capable, while Clark has been inconsistent and selfish.


By the way, Dave, I don’t think it’s the third panel that’s off-color so much. It seems much worse in the fourth panel. ๐Ÿ˜€ Another typo, maybe? ๐Ÿ˜€

The most noticeable effect in both panels is that Barb’s hair is off-color, the rest of the shot seems in focus and color balanced. Perhaps a light source lit her hair up too much? ๐Ÿ˜‰

As for explaining it away as an effect, you could use it by saying Barb’s hair just turned a shade of grey or white temporarily! ๐Ÿ˜€


Being a man, though, I totally got the phrase “driving my nuts” even though you might have meant “me” instead of “my”! ๐Ÿ˜€

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