Episode 776: Manual Labor

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Honoring the Fallen

Dealing with death is a pretty major theme in zombie survival stories. Obviously, the main group of the dead people have to deal with are the ambulatory variety that want to eat your face. However, there are also the bodies of companions that need to be dealt with. First, one must make sure that the dead person isn’t going to come back. Once that’s handled, they have to decide what to do with the body. Frequently, there isn’t time to do anything, but occasionally someone will die in relative safety and allow for an actual funeral.

About this Episode:

Trust me guys, there’s a tree right next to where Stewart is digging. We’ll probably see it in the next episode.

Other News:

Hey everyone, we’re back. That took a bit longer than I originally intended, and I thank everyone for their patience. I’ve had a hell of a lot going on in my personal life, which forced me to put the comic on the back burner for a little bit. I had planned to have the entire final arc scripted, with a month of episodes shot before restarting. That did not happen. I have an outline and a handful of episodes scripted, with one episode in the hopper for Wednesday. I figured that, if I kept delaying, I would just keep prioritizing other things and never restart. So here we go. Hopefully I don’t screw up anything with continuity (although I absolutely will).

Discussion Question: Dealing with the Dead

You’re six months into the zombie apocalypse, and one of your friends was just killed. Luckily, you’re in a safe area with no zeds nearby. What do you do with your friend’s body? I’m especially interested in what informs this decision. For instance, does your religion (or lack thereof) push you one way or another?

27 thoughts on “Episode 776: Manual Labor”

  1. There doesn’t seem to be a mouseover text for this episode, and I can see the other tree Stewart’s digging next to in the right side of the fourth panel! 😀

    Dave might want to fix that bit, but it’s looking good so far! 😀

    • Oops, added the mouseover. It’s been a while and I totally forgotten about it.

      And yes, we do see a bit of the tree root. Good eye.

  2. I like how Dave causally shows Stewart digging into what is obviously an artificial hole made up of green plates on a brown brick background. He doesn’t mention much about this in the About this Episode section. Poor Stewart, must be tough digging around in some random dirt heap! 😀

    • Digging through ABS plastic isn’t easy. Especially when your shovel is made of the same material.

      • And yet, they didn’t seem to have problems with everything being made of the stuff in the LEGO Ninjago Movie. I watched it recently, would recommend, the CatZilla monster is awesome! 😀

        • I haven’t seen that one yet. I actually still need to watch LEGO Batman.

  3. Yeah! Dave is back, thank you Man, you made my day! Great set btw, I like the depth of the field with the out of focus greenery.

    • Thank you, sir!

  4. Great shots in this. Glad you’re back!

    • Thanks!

  5. Ok, now to the grim question of the day… (really, great come back Dave!) being an atheist myself I would not have any religious concerns. My only priority would be sanitary, you can’t have a decomposing corpse lying around as that is bad news all around. So, assuming I have the strength/will to do any of those things I would either bury / burn or dump the corpse far enough from the place I am holed in – the decision would be made based on the resources available (shovel, gasoline, vehicle to transport the body or helping hand).

    • Excellent point. Would your response (burn, bury, dump) vary at all depending on who the corpse was? For instance, would you be more inclined to dump a complete stranger, but bury someone that you knew?

      • Good grief… you are really pushing this, aren’t you? 😉
        I suppose I would – of course – take that into account.. but then again it would mostly depend on the external factors and the availability of the necessary resources. In a ZA setup, I think it would be very ill-advised to get out of your way and potentially put yourself at risk only to give someone a proper funeral.

        • Setting a fire might pose more risk — it’s attention getting from the zombies who might not otherwise be aware of where you are, and it runs the risk of getting out of control with no fire departments to put out a conflagration.

        • Excellent point Ballinabricky. The smoke and smell could attract trouble. But maybe you could use that to your advantage by setting the fire far away from your safehouse and drawing trouble away?

      • That was a quote from TWD.
        “We bury the ones we love and burn the rest.”

        • Oh, nice catch. I didn’t recall that.

  6. Yay! Back for a few! Hope everything is going well and you are back on your track.

    • Thanks!

  7. Great to see this back and active again! It was missed.

    As for my friend, I’d try and support his religious beliefs. If he wanted to be buried, I’d do so, but I doubt I could find a casket to put him in. If he wanted to be cremated, I’d do so though I’d have to be wary if the smell attracted more dead.

    It’s hard, but I think it’d help me keep my humanity after loosing so much.

    • Good points. I think that’s the default position: we would honor the beliefs of those to the best of our ability, recognizing that concessions would need to be made.

    • Nice thought! I’d definitely want to honor their wishes.

  8. Okay coming from a religion that teaches the body is just a shell and the true person is gone, you still have to deal with basic human emotions. Look left or right. How many things do you have which serve no function other than you like having them around? Take a picture of an deceased relative. One that is not scanned into a computer and can not be replaced and take it outside and burn it. Go ahead I will wait. Didn’t do it? Why not? Sentimentality is one thing you think you can deal with but can’t.
    Oh and if you have never tried to dispose of a human body by fire before, take my word it requires a tremendous amount of heat, a very long time, so flipping and a terrible smell. Take a hamburger patty to the grill. Now burn it. Not into an inedible charcoal brick but into a pile of ash. For realism put a bone in the middle and make sure that is ash to.
    Burying it? What’s your water table like? Dig to shallow and scavengers will dig it up. Dig too deep and you can poison your water supply and the ground you bury them in isn’t very useful for other things.
    Dump it? Where? You going to drive (walking will not be an option, dead weight and all) how far away and risk encounters with zeds and Nagan?

    • Very good points all around. I have family in funeral services and run questions like these by them from time to time. It’s always interesting to see the things that we don’t really take into account.

    • You seem like you have experience with burning bodies. Hmm….. Lol

  9. Im Christian, but I don’t think that affects my decision. Id like to bury, or leave wrapped up in a cloth in a bed or something, if I’m in a hurry. Burning seems tough, physically and mentally. So yeah. A body can be a good zed distraction. So in certain situations…hah.

    Also, welcome back!

  10. Lol! The fucking tree! 😀 :’D