Episode 820: Not So Bad

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Not Bad, Good

Once again, today’s cliche is not at all limited to the zombie genre, and shows up all over the map in popular fiction. Since I used Christmas in the comic to help cement the point, let’s pick a Christmas example for today’s cliche, shall we? When I think about Christmas stories where a creepy looking guy turns out to be nice, my mind jumps right to Home Alone, where Calvin befriends his elderly neighbor after being told that he was a serial killer. The Wet Bandits, however, were exactly as bad as they initially appeared to be.

About this Episode:

A couple of things spring to mind about this episode. First, Gus’ charity work. Here in the United States, the charity that’s known for giving needy children a good Christmas is Toys for Tots. However, I wasn’t sure if that would be known to everyone, nor if it would be okay to use their name without permission. Second, the nature of proving that Gus is a good guy. I wanted something that I could use to summarize that he was a good person in as few words as possible, and in a way that shouldn’t be politicized against readers’ political beliefs. Helping needy kids seemed like a pretty easy one.

Discussion Question: Is Anyone Surprised?

I feel like I telegraphed the hell out of this reveal, but I’ve still got to ask: was anyone surprised to learn that Gus the biker isn’t such a bad guy after all? And then let’s break that down into a couple of follow-up questions. For those of you who were surprised by this reveal, what did you expect to come out of the interaction between Gus and our characters? For those of you who weren’t surprised, what gave it away, and how did you expect Gus to compose himself?

10 thoughts on “Episode 820: Not So Bad”

  1. Hrm, Murphy said the same thing about his other friend, Lou. Those amongst the commenters who have checked up and read up on the archives will know exactly what sort of scum and villainy Lou turned out to be.

    I wonder what kind of shenanigans this current group is going up against? How exactly has this zombie outbreak twisted Gus’ mind such that he is distrustful of everyone, and most especially, the police, law enforcement, and anyone else with a sense of authority?

    Most importantly of all, how does Murphy plan on actually talking to Gus without getting shot at by Gus? For all we know, Gus is suddenly extremely distrustful of anyone and most especially “those things” aka zombies.

    I’m also interested to see how they’re going to get anywhere in an hour and a half, the clock’s ticking and time on Gus’ life expectancy is rapidly running short.

    • All very good questions, and bonus points for remembering Lou. Indeed, horrible circumstances can change people in very fundamental ways. Assuming they’re the same person you knew before can be a pretty dangerous idea.

  2. Also, i wonder if Gus has realized that money is no longer required, but that supplies and essential needs are still in demand for the poor kids he’s used to raising money for? In other words, instead of having to provide money, he now needs to more directly provide the food and provisions himself, and possibly even manpower to help them be safe somewhere that is inaccessible to zombies that are just roaming around.

    • Oh man, that’s a pretty cool idea. I like that!

      • Well, I figure you’re using it, then! 😀 As I’ve stated previously, if it makes for a better story in the long term, go for it! 😀

  3. Murphy’s gotta realize that this world changes people. Gus may no longer be the good man he once was.

    Dave’s trying to pull double plot twist on us, here.
    First it was…
    “Oh! This Gus guy is terrible. Pure evil!”
    Then it turns out…
    “Omg! Gus isn’t really bad at all! It was all lies! Hes a good guy!”
    And then…

    • Man, that seems to be the consensus opinion so far.

      • And for good measure, throw in some more of that “the comic’s ending soon” spiel! 😀 I like it when you’re vague and deliberately avoiding giving a definite ending date for the comic! 😀

        • Hah, I do my best.

  4. I believe you Dave, and I believe in Gus.
    If he can organize a toy run (That may be a term to use to describe his charity work) in the zombie apocalypse, he’s a very good man.