Episode 839: Scrum

Zombie Cliche Lookout: A Big Damn Fight

Zombie stories are often about slowly ratcheting, but constant pressure. Survivors are put into impossible situations where help simply isn’t available. It’s up to them to make things work to the best of their abilities. As the story goes on, resources become scarcer, threats increase, and their reserves of patience wane. The closer we get to the climax of the story, then, the harder it is for survivors to simply carry on. Or, at least that’s the goal. Running counter to that is the natural build-up of skill that survivors will accumulate over time. Put simply, they’re going to start getting better at dealing with zombies and all the other challenges that they’ve been facing. If they don’t start to adapt, odds are they’re dead anyway, so whoever does survive tends to be better equipped.

The wildcard here is other survivors. If they’re hostile, they can throw the whole sequence into chaos, which just might result in, as I put it above, a big damn fight. This is frequently the climax of a zombie film, or the high point of the arc in a comic or show. The Walking Dead has used this is several seasons as either the finale, or the penultimate episode.

About this Episode:

I tried to get away from my typical linear approach to action in this episode. Instead of showing a “first this happened, and then this, and then…” I just jumped around with the idea of communicating that all these events are happening at roughly (obviously not exactly, since the third and forth frames have to happen after the first and second) the same time. As always, I have no idea how successful this is.

Discussion Question: You Like a Fight?

For today’s question I’m keeping things nice and simple. How much do you like the big human on human showdown fights in your zombie stories? Do you think they add some much needed contrast? Love the action? Find that they distract from the tone of the rest of the story? Let me know!



This is an interesting turn of events in the story! Was Stewart shot or did he just fall down?


No Jess was shooting at Russell. I think it’s Jess? Memory is so fuzzy sometimes. Maybe Jess shooting at Russel should be in the third panel instead of the first since Russell attacks her directly afterwards in the next panel.

I kind of get the action happening simultaneously thing but it works better sometimes if multiple sequences involving different people happen next to each other.


Okay, so I guess I made things a little too chaotic. Jess doesn’t see Russell until he brains her with the wrench.


It’s also not obvious that Russel was sneaking up on Jess in the first panel. Sneaking is good but not as good if it’s obscured by too much shrubbery! I just now noticed this fact.


I meant third panel. I think Dave might have swapped the first and third panels.

I’d attribute that to his meth-addicted scriptwriter and part-time continuity checker! 😀

I know what Dave’s typo is now, he swapped two panels. 😀

Swap 1 and 3 with each other and see if the storyline makes more sense then.


Nope, they’re in the correct order. Gus was targeting Henry, and Russell had Jess. Russell just wasn’t quick enough.


Gus? where the heck is Gus in all of this?

What I really want to know is who was Jess shooting at in the first panel? She seems to be shooting at nobody at all. That makes no kind of sense to me!


Or maybe Dave should do a re-shoot of this episode, it has not been easy to figure out what’s going on here! 😀


Unfortunately, this isn’t an option. I’ve got everything broken down and packed away, and have some things loaned out.


As for the Discussion Question: Fighting rarely really solves anything. They should have been more willing to negotiate with them but Ned seems bent on taking survivors by force. I don’t think that’s a good idea at all to be doing that to another group in a zombie apocalypse.


I think you’re assuming too much about Ned taking survivors by force. Is he really press-ganging them, or is he simply robbing and murdering people?


By the way, Dave, I like that you want to experiment with the layout and positioning of panels. Most people want to follow a set pattern and be predictable, but experimenting is okay, too! Have a go, sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to mess up.

Comments are closed.