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T-Rex: I have some bad news: zombies are in danger of becoming old hat! It's TRUE. But I have a solution to make them interesting again: all you need is stories where not just people but ANIMALS become undead!
T-Rex: Zombie whales!
T-Rex: But better than that: zombie BIRDS. / Dromiceiomimus: Didn't Hitchcock make a movie about that? / T-Rex: Upon inspection: basically? The birds DID want to eat people in his movie. But that's a scary concept, right? Birds hungering for flesh is bad news for everyone! / T-Rex: It's, uh, it's especially bad for fleshy dudes.
Utahraptor: You're dancing around the REAL threat here, T-Rex: ZOMBIE MOSQUITOES. / T-Rex: OH / T-Rex: MY / T-Rex: GOD
T-Rex: You're right! The infection would spread quickly and nearly invisibly! And mosquitoes already want blood, so it's not like they need THAT much encouragement to become zombies. Man! / Utahraptor: I guess we can only hope that the insect kingdom never becomes zombified? / T-Rex: I guess so!!
Narrator: 28 DAYS LATER: / Off-panel: Save us! Save us from the zombie butterflies! / T-Rex: WEAAAAAAAK
T-Rex: Today is the day. Yes! / T-Rex: Today is the day I lose my fear of ZOMBIES.
Narrator: T-REX AND THE LIVING DEAD
T-Rex: The way I see it, zombies are either avoidable or too effective. The only way to become a zombie is to be bitten by one, but not to get eaten, yes? Then the bite kills you and you come back as a zombie. But zombies WANT to eat you! It's only the sucky ones that bite you and don't finish the job. So if the first zombie was REALLY GOOD, the infection wouldn't spread, because he'd cold eat all his victims! And if he was sucky you could just avoid him, on account of his suckiness.
T-Rex: PROBLEM: SOLVED. / Utahraptor: You're coming from a medical perspective, right?
Utahraptor: The idea is that there's not too many diseases that can spread easily AND kill you overnight, because they're too effective: the infection wouldn't spread, and the disease dies. / T-Rex: Yes! Zombies are too effective to be contagious. That's why they can't exist in real life!
Narrator: LATER: FAST-MOVING PULMONARY ANTHRAX ZOMBIES / T-Rex: I take it back I take it back!!
T-Rex: Similar to antisolipsism but ACTUALLY REAL is the Cotard Delusion, in which the person affected believes they have died.
T-Rex: So it goes!
T-Rex: The condition was first identified over 100 years ago. This is UNFORTUNATE, because it was identified before the proper nomenclature was in place. It should've been called :I Think I Might Be A Zombieitis." / Dromiceiomimus: That's a little disrespectful, plus, that don't hunger for living flesh. / T-Rex: 'I Think I Might Be A Zombie Who's Fullitis". / Dromiceiomimus: That is, I think, even more disrespectful.
Dromiceiomimus: What are the symptoms beyond that? / T-Rex: Oh, what you'd expect, really.
T-Rex: A disconnect with life, a sense of emotional and physiological flatness which may be a symptom or a cause of the disorder. It's very rare, but one that I imagine is quite upsetting for everyone involved. Sometimes the person affected won't eat. / Dromiceiomimus: Creepy!
T-Rex: Yep! This continues a theme in my life of being terrified of all that can go wrong with my brain. Hey, you wanna invent a way to transform our minds into something non-physical so that we can live safely forever? / Dromiceiomimus: Sure! / T-Rex: RADICAL.
T-Rex: Oh man, let's talk about zombies! They're the coolest by far!
T-Rex: PHILOSOPHICAL zombies, that is!
Dromiceiomimus: Philosophical zombies? Do you mean like a zombie Plato or Ayn Rand or something? / T-Rex: While that WOULD likely be more fun to talk about, I am instead referring to the idea of a person who acts externally like a real, sentient person, but who actuall lacks consciousness. A mental zombie! A philosophical zombie.
Utahraptor: But these "zombies" act human? / T-Rex: Sure do! But inside they are DEAD.
Utahraptor: So there's no real way to tell if anyone is a philosophical zombie. This is the same old "I'm only REALLY sure of my own consciousness" argument, only sexed up with the living dead! / T-Rex: You must admit that it makes the whole debate a lot more interesting.
Utahraptor: Not really! Philosophical zombies never even eat the flesh of the living! / T-Rex: Well, they probably could, if they wanted! / T-Rex: We all probably could, if we wanted. / T-Rex: You know?
T-Rex: What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger!
T-Rex: Is that... medicine?
T-Rex: I know it doesn't work in all cases, or maybe even MOST cases, but it works with vaccination, right? A weaker version of the disease teaches your body to fight the real deal. So what I'm wondering is if I ate something disgusting, does that, you know... level me up for some REALLY insanely disgusting things in the future?
Utahraptor: You mean in terms of protection against disease, or in terms of adjusting your taste? / T-Rex: Both, I guess!
SUDDENLY, EVERYONE REVEALS THEIR SECRET MOTIVATIONS! / T-Rex: There were some dead moths in my cereal this morning, and I'm hoping there's some way I can turn this into a positive event. / Utahraptor: I'm intrigued because the same thing also happened to me this morning!
God: MAN THAT'S CRAZY THE SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME TODAY TOO / God: I SAID / God: WHAT THE HECK / God: AND THEN I SAID / God: I DIDN'T KNOW I HAD TO EAT
T-Rex: Zombies versus vampires! They're the new pirates versus ninjas verses ants that combined themselves together to form the shape of a giant ant!
T-Rex: And the question is: who would win in a fight?
T-Rex: Unfortunately the question is ridiculous because zombies and vampires have no reason to be fighting. vampires drink blood and zombie blood is all decayed and pooling in their feet. They wouldn't be interested! Correspondingly, zombies eat brains and vampires - / T-Rex: - okay maybe they would fight sometimes.
Utahraptor: And zombies would win, obviously! / T-Rex: Obviously!!
T-Rex: If you're bitten by a zombie then you become a zombie, so all the vampires would eventually be vampire zombies! / Utahraptor: Except if you're bitten by a vampire you become a vampire, so all the zombies would eventually become vampires.
T-Rex: Utahraptor! / Utahraptor: T-Rex! / T-Rex and Utahraptor: This is the poignant example of the futility of war that we've ever seen!!
T-Rex: Hello Morris! How are you today? / Morris: oh hello there t-rex! it's super nice to see a friendly face today
T-Rex: It's nice to see you too, Morris!
Morris: aw shucks t-rex, you're a real good friend, you know that? a real good friend. anyway, you should be extra careful not to eat me today or anything because i guess i got turned into a zombie last night! today has definitely had its share of challenges for me, huh / T-Rex: What?! Seriously? / Morris: yeah! and i dunno what i did wrong because i went to bed like normal last night but when i woke up in the morning i had zombie disease! so it was real embarrassing / Morris:but don't worry, i'm not going to turn you guys into zombies too! i wouldn't be a very good friend if i did that, and the book i got at the centre says that being a good friend is awful important!
Morris:i always try to be a good friend, even though things pretty often don't work out very well for me in the end / Utahraptor: Aw, Morris! You don't look very undead to me!
Morris: aw, that probably just means i've messed up somewhere again. the problem is that i'm not real good at biting people, you know? and biting people is all zombies do! i didn't know, but being a zombie is an awful hassle / Utahraptor: I'm pretty sure you're not actually undead, Morris! Normally zombies can't talk. / T-Rex: Yeah, or work on their Life Challenges! I think you're FINE.
Morris: you mean i'm doing that wrong too? oh goodness, i must be the worst zombie going. plus that book i got from the centre is way overdue! / T-Rex: It's not too late to return it, Morris! / Morris: but i promised the staff there that i'd be extra certain to return it on time! / Morris: i guess i'm probably off your christmas card list this year, huh t-rex
i started this comic with a ghost/android dichotomy, before realizing that zombies fit better. androids are artificial bodies with artificial souls, and i guess we are all very concerned with whether or not the sheep they dream of are electric?
T-Rex: Today is a good day I think for assuming that there's such thing as a soul!
T-Rex: Assumption: assumed!
T-Rex: And given this assumption, and the assumption that people care about exploring the idea of a soul, we can easily cast ghosts and zombies as the investigation of the soul-having experience that they are. For what are ghosts, but souls without a body? And what are zombies, but bodies without a soul? / T-Rex: In summary and in conclusion, ghosts and zombies allow us to explore the intricacies of soul (and body!) ownership.
Utahraptor: So why are both these "explorations of the soul" found in horror stories? / T-Rex: It's easy!
T-Rex: As people with bodies AND assumed souls, we find the idea of divorcing one from the other terrifying; therefore, the only way we can explore the consequences of these is through the lens of horror. Tada! / Utahraptor: Honestly, I think your theory is a little pat. It doesn't consider all possibilities!
Narrator: A FEW DAYS LATER, T-REX MEETS A ZOMBIE GHOST! / T-Rex: Utahraptor, you were right!! I met a zombie ghost! He wanted to eat brains but his teeth passed right through brains!! / Utahraptor: Oh yeah? / T-Rex: I would describe him as "pretty frustrated"
T-Rex: I had the coolest dream last night. BATMAN was in it! And ZOMBIES! / T-Rex: It was entirely great!
T-Rex: Okay, so Gotham City is infected with zombies, right?
T-Rex: People start getting bit, dying, then getting up and feasting on the flesh of the living. Batman and Robin are fighting them off as best they can, and while they're too fast and acrobatic to be touched, there's too many zombies to kill them all. They start rescuing as many people as they can, taking them to the Batcave for safekeeping. It's a good place because it's not only big, but protected and hidden!
Utahraptor: So what happens next? / T-Rex: Well, soon the Batcave is getting pretty full!
T-Rex: And at some point they've rescued this guy who's been bitten, but who's hidden it. He dies, and the next time Batman and Robin come back to the Cave, they find that everyone inside is now a zombie! Their effort has been entirely futile, and everyone they've rescued is dead. / Utahraptor: Then what?
T-Rex: Batman FLIPS OUT!! / T-Rex: And I wake up, the end!
T-Rex: Zombies! Everyone loves zombies. They are a window onto the Other! They let us face our fears of society in a way that is accessible and compelling, as well as accessibly and compellingly cannibalistic!
God: HEY T-REX CAN YOU SUMMARIZE THAT IN ONE SENTENCE FOR ME / T-Rex: T-Rex loves zombies!
T-Rex: I think what I love best about them is when they're used to represent mindless behaviour in our own society. For example, if instead of me, we saw a ZOMBIE DINOSAUR stomping on this house, then wow! Suddenly stomping on things is highlighted as maybe something we should think about more! Are we really acting that thoughtless when we stomp on things? Thanks for the eye opener, dinosaur zombies!
Utahraptor: I bet you like all your social commentary to incorporate endless hunger for the flesh of the living! / T-Rex: Yep!
T-Rex: When feasible, anyway. I ALSO really like it when zombies catch someone and tear them apart, and the person is all "O no, zombies! My day is ruined!" / Utahraptor: PERSONALLY, I really like how when you wanted something zombies could show as "bad", you chose stomping on things.
T-Rex: Man, that's just because it was a convenient example! I am still ENTIRELY IN FAVOUR of stomping on things. / T-Rex: In other news, will the illustrative power of zombies forever be fumbled in my mighty hands?
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