Saturday, September 15, 2012

10,000 Pageviews!

The last post got me over the 10K mark!  Thanks for making this blog such a joy to write, and I hope that the adventure of Robb and Irene (and a few new characters) begin soon!

Our House, in the middle of our street...

Continuing my build-up of my table for the upcoming All Things Zombie: Final Fade Out campaign, I've added a new house.

It is the "Raised Ranch House" from Stoezel's Structures.  What I like the best about it is that the building is made with in the intent of using foamcore to reinforce the walls and floors.  What do I not like?  The biggest thing is the roof, which is almost exactly flush with the side of the building, rather than having it hang over the edge slightly like real roofs do.  But it is pretty cool with a fully detailed interior including a two-car garage, and for the low price of $5.00.  Morever it includes several different color exteriors so you can make different homes that won't be completely identical.

Note: I didn't put the exterior steps on the building because I find cardstock steps particularly fiddly and I can make ones pretty easily from Hirst Arts blocks.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reading "The Walking Dead"

This may cause me to lose my zombie-blogger cred, but I haven't seen the TV series The Walking Dead, despite owning the first season on DVD.  The big reason is because frankly I don't have time, and then when I do my kids tend to be around and the show isn't elementary-school friendly.

But I heard it was good, so I went to my local friendly library and checked out most of the trade paperbacks for the comic book series.

Trivia bit: at least four of the people in this picture are now dead in the series
For those who don't know, the main character, Rick, is a sheriff from Georgia who wakes up from a coma to discover the world has gone to zombie hell (it's very 28 Days Later, making me wonder who ripped off whom).  In the many, many episodes that follows, Rick drifts from situation to situation with a rotating cast of characters who could end up being killed by zombies or humans at any time, usually in a striking graphic manner.

The over-arching theme of the series is really to continually subject Rick to torment after torment to the point where Rick can't even garner the smallest bit of hope when things start to go right, usually with good reason. As a reader, all I can say is don't get too attached to anyone.

The Walking Dead does a lot of things right.  The true horrors are the people, people reduced to barbarism, cruelty, and insanity.  The characters are complex, likable while falling just shy of heroic.  On a technical note, the series features the "no room in hell" style zombies where you can turn once you are bitten, but you can also turn if you die from other causes (the claim is that everyone is exposed to the zombie-producing element, but a living person can fight off the infection semi-effectively.  The location/character/plot turnover is pretty well done and keeps the story from getting too stale.

There are moments when I think the story goes too far, though.  A long time ago when I was a teenager I was talking to horror writer Stephen King (long story) and he said that he frequently used children in his stories as a way to get people emotionally involved in the story.  It is, in a way, a sort of cheap ploy in this regard, and not only does the series exploit this often, but often horrifically.  Children are the subject of attempted rape, they are shot and killed, and in several cases kill other people.

[spoiler alert after the break.  Stop now if you don't want to know at least one serious plot event.]