Where’s Carl?!

NEW SHIRT!!!  Where’s Carl?! Shirts based on this very comic are live at Sharksplode!
Where's Carl? Walking Dead Calvin and Hobbes Mashup Parody Shirt

Where’s Carl? NOT where you told him to be, that’s for damn sure. That kid is exactly where he is NOT supposed to be (where ever the most zombies are), doing exactly what he is NOT supposed to be doing (which is anything but staying nearby and surviving) with EXACTLY who you told him NOT to be with (basically anyone that aren’t his parents). That Carl is a scamp and a half! 

The Walking Dead season 2 ended last night and my spoiler free review for the entire season goes thusly: There were five boring episodes then one cool thing happened at the end of number six, then five more boring episodes followed by two rather awesome episodes. Looks like AMC’s whole “give us double the episodes for half the money” strategy didn’t really pan out. You could probably edit the entire season down to six quality episodes, but as it stands there was hardly three hours of good story telling or interesting action in the whole season. There was too much time filling, too many arguments over the same issues, NOT ENOUGH ZOMBIES, too much of every character saying the same thing over and over again, episode after episode, NOT ENOUGH ZOMBIES, too much time standing around the god damn farm, and NOT ENOUGH ZOMBIES.

If you want a high quality print of this comic, you can get it HERE. Might look nice as a print triptych with my Calvin & Hobbes/Serenity comic and my Calvin & Hobbes/Game of Thrones comic. Just sayin’.

If there is interest, I will consider a T-shirt as well.

COMMENTERS: How do you feel about this season of The Walking Dead compared to the first? Were you satisfied with the ending and where they seem to be going with season 3? NO MAJOR SPOILERS IN THE COMMENTS. IF YOU MUST POST SLIGHT SPOILERS PLEASE MARK YOU COMMENT AS SUCH VERY CLEARLY.

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  1. Carl pisses me off, Shane pissed me off, sad to see Dale and Sophia go, and, yes, not enough zombies.

    The Walking Dead has yet to do what Dawn of the Dead did: After watching DotD, my ex and I decided to watch ST First Contact. Later that night, I was dreaming of zombies on the Enterprise. It was epic, and it would have made for an awesome movie. Or mini-series.

    (Please draw that? That would be sweet.)

    • Ooooh, I want to see that now. There was a Star Trek vampires novelization (Bloodthirst, for the curious), but as far as I know there wasn't a zombie one. Unless you count Intellivore.

      …I'm such a geek. And off topic at that.

  2. Carlvin & Zombes?

    I did like the point brought up on Talking Dead: if you've got hordes of zombies in every ep, they're going to become background noise. I can see why they decided to hold their zombies in reserve until they had one awesome moment in which to release them. That said, I do also feel the whole show was way too soap opera-y.

    • SPOILER Kind of….maybe…somewhat
      I just got done reading the first compendium of "The Walking Dead." If you think it's soap operay now, you may want to jettison the whole thing from your on demand now. It gets way more "I was with you' and "but I thought we were together."


    I think the budgets cuts really hurt this season(thanks Mad Men). The need for them to remain on the farm pretty much fucked up much of the plans for the series. Too much pointless filler episodes where nothing happened. Would have preferred about half the season on the farm then the rest on the road with them discovering the prison towards the end of the season.
    Taking bets now that they're gonna fuck about in the wilderness for 3 episodes next season before finding the prison. Carl will probably find it on one of his many attempts to get eaten.
    Also what the fuck is the point of T-Dog? He disappeared for most of the season for no discernible reason and then reappeared out of thin air. Probably ran away to teach them a lesson then came back when nobody bothered to come looking for him.

    • Mad Men's budget didn't impact The Walking Dead as much as AMC would make it seem. Unlike The Walking Dead, AMC doesn't own Mad Men and shares the production costs with Lionsgate who does. AMC chose short term savings by cutting the budget on a hit series instead of using the profits from it's success to improve the series quality and likely cost themselves some long term profit when the series doesn't run as long because of disinterest and has a smaller syndication package (syndication packages are arguably the most important aspect of any series' profitability, which is why critical darlings that are lower rated such as 30 Rock and Mad Men keep getting new seasons).

    • (spoilers later on) I assumed T-Dog was resting from that arm fuck-up from the first episode.
      But I thought it was pretty funny when (SPOILERS) they killed off two people in the last episode that we had never really even learned their names. It was like "well, people have to die so this show still feels raw. We can knock these people off, nobody will care." They took out some big people the few episodes before, so it's not like nobody in the show ever dies, but still.

  4. Yes, they stretched this out too far, and I hate mid-season gaps so that made it all the worse.

    I'll say/remind … This show isn't about zombies, it's about the people living in a zombie infested world. This will be really evident next season.

    Also one other spoilerish comment: Woohoo Michonne!!

  5. I thought the finale was was epic. I feel it seemed there was less urgency to cover material this year because they had a plan for another short season, but the 13 episodes they needed to stretch it out. I agree that they should have left the farm at the mid season finale, but I'm sure they had their reasons for waiting to save a whole season post-farm. I'm hoping they cut out the filler for Season 3 With all that there is to cover after the two big reveals at the end of last night episode … Speaking of which … How awesome was the reveal in the woods with Andrea?

  6. Truth be told I only caught part of one episode on the rare occasion I have the teliotube switched on and receiving etherwaves.

    <spoiler>Carl meets zombie, Zombie stuck in mud, Carl pulls pistol but does not move away, Zombie tried to eat Carl but is stuck in mud …… after about100 seconds or two months of this … time flies ….. I was hoping for something to happen, like the zombie finally ripping Carl's legs off and Carl shooting it in the head, ending with both slowing sinking into the quagmire.</spoiler>

    I really don't think I am missing much by missing this series as opposed to missing even part of an episode of the Good Dr or Bab5. Back in the day, Captain Power was a more fun watch.

  7. Without spoiling anything I'll say they lost me 20 minutes into the first episode. By then it was clear to me just how much the quality had suffered. I think I was doing more eye rolling and groaning than show watching.

    I might be done with the zombie genre altogether. I'm sick of all the tropes. No matter how good your defenses are, the zombies ALWAYS get in. Zombies have the inexplicable ability to sneak up and grab someone who isn't Helen Keller and so on etc. etc.

    • It annoys me when that loan zombie does something "smart" that the horde seems unable to do. Normally they move slowly and don't act logically (as it should be). And then one zombie is able to be perfectly silent and somehow attack a person from behind. Zombies are "scary" because there is a massive horde of them and they have a small kill zone.


    My biggest issue of this season (and I'm one episode behind) is that the zombies just aren't scary enough this season. I really do like the stylistic decision to make zombie encounters rare, but last season, one zombie was pretty scary if for no other reason than the biohazard effect. Get a drop of zombie spit into your minor flesh wound and you could get infected. This season, reach your thoroughly scratched hand right into a zombie's mouth. Meh.

  9. Likely an unpopular opinion, I'm sure, but I don't agree with the "not enough zombies" reviews I've been hearing from so many sources, throughout the whole season.

    Just because the show has zombies in it (and don't get me wrong, zombies are fucking awesome), does not mean that it would benefit us as viewers to have the entire show be steeped in zombies non-stop.

    Maybe it's just my personal taste, and I do realize the same thing can be said for those who "want more zombies", but for me, the whole enjoyment of zombie movies, shows, comics, is not predicated on how much screen/page-time the zombies get. There is so much more to be had from the genre than just the scares and gore the dead can provide.

    What I love about the zombie genre is how the people interact, how they survive, how they react to the horrors they witness (and often perpetrate), how they hold together as a group, how they fall apart, what aspects of society they keep/lose, and what we can learn about ourselves and humanity through the perspectives of these survivors.

    But, that's just what I love about the genre, and why "more zombies" isn't always the answer in my opinion. For those who prefer the zombies to the human element, I can see why you'd want more, but I'd offer that maybe some of the horror and gore you're looking for can be found if you look into the darkness of the human element.

    Just my thoughts 🙂

    • I agree that a zombie movie or TV show doesn't need to be pure action. Seeing how people survive in these environments is half the fun. And watching how this world changes people is also a lot of what makes a zombie anything fun to watch. I feel like there was too much drama that didn't need to be there this season. There were good story arcs that went on a bit too long. God only knows how often I completely spaced out for dialog that just wasn't interesting over things I just didn't care about. The season could have been 2/3rds as long and still have covered everything that was important.

      • I agree with this opinion, but I just want some good ol' zed-slaying gore. Haven't had any of that in a while.

  10. Spoilers!!

    I spent the majority of this season deciding where on D&D Alignment chart each character would fall. Slowly watching Shane fall from Chaotic good to, like, chaotic Neutral to neutral evil was fairly enjoyable. Watching Rick fall from lawful good to lawful neutral makes sense as he slowly loses his humanity to survive. I think Dale was the last Lawful good character they had, so it was very sad to lose him. I think all they have left are neutral characters. Though Daryl could be argued as chaotic good as well as neutral good, in my opinion.

    And thank you Joel, for illustrating the annoyance that is Carl. Was he used this much as a plot engine in the comic book, because it really feels over used at this point. Also, I'm confused about Andrea's actions in the last episode. She has the bag of guns, takes cover behind a tree, opens it up and empties what is left from a box of ammo (hard to tell in such a short scene, but I assume it's 9mm for her Beretta) and buts it in her pocket. She then checks a Glock's magazine which, to me, looked to be full. She then shoves it back in the bag and goes on. I understand not having time to reload the Beretta right there, but that Glock was full, so why not have that in your hand and the Beretta in the shoulder holster as a back up? All in all I enjoyed Season 2 enough. It reminds me a bit of Stargate Universe in that there is too much drama, not enough action. But the core of the show is enjoyable, you just have to wade through muck to get to it.

  11. AMC doesn't own Breaking Bad either (Sony in this case). The showrunner essentially stated had AMC fought them too much they simply would've finished the show on another network such as FX. Most of the cast and crew money comes from the production studio that will also be in charge of their residuals long after the shows aren't airing on AMC. Most of AMC's money on Breaking Bad and Mad Men comes into play on the advertising and paying the production companies for the rights to show it on their network.

    The Walking Dead pulls in numbers that would be impressive on a network channel and are more so due to it's cable status. AMC is making plenty of money and they're being cheap purely for the sake of saving some money in the short term.

  12. [/Spoilers/]
    When I first heard of this show I was all like "OMG ZOMBIES!!!!!!!!" After the first season, I lost interest. I wanted gore, violence and gut wrenchingly close scrapes with the undead. But all I got was drama that didn't even make sense most of the time, unless you watched the next 3-4 episodes. I did start watching it again, and I got to the season finale, and a tear streamed down my face. An actual zombie horde! GleeeeeeEeeeEEeeee! But until I see some massive zombie slaying violence, then they have yet to impress me. Although the episode where they are in some type of bus yard, going to execute some kid, that was pretty good, and the slaughter was great.

    • On a second note, I would somewhat appreciate every other aspect of the show if they just toned down the drama.

  13. There's something to be said about the psychological breakdown of society, then each person in that society.
    That's what I enjoyed about this season, even though it seems slow and un-actiony.
    Seriously, you can't run full-tilt forever and expect to not get tired or eaten.
    True of zombies, true of vampires, true of dogs, true of demons.
    And the whole, "I can't see them but I know they're there" mindset truly destroys people. We'll be seeing more of that, even if we see fewer zombies.

    • I agree 100%.

      I read the comics via the trades and something I've noticed is that Robert Kirkman has a very deliberate pacing with the action on the show. There will be whole books where very little will happen and you're sitting waiting for some shit to happen. That level of expectation is what makes the books so good, and as much as we may want ZOMBIES! ZOMBIES! ZOMBIES! I think the methodical pacing of the books and the show give the shitstorm moments that much more intense.

      For me the fun of the books are a lot about how we survive in the zombie apocalypse. What we sacrifice, what we are willing to do. How we decide who is important, what is worth sacrificing, and what it means to be alive. I've always felt like this was more what Kirkman was getting at with the books and the show than, "OH GOD ZOMBIES! RUN!"

      How many hours are in a day when you don’t spend half of them watching television?
      When is the last time any of us really worked to get something that we wanted?
      How long has it been since any of us really needed something that we wanted?
      In a world ruled by the dead, we are forced to finally start living.

  14. I love your artistic tribute to Calvin & Hobbes (one of my all-time comics faves)! I think this has to be my favorite of the three so far, even though I'm also a GoT and Firefly fan.

  15. For me personally, I believe the number of zombies are perfect. You see enough of them to keep the scare factor alive, without making the story /about/ zombies. That's the thing for me. The story is about the people, about the characters, about the group dynamics. It's about tough questions, and tough calls. The zombies are, in my opinion, almost a part of the setting. They help to drive the story, they help to push the characters into making the choices they do, but the story isn't about zombies. If I wanted to watch a story about zombies, I'd spent my free time with the brain dead folks I work with. This story is about survival, how we survive, what choices we would make to survive. Did anyone NOT watch the episode where Rick and Shane went out to drop off Randall, and really ask themselves what they would do? Would I kill Randall? Would I leave Shane behind on the bus? That's what the story is about. Personally, I thought the season was great. I felt like there were plenty of tense moments, some with zombies, some without. I felt like the characters grew and changed and that we learned more about them, and they learned more about themselves. I felt like we were witnessing the true effects of what that kind of stress could have on a group like that. Personally, I loved every minute of it.

  16. Awesome panel! I agree with you about Carl's inability to stay out of trouble–but I agree with Houlihan regarding zombie ratios. I like the build-up–the resulting mayhem is more satisfying. Delayed gratification has its pluses. It reminds me of the slow build Tarantino likes to do.

  17. Hmmm my thoughts mirror those above.. not fussed that there weren't more zombies..the show was still great… lots of grea tsuspense .
    I almost didn't watch past the first episode of seaosn 2 beacuise I felt the standards had fallen so far beyond what I expected after season one.
    I hated Carl. die already.
    bit too much wah wah drama over essentially the same 1-2 topics.
    other than that there is still heaps they can do with the show

  18. I have liked both seasons. I could do with more zombies because there have been so few, but I agree with others who have said that it's more about how people interact and the choices they make to survive. In my house we call him Calamity Carl after Calamity Kim from 24. He's just as likely to wander into trouble and need saving.

    • HAH! No I had no idea since he didnt link to my site or my twitter (grrrrrumble grumble).

      Sometimes I feel bad being honest about criticizing shows I like knowing that the creators could read it and get bummed (the same way I do when I read a shitty comment about my comics), but I dont want to be afraid to give an honest critique of the media I ingest. Oh well.

  19. I love the fan stuff coming out around this. "Carl is NEVER IN THE FUCKING HOUSE" is now one of my new favorite lines.

    Besides, who cares about Carl? I'm just waiting to see who they cast as the Governor. That's going to be an awesome day unless they screw it up. I cast my vote for Tom Savini.

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