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25th Apr 2011, 12:00 AM
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Humanity is at a Loss.
Average Rating: 4.78 (18 votes) Rate this comic
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Author Notes:
Magravan edit delete
Sorry we're late, better note in a bit. :)
Magravan edit delete
Okay, oops. I'll come right out and admit, I got cocky. "My entire dialogue for this panel is 1 friggen word! That wont take me over 15 minutes to get done...."

Ahhh, you'd think I'd learn. Sadly not, so 25 minutes later, here we are.

I realize it was only 10 minutes, but still. Sorry for being late. The jist of the problem is that on exporting from one program to another for resizing, the image showed up blank. Not sure why, still don't know. June basically told how to work around it for the time being, but as it stands, I still have some work to do.. For one word. Doh.

Anyway, this is the end of Book 2. I guess you could say that this is a fitting end, or you might not. It's up to you, really :)

I've always wanted to tell a story where it begins with one hero that you get attached to, and then he gets killed and the rest of the story is basically focused on another character that is being introduced... However, that being said, John's story is certainly not finished, so I hope that even if you are upset or disagree with what I've done here, that you will read on for at least a little while to see if you like the direction that book 3 is taking...

Anyway... It's been a long time to get to this point, and I've been waiting for it for a long time...

Thank you for joining us in this, it's been a pleasure thusfar, and we're looking forward to continuing to tell our story.

We'll see you on Thursday, I hope ;)
User comments:
Joobaloob56 (Guest) edit delete reply
That sucks. I wonder how much that One evolved from eating his brains...
dylan (Guest) edit delete reply
dude what in the fuck?
LazyRob (Guest) edit delete reply
wha? what the? wha?
MatthewJA edit delete reply
dylan (Guest) edit delete reply
no seriously, what in the shit?
vwyler edit delete reply
Ouch! Didn't see that coming! =0

And, I'll say it again... Robert looks like he should be named James Dean Castro. X)
Sad (Guest) edit delete reply
Oh man! I totally knew he couldn't make it but still to go out like that?!?! Poor John. Hopefully it was painless.
Guest (Guest) edit delete reply
wow, did not see that coming at all! I totally liked John, got really attached to him and everything, it's kindof sad to see the last human go. Never again in the future of the world will there be another erection. How sad :(

Bold move to kill off the main character! I'll certainly keep reading, I wanna know where you take this now!
MatthewJA edit delete reply
model S (Guest) edit delete reply
.... wow. that was a shocker. that. that right there. that's good story telling. and tou didn't kill john. however i notice unlike the girl on the camera and the other ones, his head healed without consuming brains.... is there something more to him then we ever expected?!
Violet (Guest) edit delete reply
... D:
*pokes One-Thomas with a stick*

It certainly is unexpected for it to happen like this...Most stories would extend the deaths of main characters for teh dramaz, but this is probably how such a thing would play out without the interference of magical narrativium distorting the space-time continuum...
Crosswinds (Guest) edit delete reply
I've been following ToGM since relatively early on, though I never actually commented on any of the comics. But this...this was one of the most surprising things I have ever encountered in any medium whatsoever. I felt the need to finally make myself known to tell you to keep up the good work. I'm excited to see where this goes.
CarlRedifi edit delete reply
Wait.... what? What just happened!?
DreamSanguine (Guest) edit delete reply
I'm really digging the cinematic quality it's got. Can't wait for the next one!
Shaggers edit delete reply
I must say I didn't see that coming.
Barrahir (Guest) edit delete reply
Well, THAT's what I call a dramatic turn of events!
Syaoran edit delete reply
Holy plot twist from hell. Call me sulley and hit me with a hammer. I did NOT see him getting brained.
greengirl77 (Guest) edit delete reply
0.0 -.- 0.-
but... john? ;(

ok, I am on my seat's edge until Thursday. Please make me unsad!
Butt Hunter edit delete reply
Butt Hunter
Frosty edit delete reply
Francisco (Guest) edit delete reply
I wonder if the Phantom and Sylene realise that he must have been human.
Kristy edit delete reply
Zomburai edit delete reply
So very, very torn. Great, phenomenal storytelling, but...

Fortunado1972 (Guest) edit delete reply
................................................................................................................................................................It's not often I'm struck speechless....
the_brigand (Guest) edit delete reply
is that really Thomas?
then again, his skin turns from pinkish to greenish over the panels... you guys better not be messing with us :)
DZ (Guest) edit delete reply
...Did not expect that.

Still, that gaping wound on his head sealed up pretty fast, considering so many in this world seem to rely on replacements.

I'll admit to wondering about the survivability of an amnesiac in such a hostile place, and if something like this hasn't happened to him before.
Cedarwolf (Guest) edit delete reply
O Come On! Deus Ex Machina from under the sand? I hope there's a good explanation for this because you've managed to lose my interest for the moment. One "normal" person in the whole strip, a survivor, and you feed him to the Ones?
Lunaris_Starchilde (Guest) edit delete reply
NOOOOOO!!!! Who will make Bender Waffles just the way he likes 'em now!?!?
Thisguy (Guest) edit delete reply
Ok, i am currantly in a state of denile, u guys better explain fast, and get the next comic (or comics) explaining this out fast, cause without the human, its just zombies... not so funny... or is it... Nah, John was the main character, it cant end like this, at least, not in a semi funny comic like this
Krimson (Guest) edit delete reply
im gonna call 1 of two things
Hes a super human and will regenerate and recover from the Virus
Or Hes a clone roberts been cloneing John thats why he has no memory and is less intellegent than the Real one is :P

but thats just my crazy theorys
Aboulic (Guest) edit delete reply
Hmmm... I noticed a couple of people said his head healed.

I... I don't think it did. I'm pretty sure it's just that the hole is slightly on the right hand side of his head, which you see from his left side because his head is turned right, we see all of the back of his head. He stands up and faces forward, we now only see the left side of his head, with no wound, but just looking across the side of the wound, so we see the missing hair, but not the hole itself.
Jason Thorn (Guest) edit delete reply
...you'd think he would have been on his guard out there.

Oh, well...so goes humanity. Not as bad as the concept of Gordon Freeman getting killed by some lowly Combine soldier...but it's pretty close.

You can stuff him with brains until he's a Four, but he'll still be a freakin' ZOMBIE.
D_Man (Guest) edit delete reply
Now he can finally end up with beth without the complications of being human.

If John steals the "brains" of higher lvl zombies does he have a chance of becoming higher lvl himself?
D_Man (Guest) edit delete reply
Also I think I would've expected Beth or Sylene to be the one to do that to him. Definately did not see him being done in by a one.
Wit (Guest) edit delete reply
Beth is going to wake up, walk into the bathroom...and John will step out of the shower! It was all just a dream. Maybe.
Xenrin edit delete reply
"I've always wanted to tell a story where it begins with one hero that you get attached to, and then he gets killed and the rest of the story is basically focused on another character that is being introduced..."

I totally agree with what you've done here. I mean, I sure as hell didn't predict this little development. I applaud you for doing what so few people are willing to do, and so few people normally appreciate. :)
JessieJess edit delete reply
This is my reaction:

T. Gatto (Guest) edit delete reply
Look on the bright side, at least he doesn't have to worry about being infected by Beth now (or much of anything else).

First time comment, but checking for updates all the time. Keep up the good work!
FrownyFace (Guest) edit delete reply
In my opinion his death is the fault of lazy writing. I've read this comic from the beginning and don't really see how this could progress the story at all seeing as how there is a lack of brains for him to eat. Also, I was really hoping that he and "Hot Red Head" (Bad with remembering names) would have an actual relationship. And you've always wanted to kill off the main character? Well do it with some style please. Incredibly disappointed with this page but I will continue to read in high hopes that todays misfortune will be redeemed through your wonderful story telling and imagination.
Thrudd edit delete reply
Okay - My first reaction was "WHAT?" soon to be followed by "Lucy, you got some 'spainin to do's!!" with a generous serving of readers ire.

If you can pull this off then kudos to you but as a reader of print books, of the voracious variety - reader that is not books - I have been subjected by a few too many who tried this and failed horribly and leaving me wanting to verbally abuse the writer/editor/publisher (okay more likely violence on the publishers).


After a cup of tea and some aspirin I have given this some thought (no pun intended) but did not our story begin with our protagonist being dumped out of a vehicle? Who did the dumping? who is their boss? Where was he before then? how did he survive the pandemic or did he?
Also, what is TOGM if not cloned gray matter?
snoog (Guest) edit delete reply
God just read all the other comments.
Everyone else has said what I'm thinking
snoog (Guest) edit delete reply
Ok calmer now.
Just had idea. What if Robert has a private store of brain which he uses to restore John's intelligence but he manages to repress his memories of being human and manipulates him it would be great to see John/Thomas struggle trying to work out what's true. Or maybe if John is a clone they'll make another and this clone will have to piece together what happened maybe Robert has done this before and it's an experiement.
Magravan edit delete reply
@Joobaloob56 - The One became a Two.

@Everyone who responded exclusively with surprise or disbelief - It was foreshadowed and necessary to the overall story :) He was attacked and killed by the One, and has come back as a One himself.

@vwyler - I don't even know that much about James Dean :)

@Sad - John's okay at this point, but I don't think that getting your skull bitten open is painless.

@Guest - Well, there are always enhancements... Maybe now that John gave them the idea, someone will decide to make them :D

@MatthewJA - I'm sure they'll find a way :)

@model S - It might be hard to tell, but if you look back at the strip with the girl who died, there is no evidence of a wound on the cranium, just her facial features.

@Violet - George R.R. Martin is brutal about killing off main characters in an offhand fashion... I don't have the guts to play with my main characters in the same way as he does ;) This was one character killed for a very specific reason :)

@Crosswinds - Thank you, I hope that you like where we take it ;)

@DreamSanguine - I'm really glad you enjoyed the cinematic aspect of this strip... I was debating heavily with myself about overburdening it with dialogue, and in the end I just decided to go with a single word around a few moments in time to really send home that someone important to the world of TOGM just died.

@Syaoran - That's kind of why I wanted to show a scene in the past where a One came up on John and he managed to get away anyways.. It set up this instance where you're expecting a One to be thwarted again, and then ... not so much :D

I'm guessing that people were pretty confident that it was a non-issue that a zombie had come up behind him, so it was nice to show that they are a viable threat...

@greengirl77 - Thursday .. will not make you unsad, sorry. I do, however, assure you that eventually I will more than likely make you unsad :)

@Francisco - The reaction and realization of Sylene and Phantom will be addressed in the first strip of Book 3 :)

@Zomburai - Because it was good for the overall story :)

@Fortunado1972 - I hope that means we're doing a good job :)

@the_brigand - It is Thomas. He turned the colour he did due to liver failure which causes jaundice.. Or so June said :)

@DZ - I'm not sure if it has been addressed explicitly in the comic, but the cranium is repaired as part of becoming a zombie. Due to the cranium destruction being the primary cause of death for zombies, one of the things that being Enlightened does is repair the brain casing.

As for the amnesiac part, you have to remember that the parts in the first strip allude to an intelligence that is fairly good, he just doesn't have much in the way of personal experience to judge situations by... He's smart, he's just not very wise... That can get you by in some cases, and you're not really sure how long he's been an amnesiac before being dumped on Beth's proverbial doorstep ;)

@Cedarwolf - The Waste has a lot of zombies... He's in a place where there is a lot of sand to mask things and he started talking to himself, which obviously perked the One's attention...

You can argue Deus Ex Machina.. Hopefully I'll be a better writer in the future if that is the case :) There is an explanation for it, and it wasn't done explicitly for shock value. Whether or not it will be good enough for people's standards.. I have no idea. I guess we'll see when it comes. There will be at least 2 strips before any reasonable explanation though...

@Lunaris_Starchilde - I ... don't think anyone made him those waffles previously ;)

@Thisguy - All I can ask for is a few comics to write my story before you write it off... ;) You wont get the explanation in the next two comics, I can assure you that... But you should have a comic that gives you another piece in this puzzle within the next five.

@Krimson - He is not going to regenerate and recover, and he's definitely not a clone. Sorry :)

@Aboulic - The cranium definitely healed, but this doesn't change the fact that he's a zombie. The hole placement, if it is not consistent is due to June still working to improve her art skill ;)

@Jason Thorn - He should have been, absolutely... I guess he's been living under the protection of a zombie for too long...

@D_Man - I don't think that Beth would have him at this point... John's level wont change from zombie brains, no.

Beth couldn't have done it, but Sylene or R.Z. were still viable threats.

@Wit - Definitely not. I might be a terrible writer, but I still have some standards. Anything that is 'just a dream/thought' tends to be fairly clear that it is not the case.

@MarshmallowGherkin - You can't please everyone all the time ;) I don't know if I deserve applause though... Any idiot can kill off a character, it's retaining the reader's trust afterwards that decides whether or not it was a good choice or a cheap gimmick.

@T. Gatto - Beth has standards :P

@FrownyFace - Normally, I'm not one to disagree with a reader about the quality of my writing. I realize that I'm not an exceptional writer, and I'm working to improve it...

However, I am going to come right out and disagree with you on the term Lazy Writing. This is probably the least lazy writing I've done in this entire thing.

It has been planned out and carefully written for months to get to this point and achieve the emotional reaction that we are seeing here. It was definitely not lazy...

That being said, I will accept 'not good' as a criticism.. Or 'hack', even 'Deus Ex Machina' I am willing to say that maybe it might be the case... But when the entire picture becomes clearer, I think that you will definitely not be able to say Lazy.

As for the future, the story still has many, many facets left to explore, and this was both a necessary and important development to the overall story... I did it because it had to be done, so far as I can see, with the story that I am trying to tell.

@Thrudd - We definitely have explaining to do... And that's the best part about writing this story... There are a lot of things that need to be explained about the world and it's mechanics...

As to whether or not people will be happy with the explanation... I guess I will have to see... There have been a few leaps of faith on my part with regards to my writing lately... Do people buy into Chad betraying them after the way he's been treated by Alexander? Will people see the explanation surrounding this, read back and see all of the foreshadowing and think "Hey... wow... that adds a whole new level to the story I didn't realize was happening!" or "Hey... that was stupid. What a lousy writer."

It's hard to say at this point, and to be perfectly honest, I'm a little bit afraid to even try... I've said before, I've gotten a lot of leeway from readers of our comic before because, like LOST, there is the belief that the writer is good enough to make it all make sense when the reveal happens... Well, there are things that can't avoid being revealed forever and I will have to deal with whatever reaction I get when it comes time...

But if I can't be accountable in my writing when it comes time to step up, then I don't really have any business asking you guys to read this strip. Unless you're just here for the art, in which case, enjoy the show :D

@Snoog - Why? Because it needed to be done. Robert's reaction to it when it comes time will say something about both of your theories, I think... It's planned for 152 :)
Bonz0 edit delete reply
No, I'm pretty sure his head wound healed. It might not be completely healed and you may be right about us not being able to see it in the last panel, but it definitely has started to heal.

Look at the first panel. That hole is big enough to fit your fist through and only a little bit of skull can be seen at the very edges.
In the next panel, it is clearly much smaller and some skin has formed over the visible skull at the edges. You'd have quite a bit of trouble fitting your hand through the hole at this point.

In the next, the wound is certainly not large enough to fit your hand through. Not big enough to get brains out of either. Look where the blood is. It's at the area where the edge of the wound USED to be, but now it's not very close to the smaller, healed opening.

In the final panel there is still blood trickling down--but from where? The paths of blood seem to stop at areas that have no visible injuries. If the steams of blood ran all the way to the top of his head I could see your rationalization that the injury simply isn't visible.

As for the death of John...well, I think Linkara says it best:

"Now to be honest, I'm actually really against character death in general. Why take away the ability to tell stories about them? But if you're going to kill a character, here's a tip. If you really must kill a character, you make sure it's their Crowning Moment of Awesome. The instant where the readership looks at that character and says 'Oh that is the most badass thing I've ever seen!'.

Here are two examples.

Get this: The Anti-Monitor, the biggest bad guy of them all, is ready to blow up all of reality. So what does Supergirl do? She punches him. And punches him, and punches, and punches and punches and just whales on the guy until one lucky blast from the Anti-Monitor kills her. But her death had meaning. It had soul. It showed a character dying to save lives. She wasn't just some victim or shock death. She forced the heavily-injured Anti-Monitor to retreat.

Or hell ... how about Doctor Octopus? Yeah, he died once too. He's better now, but when they decided to kill him off, they knew he shouldn't go out like a pansy. They spent half the issue with him fighting and scoring a few good hits before he died, because the writers knew you had to honor the legacy of the character.

Bottom line, if a character's going to die, they'd better go out swingin'! "

I feel like it would have been nice to see John achieve a little bit more before being killed off. Unless that's the point--he's going to end up helping the cause more in his death than he could while alive.
Magravan edit delete reply
@Bonzo - I think that there are a few major differences between the publications that you mention and TOGM...

Firstly, TOGM is a story about zombies. A human dying to a zombie is not the end of their story, merely a transition. The only real, permanent death that prevents me from telling stories about them would be dying as a zombie afterwards. There's no coming back from that... If I was permanently losing the character, I don't know if I could do so...

Secondly, the problem with death in those books is that while it is intended to create an emotional reaction, you know that they will not stay dead. They do that exclusively to milk the emotional reaction but I doubt that any person goes into the process of killing a mainstream character believing that they will remain dead these days.

In some ways, this is alleviated for me, because his story doesn't end here, it just changes... But obviously he's not what he was anymore, so that aspect of the story will be different...

And thirdly, they are good writers, paid to do the work :D I'm just some guy who happened to marry an artist good enough to get some people to read a story that we publish for free on the internet... Not exactly much in the way of quality control there :D
Jacob (Guest) edit delete reply
Just wondering...
The author didnt show yet how TOGM is made.

Perhaps its brain tissue from hiper-regenerating humans. >.<
Hijynks (Guest) edit delete reply
Ok. I'm impressed. This totally caught me off guard and really got people talking. Working our way through various Star Trek series I am waiting for the alternate dimension/ time rift dimensional travel reversal of fortune but I genuinely hope this doesn't happen. Frankly I was starting to get bored. I'm very interested again. Keep it up!!!
Bonz0 edit delete reply
The references to the comic books was part of the Linkara quote. I wasn't trying to compare the two vastly different mediums, I just wanted to convey the whole "Characters shouldn't die like bugs, they should at least do one awesome or eventful thing before being killed off" concept without butchering the source quote.

I get the whole transition thing but in a way the character we knew as "John" DID die. His personality died. You said he is a one now, yes? Well all ones can do is eat and attack. As far as I'm concerned that means that John is dead unless he finds a way to increase his zombie rank. Until then I will treat John the zombie as a separate character from John the self aware.

Hmmm...now I REALLY want to add this whole event to the list of examples for "And Then John Was a Zombie" page on tvtropes.org, but I'm not certain it fits the actual trope and not just the name...
Spinnerlink edit delete reply
I never saw this coming. I wonder if anyone is gonig to coment on beth being captured or who ever R.Z. is looking at.
jordanch68 edit delete reply
Wow, didn't see that coming. Now who's Beth going to get to dangle for her pleasure? lol :)

But seriously though after 150 of these it was probably time for a change...don't know if that's the change I would've picked but if he was the last human then his fate was sealed anyway. I'm reminded of Florida's reaction in the Big Move episode of Good Times...I'll miss John/Beth's playful interaction which I always thought was really good with a lot of potential.

Based on R.Z.'s expression, I'm most worried about him right now...no one's looking out for him.
Onmiddellijk Getroffen
noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.....NO NO NO damn it NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
bbedlam edit delete reply
hokey smokes, I didn't see that coming at all! Now I have to wait until Thursday to find out what the hell is going on (or at least get a clue as to what's going to happen next). On the plus side... look at all the reactions you got! People are clearly invested in the story, so that's a great thing.
Dave (Guest) edit delete reply
This turn of events actually has served to pique my interests. I'm very much wanting to see where this development goes.

Magravan edit delete reply
@Jacob - I haven't, but I have stated that it doesn't trigger further enlightenment... It could be that it is a Robert ploy, I suppose. Hard to tell with that darn 5...

@Hijynks - It certainly has gotten people talking... I think we've had more comments on this one page than we have in the past 3 or 4... (or 10!) I do want to say that this has been planned for a long time and was not done to try to boost numbers or attention or alleviate boredom :)

@BonzO - You make good points, and while I don't want to comment on John's future right now, I can say that I think that this death was done the way that it had to go...

The Crowning Moment of Awesome would have given the subsequent story a very different feel.. This guy was the answer to the Phantom's Prayers... As he said in recent pages, the people in the rebel camp had basically turned him into an symbol far beyond what he was...

Had he died in a heroic fashion, the people who were looking for him to be something could have thought to themselves "Well... I can understand why he chose to do what he did..." and rallied around it... Instead, they have a "He died like that? This is our hero??" sort of feeling... And that's what I need for this story right now.

As for the trope, I think that's hilarious and I'm going to go read it after I finish these responses :D

@Spinnerlink - It's definitely an important part, but I can see why they've been overshadowed.

@jordanch68 - I'd be worried about R.Z. too, but he does have someone watching out for him :)

@Onmiddellijk Getroffen - You broke the page :D

@bbedlam - Ha ha ha :P Shoes on the other foot now, isn't it? Now it is YOU who will wait for an update to find out what is going on! :D (If you don't read Angry Faerie, you should check it out, but be prepared for lots of cliffhangers :P)

@Dave - I'm glad, and hope that we don't disappoint :)
Drivinallnight (Guest) edit delete reply
Wow, been reading since about 100 strips ago, John may have been not to bright, but I can't seem to see how the new zombie Thomas will be good? Hopefully your right and the next five or so strips will help explain the tragic death :(
Misleading (Guest) edit delete reply
And Now I stop reading sorry..
Emily (Guest) edit delete reply
Holy hell, I did not expect this at all. I wonder where the story will go next...
drivinallnight edit delete reply
I think your title is wrong, that or John was not the only Human left in the world, after all if humanity is only at a loss and not now completely lost than there may be more humans in this Zombie story, just saying :) ::Yeah, I am no longer a guest!!::
Magravan edit delete reply
@Drivinallnight - I think that certain aspects will be understood, but it will also cause more questions ;)

@Misleading - That's okay... It wasn't going to appeal to everyone, and I guess we haven't earned enough faith with you to get us past this point... I hope you find something that you enjoy more :)

@Emily - That seems to be the consensus :)

@Drivinallnight (Again) - That's a valid point... I guess I meant humanity as a concept.. If there are more humans out there, they are well hidden... Even from me!
Hellhath (Guest) edit delete reply
I don't see it as a choice or cheap gimmick. It is more a question of whether it is better use of the energy you built up. Every reader identifies with the characters as much if not more than the story. You had a good amount of tension built up between characters, the story was heading in a decent direction and you pulled the carpet out from under your readers. Everything in a story is like this bundle of kinetic energy, you add to it, add to it, take a little away, add some more, throw in a curve to take a little more out it, keeping it going, building to some ends. Right now it feels like you pulled too hard on the plot rope, for me it really snapped. Maybe the direction you are going can build up more energy, draw myself and other readers back into the it. But I do know this you lost a LOT of that energy you worked so hard to put into the story. It seems kinda anti-climatic at this point; way way too soon.
Magravan edit delete reply
You make a couple very good points, and I will try to keep it in mind for the future... As to what it is for now, we'll see what people think after a couple more strips...

If we lose readers over it, as I said to Misleading, I guess that we haven't built sufficient trust with them to see us past things like this. Ultimately, I'm telling the story that I want to tell, and it's not going to be for everyone.

Hopefully those that stick around will find it worthwhile to do so ;)
Lewis T edit delete reply
Lewis T

I was all ready for John to turn round be all like BAM but now he's all "BRAINS" and I'm like "wha?".

Seriously though Magravan, thats some pretty nice writing, It was totally unexpected and that usually keeps me reading!

Also, Skreal's drawing in this one is pretty neat too, if a little... gruesomely realistic? XD
Iblisor (Guest) edit delete reply
I wonder if the Phantom was right all along. It's just an upgraded body for a zombie. He would need brains the refuel. Also, he may not be the last human, SOMEBODY had to throw him out of the van in the beginning of the comic.
Guest (Guest) edit delete reply
I hoped he'd survive! How is he now supose to be able to entertain the red-head? >:'O
Paul edit delete reply
What I have thought since the first few pages of this is that John was a zombie who has been cured ... he got his brains back as it were.

Not sure why he would be dumped, but to have an inexhaustible supply of real brains to chomp on would be quite a good thing for other zombies ...

So - this wasn't such a surprise from my biased POV. But great work so far - keep it up.
Hellhath (Guest) edit delete reply
That is the second time you have mentioned trust. One of the first things I learned in writing is that a story is a contract between the storyteller and the audience. You ask yourself who am I writing for. Most writers write for themselves, and as such write stories that they want to read. That is not necessarily bad, it helps to grow, to take chances (like this). However that can also be a very dangerous position to take. My point is that this is about trust. It is like taking a dangerous sharp curve too fast. Sometimes you lose trust, not that you lacked it in the first place.
Aegil the Ugly (Guest) edit delete reply
At the moment this looks less like the elimination of a major character for dramatic effect than it does an attempt to reboot a plot line because the author has decided to take it in another direction.
Thisguy (Guest) edit delete reply
ok, almost 24 hrs later, feeling more resonable now
Didnt mean like i was writing the comic off, just that it is a really, REAAALY unexpected shock for this to happen, never been a fan of character death, and dont read darker comics where its likely to happen. But, i read TOGM for the storyline and the mysteries more than i do for lighthearted humour and look forward with interest to where the storyline will go now, feeling mostly certain that a new or old character (or multiples thereof) will step up to fill the void, or a void. I just hope i can wait... I really shouldnt read webcomics b4 i go to bed.

BTW I really appreciate the effort you went to to read and comment on all the posts here, shows commitment to the readers, keep up the good work with the comic
Minion (Guest) edit delete reply
Have to admit, I'm going to have a LOT of trouble reading and being engaged with the strip from now on in. Can understand what you were trying to do and can admire the courage of your creative convictions, but just not sure if it's my cup of tea. I'll certainly read the next few strips as suggested to try to get some idea of where the strip's going storywise after this, but right now it feels like the story you were telling wasn't the one I thought I was reading. And that's certainly not to say you're telling it *badly* in any way, just that the complete story you are actually telling might not be something I enjoy as much as I'd enjoyed book 1 & 2.
PixieSingsBass edit delete reply
Wow! My first thought was pretty much, "NOooo! Wait a minute. What?!".

@ Magravan: Yeah, I know you left hints. Yadda, yadda, yadda. I'm not much of a 'get the hint' kinda girl. (I was once named The Oblivious, remember?)

I reacted strongly because I was invested in the story and felt a connection to the character. Good on you! Way to go! You have written a good enough story to engage me.

While I agree with Hellhath that you have suddenly released much energy and will now have to keep your readers while you build it back up, I do believe your skills and creativity are up to the task. I look forward to following your story for as long as you write it.

@ Hellhath: Nicely described, that! I don't think I've heard it put quite as well before. I'll remember that one and likely use it myself if you don't mind.

@ Skrael: Great job, especially on panel 4. I hate gore and yours was good enough to make me cringe and look away. LOL Don't take all the negative reactions to badly, Hon. They only react because they have come to care. That's a good thing.
Magravan edit delete reply
@Lewis T - That's kind of why I did it... This is a world full of zombies, and the Waste is not a safe place to be... I wanted to show that this is a dangerous place, despite the relative ease that John has enjoyed up until now. A starving One is a threat, and now that someone has died to one, I am hoping that readers can see that, instead of feeling that the characters live on a fluffy cloud with storyteller protection.

@Iblisor - While the Phantom appreciates your belief in him, I don't think he shares the belief that he might have been right ;)

@Guest - Beth will be looked after, don't worry ;)

@Paul - I'll tell you now, if anyone had an inexhaustible supply of REAL brains, they'd be a 6 and basically achieve something so close to godhood as to be pretty much the same. None of the TOGM zombies would give that up :)

@Hellhath - Now this I will disagree with you on. While you could argue that I've lost trust with this, real trust would say "I trust that this will turn out okay." The trust is required to get beyond this point... If you're still reading the story, then your trust may be strained, but obviously it hasn't been depleted to the point where you've given up on the story.

Obviously if it was broken, and the reader has moved on, then the trust wasn't built up enough to handle the turn... To use your example, if you are taking a turn too fast, your car's handling would be a good example of trust. If you have good handling, you will make that turn at that speed. If your handling isn't up to the task, then you are going to go into the ditch / off the mountain / whatever else.

To be perfectly clear, I am saying that if they've chosen to stop reading because of this event, then I have not written the story in a way that they feel that they can trust the direction of the story. This is my failing as a writer, not their failing as readers.

Ultimately, I have placed too much burden on a trust that wasn't strong enough to handle it yet.

@Aegil the Ugly - Absolutely not. Definitely not, and I can promise you that every event that has been done in book 2 has been leading up to this point, and the relevant comic that is coming up within the next 5 was also planned WELL before this one was released.

At this point, I am glad that I have told at least 1 person some spoilers so that I have some independent backup. I think I might have told two outside of June, so I can say that much... Ideally though, once it comes up, I hope that I can point back to the strip and say "The foreshadowing was there." because I've been building towards this for a long time.

@Thisguy - I'm glad to hear you aren't writing it off :) I was hoping for the "Wtf?" responses, but the "You're changing the entire basis of the story and I'm not sure if I want to read it anymore" was both a surprise AND kind of nice in the sense that what is also being said is "We cared about the story that you were telling and were enjoying it."

As for answering the comments, I try to make the time to do it whenever I notice they've been done. I like the dialogue that sometimes builds out of it, and I feel that if people are going to take an interest in what we are doing, I will do my best to return the effort that they are putting in to send us a comment :)

@Minion - Now, this is personal opinion, but I think that Book 3 will be my favourite book to write. I can't say that it will be the reader's favourite story to read, but I intend to delve more into the relationships between the characters and try to let them grow a little bit.

I honestly don't believe that this will affect the story as much as people believe it will.

@PixieSingsBass - I thought I told you some spoilers anyway? I guess this was one of the ones I held back? :D

The one thing that I've taken from this is that the harshest criticism seems to be coming from the people who enjoyed the story the most.. Which is great, it means that people cared enough to be bothered by it.

It's a roundabout way to get to it, but I found it to be a very honest praise for the story that I was crafting... I guess we'll see what people think when the next few strips come out ;)

And I agree with Hellhath as well, but I am hoping that I can bring the energy back pretty quickly, albeit in a slightly different direction.
Kyo edit delete reply
I've kinda been wondering, since it works like a pyramid scheme, wouldn't that imply that being the only 5 also means being the original zombie?
Magravan edit delete reply
Or at least the highest remaining zombie ;)
dr pepper edit delete reply
dr pepper
<peanuts> AUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGH! </peanuts>

Ok, i'm going to trust you.
Jason Thorn (Guest) edit delete reply
I would think that having been sequestered by the Four all the time would make him sloppy, but he had his close call in the warehouse...

Nearly dying for a can of beans while alone would have been a wake-up call for me, personally.

In any case, I'll be reading this to see what happens next. But I agree with the others who've said the same--if this is a plot twist, it better be a good one.
suziqlue (Guest) edit delete reply
I've been reading since the beginning -- still reading, including this morning's brand new comic ... and since this one right here -- I am COMPLETELY confused on the John situation. If John is now a One, who the heck is driving the red car, running down Ones, talking to RZ? ???
Magravan edit delete reply
@dr pepper - Hopefully the trust was well founded :D

@Jason Thorn - He died because he was sloppy :D I don't want to post spoilers here though, but I suspect if you're still reading, you've understood this :D

@Suziqlue - SPOILER ALERT!

This wasn't John.
Beta Maxis (Guest) edit delete reply
How does anything manage to penetrate that skull anyway? Also, holy s**t!