Another Brave Soul

Did someone leave a sign in front of the ZSC command center or something? We’ve got another new addition to Zombie Survival Crew Command ready to join our ranks! Brigadiers, raise your weapons and give a salute to Ming Chen, the newest Zombie Survival Crew commander!!

As one of the starts on AMC’s “Comic Book Men” Ming Chen provides plenty of knowledge about all things geek, and takes his share of razzing from fellow Secret Stash employees.  Behind the scenes, he’s the tech guru for Kevin Smith’s View Askew and SModCo websites.  He cohosts the “I Sell Comics!” podcast with fellow ZSC commander Michael Zapcic on Smodcast Internet Radio (S.I.R.) every Thursday. Ming donates his tech skills pro bono to Street Poets Inc. and The Kenny Gordon Foundation.

Ming joins his Comic Book Men compadre Michael Zapcic  as a member of our Special Forces, under the Command of Michael Rooker.

The Welcome Wagon

Raise your arms and salute the newest ZSC commander to join our ranks, Michael Zapcic!

Zapcic may sell comic books for a living, as well as starring on AMC’s “Comic Book Men” but that doesn’t mean he’s unprepared for the zombie apocalypse. Not with a wealth of comic book battles locked in his encyclopedic mind to pull information from.

 While waiting for the undead to shamble forth, Zapcic continues to work in Red Bank, NJ at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash while filming “Comic Book Men.” Every Thursday he records “I Sell Comics!” for Smodcast Internet Radio (S.I.R.) with cohost Ming Chen. Along with his fellow ZSC commanders, Zapcic believes in aiding charities to make the world a better place now, instead of later. He’s proud to support The Wayne Foundation and Lunchbreak of Red Bank.

Memento Mori

Review of The Walking Dead 408 – Too Far Gone

TWD408Goodness, the mid-season finale for “The Walking Dead” proved to be a difficult episode to watch. No surprise in the nail-biting, worrying, and yelling at the TV—TWD always provides plenty of that for its finales. The surprises came in the bloodshed witnessed by 12.1 million viewers Sunday night. Some of it may have been expected, the writers are known for dropping clues throughout the season before a major event. The rest left fans wailing and venting their frustrations on Twitter and Facebook. We can totally see the fan angst delighting the show’s writers and producers. After all, they live to make viewers suffer—as Robert Kirkman disclosed on “Talking Dead” after the mid-season finale—by making each major loss on the show unbelievably graphic, fitting the amount of violence to a character’s importance in the show. Talk about a harsh way to show you love someone.

Warning: There’s spoilers a plenty below. Do not venture further until you’ve watched the mid-season finale.

It is no secret that Phillip—a.k.a. The Governor, a.k.a. Brian—is a master manipulator. In the scene before the main credits, he manages to simultaneously scare the pee out of the people in his new camp and turn them into a ragtag militia team willing to do whatever necessary in order to take over the prison. When he arrived, when the camp was still working under Martinez, the group were timid, barely keeping one step ahead of the walkers. It took Phillip no time at all to corrupt them. He knew exactly what to say, what buttons to push and lies to feed them. Well, the lies weren’t so much lies as exaggerations of the truth. Yes, Rick’s people murder and steal, but only when backed into a corner and forced to. Yes, Michonne mutilated Phillip and killed Penny, his daughter . . . in self-defense. He uses the truth to frighten his new army. Only Lilly sees through the manipulation. She calls Phillip out, asking if he’s one of the bad people he’s rallying the others to kill. Unfortunately, Lilly doesn’t have the backbone to stop him, to stop any of them before they charge into the prison with Hershel and Michonne as prisoners. If she did, the episode would’ve had a much kinder ending.

Hershel always finds a way to make peace. It’s the way he’s lived since day one on the show, back when he couldn’t bring himself to kill the walkers because he saw them as sick humans who just need to stick it out until someone finds a miracle cure. Hershel’s faith taught him to find the kinder, gentler path. He’s no push-over, stand up for what he thinks is right no matter what. But Hershel is a man of words, not action. He tries so hard to talk sense into Rick throughout his time with the group, and uses the same tactics with Phillip when taken prisoner.

“You say you want to take this prison as peacefully as possible, that means you’d be willing to hurt people to get it. My daughters would be there. That’s who you’d be hurtin’. If you understand what it’s like to have a daughter, then how can you threaten to kill someone else’s?”

“Because they aren’t mine.”

Phillip makes it clear that Hershel’s attempt to find the humanity buried deep in his mind won’t work. He killed that portion of himself and buried it alongside Penny after the Woodbury attack. It gives Hershel nothing to work with. He’s left to rely on the good he’s found in Rick since the first prison attack to safe his bacon. It doesn’t work.

The prison attack echoes the first attempt made by the Governor to capture the coveted safe haven, with one large exception: this time Phillip rolls in with a tank. He also has a serious advantage in the number of soldiers at his disposal. After the walker attack inside cellblock D and the flu which wiped out a good number of the prison population, there’s a handful of people able to fire a gun without falling over from the recoil. Glenn and Sasha are barely mobile, therefore virtually useless in a fight. It came down to the council, plus a couple spare people, in order to hold the line against a tank and well-armed, motivated insurgents. The prison group was doomed from the start. And further doomed by the emotional blow dealt by Phillip moments before he called on his army to charge the fences.

Hershel’s death is a brilliant tactic for Phillip’s campaign. He knew Hershel was the steel rod holding the prison group upright. All it took was one conversation with the man to figure it out. Rick’s eagerness to agree with Hershel during the ultimately ill-fated parlay before the shooting begins sealed the deal. Take out the peacemaker and the morale of the group falls to ruin. Phillip makes no effort to hide his true self in that moment. He has no more time for games to manipulate his people into action. The price of his ego is the death of a beloved character. We’ll truly miss Scott Wilson’s portrayal of Hershel Greene. He went out in style, with a smile on his face.

Too bad for Phillip, Hershel’s death didn’t automatically translate to Phillip’s victory.

The Governor’s demise was written perfectly. He didn’t go down easily. It took three people, three of the people hurt the most by his actions throughout his time on the show, to bring about his final death. Rick laid into him in the fist fight fans have been waiting for since the original prison attack against the Woodbury militia. There was ample amounts of cheering in the ZSC command center when the first punches were thrown. Rick nearly didn’t survive the encounter. In the end, Michonne dealt the blow to seal Phillip’s fate. Her sword—the same sword used to decapitate Hershel—cut through Phillip’s chest like butter and saves Rick’s bacon. But Lilly is the one to make sure Phillip didn’t come back as a walker to further destroy lives. As is fitting since his behavior cost her the focus she needed to keep her daughter, Meghan, alive. Phillip was never going to die at the hands of just one person. The horrors he wrought on the prison population needed to be avenged somehow. An eye for an eye, so to speak. As much as we loathed Phillip as a character, we’ll miss the brilliance of David Morrissey’s performance. He brought a depth to the character few actors could’ve achieved. There’s a fine line to walk with a character as reprehensible as The Governor. It’s far too easy to make him a mustache-twirling bad guy. Morrissey didn’t. He made Phillip into a character with so many layers, sometimes it was hard to hate the guy. It takes talent to make fans feel sympathy for the villain.

We lost two main characters in the season four mid-season finale, with the fates of many others hanging in the balance. The prison population is scattered to the winds, with little to no supplies, without shelter. They’ve lost their home, their loved ones, and the support of the community they’d built inside the prison. How long can any of them hope to survive? We’ll find out on Sunday, February 9th, 2014 at 9:00 PM.

Have some theories about what lies ahead for the survivors of the prison attack? Let us hear them in the comments below.



Review of “The Walking Dead” 407 – “Dead Weight”
By RC Murphy

Having a double helping of something good isn’t always a pleasure. After five episodes without the Governor, watching two episodes focused solely on him chokes the pacing of “The Walking Dead” halfway through season four. The energy viewers get from characters like Daryl and Michonne is impossible to duplicate for the parallel story line following Phillip as he finds himself again after setting Woodbury ablaze. Unfortunately, what seemed like something viewers would enjoy, isn’t paying out as expected. While there are some stand-up-and-yell-at-the-TV moments, they’re too few and far between to keep the momentum rolling into the mid-season climax on December 1st.

Don’t go into the light! It’s the vast brightness of the many spoilers lurking below.


A couple times during the episode, it became painfully apparent that Phillip had forgotten who, exactly, he’s dealing with as his “family.” The way he looks at Meghan is a look reserved for someone who’s watched a child learn and grow since the day they were born. He’s only known the Chamblers for a couple of weeks, a month maximum. There’s no way his connection to Meghan is that rock solid. Toward the middle of the episode, Phillip tells Lilly that he can’t lose them again. Only, he’s never lost them. He lost his wife and Penny—the walker he kept captive in hopes of finding a way to fix her short of putting a bullet in her head. Phillip’s attachment to the Chamblers, namely Lilly and Meghan, is disturbing. He’s out of sync with reality, leaning on two people he hardly knows to keep his humanity in check. It didn’t work.

f106f377-92aa-119a-e16b-58a4e49dd4fb_TWD_407_GP_0722_02971Martinez’s days were numbered. There’s no use lying to ourselves. Once he made it crystal clear that he was in charge of the camp, things were already set in motion. When he asked Phillip to help him, work for him, there was only ever going to be one outcome. The Governor fully returned to power. He’s so desperate to keep Lilly and Meghan safe, he’ll jump back into the darkness he used to keep Woodbury going during the last weeks of its existence. Even though he repeatedly says, “I don’t want it.” Doesn’t want what, the responsibility of leadership or the blood on his hands from securing his place at the top of the food chain? Does it cost Phillip anything to kill anymore? Anytime we see Rick pull the trigger, you see a piece of his soul wither. With Phillip, who knows? He’s a hard read, a violent man with sociopathic tendencies. However, he makes this impossible connection with a woman and her child that goes against everything known about sociopathic behavior. Is it an act? But to whose benefit? Surely he can’t be trying to fool himself after all this time.

How difficult is it to form a functioning society when everyday Joes are forced to become murderers? Since day one we’ve seen survivors struggle to regain some semblance of normality by coming together to form little neighborhoods. Places where they should feel safe enough to relax, let their kids play. But they don’t in most of these camps. Everyone ends up on edge, watching the one or two people who enjoy the death and destruction around them a little too much. The apocalypse is the maniac’s playground, guns their toys of choice. And since they’re so willing to kill, inevitably, they’re the ones to gain power, become the person to look up to. It corrupts the people in the camp eventually. Look at Woodbury, at how many of the soldiers willingly followed the Governor into battle against Rick and the prison crew. And it is happening all over again next week. Why? Because Phillip knows how to work people. He told Mitch, “You’ll never have to worry if you’re doing the right thing or the wrong thing. We will do the only thing.” That was exactly what the other man needed to hear. He needed a way to absolve the guilt he felt for first, not securing the supplies for the camp, then killing the injured old man, and lastly not killing Phillip after he murdered his brother, Pete. Fighting for the safety of the camp gives Mitch his Get Out of Jail Free card.


Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown . . . covered in the blood of his predecessors. Can Phillip succeed this time? Will this new group of survivors secure the golden egg—the prison? Tell us what you think in the comments.

A Tiger and His Stripes

Review of “The Walking Dead” episode 406 – “Live Bait”

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

In a jarring turn of direction, the writer’s for “The Walking Dead” took viewers completely out of the prison and the lives of the people inhabiting the safe haven within the failing fences. We spent an hour catching up with the Governor, Phillip, Brian—whatever name he’s going by this week. The man changes his name as often as a woman changes her clothes an hour before a hot date. His identity changes with each new name, as well. We met a new version of the Governor in this week’s episode. But how much of that was for show?

Don’t look now, but there’s spoilers sneaking up behind you. Dangit! I told you not to look.

We picked up with Phillip right were we’d left him at the end of season three—standing over the corpses of the men and women from his personal army he’d slain after the failed attack on the prison. From there, it jumps to the next night, or possibly a week later, or a month. Hard to tell with the way the time line jumped back and forth at the beginning. Anyway, it becomes obvious something in Phillip is broken after the mass slaughter of his people. Disgusted, the two living members of his army pack up and leave him on his own. Over time, Phillip stopped taking care of himself. He grew The Beard. You know, the mangy, dead beast looking thing that seems to signify on the show when a male character has given up. Rick grew an impressive one before Michonne brought him a beard trimmer and not-so-subtly hinted that he looked like hell. What are friends for if not to tell you there’s a problem with the way you’re not taking care of yourself? Only, Phillip has no friends. He’s completely alone. The man doesn’t even have a home in Woodbury to return to. He burned it to the ground.

Miserable to his marrow, Phillip wandered on foot through walker-infested roads and towns. Honestly, that he survived at all with his obvious lack of will to live is amazing. He became a ghost, passing through, but never really affecting anything. Until he finds a family of survivors—Tara, Lilly, David, and Megan Chalmers—who are far, far too kind to him.

He tried to cover up his tracks when he burned Woodbury, like the fire would cleanse his foul deeds from his soul. When it didn’t work, Phillip tried for another method—being a decent human being. Something tells us this version of the man, the one known to this new family as Brian, is as close as we’ll ever get to seeing Phillip before the walkers took over the world. He’s soft-spoken, thankful, respectful, and helps when he can. However, the man still punishes himself for quite some time after being taken in, as though he doesn’t feel he deserves something as simple as a meal cooked by someone who genuinely cares about his health and safety. Kindness is not something he has experienced for a good long time. Even when he ran Woodbury, the nice things done for him always had a dark tinge. A taint stemming from the heavy-handed way he ran the town. It wasn’t a safe haven in Woodbury. Phillip turned into a small army base, with himself as the general.

There’s a moment where “Brian” is playing chess with the youngest member of the family, Megan. Suddenly everything about the previous season makes sense. He saw himself as the king, with Rick as the opposing king on the board. Phillip had his knights, rooks, and bishops as his personal circle of enforcers. The others were all pawns. Megan asked when he taught her how to play chess if you lost the game if a pawn died.

“You can lose a lot of soldiers, but still win the game.”

But he didn’t win. Not by a longshot. In war, there are no real winners. Everyone loses men. Life isn’t a game and it took a little girl and her family for that to start to sink into Phillip’s thick skull.

Time will tell if he’s truly learned how to change from the sociopath we saw at the end of season three. From the looks of the preview for next week, he hasn’t. It’s always hard to tell given the way the teasers are edited, though.

Phillip couldn’t look Megan in the eye when he first met the Chalmers. Why do you think he couldn’t? Let us know in the comments below.

It’s Mayhem in Mexico: Zombie Infestation!

Mayhem in Mexico: Zombie Infestation

MiM B3

Are you ready for zombies? Author Leona Bushman releases her latest zombie book, Mayhem in Mexico: Zombie Infestation on 31 October 2013 via Just Ink PressTM.

Successful novelist and mom by day; bada** zombie-killing machine by night—when it comes to the Infected, Serena Rouge knows what it takes to make the killing blow. When the FBI forces her into a Special Ops, Serena’s all well and fine with the mission . . . until her targets kidnap her children. Then, all bets are off and she’s looking to kill.

“I’ve trained for years to learn how to take down the zombies–and avoid them the rest of the time. Now the FBI wants a writer to go undercover and get information? My gut says something isn’t right, and the rest of me will pay for not listening to that instinct.”

—Serena Rouge


MiM_140x210Getting kidnapped by the FBI is pretty low on my list of things I want to do. It’s right up there with meeting terrorist groups and writing their side of the story. Why a successful novelist like me? Turns out I’m a scapegoat for someone with some serious health issues—they’ve contracted the zombie virus.

I’m a zombie killer, killing them as quickly as I can. But I’m only one woman. You’d think being an Immune was great, but no. Ever since the government purposely tried to infect me with the zombie virus, they watch me closely to see if I turn. Not happening.

The FBI wants me to accomplish something big two thousand miles from home. When I arrive in El Paso, Texas after my strenuous drive from Washington, my contact agent, Joseph Connelly, isn’t available. Being tortured by a zombie for two days is an excuse I can accept after saving his ass. These aren’t your Hollywood zombies; not right away. They never get sick, their IQ triples, and their sex appeal? Off the charts. Until they die and resurrect as true horror flick zombies, with brains. Trouble is, some of them have developed a taste for meat—human meat—before they die.

Problem with governments screwing around with our DNA is things never go as planned. When terrorists kidnap my kids, all bets are off, and Agent Connelly agrees. If we don’t save my kids and steal the antivirus without getting killed, the whole world is going to have a really bad day.


Mayhem in Mexico will be available on Amazon, All Romance eBooks, iBookstore, and Nook on Halloween for $4.99. Click HERE for more details.

*Warning: strong language and graphic violence


LJ Bushman_100x150Leona Bushman goes by many names, but the most common one is Superhero. She earned this name from saving a kangaroo from a tree—and yes, that is as hard as it sounds. The dragons taught their queen how to write, and Queen Leona hasn’t looked back. Even when her muse tries to muck things up.

She can be found goofing off and loving dragons and other creatures of the supernatural at the following sites:

Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog | Goodreads


Sacrifices – The Walking Dead Review

Review of The Walking Dead 403 – Isolation


TWD_403Being alone is rarely a pleasant thing. Humans crave contact with others, need the interaction to keep themselves happy and mentally healthy. Finding companionship in the zombie apocalypse is next to impossible. From what we’ve learned on the show since day one, human nature demands that most folks take care of numero uno first, then their family. If you’re a stranger, kindness has to be earned. Even after making that vital, living connection, there are moments when a person may find themselves surrounded by others, yet utterly isolated by circumstances no one else can understand. This week on “The Walking Dead” we saw a lot of people suffering on their own, forced to make terrifying personal sacrifices in order to keep one step ahead of not only the walkers, but also the illness plaguing the prison population.

Spoiler Warning: This review contains potential spoilers. If you aren’t caught up with the show, what are you waiting for?

The graveyard in the prison yard is larger than the garden. That alone speaks volumes about the harshness of life for the characters on the show. By the time this illness plays out, many others will join the dead already in the ground. At some point, they’ve stopped creating new life and instead focus on tending to those who’ve passed. Rick tried to convey the importance of focusing on the living to Tyrese, explaining how his time was better spent securing their future food sources than looking into the past and crippling himself with their losses—a rare moment for Rick considering how far afield his mind wandered last season after losing his wife, Lori. Is justice something that even factors into their world? How far can it go toward righting wrongs in a lawless world full on unnecessary death? Tyrese is uneasy killing walkers, even those who are an immediate threat to his survival, yet he demands the head of whoever killed two of their own. We’re seeing a turning point in his life. He’s consumed by rage, becoming a different man. Rick is still on that road and no longer recognizes himself, especially after his fight with Tyrese. What will Tyrese do when he learns the truth? Venturing too far down that road leads to trouble.

Glenn wishes he could move on into the future. He’s never been one to linger in the past, with the exception of Maggie’s abuse at the hands of the Governor. The couple have been the poster children for a promising future since they finally got over that awkward relationship stage in season two. Despite all odds, they found love. They’re planning to marry. At some point, Maggie wants to start a family—when Glenn feels it is safe enough to birth and raise children. Everything they do is focused on tomorrow, what it could bring in the way of happiness and an end to their troubled times. The two of them aren’t stupid. Nothing is going to be fixed overnight. And now, the bright lives ahead of them are in trouble. Glenn is sick and without him to keep her grounded, Maggie turns to her family. Only they’ve been separated from her because of the illness.

The Greene family firmly believe in duty above all. If there is any way they can be of help to their fellow survivors, they do it. Maggie remains on duty as a council member and one of the guards while everyone she cares for is taken away from her. Beth has grown in leaps and bounds emotionally since leaving the farm and accepting the reality of their world. She doesn’t behave like a teenager, takes responsibilities no one should ever ask from someone her age. Would anyone so young willingly be locked away from her loved ones to care for a child who isn’t part of her blood family? Not only that, Beth has learned to accept her father’s calm demeanor. She’s become the voice of reason for the family, allowing Maggie and Hershel to act in instinct—something their positions on the council require. There’s not a lot of time to think when one threat to their survival will eat them alive, and the other takes no prisoners and cannot be stopped in a world where modern healthcare is as rare as a unicorn. Hershel sets the bar for honor and sacrifice for his girls when he willingly walks into the quarantined section of the prison to care for the sick, knowing full well the medicine they need may come in a day, or a week—there are no guarantees in their world.

TWD_403b“We don’t know if we get a tomorrow.” Unlike Glenn and Maggie, Carol is not as convinced they can make everything work in their favor. She’s stood by, quietly caring for everyone under their roof as she’s always done. But there came a point when she knew it wasn’t enough. Being the quiet, motherly figure wouldn’t keep the children from getting sick. Wouldn’t provide the water they need to keep going on into a future she can’t even fathom at this point. Her hand aren’t tied by the position she’s in with the council. At one point or another, they’ve all done horrific things to protect the group. In this episode, we saw just how far Carol would go. Her transformation throughout the series is astounding. We met Carol when she was broken, powerless in the face of her husband’s abuse. After she lost her daughter, her only living relation, she adopted the group as her new family. Some of the impotent rage she suffered then, simmering over the weeks spent searching for Sophia, blew up this week. She went to the dark place and gathered that rage close in order to do what she thought necessary to protect everyone. Only time will tell if it changed her like Rick’s kills changed him, and Tyrese’s rage is beginning to morph him into a colder man.

Too many lives hang in the balance. It is impossible to figure out what will happen next on this show. Daryl, Michonne, Tyrese, and Bob are on foot, surrounded by thousands of walkers. We have no clue how many folks in the prison are sick, or will be sick and waiting for medicine that may never arrive. How long can the remaining council keep them safe and healthy with two of their best fighters in the field?

Did Carol go too far in this week’s episode? Could you have done what she did? If not, what would you have done differently to stay one step ahead of the illness in the prison?

Contagious: Review of “The Walking Dead” 402


Last week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” must have been the writer’s idea of the calm before the storm—despite the attack at the store and unfortunate death because of it. This week, we really got to see how quickly things can go wrong for a group living in a fortress when someone is working from the inside to sabotage everyone’s safety. Not to mention, the zombie FX for the second episode in season 4 were some of the sickest we’ve seen to date, but not quite as downright disgusting as the Well Walker. KNB EFX outdid themselves . . . again.

Caution: Spoilers below! You guys know the drill.

Who the heck is dumb enough to feed the walkers? This mystery saboteur must be crazier than a basket of cats, hamsters, and puppies combined. The prison was secure, safe. Whoever is at fault for luring in the walkers puts themselves at risk, right alongside a large group of people who only have the council to fight for them. Aside from one or two of the newcomers, for the most part the council takes care of the killing. And scouting. And runs into nearby towns for supplies. There’s a handful of folks working their backsides to the bone to protect the strays Rick, and then Daryl, brought under their wings. Is it fair? No. But they know better than most, the vast majority of people can’t do what is necessary to protect themselves from the undead and living threats in their newly reformed society. Look how fast cell block D was overrun with walkers. The threat started inside and ate away at the living like cancer. In less than an hour, about a quarter of the people living in the cell block were eaten or turned into walkers. It was a great reminder of how quickly things can go downhill. The fallout from the attack drove the final nail in the coffin—without the council, these people would be food—when the two girls failed to fully understand that their father wasn’t their father anymore, and the walker they’d claimed as a pet of sorts, would rather eat the soft meat of their livers than play tag. Sure, they’d be running, but once he caught them it was game over. Permanently. This is why Carol’s scheme to teach the children weapon’s skills is vital.

All of the pressure to be the savior is starting to weight on Daryl. He’s fully stepped into Rick’s abandoned post, doing everything necessary to keep the people safe. Only, Daryl doesn’t have the massive guilt handicapping Rick. From a young age, he was forced to fend for himself—to survive growing up and endure his messed up family. Life hardened Daryl’s heart long ago, something Rick is only developing now with the loss of his wife, his best friend, and the hazy future for his son and daughter. But can Daryl learn to open himself up again? Last week there were glimpses of a softer side to his personality. We even saw a smile or two, though they were hard to spot past the mask he wears to keep everyone at arm’s length. This week, there was none of that. Is there time for emotions when Death comes knocking on your front gate every day? Not when everyone relies on your skill as a killer to make it to tomorrow.

A cold-hearted killer is what Michonne set herself out to be once the first walker attacks happened. Or so it seems. We know so little about her history, about how she came to be the woman who saved Andrea with two mutilated walkers in tow. Heck, we don’t even know who she was before the undead rose, before everyone was infected with the virus. Michonne is a pro at not forming relationships. She doesn’t do permanence, relies on herself to get by, and yet still stops in to visit with the prison council. There’s a part of her true self leaking through her uncaring mask. A part which shattered her calm when she held Judith for the first time. Not only did we see her break, we saw her vulnerable. A position she is never in. She’d rather be eaten than have someone see her unable to fend for herself. The shadows haunting her eyes while she held Judith were heartbreaking. Did Michonne have a child, or maybe a younger sibling she raised? It is possible. Her past is by far one of the greatest mysteries on the show. In time, we’ll learn more. But only when she’s ready to open up.

Rick and Carl spent quite a bit of time opening up to each other, trusting each other again. For quite some time, it seemed like Carl blamed Rick for stripping him of his childhood, for putting a gun in his hand and turning him into a killer. After all, it was Carl who cleaned up Rick’s two biggest mistakes—Shane and Lori. But even when he loathed his father, Carl still wanted to immolate him, using Rick’s passed-down deputy hat as his totem for when he meant bloody, violent business. Carl didn’t seem happy with his invisible farmer’s hat. Then again, neither did Rick. Despite putting distance between himself and violence, it still found Rick. Only now, only after the attack on cell block D, does Rick understand it has to be all hands on deck. He has a skill the others need. Now he just needs to learn how to distance himself, to find the cold, calm place where he’s capable of pulling the trigger and not killing a piece of his soul. Is Rick’s return to the fight too little too late? They’ve suffered massive casualties and more are bound to be on the way with the mystery person baiting zombies and taking out anyone who may be infected with the deadly strain of flu going through cell block D.

The prison has been compromised. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere for them to run—not with so many people in tow. What would they do with those suffering from the flu, leave them to die alone in the prison, locked in a cell on death row? Could Tyreese’s conscience handle that? Or is he too far gone after the attack on Karen? We’re two episodes in and so far, there’s a slew of questions to answer.

Here’s a few questions for you, readers. What would you do in the council’s shoes? How would you deal with this deadly flu outbreak?

Tasty Survival: Grandma Corabelle’s Fudge Brownies

Heads up! We’ve got a tasty treat for you today for Lt. Blue Brigade, with some down home cooking from Iowa! In other words….DESSERT!

Grandma Corabelle’s Fudge Brownies

1 cup butter
12 heaping tbsp unsweetened cocoa
2 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
4 large fresh eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped nuts, if ya like

Mix together butter and cocoa in dutch oven (or saucepan) and heat slowly till the butter is melted. Let it cool till it’s lukewarm. Beat in sugar and vanilla. Beat the eggs in, one at a time. Stir in flour and salt just till it’s mixed, and fold in nuts.

Bake in dutch oven with low fire/coals for about 25 minutes, and the top has lost its shine. Use a knife to scrape the sides for easier removal, or just scoop it out into bowls!


Thanks to fellow ZSC member Beth of Orange Brigade for offering up this wonderful family recipe!

Tasty Survival – Prickly Pear Jelly

This recipe from Yellow Brigade Commander Jinxie G works great in the southwest where Prickly Pear cacti are abundant!

PRICKLY PEAR JELLY 6095716446_a913849ddd

You’ll need a pot to cook over a fire, tongs, gloves, a bowl and an instrument to mash like a potato masher.

tunas 018Pick fruit with gloves and tongs. You don’t want to prick yourself with those needles! There’s a reason it’s called Prickly Pear.

While holding the fruit under running water with the tongs, brush off the needles with a wire brush. Yes, a wire brush.

Prickly pear fruit choppedPlace them in a pot. Cover with water and boil until tender (about 1 hour). Cut them in half after cooking, as they will mash easier. Drain and mash with a potato masher. Strain with double thickness cheesecloth (juice should be clear, no needles, etc.).  Put pulp in garbage, not disposal (if indoors).

Measure 2 cups prickly pear juice with 1 ¾ oz. pkg. pectin, assuming you’ve got some with you. If not, raid a local grocery store because let’s face it, no one’s going to be yanking pectin off the shelves during an apocalypse. Bring to boil, stirring constantly.

Add 3 ½ cups sugar and 3 Tbsp. lemon juice. Boil—rolling boil—for 3 minutes . . . stir constantly.

Remove from heat and skim off foam.

Pour into glass jars and seal.

Mmm mmm good! Now you have jelly to go with whatever your apocalypse breakfast will be!

prickly pear jelly

You’re welcome.

Jinxie G

PS: Jinxie would like to thank her wonderful Aunt Pat for this recipe! =)