Great work Joe
2 month update milestone!
Greetings Fellow Pocalypsians
Loving the story so far!
The Architect

Chapter 7 Initialize! 04/20/2012

by Joe

Sorry about the wait, everyone! Thanks for your patience :D

We had a lot of final prep to do for BlockHopper’s Flash version, which is all done and now waiting for sponsors! :D We’re hoping it’ll only take a week to get a good sponsor deal and then BlockHopper will be available for everyone to play!

I’ve also been doing a lot of revamping to The Pocalypse Defense 2! I want to make the game more robust and deeper than just a tower defense game, so I’ve been playing around with different gameplay mechanics and ideas, a lot of which have come from all of you! More to come later as I’ll be focusing a lot of my efforts towards TPD2 :D

Enjoy Scene 1 – “God’s Punishment”! (Figured it’s time to introduce some religious issues! This -is- a post-apocalyptic story, right? :D)

I hope you like the background music! It’s from The Pocalypse Defense and created by our @hushlorentz :D Fitting for the outside world, wouldn’t you say?

You can follow The Pocalypse on Facebook, Twitter and RSS!

Check out Green Pixel’s first iOS game: BlockHopper! http://blockhopper.greenpixel.ca/ Thank you for your support and have fun running, hopping, and thinking your way to the Goal! Make your own levels, too! :D The FREE Lite version is also out! Get it here!

That music was AWESOME!

Nivella on April 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Will you guys put up a download for the music? Loved it!

Michael on April 20, 2012 at 5:25 pm

What the fuck was in the water before they come home ?
Looks like a giant fish…

Fubuke on April 20, 2012 at 6:07 pm

omfg really?
now your finally addding a big ass fcking sea creature….ya resident evil giga whatever monster copying person….creature looked cool moving through water still :D
didn’t know that was the only harbor also…when does joe meet his sister ????TT

scavenger on April 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I’ve been wondering when this would happen for a long time. Any chance we’ll get some religious people that aren’t proclaiming that it is God’s punishment for the wicked and are actually helpful and live for a few scenes?

Don’t get me wrong Joe, the scene looks nice and the music was great. But, once I saw the name of the scene it was pretty predictable and cliche. Golly, I hope that isn’t too harsh of me to say =/

BloodWolf7 on April 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Is it just me or do the father/son look an awful lot like Gregory/Scott (or whatever his name was that ran the blood farms…)

Anyway, great scene! Already starting to like chapter 7

Jade on April 20, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I´m calling it right now, FishMen! Underwater beings that, now that there are so few sea traveling boats, have resurfaced and wish to cover the lands in water!

4 survivors down, x left to go before a human(sin)-free world… Amen!

NeoWarrior on April 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Welcome back Andrius and Cross.

Bec on April 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

So if they are in hammerston harbour couldnt they just get to the colony and get a job for living and get some food.Or am i wrong and hammerston harbour is far separated from the colony.
Oh and also sad they had to die(did they?)i really started to like that kid he seems far more independent and brave unlike that ass whiner Carl from walking dead.

Dagzter on April 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm


Zombie Killer on April 20, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Re-ran story just to chill out to the waves with the background music on loop

MrBester on April 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm


Sefrin on April 21, 2012 at 1:04 am

lol, religious people.

The pixel art in this one is really awesome by the way. I loved the water and the effect of the shadow swimming through it!

Tara on April 21, 2012 at 1:57 am

Sea Monsters now? AWESOME

Ashendant on April 21, 2012 at 1:58 am

Also the music is really cool and the fact that is in tune with the waves make it even more cooler

Ashendant on April 21, 2012 at 1:59 am

Why does He let us suffer? It’s kind of simple. Either God lets us keep our misuses free will thereby allowing us to make each other and ourselves suffer, or he removes free will from us and we become mindless robots devoid of what gives us worth. To remove our free will leaving us choiceless and no higher than the rest of all that is, would harm us far more than we ever harm ourselves or others.

D on April 21, 2012 at 3:13 am

Anyone else see that big fish in the water

Watching the world burn on April 21, 2012 at 4:28 am

I have to agree with Darren, @Joe have you ever read the book, World War Z?

Not going to say on April 21, 2012 at 5:31 am

Uh-oh… I am going to guess right now that the boy will survive. I also like how the mom had an eye patch. The only other place I can remember seeing a good woman with an eye patch is in the anime Soul Eater. Any other women I have seen with an eye patch were evil characters as far as I can tell, because I actually don’t remember seeing any others besides these two. XD

illeatyourself on April 21, 2012 at 5:56 am

Nice water effect and music! great characers, joe. you have become a sort of “author” you create great stories and characters!

Brenkie on April 21, 2012 at 6:35 am

D, while I largely agree with you, the only part I can’t really agree with is how He’d do more harm to us by not giving us free will than if we kept it. More-so I believe it has to deal with love. It’s kind of like if you love it, let it go and if it returns then it was meant to be, though not exactly. More-so God, as a being of love, couldn’t really be loved and appreciated without giving people the ability to choose not to love Him. But, I guess this is where we end it before we get into “if God really loved us then why do we suffer” thing, like Darren starts to get into.

BloodWolf7 on April 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

I actually agree with D on the free will bit, even if having free will brings us humans trouble, it also has allowed us to create ~new~ things.
Machines (not Popcalypse ones but present day ones) cannot make anything new without being told how. Free will allows for creativity and therefore creation.
Man was supposedly made in ‘Gods’ image, I think this means made with the capability to create new possibilities. If I’m right, the human race may one day surpass God’s miracles of old.
Yes we have matched most of these miracles found in old holy texts. And no I don’t think it is that blasphemous to aspire to such heights, otherwise why would ‘God’ act like the humans were his ‘kids’ (made in his image) rather than his ‘pets’ or ‘toys’

p.s. sorry if this view offends you too much, it’s gotten me into trouble before. ^_-

sh4d0wfl4re on April 21, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Well, looks like there’s going to be some dead cultists pretty soon.

Also, zombie whale. I’m calling some sort of Jonah and the Whale thing happening.

Aethrys on April 21, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Oh hey, I just noticed. Cowboy hat man asked his son if the fish were “Infected” Then launched into a rant about how the zombie uprising isn’t a virus/infection.

Aethrys on April 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Oh that silly god believing people.

i think its a matter of fact that the whole bible thing is the proof that god didn’t make much sense.God is all Powerful,forgiving and loving ..suuuure read the story of moses and the Pharao and there are also some other storys where innocent people had to suffer because god wanted to proof a point. God gave us free will…..and then what? he gave as also the 7 deadly sins which we shall resist and the ten commandments to hold on to or else you end up in hell….Thats like saying to someone “here are three doors you can choose freely which one you want to go.oh yeah also see this pistol in my hand? if you don’t chhose door 2 i will shoot you in the head.” Free will my ass

oh well…didn’t really wanted to start ranting.its just that i have seen often enough people like the grumpy dad in todays scene,people that bully others and then say “you have to live that way because god says so”.it always makes me angry.

hellhound on April 21, 2012 at 4:24 pm

so there are plant monsters, machines,vampires,zompires,zombies,and brand new water creatures! awesome!

ApeBrother on April 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Ooooh boy… we’re hitting that awkward point where we talk about religion. Joe, you’ve opened up a bit of a can of worms, I think. XD Well, in any case, no-one has made any personal attacks against anyone… though I have seen a couple of general “Stupid christians” comments. I could write a wall of text on this subject. I was raised in a particularly conservative pocket of the midwest. One of those areas where the question isn’t whether you attend church, it’s which church you attend. XD In any case, I think I’ll reply to some of these. They’re very interesting discussions. Whether you believe in a “higher power” or not, I feel it’s worth thinking about these things, even hypothetically.
@Bloodwolf7- I think in a way you’re right about the whole “being of love” idea, but I think the angle is a little odd. It’s hard to think that God, being an all powerful, all knowing, all present deity, would require humans simply to “love him/worship him”. In the end, all he would be doing is worshiping himself. Even giving people free will to choose not to do it doesn’t really change that. To be honest, it’s all a little sketchy to begin with. We’re starting this conversation with the assumption that humans do actually have free will. I mean, sure we have free will in a way. At least from our perspective. Maybe we can make all the decisions that we want to make… that’s great and all, but if there was, in fact, an all knowing, all powerful god, isn’t it possible that we have no power to influence where the world is going simply because we’ve been set up? That this all knowing god knows what choices we’ll make and just so happened to put each person in each place at the right times?
@Shadowflare- I don’t personally think it’s wrong to have these aspirations, but biblically, when humans tried to match god, he had a tendency to smack them down. The tower of Babel for example. They try to build a tower that reaches to heaven, so god topples the tower and just to make sure they don’t do it again, he makes them all speak different languages so they can’t work together. He didn’t really punish them in the conventional way, but he seemed to discourage trying to be like god.
@hellhound- I fail to see how your situation with the doors illustrates a lack of free will. They still have free will, even if making the wrong choice has terrible consequences. You might know the stovetop is hot, but if you wanted to, you could still put your hand on it. You would get burned, but you can still do it.
But on the other hand, I can’t help but agree. It ticks me of too when people say something has to be a certain way because “The bible says this” or “god doesn’t like it when you do that.” That’s all fine and dandy for folks who believe in god, but if they don’t it won’t sway them either way, and it’s wrong to expect that.

Willy on April 21, 2012 at 6:20 pm

A lot of religious discussion! I thought this might happen :D Thanks for all your insight and, like everything else The Pocalypse-related, I’ll be looking to your thoughts and discussion to help me take this chapter in the right direction :D
As for the song, it was created by our programmer, Rich (@hushlorentz) for The Pocalypse Defense 1!

Joe on April 21, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I’m atheist myself,and I agree with that boy.

They’re safe not thanks to God,but because they found a damn nice place.

Hope no one now rages on me.. anyway,I expect Cross being eaten by a sea creature.

Happy Vampire on April 22, 2012 at 12:09 am

Religion=instant drama.:B

I think religious people are diverse. Some of them are nutters like the good sir in this strip, while others are actually quite reasonable and accept that religion and belief is something individual that shouldn’t be shoved down peoples throats. Ofcourse the whole spectrum inbetween those two extremes exists too.

I think religion is something that can give people in need faith and strenght, which is good. However, it turns into something very dangerous the second people try to impose their religion onto others, start claiming that the others are “wrong”, and try to manipulate people. Because that ultimately leads to hate, conflict, and war. It’s not like history has taught us that over and over again. I personally do not belive in any specific religion (because let’s be honest, how can one of them be right if they are all based on man-made myths?). But I don’t claim to know wether or not some sort of creature, person or abstract system of thought exists that could be considered (a) “God”.

Bottom line: The bigotted religious guy is a cliché, but sadly enough a quite accurate one that exists in real life, and is thus totally justifiable as plot device imo. As some said it could be balanced by having some more openminded religious people in the plot, but it actually seems like his wife might have the potential to be that, at least she seems to value other human beings (her son) more than her faith, which is good a start.

Good work as always Joe, I especially like the water effect. What we saw of the sea monster thing looked interesting too.

Limepire on April 22, 2012 at 12:40 am

Limepire, I think those are excellent observations. We know there are plenty of nutty religious people out there (Westboro Baptist Church anyone? “YER GONNA EAT YER BABIES!”) but a lot of good, sensible people have also been openly religious. (MLK, Gandhi, all kinds of US presidents whether they let it have an effect on their presidency or not)
I think these extremes also exist in atheists, though it’s a bit less obvious. Some of the people who seem to talk about god the most are those who insist he doesn’t exist. xD
Then again, there are many atheists who are still very comfortable being around religious gatherings and such, and aren’t going to wig out over anything.

Willy on April 22, 2012 at 3:59 am

At first I was concerned that we’d be getting yet another batch of new characters but it’s good to know they’ll all be dead soon, because let’s face it this story is getting a bit crowded. Although I agree that the kid will probably survive and get to New Hammerston through the very exact science of luck and miracles.

InfiniteVirginity on April 22, 2012 at 5:31 am

I am a nutter who believes everyone is nutty. Also that insanity would be best depicted as a multidimensional color wheel array.
My previous post on the matching God was an observation of what happened. Many of God’s miracles used to prove a point we now have the technology to recreate.
With the Tower of Babel, I think it was a punishment for being stupid, not for striving to reach God. Think about it in terms of building a modern skyscraper; how high can you build a skyscraper before there is no air inside the higher floors? How much lower would that point be without using air-tight walls or air-conditioning in the building?
Could either of which be made well during the time of the Babel Empire? The people in the Tower of Babel were probably punished for reaching to create beyond what they were capable of living through, as a result of failing some of them lived.

Gravity and the destruction of an empire (from overextending resources from building a skyscraper) would be a reasonable non-God reliant explanation for the Tower of Babel falling. See the Fall of Rome for a rough equivalent (switching outward territory expansion for tower construction)
To me either possibility makes sense as a consequence of humans being stupid and falling backwards as a result.

sh4d0wfl4re on April 22, 2012 at 7:38 am


From my beliefs, it’s more-so God knowing every possible outcome and which we’d be able to choose. Think about how you can figure out what your best friend will do in most situations, it’s kinda like that. But God doesn’t just know us from our choices, but from our thoughts and and feelings. Every minute detail, things we can’t even understand, are plainer than day itself to Him.

And Willy, if you open up a can of worms just use it to go fishing =P . Honestly, as long as the discussions and debates are plain and not full of hate, I love them. I don’t want to offend anyone though and in an open community like this, it’s often better to bite your tongue. But, again, I love discussions of religious and political nature. So long as they can be maintained in a respectful manner.

BloodWolf7 on April 22, 2012 at 11:53 am

Firstly, your opinion based on flawed understanding is neither fact nor proof of anything. Also, free will is the ability to make choices, not the ability to have all your choices have no consequences.

If I create a camera that will look into your future and see who you will marry, and in twenty years you do marry that person, is it any less your choice to marry that person? Knowing what will occur is not the same as making it occur. I know the outcome of a great many of my actions and other peoples actions. I can combine hydrogen and oxygen and it will form water. I know this will occur because of an understanding I posses but I do not cause the hydrogen to combine with the oxygen through some power I possess; it does so on its own. While I understand some of the laws of physics and reality which cause these outcomes to occur, I do not make the laws of physics and reality generate that outcome. God knows all that will occur because He has an ultimate understand of the laws of this universe and the laws that govern our souls, but simply having the knowledge of why something occurs does not mean He makes it occur.

If what God commands is truth, then whether you believe or not is meaningless to whether your eternal fate rests upon the choices you make. If what God says is true, whether you believe it to be the truth or not, it remains the truth and all who know the truth only help you be telling you of the truth. Your belief or disbelief in the truth does not alter the truthfulness of the truth nor the all-important consequences of your choices.

If you the value of a human life over your faith when you consider your faith to be true, you place the value of God and of the truth and of the eternal souls of all men below that of the value of one life. If you consider the truth to be that your soul and other souls are saved through faith, you cannot logically value any life over your faith without abandoning the idea that your faith has any reality to it. Valuing eternity over temporality isn’t some foolish notion, its only logical.

@Willy (again)
MLK was a socialist but I doubt Joe the Master Writer and Flash Manipulator would appreciate it if I started some kind of internet race riot by attempting to argue that point so I won’t say anything further on that subject.

D on April 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Oh boy, my favorite part of any discussion. Holding three different conversations at once. :D Wall of text incoming.
@Shadowfire- See, but you were indicating a “biblical god”, so I thought I would discuss the “biblical gods” view… not on striving to be like god, but attempting to match gods power. There isn’t really a “tower of babel” that we know fell. It’s actually been attributed to a few different towers which seem to have fallen for different reasons. In any case “biblically”, and I had this wrong, so allow me to revise it… god saw that they were building a tower and god, in his divine judgement of the situation, decided that if this continued nothing would be impossible for humanity and confused their speech so they stopped building the tower. Is it really a punishment? No… I don’t think any of the commandments are “THOU SHALT NOT BE TOO AMBITIOUS” either. But I suppose a biblical god demands respect. So I guess the question is, is it disrespectful to think that because we can duplicate a good number of the miracles that god/jesus have performed that we are somehow more equal to god? Perhaps I should make this argument mathematically. Gods power is supposedly infinite, and lets assign the power of humanity… lets say 43. Oh, but wait… we just figured out how to feed thousands of people with a handful of popcorn shrimp. I would say that bumps us up to 44. But now that we’re 44, does that put us any closer to infinity? Is it fair to make that claim? (I’m not saying you did make this exact claim, but I am asking anyway. I will concede that it is certainly possible to surpass the things that the bible says jesus/god has done. At least… on some levels… Im not gonna go into it.)
@Bloodwolf7- Right. It appears as though we have an ability to decide between frosted flakes and cheerios in the morning, but if there is a being somewhere that already knows that you’re going to pick frosted flakes, Like… KNOWS. Isn’t just speculating. They know without a doubt you are going to pick frosted flakes, then isn’t that it? There isn’t anything you can do to change it. You’re going to pick frosted flakes. I mean, perhaps this being is the same one who set the world up at the very beginning so that after a few thousand years of civilization a child would be born with a love of cheerios, but on that particular day he would tire of his cheerios and opt for a different kind of cereal. But really, if this were true it would mean that while, yes, you are the one making decisions you aren’t actually making those choices. You’re making the choices based on what is going on around you but in the end it’s a setup. You’re only making these decisions because of the situation you’ve been placed in. No matter what, if you’re in that situation you’re going to decide to do this or that and so that’s why you were placed in some situation. I mean, looking at nature vs. nurture and how much we’re finding out our genes actually do affect the decisions we make every day, it is certainly possible we don’t really have control, god or no god.
PS, I wholeheartedly agree. This conversations has been surprisingly respectful considering… well… this is the internet we’re talking about. xD
@D- Kind of the same thing I said to bloodwolf. If you’re putting that Oxygen and Hydrogen into the same place, they aren’t making a decision whether or not to combine. We have a lot of proof that a lot of the choices we make every day are due to hormones that are released into our bodies because our genes say to do it. In other words, they’re also chemical reactions. Reactions that a god would have created. Except there are millions of them. If we boil it down to how predictable we would really be if we understood all of these chemicals, then it’s a lot easier to wrap our minds around the idea that we might not actually have any kind of free will and we’ve been set up like a bunch of dominoes. One only falls because the one before it fell.
And, yeah… MLK was a socialist… in a way… and you could argue that the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, an organization he helped create) is also Socialist. Except for the fact that even if perfect equality for “colored people” was to be achieved, the organization would still be working toward the advancement of “colored people”… meaning they would be trying to push them ahead of “non-colored people”. So not really much to indicate that he was really a (OMFG HE’S GIVING ALL OF THE THINGS THE GOVERNMENT OWNS TO THE PEOPLE AND TELLING THEM TO SHARE IT) socialist. But as far as a “OMFG HE’S TRYING TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN ALL OF THE DIFFERENT CULTURES AND TURN THEM INTO ONE GIANT CULTURE” socialist, yeah… he did that… but it’s hard to prove he did that with that goal in mind.
But in any case, it doesn’t really matter. Socialism isn’t necessarily a “bad thing”. It isn’t an american ideal, I suppose, but I don’t remember the last time anyone really agreed that something that wasn’t an american ideal was a “bad thing”. Heck… the bible actually says socialism is a good thing. In the book of Acts, like… in the years after jesus was crucified and all that went down, a lot of the witnesses formed a community, and there’s a paragraph that lists off all of the virtues of this society… among them is this line: “All the believers were together and held everything in common.” Meaning no-one owned anything. They all shared it. An ideal socialist way of doing things. Everyone shares, no-one gets greedy, everyone is happy. (It ends up failing because people did get greedy, but it serves its point. God likes socialism. *shrug*)
@ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE READING OUR “RELIGIOUS DEBATE”- Hey, I’m totally sorry if there are some of you out there that just want to read this comic and read people commenting about the actual comic, and you’re actually totally uncomfortable with all this “religious discussion” whether you’re an atheist who doesn’t like reading stuff about “god” or you’re a part of some religion and you feel uncomfortable with people questioning that belief or even just aspects of it. If you’re out there, feel free to speak up and we can probably move this discussion to the forum and keep most of our “religious chatter” in there. I would be more than happy to quote a lot of the important stuff that has been said so far and try to sum it up into a thread, but if no-one is uncomfortable, it would be cool to keep the conversation out here too. But seriously, don’t be afraid to say so. I think all of us involved can agree we don’t want to be making people feel uncomfortable (because everyone has already been super respectful up to this point.)

Willy on April 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm

(HOLY CRAP WALL OF TEXT… DID I TYPE ALL OF THAT? I TYPED ALL OF THAT. Yeah… I think that means we may want to make a forum topic on this. Maybe I’ll put something together tomorrow, whether we want to use it or not… why did I feel like typing all of that?)

Willy on April 22, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Man, it was hard going through those comments without cringing. Guys, as Christians, we shouldn’t hate on these people(not saying you did, just warning) because of their words. Also, atheists and others, you don’t have to flame us because of our beliefs. We don’t do that to you, so, why would you? Thank you for your consideration.

sk8terdude254 on April 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Also, don’t get the debates get to heated. We’re here to enjoy Joe’s comics, not flame each other about religion.

sk8terdude254 on April 22, 2012 at 4:36 pm

…I’ve yet to see any flaming sk8ter. In fact, this debate hardly has sides. There are a couple obviously christian people and a couple obviously atheist people, but there’s this huge gray area in the middle of a debate that so far has had nothing to do with whether or not a god exists, really just what would be the implications of a god existing or not existing. Yes, there was the one guy who said “Stupid christian people” but I think he was referring to the characters in the comic, in which case I’m not too worried because they’re fictional characters, and I’m not terribly worried about their fictional feelings.
Again, there hasn’t really been any flaming… and even if people have been baiting people to flame, no-one has taken it yet. It sounds like you saw a debate that has to do with religion and assumed people were fighting over it. All I’ve seen has been thoughtful, well constructed arguments about… well… things relating to the existence of god. And actually, I feel like you’re assuming this is a “Christianity” argument. There are other religions out there. Debating the existence of a god and debating Christianity are two different things.
So calm your fingers down, and re-read. Debate and flaming are not synonymous by any measure of the words.

Willy on April 22, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Dammit. I knew it. Why have you done this, Author Joe? I mean, that religious twist add some reality in your story (I’m sure that if a Pocalypse will spread irl, lots of people will be killed on their seats while preaching some kind of “god”), but… Look what you’ve done… My only weekly moment of fun and amusing is become a debate. Ok, seriously now, stop kidding. I’m atheist and i think christians (and other religion) believes in god like childrens believe in santa and the tooth fairy. But I understand why they act like this: I mean, some people NEED to believe that something bigger of them will help when they fail, will save them from death. I can understand why so many people are scared by death. Even if death is a natural process.

Let’s just tollerate each other, guys (and girls). I don’t want to be forced to listening to your prayers just like you don’t want to know why god doesn’t exist.

Sorry for all the errors, I’m Italian and my english is really bad. Have a nice day… Everyone.

Sam on April 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm

you guys rock im a fan and im expecting the flash ver. of the blockhopper keep up the good work joe! :)

powermaster1709 on April 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm

and then the insulting atheist pipes up… at least one in every group, is there no place people can have theological discussions without some random jerk making the assumption that everyone who believes different than him/her are “children” or some other similar insult meant to convey that they have weak cognitive abilities…

First off, I am friends with dozens of physicists, and a couple geneticists, and the first thing any of them will tell you in any discussion of this type, is every ounce of science we currently have on our existence, is based on subjective observation, theory, and educated guesses based on these two things, completely objective science cannot exist in a universe where all observations are inherently subjective in nature. (no two people are actually capable of seeing things exactly the same, or interpreting data exactly the same, as every eye, every brain, is different, so we inherently see and interpret data differently, similarly in some cases, but still different.)

This means, that although we have no proof a God of one type or another exists, it is considered perfectly possible that one, or many, do, within most scientific circles, even though most scientists do not personally believe in a deity, the reason why they believe it is possible, is because they are REAL scientists, a real scientist discounts nothing as impossible till it can be proven conclusively, and so far, we do not have the technology to prove literally anything we know about our universe conclusively, we as of yet, cannot even prove conclusively what gravity IS (other than totally awesome) but there are multiple interesting competing theories at the moment.

@Joe, to be honest, im a tad bit disappointed that you have gone for such a cliche, most likely with the intent of killing the religious nutters off, like almost every other zombie thing ever made… I am not a religious person myself, but I have a problem with the generally accepted behavior in our culture of using media to ridicule other peoples beliefs, then showing them getting killed off for it, its clearly a sublimated desire by those who are bigoted against other beliefs, to destroy people who believe differently than them.

I am not saying that this is your personal motivation joe, but only that it seems like you are probably planning to feed into same kind of behavior, either way, I will still love your comic, and keep reading it, but one of the reasons I loved it is dead now… Because even if you decided to change the story a bit now for it to not be so cliche, I know what you most likely planned to do to begin with,and I just always liked that this comic never went that route…

Curator on April 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm


And this is all I have to say.

Happy Vampire on April 23, 2012 at 3:23 am

@Willy (free will discussion)
“We have a lot of proof that a lot of the choices we make every day are due to hormones that are released into our bodies because our genes say to do it.” Hormones tell me to do a great many things that if I actually did, I’d be in jail or dead right now. Biology influences decisions but it does not predetermine them. One problem with the idea that biology and genetics determines all choices we make is that if that were true, there would have to some limit as to what choices we could make or process. If we are just biocomputers, then like computers there must be some point at which our brain would get the blue screen of death because it is presented with a situation it does not have the programming (genes or hormones or whatever) to be able to analyze and handle. Our brains have a finite amount of programmable space so for us to be able to make decisions in any and all situations yet still just be biocomputers, you have to introduce some sort of external decision augmentation unit to humans for them to be able to make decisions in any and all situations presented to them. Most of us religious people refer to this external decision augmentation unit as a soul which does allow humans (who without one would just be biocomputers) to be able to process and make decisions in any and all situations despite our finite programmable space (memory) and often against biology in making those decisions.

@Willy (socialism discussion)
The socialism that MLK and other socialists want is a bad thing as it entails theft on a truly massive scale.

MLK didn’t just want freedom or equality in rights, he wanted a government redistribution of wealth because without that government redistribution of wealth, he thought that blacks would never be equal. He thought that without this redistribution of wealth and a government guarantee of a job and income, that blacks and poor whites had neither life nor liberty. MLK wanted government enforcement of racially equal labor forces, if a company operated in a place that was 30% black, he wanted the government to enforce that 30% of the workers must be black. MLK threatened businesses who labor was not racially proportional to the population with boycotts. MLK wanted more than enforcement of equal rights, he wanted enforcement of equality to the point that the basic economic rights of others would take a back seat to the enforcement of economic equality by the redistribution of untold billions.

The socialism you speak of in scripture is something wholly different. That socialism is a community of believers choosing to come together as one and in charity and generosity provide for each who has need. A community of people filled with people who chose (emphasis on the idea that they chose to be part of it) to be part of that community and to give what they had away to other members who also chose to be part of that community and do the same is completely different than what MLK and other socialists seek. MLK and other socialists don’t want to form a society that people can choose to enter into. MLK and other socialists wanted to have the government create such a society while forcing all Americans to join it and give up their wealth to be redistributed from those who may not want to be part of this society to whomever the government (and maybe “enforced equality experts” like MLK) sees fit. This society they want is not the socialism that you speak of from the scripture. The socialism of the scripture is a community you chose to be part of while the socialism of MLK is a socialism that is forced upon you as all that you have worked for is taken away from you (stolen) to be given to the cause of enforced equality through the destruction of economic liberty (economic liberty being a concept with strong scriptural basis).

Go read and listen to a bunch of what MLK said and you will see that this is true.

If someone would be so hypersensitive and easily offended as to be made “uncomfortable” by this discussion, I don’t see how they are able to survive the internet in the first place without going into shock.

@ sk8terdude254
No idea what you’re on about.

@ Sam
I don’t fear death; I yearn for it just as Paul did. I first believed in something bigger because it is the position with the greatest statistically positive outcome and therefore the only logical position to take, not because of some yearning for strength. After that initial faith, knowledge is begotten from faith and from that knowledge is begotten understanding and from that understanding is begotten further faith in an unending cycle. God gave us a great enough ability to reason that initial faith is obtainable by anyone who wishes to fully apply his reason and logic to a truly objective analysis of what one chooses to believes in.

You wish tolerance but then immediately say you don’t want to be forced to listen to my prayers. Many in America say this not because they want tolerance, but because they want freedom from religion. They want to be able to not be exposed to any facet of any religion and they believe anyone exposing them to it in any way and in any place no matter how public or how private, to be a violation of their “rights”. Thankfully in America, we still have freedom of religion instead of freedom from religion. So if you wish to not listen to my prayers, you are free leave or to tell me that you think God does not exist, but I am free to keep praying regardless of your opinion.

D on April 23, 2012 at 4:17 am

Who tells you that they will die? Maybe the ‘rotters’ could be all oneshotted by Greybane and Dr. Roth on their journey. ( Noticed it’s day and last time we seen them was night? ) And about Andy and Cross,they’ll probably meet a sea fiend and abandon the humans. :D

Happy Vampire on April 23, 2012 at 4:39 am

Aw… I was really missing Andrius, and I the guy I love to hate, Lt. Cross, but this wasn’t’ how I envisioned their comeback… I really hope that kid and his family don’t get turned… Also, the kid’s dad is completely not handling his son’s trouble with the Problem of Evil. I’m not surprised the kid doesn’t believe, if all his dad ever does is scream at him to believe without reason.
Side note, that giant shadow in the water… INTIMIDATION FACTOR holy cow

Dyl on April 23, 2012 at 8:50 am

@D- There are hormones other than just sexual ones. There are chemicals that account for the reason there are crazy cat ladies! Seriously! It wouldn’t surprise me if there’s also a hormone for restraint! To be honest, I think hormones are more likely to give us the knee jerk reactions we use in these supposed “blue screen of death” scenarios than a soul would. That last sentence is a matter of opinion, but it has been proven that people who believe in god have a different brain chemistry than those who don’t. Now, perhaps this is a chicken or the egg issue, but perhaps this brain chemistry is what makes it easier for some people to believe in god in the first place. Perhaps a belief in god actually does cause slow changes in your brains chemistry over time. Perhaps this phenomena requires a bit of both of these things.
As far as the socialism front is concerned, I feel like I’ve read this before, and I think this is a debate that would require thorough use of sources. But a redistribution of wealth is a redistribution of wealth. The means to which you approach it is another thing entirely. (Also, I might mention that we don’t really know if the people in that society actually WANTED to share everything. Remember those people who got greedy? They died as soon as they did. And those are the only two people that are mentioned to leave that particular society.)

And as far as my message to people who don’t want to read this are concerned, it isn’t about their hypersensitivity. This particular forum wasn’t built or marked for religious debate. Sometimes, people just don’t want to bother with this stuff. If there really are a good number of people who just want to use this to comment on what is going on in the comic, then we’re WAAAAY off topic. If we got this off topic in a forum thread anywhere else, we probably would have had week long bans by now. I’m just saying.

Willy on April 23, 2012 at 9:04 am

Dear Joe:
Quit making me read the dad’s lines in John Marston’s voice.

Concerned Fan

RadicalVonAwesome on April 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm

@ Willy
Ananias and Sapphira chose to be part of that society. They couldn’t have been forced into it as this was in Jerusalem not long after the crucifixion of Christ. During this brief period, there was no large scale persecution of Christians, but the Jewish authorities were getting closer and closer to the blatant persecution (the kind that Paul (then Saul) conducted before his revelation) that soon followed. My point being that the disciples were in no position to force people to join them or stay with them at the time because any such action would have immediately brought down the Jewish authorities on them faster than they did already just by preaching. They were essentially in hostile territory not a bastion of Christianity that they would even have the opportunity to force people to join them and follow their rules. Ananias and Sapphira chose to be there or they wouldn’t have been.

Those are the only people I can recall it being recorded that left the society in Jerusalem but that can easily be attributed to the idea that they were the only ones who left in any way that was worth recording. If your group is 250 people strong and 2 guys randomly run away in the night, not really worth mentioning. But if your group is 250 people strong and 2 guys get killed by God because they violated the rules of the society, that might be worth recording.

D on April 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Donate cash to Joe for an extra scene anyone?We’re at 139/200,we could donate a little bit more.

Edward on April 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I’d debate cause I’m catholic,but I gotta go to sleep.

Edward on April 23, 2012 at 2:19 pm

@willy@D (on free will/nature vs nurture) for the blue screen of death scenario both hormones and a soul could cause a learning mechanism for a blue screen of death; free will could be defined as a learning mechanism that allows one to act outside of known programing; humans have very little in the way of ‘instinctual knowledge’ when compared to other mammals, whereas mammals have less instinctual knowledge than reptiles; if free will acts only where the existing programing in the brain does not sufficiently cover a situation, humans are on the upper tiers of free space for nurture out of those in the animal kingdoms; it is known that humans learn, it is not known if humans are guided into everything we learn, or if we are free to choose to learn what we will.
There *are* electro-chemical responses in the brain for the acquisition of new programing. Methods for acquisition of both knowledge and emotional programing exist, they have different neural response patterns (knowledge gain has repeated reinforcement pattern whereas emotional gain often resembles an if, for, or while loop with occasional switches). Both add programing, but emotions can do so from purely internal data. It seems a bit dubious to say if new knowledge concocted in ones own head is in fact *new* programing or a *new mix* of old programing. Either way emotional and internally gained knowledge are both considered less trustworthy information than info tested against / gained from the ‘real world’.
Since our programing starts out incomplete and may become flawed, four(ish) possibilities from earlier posts are on the table:
1) free will exists; as do consequences of choosing dangerous things; God existing may occur on in addition to this or not
2) God does not exist; as no perfect being would in good ethics create beings to end up so off-base as humans may (have already?) become
3) God does exist; s/he/it is testing us for our own benefit; power earned has more value than power given; God is patient enough for better(?) results rather than quick ones
4) God does exist; s/he/it is being mean; whether it’s for our own good, because infinite possibilities meant some timelines got the short end of the stick, we failed under God’s eyes, or any other unsaid reason for this (unnecessary to state all of them)
A side note: Hormones are created in the body as chemical reactions, but are only part of the active programing in mammals. Neural-Transmitters such as dopamine in the brain are a second type of chemical reaction in the body’s programing. Electricity is the bridging programing between various chemical reactions in the body and it is *not* purely a chemical reaction. The electrons in the brain are affected plenty by the Neural Transmitters, but it goes both ways. Same goes with the nervous system and the various Hormonal reactions throughout the body. There is a recursive communication loop between the electrical and various chemical programs in the body. I don’t know the full scope of this complexity, just enough to know it is *very* complex. That complexity is illustrated in how Mental Deconstruction of an internal conflict works. Mental Deconstruction is a user driven garbage cleaning program that resembles the following example:

you punched out someone for an odd comment; why? comment made you feel uncomfortable; why? because it reminded you of your abusive uncle; why would that make you punch someone? because you always wanted to punch him back; for what that ties to the comment? the comment was one he always made when drunk; why is drunk important? because your drunk uncle hurt you; so? you want revenge on him; how does this make that so? equal harm for harm; and he already died so this guy with the odd comment is the closest to equal you can get now; now? huh…; because the dead can’t be hurt; finally, is it done with? yes/no it is (not?) equal enough.

Most people would say to themselves that the comment reminding them of their abusive uncle would be enough, but you can’t resolve the conflict for yourself if you can’t solve the full ‘why’.
If a program runs longer than it fits the situation it can cause harm (punching the guy with the odd comment out). Mental Deconstruction targets such a program running on a background thread eating up processor power and RAM and finishes the runtime for the program.

sh4d0wfl4re on April 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I swear if you guys are still doing this next episode I am going to….do….something?
Just keep the religious debate where it belongs; on YouTube in unrelated videos!

bobsickle on April 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Jeeez, guis. Take it to the forums. I can’t read too much comments.

Anon on April 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

I´m no atheist, but I also don´t follow any religion. Quite a conundrum you might say. I simply see that religions were made as an attempt to humor society and control them all the more easily, (if you´ve heard of Social Control you know what I´m talking about, if not look it up).
Anyways, the extension of my belief is that our universe could not have come into existence without the intervention of an outside force (whether benevolent or malefic, single or group, conscious or unconsciously, male, female or something else is irrelevant to me)

NeoWarrior on April 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm

@bobsickle and Anon
Considering Joe the Master Writer and Flash Manipulator stated that he was glad to see all this discussion take place, I see no reason to discontinue it.

D on April 24, 2012 at 2:32 am

I wish there was a back button on these… I managed to accidentally click twice several times and had to refresh so I could get the whole story :S

Sciamancer on April 24, 2012 at 8:37 am

Dear D, i just think that my freedom ends when yours begin. So, keep on acting like you wish, keep on praying. I NEVER said you had to stop it, i said I didn’t liked it, that’s all.

Not gonna say anything more, I went through this like a million times and I know it’s a waste of time.

Sam on April 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Oh, Joe, you rascal! You be trollin lol that giant pot was stirred to hell! I also liked the fish.

Chocolatepuff on April 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm

No problem with their being an extremely controversial topic in the comic, but religious people are NOT mentioning the lord every other sentence. Either way, it’ll be interesting nevertheless.

Cazaki on May 20, 2012 at 6:17 am

I hope the kid lives, he reminds me of myself, Athiest and Independent.

SpeedTheCat on June 8, 2012 at 2:19 pm