This past weekend, the Collected Mutineer and I had a chance to visit London Super Comic Con at the ExCel Center in south London. Yesterday, the Mutineer delighted you with pictures of the f**king awesome cosplay that we saw, but today I’m going to tell you a bit about some of the convention highlights for us.
Musical Comics: The Future of the Industry?
My typical approach to conventions is to spend the first day exploring the expo area. I usually do this in cosplay, because hey, I like people to recognise the work I put into my outfits, but that is neither here nor there. As I wandered through the exhibitors’ area, a man–obviously impressed by my Scarlet Witch outfit–approached me to tell me about the Cape Fear Comics’ latest creation: Sioux Warrior, a musical comic book.
A musical comic book? Such a thing exists?
Yes, it does. And I’ve got to say, it’s pretty cool. I downloaded the app to my iPad (it’s $4.99 USD in the Apple Store) and began exploring. The most unique feature of this app, is that when Sioux Warrior is opened, the panels appear in monochromatic shades until the music begins. Then, each character is brought into colour as the music plays for each panel. It’s really friggin cool.
The music is part rock opera, part Western, and it fits the plot well.
After foraging, killing, running and fighting for their lives, the Tribe has found themselves in a place that is relatively safe, and it is surreal. The trauma received after spending so much time in the wilderness has taken a toll on the mental health of everyone in the group. Members are forced to relearn social graces, deal with a group of people who hold different values than their own, and hopefully discover what it seems they have forgotten–that sometimes it is important to give humankind a chance.
After spending so much time out in the wilderness, fighting for their lives against walkers and the living, the Tribe has finally come across a civilized town that may allow for them to settle down, establish roots and create a home. Alexandria has potential to be a safe haven for Rick and his group, and yet, they are not just on the defensive, but on the offensive; already thinking ahead to what they may have to do if the people of Alexandria and the Tribe do not share the same values. In a post-apocalyptic world where survival is the only thing that matters, will these two very different factions learn to work together?
We have come across all types in the Walking Dead universe, from cannibals to crazies, but no one as clean and downright suspicious as Aaron. The Tribe is weary and in desperate need of redemption from the foot travel lifestyle they’ve been leading since the prison was overrun. Starvation, dehydration, shelter and safety are basic needs that they struggle to meet, and what Aaron represents (peace, comfort, friendship) feels foreign and difficult to comprehend for Tribe members. Trust and hope are hard emotions to wield in a post-apocalyptic society in which individuals are often out only for themselves. For the Tribe, decisions have to be made and barriers must be broken in order for everyone to survive.
Post-apocalyptic life has never been more clearly defined as in this episode of The Walking Dead. For the living, it is heartbreak, hunger, loneliness and fear, punctuated by moments of reprieve that include family and friends. For the Tribe, the basic physiological needs must be met in order to move forward on their journey to Washington D.C., while psychological issues threaten to tear the group apart. After the recent losses to the Tribe, what will it take to keep them together, sane and safe?
The Tribe is back together but inevitably broken after the losing Beth in Slabtown. With not enough time to grieve, the group is forced to continue moving in order to find food and safety. It seems the troubles of the Tribe are, once again, focused on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with physiology and safety being of the utmost concern. This episode reiterates that things go “the way [they] have to, the way [they] were always going to”, but what does that mean for the members of our tribe? Will they find shelter? Will the group retain their emotional fortitude to continue roaming the lower United States in search for friends, family and a home? Are there such things in a post-apocalyptic world?
As the Tribe attempts to move forward through continuous obstacles that do not end with walkers, but include sickness, familial issues, mental health problems, hunger, and violent adversaries among other things, we are reminded that even the best of us is destined to pass through this mortal coil into the world beyond. As I mentioned last week, this is the nature of life; death is at the other end of the sentence as a closing parentheses that we all must attend to at some point. For those living in this post-apocalyptic universe, death may come at any moment, by any means. All Tribe members can do is attempt to discover value in experiences and move forward, learning from the past in order to construct a future.
As we reflect on the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, we are reminded that, since the infestation of zombies into this universe, society has been precariously balanced on the precipice of change. For the Tribe, this has meant each member finding strength within, constructing individual value systems and then learning how to adapt those values to fit into the group. The question becomes, who have the members of the Tribe become? What endings have taken place, and what new beginnings will emerge?
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie! (Seriously, if you haven’t watched “Coda”, you are going to be spoiled in 5..4..3..2..1)
As the Tribe continues to establish their unity and strength, we also begin to see cracks in the chassis (so to speak) in regards to leadership, and the question of a values hierarchy is once again addressed in terms of who deserves to survive and what determines one’s worth. We return to Slabtown, and now that we have seen what goes on inside and the dual roles of the hospital (haven and hell), it is not difficult to gauge what the Tribe will be willing to do to keep themselves and the ones they care for safe.
Since I missed a post and this is going up rather late, we will take a quick and dirty look at the themes in both episodes by focusing on one particular person–Carol.