31 Days of Horror 2015: Robert Kirkman’s Lessons on Surviving the Apocalypse

AP on TV Walking Dead Robert Kirkman

For the last few seasons, I’ve been doing the weekly recaps of “The Walking Dead.” Since I love everything zombie, my recaps are a work of love. This year, with the introduction of a companion series, “Fear the Walking Dead,” I thought it was time to learn more about the man who was nice enough to bring the stumbling, flesh-eating, walkers into our homes every Sunday night.

I’m assuming Robert Kirkman grew up in a normal household. We don’t know that much about his early years except that he wanted to write and draw his own comics. He got his ideas for his comic book, The Walking Dead, from doing research of wars and war torn countries. Robert Kirkman got it right. And, all that research was not wasted.

What kind of mind does it take to bring the apocalypse to life and, how has The Walking Dead franchise prepared us for major disasters? Grab your katana and follow me.

The Walking Dead

It doesn’t matter if I’m talking comic books, television show, video games. What matters is how Robert Kirkman’s world of flesh-eaters helped a nation become savvier about surviving the end of times. “The Walking Dead” is about Rick Grimes, the protagonist, a small town officer of the law who comes out of a coma after a serious injury to learn that something bad has happened and that the staff and patients at the hospital now view him as a mid-day snack.


With the companion show, “Fear the Walking Dead,” which premiered this year with a six episode season, we watch the initial onslaught of the apocalypse and watch as the general populace is still under the illusion that the government and military have everything under control. Season one showed just how unprepared people are as it follows a blended family finding their way through the collapse of human civilization.

Follow the Rules

What valuable lessons has Robert Kirkman taught us? I truly believe that people who watch lots of zombie films or television shows will be better prepared at identifying a zombie and, they will survive longer if they think things through like Rick Grimes and his friends. If you’ve been watching “The Walking Dead,” then you already know the rule of three!

You won’t survive for long without water, food and shelter. Not only will you need to find water, but that water will have to be clean. Food might not be a problem right off, if you can get to a supply of canned foods, but remember you won’t be the only one looking for food. You’ll need to arm yourself.


In the beginning, you most likely can stay in your home, but you better keep the cupboards stocked and you might want to board up those windows and doors against intruders. You should be able to live in your own home for some time. It’s called bugging-in. You can check it out here.

If you need to leave your home, then you want to keep away from big cities and, whatever you do, stay away from the big stores. Those stores have already been stripped of anything useful and you don’t want to encounter hoodlums or walkers. Leaving your home is called bugging-out and you can check it out here.

It was because of “The Walking Dead” that I joined the Zombie Squad. I think I would do well if there was a zombie apocalypse. I have enough food, water, bleach, medical supplies, gas-powered generator, tools, bleach, and weapons stored away. You may have noticed that I mentioned bleach twice. If you don’t have water purification pills, bleach will become your best friend.


But, I am worried if I was forced to go on the road (bugging out) I’m not so sure I’d do that well if it were cold and I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. I would like to think of myself as a survivor. I grew up in a big city so I am street smart, but sadly, I’m not Rick Grimes and, unlike Michonne, I’m sure as hell not good with a sword.


How good are we at surviving a zombie apocalypse, viral outbreak, and super storm? The same skills you need to fight those pesky little flesh-eaters, you need to survive any major catastrophe. Robert Kirkman may have started off with telling us a damn good story, but we’ve been following Rick Grimes and his friends for a long time.

"The Walking Dead" Zombie Survival Machine At The Future US Booth At Comic-Con

I think Robert Kirkman’s biggest achievement was teaching us that when the proverbial dog doo hits the fan, we are on our own and, it’s up to us to survive. So, when the world we know does comes crashing down around us, follow the rules, then ask yourself, “What would Rick do?”

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