Comic Book / Apocalypse Nerd
A story written and illustrated by Peter Bagge, and published and distributed by Dark Horse Comics, it tells the story of Perry and his friend Gordo, who are returning to Seattle after camping in a cabin belonging to Gordo friend in the mountains.
On their way back they have to steer clear of high speed traffic, and find out that North Korea nuked Seatle, and law and order has collapsed as bands of refugees do what they can to stay to stay alive. Perry and Gordo decide to go back to the cabin to wait until things get better. When they decide to venture out from their mountain hide out, they find numerous survivors who tell them that things are nowhere near being restored to normal, and when they stumble into some survivalist communes,things seem to get better, but they don't.
In the introduction, Bagge tells that he wrote this story because then president George W. Bush had lumped North Korea with Iraq and Iran as the "Axis of Evil," and Kim Jong Il responded by saying that North Korea has the capability to launch a nuclear tipped missile as far as Seattle. He also states that while everyone has fantasies of being a kick ass survivalist, this story tackles that fantasy by placing an average Salary Man
in a situation where he has to stay alive by any means necessary.
Apocalypse Nerd contains the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Midge, after Gordo, Dylan, and two rednecks kill the women of the feminist camp.
- Action Survivor: Considering that he had to deal with roving gangs, starvation, and other horrors, Perry becomes and experienced, jaded survivalist by the end of the story.
- Midge goes from an insecure college student to Action Girl.
- Apocalypse Anarchy: As survivors fled Seattle, they stopped along the way to loot any building, unoccupied or not. Gangs comprised of stranded farm workers, white supremacists, and Native Americans are said to be rampaging across the countryside. Perry thinks Mc Neely Vile is perfectly safe, but is looted and burned to the ground by a local Indigenous tribe.
- Apocalypse How: Level 0, the story takes place in the forests of the Cascade mountains, Seattle is said to be a radioactive wasteland and the U.S. government has quarantined the area to prevent any radioactive survivors from contaminating the rest of the country, which is said to have been unaffected.
- Apocalyptic Logistics: Deep in the woods, Mc Neely Vile has clean water, and orchard, a chicken farm, electricity, and internet via wifi. Justified as it is occupied by engineers who set it up as an experiment to create a self sufficient commune before North Korea launched that missile.
- Big Eater: Perry accuses Midge of eating more of the rations than him. It's because she's pregnant
- Bury Your Gays: McNeely and Ernest were gunned down during the Native American invasion.
- Dylan and Gordo's raiding party goes to feminist camp and kill everyone, save for Midge who snuck out.
- Butch Lesbian: Lynn, leader of the women's commune, and several other women staying there. Perry even mentions she wishes she were a man.
- Book Ends: The story starts and ends with Perry and Gordo going back to the cabin for one reason or another.
- Brick Joke: While staying in the cabin, Perry's Potty Emergency results in him farting a storm. When he and Midge reach the cabin, she comments that it smells like old farts.
- Bring My Brown Pants: When Perry runs from the cabin to the outhouse, he's held at gunpoint by the cabin's owner. Perry lets lose his diarrhea when Gordo shoots the owner in the head.
- Car Fu: After leaving the cabin, Gordo was about to accidentally run over Perry. Later, as they drove further down the road, they hit a young woman who was looking for a ride while standing in the middle of the road.
- Chekhov's Gun: When Perry is being held up at gunpoint by the cabin's owner, Gordon wanted to keep the deceased owner's gun, but Perry wanted to dispose of it due to possible radiation. Later, Gordo gives the gun after the Native American gang burns down McNeley Vile. Latwr Perry tries to use the gun to stop being Midge's "pet".
- Midge herself uses the gun to kill Dylan and the two rednecks who killed the other women, and who thought were going to kill Perry.
- At the end of the story, it turned out that keeping the gun hidden on himself for several weeks gave Gordo radiation poisoning.
- Crazy Survivalist: By the end of the story, Perry becomes and avid hunter able to support himself, Midge, and their incoming baby, and even murders a cop who may be looking for him.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: While spying on the women's camp, Dylan starts pleasuring himself in front of Perry and Gordo who leave to give him some privacy, and in Gordo's case, because he finds the women unappealing.
- The Determinator: Midge tells Perry, that despite the women's commune being a failed experiment, Lynn is determined to see it succeed one way or another.
- Disappeared Dad / Missing Mom: When Perry asks Midge her backstory, she mentions her mom was in Seattle when it was nuked, and she didn't know or wanted to know where her father was.
- Dylan states that the North Korean missile stranded him with father, Ernest and his boyfriend, McNeely while his mom was in California, which was unaffected.
- Driven to Suicide: Happens twice to Perry, first after leaving the cabin following an argument with Gordo, Perry realizeds he's screwed by himself and lies on the road hoping to get run over. When Lynn forces Perry to sleep chained to a doghouse in the rain, he figures he might as well just end it.
- At the very end, Gordo tries to blackmail a pregnant Midge into letting him stay with her and Perry, she refuses after she notices he's dying of radiation sickness. He's about to put himself down, when Perry kills him thinking he was about to attack Midge.
- Evil Is Petty: After the destruction of McNely Vile, Dylan enacts brutal revenge against the women who beat him up by leading Gordo and some rednecks they teamed up with to the women's camp where they rape the inhabitants and intend to steal their supplies and burn down the camp.
- Experimented in College: Midge mentions that she was in college when she went through a bad break up, and someone suggested she go up to Lynn's commune. She was involved with another girl, but has since broken up with her.
- Foreshadowing: After going back to the cabin, the original owner and his family come back, Gordo shoots him dead, and Perry notices he was already dying of radiation sickness. In the end, Gordo goes back to the cabin, hoping to live there, Midge refuses because of his radiation sickness, and Perry kills him. May count as Death by Irony.
- After being humiliated again, Perry mutters to Midge he wants to slash Lynn's throat. That night Dylan and some rednecks break into the farm house where they rape and slash the throats of the residents.
- Lynn tells Midge to not make babies with Perry, and later Midge kills a baby, because they can't afford to share the supplies. By the end of the story, she's pregnant.
- Gilligan Cut: Gordo believes that McNeely Vile is vulnerable to attack, Ernest and Perry reassure him them that although gangs are a problem, a weapons drill will be performed in a couple of days to make sure they are ready. Less than twenty four hours later, the camp is on fire, and the occupants are being systematically slaughtered by the marauding Native American tribe.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Perry and Gordo have been friends for years, and stick together to survive for most of the story.
- I Did What I Had to Do: After going back to the cabin, Gordo shoots his friend thinking he was going to kill Perry in order to take back the cabin.
- After venturing out of the cabin, Perry and Gordo stumble onto an abandoned trailer park, where they find a dead old man, and two guys fighting to the death over a 7up. The survivor tells Perry and Gordo he had to resolve to cannibalism after a mob of refugees invaded the trailer park and stole all their food and supplies.
- Perry tells Midge he stabbed the occupants of a house because they attacked him, after she told him to venture inside to see if there was any food they could steal.
- I Call It "Vera": Gordo refers to his rifle as "Betsy."
- Infant Immortality: Averted. After the raid on the women's commune, Midge kills Dylan, a teenaged boy, thinking he was going to kill Perry later she kills a baby after she told Perry to go into a well supplied house and steal their supplies, and he killed the parents when they attacked him.
- Fridge Horror sets in when you realize that among the thousands and thousands that died when Seattle was nuked were an innumerable amount of children.
- Invading Refugees: The trailer park occupant who killed the other one tells Gordo and Perry that things became desperate when a large mob of survivors from Seattle descended on them and stole anything and everything that could be used to survive.
- Mercy Kill: Done accidentally and on purpose:
- Gordo kills the cabin's original owner, whom Gordo did not know was dying of radiation sickness. Ironically, Perry kills Gordo under similar circumstances.
- Midge kills a baby whose parents were killed by Perry.
- Perry also kills a badly injured army truck driver that he forced to crash in order to steal the supplies.
- Nerd: Perry worked as an engineer in a tech firm in Seattle.
- Properly Paranoid: While staying in the trailer park, Perry suspects that the lone occupant may not be satisfied with eating Billy, and could then bash their heads while they slept so he can steal Gordo's truck and gun.
- Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Mc Neely Vile is attacked by a gang of Native americans, they kill everyone they can aim at, steal their food and supplies, and burn down the camp.
- After the destruction of Mc Neely Ville, Gordo, Dylan, and two rednecks descend on the feminist camp, and proceed to rape and kill the inhabitants of the farmhouse, and steal their supplies.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Perry starts the story acting as The Load to Gordo, but after witnessing several massacres, and killing several people himself, Perry barely hesitates to kill a state trooper who was looking for him. When he kills Gordo, Perry happily tells midge he caught the goose she wanted to eat.
- Squick: The panels showing a bottomless Perry after he soiled himself after Gordo killed the man holding him up.
- While Perry and Gordo, who are in their late twenties, leave the spy-hole overlooking the women's camp, Dylan, a teenaged boy, whips his out and start pleasuring himself.
- Took A Level In Bad Ass: At the begining of the story, Perry was griping about his ex girlfriend, dreams of quitting his job as a programer, and mentions he's jealous of Gordo's self employment as a weed dealer. By the end, he is a jaded survivalist who thinks nothing of having accidentally killed Gordo.
- Would Hurt a Child: After Perry kills a couple living in a well stocked house, he suggests taking their baby and giving him to someone else. Midge tells him to leave the house while she kills him.