Webcomic / Awkward Zombie
is a wacky weekly gaming webcomic by Katie Tiedrich. While many of the strips are stand-alone gags from various games such as The Legend of Zelda
or World of Warcraft
, the webcomic also features several recurring Super Smash Bros.
characters living together in a building and dealing with various hijinks.
It once could be described as not actually having much to do with its title
, until this strip
There are also many pages that appear on her DeviantArt gallery
She has also started to illustrate (but not write) a brand new webcomic called Aikonia
, which can be found at this site
In 2012, the author tried to raise money to print the comic book
; the Kickstarter
was a runaway success, and ended at over a thousand
Provides Examples Of:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Ruto, who was weaponized by Link here.
- Adaptational Curves: Inverted later on for Samus, who is much more built than in the game. Best exemplified here.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: Inverted for Miranda and Tharja. The former is due to a strong dislike, the latter to play up her creepy stalker personality.
- Adaptation Personality Change: The comic portrays Marth from Fire Emblem rather differently than the games do. The author was rather surprised when confronted with a game highlighting the difference, noting that "Sometimes I forget that I kinda sorta totally made up his characterization for the purposes of this comic."
- Age-Inappropriate Dress: Nowi is Really 700 Years Old, looks like a human girl who's still in elementary school, and wears Stripperific armor. She's currently the page image for that trope.
- All-Powerful Bystander: Master Hand, sorta. He mostly just chews Roy out for sticking around after he was fired.
- He also brainwashed the Smashers (with Mewtwo's help) to fight for him.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Done in universe with Marth especially, but also Link and a bunch of others as idiots/Jerkasses. The Marth comic currently provides the page image.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Mass Effect is used for lots of advanced technology from Faster-Than-Light Travel to Artificial Gravity; but not the translators, that's magic.
- Armor-Piercing Question: Katie makes Miranda burst into tears when she asks why, if she was meant to be genetically perfect in every way, does she have buck teeth.
- Arc Welding: In this version Ike is from 400 years into Marth's future, but the actual Fire Emblem games (prior to Fire Emblem Awakening) took place in separate universes. Awakening has playable descendants of both Ike and Marth, making this Hilarious in Hindsight.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: MAGICAL LAWYER SUPERPOWER #3: BASIC LOGIC
- Artistic License:
- Katie did an entire comic explaining the thought process behind an Animal Crossing comic, and explained two inaccuracies. It also showed that she was concerned about whether having an Out-of-Character Moment would backfire, which is why she went with a more benign change.
- In Defection Detection she draws Lyn trying to recruit Guy even though in their game the two will never meet until three chapters after Guy's recruitment. Her reason? Because she simply wants to draw both of them in a single comic.
- Artistic License – Statistics: One of the strips is built out of this and Random Number God. The blurb mentions that Katie actually has studied statistics, but when she plays Fire Emblem she conveniently forgets it all.
- Art Shift: Used as a punchline in this strip. After graduating from art school, BLU Spy makes a sniper disguise that is much more detailed and differently shaded from the RED Soldier standing next to him, inadvertently giving him away.
- Ate His Gun: Snake found that preferable to Otacon droning on about Pokémon.
- Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: It's a bad idea to send into a battle a Pokémon in which you are still on its back.
- Author Avatar: Appears when telling autobiographical vignettes.
- Tomboy: Her Author Avatar often takes the place of videogame protagonists, and is almost always show wearing the male outfit (when there are multiple options).
- Author Tract: Katie has a strong dislike towards Miranda Lawson, and makes sure her audience knows it.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The scoped shotgun, seen here.
- And this little beauty, a ship made entirely of guns.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Sort of. Remember when Katie got accepted into college? Well, guess what? She graduated and is now a bona fide mechanical engineer, building spaceship parts. It's a glorious thing.
- Baby Planet: This comic shows why it would suck to live on one of these.
- Back for the Dead: Roy gets killed by Master Hand. A short time later, Roy comes back, and is killed off again almost immediately.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Katie's Khajiit character in her Oblivion and Skyrim comics is always barefoot. Presumably personal preference, since Oblivion and Skyrim Khajiit are perfectly capable of wearing shoes (as opposed to, say, those in Morrowind).
- Beat Panel: Or even three.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Lampshaded in Defection Detection when Lyn is looking for an enemy bandit that could possibly defect to their side. Take a guess at who. As commented by Katie, "he's also the only person in that army not named Bandit".
- Bee Afraid: As seen here.
- Bilingual Bonus: The Russian dialogue on this strip. Translation
Soldier 1: All patrols clear
Soldier 1: I saw a dog today.
Soldier 2: Was it cute?
Soldier 1: Yes
- Birds of a Feather: Katie and many of her friends are gamers, and several comics just show Katie hanging out with her friends to play/talk about Pokémon, Guitar Hero, and many others. A good number of comics are written by her husband, Norrin, as well.
- Bishounen: Katie's version of Marth is a parody of the character type.
- Black Comedy: In practically every other comic. This one manages to combine it with Disappears into Light.
- Bloody Murder: Parodied here, in a reference to Dragon Age. The character ends up dying from blood loss.
- Brick Joke: When Marth meets Lucina, she tells him she's his great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandaughter.note Then when she meets Roy and does it again, Marth interrupts her, shortening it to descendant.
- Butt Monkey: Odds are if Apollo Justice is in a strip, he'll be mixing this trope with Only Sane Man.
- Roy became one after getting kicked out of Smash.
- California Doubling: Amusingly, it's California being doubled for by Japan in this strip. Apollo is not amused.
- Chain of Deals: The subject of this comic.
- Cheated Angle: "Aw, you know me! I had my own game? Sword Of Seals, Blah Blah Blah? My hair points to the left no matter what direction I'm facing?" Rather than directly referencing the game, however, this seems to be a minor jab at the artist's way of drawing Roy.
- The Chew Toy:
- Marth, sometimes literally!note
- Roy, starting with a Running Gag revolving around his removal from the roster for Brawl and continuing even after he finally got added back into Smash 4.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
- Comically Missing the Point: When Samus reveals Ridley killed her parents, he protests it was only "one time!".
- The Comically Serious: Marth. Most of the time.
- If Katie's Author Avatar using the male trainer's outfit during Pokémon strips is any indication. Interestingly a bonus strip◊ shows her with a full-pants variant of the RSE female, while later comics based on their Gen VI remakes depict Katie once again wearing the male trainer's outfit.
- As well as Norrin (her husband) wearing a full-pants version of the female player character, starting with B&W. And if you get to the forums, some users have shopped Norrin into wearing the cutoffs version. And hairy legs.
- Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Some sounds should not be ringtones.
- The Dandy: Marth.
- Department of Redundancy Department: When Katie reclasses the characters in Fire Emblem Awakening, she has a dragon (presumably Nowi, Nah, or Tiki the shapeshifting manaketes) riding around on another dragon.
- Desperation Attack: Exploited by Lucario, who uses a smart bomb to damage himself and thus gain increased power (in reference to Super Smash Bros.).
- Determinator: The villager from Age of Empires II.
- Distracted by My Own Sexy: Marth is initially stunned by Lucina's beauty when she's introduced for Smash Bros. 4. His reaction to learning she's his distant descendant is "that would certainly explain it".
- Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Invoked by Link when OoT Link cannot defeat Dark Link, so he makes a loud proclamation of his love for Princess Ruto, then hides, leaving Dark Link to deal with the amorous Zora. Navi thinks this is a bit mean.
- Dramatic Wind: Ricken from Fire Emblem Awakening, asks Chrom how his cape is fluttering like that, when there's no wind around. Chrom doesn't want to be seen around such unmajestic people and orders everyone to make their capes/cloaks billow in the wind too.
- Driver Faces Passenger: Fox is so impressed with the new targeting system in Star Fox Zero that he's not paying attention to where he's actually flying.
- Dumb Blond: Link. At least he's good at puzzles.
- Easter Egg: Clicking on the "O" in the site's title lets you change the color scheme of the webpage, at least for your computer.
- Everyone Has Standards: Marth may be a narcissistic prick, but hearing about how he'll screw up his country in the future triggers a Heroic B.S.O.D. for him. Good thing Ike made the whole thing up.
- Exhausted Eye Bags: A notable feature of Katie's Author Avatar.
- Exploding Closet: How Katie plays the Fallout games.
- Eye Scream: In this comic, a Tauren from World of Warcraft puts stamina gems in every socket of his armor, as well as his eye sockets.
- The Face of the Sun: Seen here.
- Fanon Discontinuity: Katie seems to have adopted an "I haven't played it, therefore it didn't happen" attitude toward Advance Wars: Days of Ruin.
- Flat-Earth Atheist: Fox mocks the Fantasy based Smash cast for believing in Gods, only for Palutena to show up.
- Flat "What.": Katie is a fan of this.
- Forced Tutorial: No Shauna, I already have a team full of Pokémon, and collected all the gym badges, and caught the legendary, and I've been doing this since before you were born. I don't need a tutorial on how to catch a Pokémon.
- Foreboding Architecture: Katie Shepard knows what a room with waist high walls means.
- Freaky Is Cool: The Horde may be this to Katie. Almost all of the WoW comics are of the Horde, with Tauren, Trolls, and the Forsaken being prominent; the only comic that is about the Alliance is about the Worgen, and Katie wishes they were a Horde race.
- Fridge Logic: Katie's specialty is pointing out the logical holes in her favorite games.
- Furry Confusion: As seen in Animal Crossing.
- Gang Up on the Human: "Everyone stop fighting! There's a weird old man on the roof!"
- Genius Ditz: Link, as mentioned under Dumb Blonde.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: Discussed and defied in this comic as why Ridley isn't in the newest Super Smash Bros. game (or any for that matter). As said in the blurb underneath:
Katie: Ridley is kind of the only Nintendo villain who's ever done anything really awful — Bowser's a jerk and Ganondorf tends to make everyone anxious for a while, but both are still probably easily forgiven.
- Go Look at the Distraction: In the text underneath this strip:
"...How did Virion get stabbed in the back if he leapt face-first into danger, you ask? Well, there's a rational LOOK A BEAR"
- Gross-Up Close-Up: Mana using classes in World of Warcraft use water to replenish their mana supply, which also has other benefits.
- Guest Strip: Katie did a guest comic for VG Cats and one for Fanboys.
- High-Pressure Blood: As seen here, in parody of Dragon Age.
- Homoerotic Dream: You can thank Mewtwo.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: When a Pokémon breeder gives Katie an egg that her Pokémon had, and says he has no idea where it came from. Katie calls him out on this, as a breeder he should know where eggs come from. The breeder then points to the very different Pokémon that Katie left at the day care, and asks if she knows where an egg would come from.
- Impact Silhouette: Samus turns down Captain Falcon's advances by throwing him through several walls, leaving holes the size and shape of Captain Falcon's tumbling body.
- Implacable Man: In old Fire Emblem games, the characters didn't visibly block attacks and would just say "no damage", whether they just took an axe to the face, or got impaled with a spear. In this comic, the victim of said impaling then walks down the spear to stare at point blank range with the spearman.
- Improbable Age: Ace Attorney's prosecutors are apparently prodigies.
- Incendiary Exponent: "My truck is going so fast it burst into flames? Awesome!"
- Infernal Retaliation: Happens to Link twice, in two different games no less.
- Infinite Canvas: This strip; also a Visual Pun.
- Insistent Terminology: "Oh, you mean Blackjack." "NO. It's the FUTURE. It's called QUASAR."
- Instant Flight, Just Add Spinning: Has a take on how Doduo, a flying Pokémon with no wings, can fly using this trope.
- Interchangeable Antimatter Keys: Link is key-challenged.
- Interface Screw: Jensen gets so used to his implants highlighting important items with yellow outlines he goes nuts trying to interact with a bedspread that has a yellow trim.
Jensen: Tell me your secrets.
- Interface Spoiler: Katie has a hearing problem, and turns on subtitles on everything. This causes problems when the subtitles run ahead of the actual audio.
- It's All Upstairs from Here: Bowser puts his stairs to good use.
- Just Eat Gilligan: Or Just Eat The Pikmin, in this case.
- Karma Houdini: Two hundred years of community service helps.
- Kick the Dog: All part of Plan B.
- Large Ham: Katie, in her author notes at the bottom of the page.
- Master Hand, with his No Indoor Voice.
- Roy, with his over-exaggerated expressions.
- Literal-Minded: Apparently, Naked Snake did not get what they meant by "Blend in with your surroundings".
- Literally Shattered Lives: NOIVERN was frozen solid!
- Logical Fallacies: You SURE you don't have any blood to track him down with?
- Lucky Charms Title: Technically the title of the comic is Δwkward Zombie, as Katie tends to write capital As as Δs.
- Male Gaze: This strip (and especially the commentary) lampshades Mass Effect 2's usage of it.
- Man in a Kilt: "As much as I love hanging in your shadow, you REALLY need to start wearing pants."
- Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: In the Pokemon comics, Katie usually wears the male trainer's outfit (though for RSE she had a pants variant of May's outfit), and Norrin wears a variation of the female trainer's outfit (with pants instead of shorts or skirts). In the short-lived Nuzlocke comic he wears Leaf's outfit, skirt and all, after losing in rock-paper-scissors.
- Meaningful Name: How Phoenix picks his clients.
- Mind Screw: Ike does this to Marth for kicks.
- Same for Mewtwo, only more literally.
- Min-Maxing: When Katie played through Fire Emblem Awakening the second time, she played it on Lunatic Mode, which required min-maxing all the characters into unstoppable killing machines, resulting in some unusual character builds.
- Mistaken for Pedophile: Nowi, from Fire Emblem Awakening, is a thousand year old dragon, who looks like a prepubescent girl and wears an absolutely scandalous outfit. Everyone else avoids her explicitly because of this, and even Katie says she needs to go to jail just for drawing the comic.
- Mistaken for Racist: Miranda's Dad in this comic.
- Money for Nothing: The description of "Carry On" explains how Katie plays video games not to defeat the Big Bad but to sell Vendor Trash for money that she won't spend. But it's totally worth it.
- More Dakka: "This possibly could have been avoided if you hadn't BUILT THE SHIP ENTIRELY OUT OF GUNS."
- My God, What Have I Done?: Played for Laughs when Miranda's dad freaks out rather hilariously when it's pointed out to him that the "genetically perfect being" he made happens to be white. It's either due to this or massive awkward discomfort at the thought of being seen as racist when that had never even crossed his mind driving him to leap out the window to spare himself from the awkward situation.
- Narcissist: Marth. Played for Laughs in one strip where the only other person he would be willing to describe as beautiful...is his 32nd-great-granddaughter from the future who looks almost exactly like him, just with longer hair.
- Neat Freak: Marth.
- Nice Hat: Katie is normally depicted wearing a large red hat, though she later switched to a gray one. Fans did not like the change, for some reason. She also has a nice green fuzzy one.
- Norrin is always seen wearing a Diamond Helm in the Minecraft comics.
- Nice Guy: Granted, we don't see it that often, but much like in Uprising , Pit shows this by being one of the only 2 people to actually recognize AND congratulate Roy. Especially when you consider that Pit was considered Roy's Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: this comic will never allowed you to see Pokémon Centers the same way ever again
- No Indoor Voice: Master Hand. "FOOOOOOOOOOOLS!!"
- Or in one comic, where he finds out Roy is back. "NO"
- Noodle Implements: In the Mythbusters flash cartoon:
Adam: "To bust this myth, I'll need four owls, a dog skull, and seven gallons of pudding!"
- Not What It Looks Like: The zombie's not grabbing his ass. Really!
- Not Proven: Katie takes a jab at Ace Attorney's court system where the defendant can still go to jail even when proven to be not guilty because the real perpetrator is still unknown.
- Odd Couple: Marth and Roy.
- One Size Fits All: Or not.
- Only Sane Man: Apollo Justice.
- Out-of-Character Moment: Or, considering the nature of this comic, more like "In Character Moment" if you will; this strip features Marth showing a surprising amount of humility and even self-depreciation.
- Perpetual Frowner: Marth, which comes as no surprise considering what he's putting up with.
- Pet the Dog: A literal example with Ganondorf here.
- A much more metaphorical version here, when someone actually takes the time to congratulate Roy on his re-entry into Smash.
- Poor Communication Kills: The whole mess in Bravely Default could've been avoided if the heroes and villains had just stopped and talked everything out. When Edea's father tries to get his point across, and Edea is willing to listen to what he has to say, he grabs the Idiot Ball and doesn't tell them a damn thing.
- Popularity Polynomial: The Pokemon Effect. Also provides the page image.
- Power-Up Letdown: Several strips have Link's iron boots tear off his feet, and one strip has a fresly-found pair crush his skull when he drops them on his face. Another strip has a newly-found pair of hover boots fly away.
- Preemptive "Shut Up": After Link solves a Rubik's Cube in two panels flat and takes off with a small key above his head, we have this "exchange".
- Product Placement:
- Psychic Nosebleed: Happens to Ness when a bomb goes off in Magicant.
- Quip to Black: Done here.
- Raised By Birds: Seems that Samus and Falco share a morning ritual.
- Random Number God: The RNG is not kind to Katie in Fire Emblem.
- The Rant: One appears in almost every Author comment.
- Reaction Shot: Mocks Golden Sun: Dark Dawn's use of this in Express. It didn't help that, as Katie admits, she picked up the game without knowing it was a sequel and, having not played the previous games she had no attachment to most of the things the characters were reacting to.
- Reality Ensues: Many strips regard the consequences of some gaming events and abilities in real life.
- One example is that using a move like Earthquake in the Battle Subway would lead to this.
- Remix Comic: A popular activity on the forums. Usually, the Dominion Rod, Katie's Dad, & Entei come up at least once. Nowi has appeared as well, overshadowing Entei and Katie's Dad...until the edits escalated to almost NSFW levels and were greatly reduced in appearance as a result.
- The Entei t-shirts are on the rise as well. Shortly after the release of the comic, a number of forum members shopped a shirt onto their avatars. The same happened on the forums with the Troubadourable shirts after the comic where most of the Shepherds wore one.
- Required Secondary Powers:
- Resurrection Sickness: This comic reveals why World of Warcraft players suffer from this if they resurrect at a graveyard.
- Soap Within a Show: The first part of this comic has one from the Mushroom Kingdom. Peach is obviously into it, while Marth is not impressed.
- Self-Deprecation: Loads, but it might get better. Not to mention many of the blurbs on the early comics are her constantly complaining and apologizing for her quality of artwork.
- Shipper With An Agenda: This strip, in which the Avatar from Fire Emblem Awakening is depicted as one of these. For context, Galeforce is a Game Breaker skill exclusive to a female-only class. Via some complex rules of inheritance and gender-exclusivity, a daughter fathered by Gaius can get that class . The woman Gaius was about to ask out in the first panel always has a son. Thraja, on the other hand, always has a daughter.
- Shout-Out: The Boss has Eyes Always Shut, like in the webcomic Hiimdaisy.
- Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: Katie has a bit of a problem with this.
I have turned the game on, played Voltorb Flip for like an hour, and then turned the game off without actually looking at any Pokémon. TEAM ROCKET'S INSIDIOUS PLOT WAS A SUCCESS.
- Silence Is Golden: Quite a few strips rely solely on the visuals for the joke, with the only words being written sound effects.
- Single-Biome Planet: According to Wolf, there's a beach planet.
- Something We Forgot: One strip for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker has Kaz turning Mother Base into a tortilla chip factory, when Big Boss pipes up.
Big Boss: Weren't we supposed to be doing something in Costa Rica?
- So Much for Stealth: Adam Jensen is surprised when this doesn't happen after he knocks down a pile of oil drums. But then he tries tiptoeing away and is immediately noticed and shot.
- Space Whale Aesop: These must be those dangers of eating paint I've heard so much about.
- Sphere Eyes: How Katie usually draws eyes.
- Square Race, Round Class: Katie switches Miriel from a mage to a war cleric, giving her a battle axe, which she can't even lift.
- Stripped to the Bone: Master Hand does it to Roy here. Later, Katie announces her new job building rocket parts, and shows her performing tests while standing too close.
- Stupid Sacrifice: Virion, you're not supposed to block for someone in a heavy suit of armor.◊
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Pit for Roy. Foreshadowed in an early comic after it was announced that some characters wouldn't be returning to Brawl, made official after the game was released, Roy was kicked out of the house by Master Hand and Pit started taking his place in the jokes, though Pit annoys the others a lot less.
- Take a Third Option: Here.
- Most Pokémon games have the Professor character offer you your choice of starter Pokémon, except for Ruby and Sapphire where the Professor is being attacked by wild Pokémon and he tells you to take one from his bag to fight them off. Katie abuses the scenario to take all three and run.
- The Tetris Effect: "Vwingtone".
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Roy has apparently been camping out in front of the Smash Bros. house since he was kicked out, determined to get back on the roster.
- This Ain't Rocket Surgery: "And then Katie became a rocket scientist."
- Timey-Wimey Ball: The Smash House has characters from different time periods, like Marth and his great great great great great great great... descendant, Lucina. When Roy comes back to the house after a long hiatus, he wonders just how long he was gone for.
- Title Drop: A veeeeery subtle one here.
- Too Awesome to Use:
- Katie has a bad case of this, as seen in this comic where Eliwood refuses to lend a Vulnerary to Hector because they might need it later, even when he has a lot of them in storage. Later on, they retrieved another Vulnerary from a chest but since they don't have another room for one more Eliwood then throws one of them away much to Hector's disappointment.
- Taken even further in this comic, where Hector points out the absurdity of increasing his secondary weapon rank when he already gets a legendary axe and is in the middle of fighting the Final Boss.
- Too Dumb to Live: As seen here.
- Trademark Favourite Food: Garlic is this for Katie, if the hourly comics are to be believed.
[making lo mein for dinner] Norrin:
Is this enough garlic? Katie:
You didn't even look Katie: (angry face)
It will never
be enough garlic
- Unfortunate Implications: Miranda's dad made her to be the perfect human in all respects. Jacob is a bit miffed that this includes being white.
- Unreliable Narrator: Katie's bio smacks of this.
- Unsound Effect: BELAY! and ANGST!, among others.
- Uriah Gambit: Katie tries to kill off Miranda in the suicide mission.
The ending of Mass Effect 1 conditioned me to expect one of my teammates to die at the end of Mass Effect 2, and I made as much of an effort as I could to make sure it would be Miranda.
- Urine Trouble: The strip is even called "Urine Trouble Now". If don't get it: there's blood in the pee.
- War Has Never Been So Much Fun: Subverted at the last second in this Advance Wars strip.
- The War on Straw: Carefully read the journalist's shirt in the first panel of this comic. For those whose prescription isn't good enough: I am made of straw. Okay, not subtle, but subtle in its own illegible way.
- The follow up to "Under the Table" likewise has the punchline delivered by a "StrawGuy2009".
- What the Hell, Hero?: This seems mean.
- With Catlike Tread: Jensen completes a stealth mission undetected, but Sarif sends a helicopter to extract him. Jensen is the only one to realize how stupid this is.
- Wreaking Havok: Seen in this Skyrim comic.
If something gets knocked to the floor, you may as well just resign yourself to its new permanent location.
- You Bastard: This one goes out to all you Pokemon trainers in X and Y that did nothing but Wonder Trade.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Roy tries to break back into the Smash Bros. house, and is confronted my Master Hand who says no one is allowed to return, except Dr. Mario... and a couple Links... and Mewtwo.
- You Killed My Father: While many of the antagonists in Nintendo's universe live in the Smash Bros. house alongside their rivals, Samus refuses to let Ridley join because he killed her parents. That may be a line too far crossed.
- You Shouldn't Know This Already:
- Averted disastrously when Link accidentally plays the "Aria of Sun" and teleports himself into the sun.
- Played straight in this comic where Apollo's deduction is denied by the judge because he hasn't reached a certain point in the witness' testimony yet, only for Athena to provide the obvious hint when he gets the opportunity to present his deduction to the court.