Archives: zombie

  • / By

The Geography of Horror

ESRI has put out this great “Geography of Horror” map, just in time for Halloween. It’s a map of where the top rated horror movies (about 250 of them) take place. You can explore the the locations via decades of movie releases.

This kind of thing brings up questions I wish I had time to explore. How do horror movies influence the perception of location? What geographic characteristics contribute well to horror? It would also be interesting to try and find remakes that have been done of movies and compare how the locations play a role in each story. For example, compare The Ring (2001) which takes place in Seattle, with the original Ring (1998) set in Japan.

The Geography of Horror.




  • / By

Dead Reckon is now on Kindle

Dead Reckon on Amazon

Dead Reckon in the Amazon Store

Dead Reckon is now available on Kindle! The comic has special functions to allow you to zoom into each panel. For Kindle users or Kindle app users, this will hopefully be an easier and even cheaper way to access the comic. The geography project notes are also included and zoomable as well. I’d love to hear any feedback on it.

Viewing Comics on Kindle

This was put together in a special way so that you can click on each comic panel and zoom into it. You can then progress through each panel automatically. I do a lot of comic reading on my mobile devices, and I really like being able to view a comic panel by panel. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this too.

Comic on Kindle

Dead Reckon zooms in on panels in Kindle


Free Preview

You can get a free preview on Amazon using the Kindle Cloud Viewer, it is very easy to do. See below for some instructions from Amazon.

Amazon Kindle Device: Your sample will be sent automatically and wirelessly to the Kindle via Amazon Whispernet. Don’t have a Kindle? Get yours here.

Free Reading Apps: Your sample will be sent automatically to your AndroidiPadiPhonePCMacBlackBerry, orWindows Phone 7 device. Don’t have a free Kindle Reading App? Download one here.

  • / By

New Dead Reckon Online Viewer


I have added a new online viewer for the first issue of Dead Reckon. This new reader is faster loading, higher quality, and I’ve given it a simple URL so that teachers may share it with students.

The full comic is behind a login.

Members can find the login and password on the Dead Reckon Downloads page. Share this login with your students to provide them access to the online viewer.

Here is the URL you can direct students to:

You may also view a demo of the new online viewer here: Dead Reckon Demo

Feel free to provide any feedback. I made these changes based on feedback from some of the students who were reading the comic and having trouble reading it as a PDF or having to deal with slow loading. If you have any suggestions on how to make this reading experience easier for teachers and students, feel free to contact me:

  • / By

Post-Apocalyptic Push and Pull Factors

When we analyze human migration we are analyzing how people move. To do this, we need to look at some of the reasons people move. This is where the theory of push and pull factors comes in handy. Push factors are reasons to leave a place and pull factors are reasons to go to a place.

© Telltale Games

© Telltale Games
Interestingly enough, Lee Everett is a character in The Walking Dead’s Telltale Games mobile game. Both Lee Everett and Everett Lee also taught at University of Georgia.

The model behind push and pull factors was developed by a professor named Everett Lee. He published his theories on push and pull factors in an article called A Theory of Migration in 1966. In this article, he defined push and pull factors and provided examples of both. He noted that push and pull factors may be different for different people. Lee (1966) described an example with the following:

Thus a good climate is attractive and a bad climate is repulsive to nearly everyone; but a good school system may be counted as a + by a parent with young children and a – by a house- owner with no children because of the high real estate taxes engendered, while an unmarried male without taxable property is indifferent to the situation. (p. 50)

In this quote, we see that a pull factor for one person could be a pull factor for another person. This is an important idea to keep in mind. Just as push and pull factors may be different for different people, push and pull factors may change in a post apocalyptic setting.

In Lee's model, positive (pull) and negative (push) factors as well as intervening obstacles play a role in the choice to move.

In Lee’s model, positive (pull) and negative (push) factors as well as intervening obstacles play a role in the choice to move.



Origin and Destination Factors and Intervening Obstacles in Post-Apocalyptic Migration

Notice the diagram of the push and pull factors in a post apocalyptic scenario. Zombies are probably a push factor for nearly everyone. Food and resources would be a pull factor. However, we must keep in mind the push and pull factors of zombies. It is probably safe to assume that zombies will be pulled to a location that has more humans (zombie food).

Origin and Destination Factors and Intervening Obstacles in Post-Apocalyptic Migration: Zombie Perspective

By considering the movement of zombies and other humans, it would be possible to stay a few steps ahead of everyone else. Before migrating to a new location, consider possible migrations of other humans and zombies. Determine if you will be ready to deal with these other migrations.

Lee, E. S. (1966). A theory of migration. Demography, 3(1), 47-57.

  • / By

Mental Mapping on The Walking Dead

SPOILER ALERT: I’m talking a lot about characters and plot points in The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 12 “Clear.” I don’t intend to give anything away, but if you want to stay surprised and haven’t watched season 3 yet, you might want to bookmark this post and come back later.

I strongly believe that geography skills will be a major benefit in the zombie apocalypse. So I’m always excited when I notice characters using those geographic skills in zombie stories.

In the 3rd season of The Walking Dead, Rick, Michonne, and Carl go for a supply run. They run into Morgan who has been holed up in Rick’s old neighborhood. Morgan was surviving all on his own and he did so by setting up some elaborate traps all over where he was staying. Something else that helped him survive was mental mapping.

A mental map is how someone pictures the world around them. It really is the map that someone has in his or her mind. It’s often made of a combination of what you know and what you think. The drawing below shows an example of a mental map that has been sketched out:

Mental Map

The mental map is probably not completely accurate. However, it gives good insight into what the person who drew it remembers or finds important.

Let’s get back to The Walking Dead and see how Morgan used his mental mapping skills. See the map Morgan sketched on the wall of his hideout:


Quality Mapping

First of all, I want to congratulate Morgan for making a quality map. We can see that he included direction in the top right, showing which way is North. We can see that he used many clear symbols for roads, trees, houses and other buildings. He also used labels, which we can see when Carl examines closer. It is hard to tell if it is to scale, but judging by the relative size of the buildings, it is probably accurate enough for Morgan’s needs.


Analyzing Mental Maps

It is a valuable skill to analyze someone’s mental map. Through this analysis, we can tell what was important to the mental cartographer. It appears that Morgan has been keeping track of which houses are “Taken” or “Burnt Out,” possibly even which areas are “clear.” It is definitely important for Morgan to keep track of which areas are overrun and which areas are safe enough to journey into.

But even more interestingly, try to determine what Morgan thought about Rick.

Morgan may be good at mapping, but not so good at using apostrophes.

Morgan may be good at mapping, but not so good at using apostrophes.

Morgan kept close track of Rick’s house. You can see that he updated it to being “TAKEN” and then to be “BURNT OUT.” Morgan didn’t seem to keep as close track of any other houses. This might mean that Morgan was still thinking about Rick, caring about the state of his property, and caring about the state of Rick.

Updating Your Mental Maps

Morgan took part in another important skill in mental mapping; he updated his mental map. As you learn more about locations, you should keep updating the data on your mental map. We can see that Morgan crossed out and added new labels, making updates as they were needed. Similarly, when you learn about the world around you, you should update your understanding of the world.

In the zombie apocalypse mental maps become very important. We lose access to map references and need to rely on our mental maps. Morgan did a good job keeping his mental map up to date and that probably kept him alive. However, it didn’t keep him sane.

  • / By

Project 07 – Planning Your Survivor Settlement!

Project 07 has been uploaded to the Member Downloads directory.

Here is the direct link if you are logged in. There you can either download the individual files or a single PDF of all of the project 7 documents (52 pages).

Here is an introduction to the project:

And here is an outline of the unit:

Exciting next couple of weeks for ZBL! As if all the other weeks haven’t been exciting?!

  • / By

Human Migration and the Zombie Apocalypse! Project 06 is uploaded!

“Like” this post for 3rd project upload this week! All of Project 06 has been uploaded to the Member Downloads directory.

Here is the direct link if you are logged in. There you can either download the individual files or a single PDF of all of the project 6 documents.

Here is an introduction to the project: [download id=”222″ format=”1″]

And here is an outline of the unit: [download id=”223″ format=”1″]

I’m really excited to be getting print versions of Dead Reckon this week. I’m also getting all of the T-Shirts. Kickstarter rewards will be shipped soon.

I’m also really excited to finish posting the core projects so I can provide all of the digital add-ons. I’ll tell you more about those later!

  • / By
5 Laws of Zombie Migration

5 Laws of Zombie Migration

Dead Reckon

Ravenstein’s Laws

Nearly 130 years ago, cartographer and exercise-guru Ernst Ravenstein, introduced the world to his original laws of human migration. The original laws that he wrote have somewhat stood the test of time and provide some foundation for our modern theories of migration. Ravenstein and others continued to work on the laws and the following is a basic idea of the laws still around.

  1. every migration flow generates a return or counter-migration.
  2. the majority of migrants move a short distance.
  3. migrants who move longer distances tend to choose big-city destinations.
  4. urban residents are often less migratory than inhabitants of rural areas.
  5. families are less likely to make international moves than young adults.
  6. most migrants are adults.
  7. large towns grow by migration rather than natural increase.

 5 Laws of Zombie Migration

Migration will play a large role in surviving the zombie apocalypse. It is not only important to know where people will move, but maybe more important to know where zombies move and why. It could be possible to disrupt zombie migration patterns to keep them away from new settlements. This is why I propose these rules. Just as Ravenstein’s have been amended, I suggest readers provide feedback on these laws.

Law 1 – every zombie migration flow generates a return or counter-migration of survivors.

For all large flows of zombies to a new area, there will be a counter-movement of survivors fleeing that area. The ratio of zombie migration to counter-movement of survivors may change over time.

Law 2 – the majority of zombies move a short distance.

While some zombies can go on an epic journey, most will prefer to move short distances whenever possible.

 Law 3 – zombies who move longer distances tend to choose big-city destinations.

If a zombie does move a long distance, they will probably not stop moving until they come across a large city with opportunity to find survivors.

Law 4 – urban zombies are often less migratory than zombies of rural areas.

Urban zombies will not move as far as rural zombies. Rural zombies require greater distance to find survivors given the lower population density. As the zombie apocalypse continues, the survivor population density becomes even lower, causing rural zombies to seek areas of higher population density (suburban and urban areas). Conversely, urban zombies are longer satisfied in the higher population density.

Law 5 – large towns draw lots of zombies.

Building from our previous laws, it is safe to predict that large towns will attract most zombies. Cities have higher populations of zombies who are willing to stay in that area and rural zombies are more likely to move to those cities.


We see from these laws that cities are hot destinations for zombies. However, once a city is completely zombified we will probably have to examine zombie migration under more useful tool such as Lee’s push and pull factors. For example, Human over-population is a factor that will push people to move elsewhere. Similarly, an over-population of zombies and an under-population of living humans will lead to a zombie push factor, encouraging zombie migration to another area.

What do you think? What makes zombies move?

  • / By

Accepting Donations: Help Make the Graphic Novel

Hello Everyone! A quick update just to let you know that ZBL is accepting Paypal donations again. To donate, Go Here.

The reason I’m accepting donations is because of 2 reasons:

1) I’ve been getting a lot of requests from people who missed the limited 25 day Kickstarter window and would like to get in line for materials and resources, or would like to just donate some money!

2) I have just started working with a great illustrator and colorist for the Zombie-Based Learning Graphic Novel! The original fundraising covers the first 32 pages of the graphic novel, but there are about 100 more pages to go. This graphic novel walks students through the zombie apocalypse narrative, introduces projects, teaches geographic concepts, and is an exciting story! I can’t wait to share more with you soon!

Share this page or the donation page! There are plenty of people out there who want to get involved!