How Walking Dead’s Zombie Survival Advice Could Kill You in Real Life – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

How Walking Dead’s Zombie Survival Advice Could Kill You in Real Life

Spoilers for The Walking Dead series! In the unlikely event of an actual zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead stands out as an excellent resource for learning how to handle hungry undead creatures. However, when it comes to the series’ guidance on treating wounds and preventing infections, the creator of the comic wants fans to disregard his advice. Filled with captivating twists, intense action, and gruesome scenes, The Walking Dead not only presents the threat of zombies but also introduces other perilous challenges such as cannibal groups, armed militias, and dangerous individuals. Amidst this chaotic world, survival is a constant struggle, and getting eaten alive is an ever-present danger. In a special column called “Cutting Room Floor,” series creator Robert Kirkman shares behind-the-scenes insights and sheds light on his creative process. In this column, Kirkman reveals that a specific moment from the “Fear the Hunters” storyline, where Eugene treats Glenn’s gunshot wound with tea leaves and candle wax, is entirely fabricated survival advice. Kirkman admits to taking creative liberties in The Walking Dead Deluxe #65, clarifying that he invented this treatment method to showcase Eugene’s resourcefulness and ingenuity. Kirkman initially researched real-life procedures for treating bullet wounds but found them to be too simple and unremarkable for his vision of Eugene’s character. Consequently, he concocted a plan that he explicitly warns fans against following in real-life situations. By inventing the idea that Eugene needed tea leaves to “close the wound and prevent bacterial growth,” Kirkman created an illusion of brilliance. Moreover, Eugene’s use of hot candle wax to seal the wound portrays him as surprisingly capable and intelligent. However, it is crucial to note that if readers were to apply this fictional advice in reality, they could potentially develop life-threatening infections that may require limb amputation. The truth is that the actual procedure for treating a bullet wound is far less sensational and involves washing the wound with water, keeping it clean, and allowing it to remain open to the air. As a general rule, it is unwise to rely solely on fictional stories like The Walking Dead for practical advice. While the series may serve as a valuable survival guide against walkers, it is advisable to seek guidance from real professionals for all other aspects of survival.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead series!In the unlikely event of a real-life zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead stands tall as one of the best stories people should read to ensure they know how to act when a hungry member of the undead horde tries to take a bite out of them. But when it comes to taking the series’ survival advice for treating wounds and stopping other kinds of deadly infections, the comic’s creator wants fans to know not to listen to him!

Full of dramatic twists and turns as well as more blood and gore than some of the most iconic zombie movies around, The Walking Dead piled its fair share of other non-undead-related problems onto Rick Grimes and crew’s shoulders too — like roaming bands of cannibals, fully-armed militias, dangerous lone survivors, savage hunters, and more — on top of the ever-looming possibility of getting eaten alive at any moment.

Eugene asks Gabriel for ground tea bags to help Glenn

And now, in an extra Walking Dead content column dubbed “Cutting Room Floor,” where series creator Robert Kirkman shares interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits and elaborates on his creative process, Kirkman reveals that one specific moment seen during the brutal “Fear the Hunters” storyline — a scene where Eugene treats Glenn’s gunshot wound with tea leaves and candle wax — is a piece of survival advice that he completely made up!

Related: Walking Dead’s Shocking Deaths Were Inspired by Transformers (Really)


Eugene’s Advice For Treating a Bullet Wound Shouldn’t Be Followed By Anyone

Eugene patches Glenn's bullet wound by using tea leaves and candle wax

Admitting creative liberties were taken in The Walking Dead Deluxe #65by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Dave McCaig, the moment in question comes about in the immediate aftermath of Glenn being shot clean through his leg at the end of the previous issue. Wanting to show that “Eugene was a MacGyver genius who could do impressive on-the-fly stuff,” Kirkman decided to research how a real-life bullet wound gets treated, only to find that the underwhelming and quite simple solution of washing it out with water, keeping it clean and keeping it open to the air didn’t fit his vision for how he wanted Eugene to come across in the moment, leading Kirkman to come up with a plan that he explicitly says not to follow if fans are ever in a similar situation.

Essentially making up the idea of Eugene needing tea leaves so that he, in the character’s words, could “close the wound and keep any bacteria from growing,” Kirkman then goes on to have Eugene use hot candle wax to “hold it in,” effectively making him look like a genius to anyone not in the medical or military field, and solidifying Eugene as a surprisingly helpful badass. What’s more, if readers follow this comic book advice in real life, they could get a lethal infection that may lead to getting a limb amputated, all coming about because Eugene needed to look smart when, in reality, his actions were simply written to add some good old dramatic effect!

The Real Procedure For Patching A Bullet Wound Was Too Boring For The Walking Dead

Eugene wearing protective glasses.

As a general rule of thumb, people shouldn’t take the advice given in fictional stories like The Walking Dead at face value, with this specific Eugene-approved technique for treating and sealing a bullet wound being a pretty bad idea to replicate in a real-world setting. The Walking Dead may be a great survival guide for fending off walkers should the dead ever rise and overrun the world, but as for everything else, maybe stick to taking survival pointers from the professionals.

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