Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Wiggly Zombie Pens!

   Before we left Iowa, I was fortunate to stumble upon a party store I'd never seen on the East Coast, an absolutely massive place called Nobbies. Like I said before, party stores are often the very best stores for Halloween junk, especially where small, cheap little toys are concerned, and with Nobbies, I hit the jackpot!

   There's nothing I enjoy more than goofy, cartoonish rubber monsters, and these are goofy, cartoonish rubber monsters attached to poofy, feathery pens that I can only interpret as fabulously disproportionate tutus. They're not just zombies, but beautiful ballerinas!

   There are five different designs that I know of, and they actually pop off of their pens very easily. So easily, one of them dropped off in the middle of the store long before I actually noticed, and it wasn't very easy to find where the little creep had bounced off to. At $2.99, the complete set was around fifteen dollars, which is somewhat steep, and most of it was probably the cost of the pens themselves. Definitely worth it, but if they were any cheaper, I think I'd have bought myself some extras. They're just too damn cool for their own good, as putrid and rotten as all zombies should be, but not nearly enough of them ever are.

   It says a lot that I wanted to start off with my "least" favorite, and honestly couldn't even choose. None of these guys are a miss. Even if all this one has going for him is bright orange pus streaming out of his nose-hole, that's good enough for me. I feel like I should name them. Let's name this one Barnabus B. Boulstridge.

Boulstridge was already suffering an upper respiratory infection when the sleepy town of 'Possum Point was ravaged by Poncho Corporation's escaped Q-virus. Now, a single sneeze from the sniffling corpse can melt a survivor's face from sixty feet away.

   I feel as though this one is the most "normal" of the five zombies, featuring everything I regard as the most "classic" undead features. He's green-tinted, nearly skeletal, and his brains are exposed. I really like the extra application of pink under the eyes, especially how it's dripping.

Mr Morris Milsbury was probably converted to one of the undead when he stared too long into the dazzlingly alien core of a fallen star, agitating a case of pinkeye into an infectious, mind-controlling microbial parasite. Whatever you do, wash your hands if you attend one of his potlucks. Everyone is pretty sure he has an ulterior motive.

   There's definitely something special about this one. It's the only purple zombie in the set, with the only purple feather-puff. It also looks like the oldest, with its shrunken features, hollow eye sockets, a stitched-up mouth and what is either a reaper's shroud or very long, black hair. Sculpting on the torso also appears to be either hanging, tattered clothing or dripping strips of flesh.

Demetria Ravensdale had been comfortably decomposing for over six generations when a cosmic fungus rather rudely commandeered her muscular system for its own dark purposes. She doesn't mind that much, since it does most of the work, but it's really hard to go back to sleep with all that screaming.

   It's difficult to pick a favorite, but I think it's almost a tie between the two blue-grey zombies. The vivid pinkish-red of this one's exposed brain, gums and ocular tissue just stands out really nicely against the rest of it, and I like how the pink "drip" makes it look more like there's a large scar or cut between its eye socket and its mouth.

Doctor Watson Lowesly was a successful brain surgeon until his own brain was devoured by a giant, radioactive mutant Cow Prion. Since then, he's found one fault after another with every new brain he's tried out. On the plus side, his undead staff just keeps growing and growing.

   Beautiful. This zombie is the very simplest of the bunch, with only minimal cranial trauma and no leaking or oozing body fluids, but those pink and white eyes, devoid of pupils, are amazingly haunting on such a small, silly rubber toy, and the flimsy white gown is a nice touch, not standing out much from the pale flesh, but a welcome change from the unpainted clothing of other zombies.

Sheldon doesn't have much of a story to tell, but he does know yours. He's been watching you nearly your whole life, after all.