Zombie Cliche Lookout: Soft, Supple Zombie Skulls
One thing that annoys me in a lot of zombie flicks is the notion that zombie skulls would be a pretty malleable thing. Punching through a human skull, zombified or otherwise, wouldn’t be a piece of cake. The skull is specifically designed to protect the brain; having it be anything but tough would be a pretty major design flaw. The biggest offender? Easily The Walking Dead, where characters were dispatching zombies with folding pocket knives. Crazy.
However, some people posit that zombie skulls would naturally be softer on account of the decay. So I did what any curious person would do: I talked to a mortician (my sister, as it happens, is a funeral director and undertaker) to find out how long it would take for a skull to get soft. The answer? A hell of a long time. According to her, the skull is pretty much the last thing to fall apart on a body.
I also asked if the skull would get softer after a time, enough so that a person could jam a knife through it with relative little trouble. The answer? No way; that skull is going to stay extremely dense until long after the rest of the body has fallen into a pile of goo. In fact, due to the natural curvature of the skull, stabbing someone in the head would be extremely difficult. Not only would the bone be very hard to punch through, the chances of a glancing blow would be extremely high.
About this Episode
I don’t generally use a lot of overhead shots in the comic, because I think giving a birds eye view of the action can rob a scene of it’s immediacy. However, every now and again I think it’s useful to illustrate the layout of the action: where the zombies are, where are characters are, and what they’re trying to get to.
Discussion Question: Why Do You Love Zombies?
So yeah, right there in the headline: why do you love zombies? What is it about them that gets you excited. Is it the scariness? Do you like the survival aspect of zombie stories? How about the ways zombies can be stand-in for any number of different things (e.g. consumerism, racism)?
There’s no single answer to this question, and many of you might have several reasons for loving our favorite ambulatory corpses.