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The Cast (Alphabetically)

Angus
Angus is a pencil with a plaid painted body and the name Angus written on his barrel (it used to say Angus Steak House INC. Forty Two Main Street Cityville USA). He has been sharpened, his eraser is rounded, he wears a Glengarry and has a short white beard. Angus is shorter than most of the other pencils and speaks with a Scottish accent.

Angus has one goal in life: to warn the pencils about being used. He's in constant struggle against the pencil sharpener (an inanimate object on the desktop). He's older and therefore thinks he's wiser than the other pencils. Unfortunately the other pencils think he's old and depressing. It doesn't help that he can get distracted by the other pencils into "wasting" his life (doodling or tic-tac-toe). He's a favorite of the "Blues" as they think he's funny. He doesn't appear to have any real friends but gets along with the pencils and "Blues".

The role of Angus is to remind us of the importance of living a purposeful life.

A-Tacks
"A-Tacks" are bulletin board pushpins of various colors. Sometimes they behave like bees, other times they are used by the desktop inhabitants to secure paper, string, etc.
 

Black Pens
Blacks are black ballpoint pens with black caps and white bodies. They share the “buck-teeth” of their blue counterparts.

All Blacks look identical, but are otherwise unique, each having their own unique name and personality, and each is easily identified at first glance by all of the other members of the desktop community. Blacks normally interact with other Blacks. Romantically, however, Blacks are naturally drawn to Blues.

Blacks represent the “every-woman” and are most commonly found in stories containing social commentary that investigate the relationships between men (Blues) and women (Blacks).

Blue Pens

“Blues” are blue ballpoint pens with blue caps and white bodies, eyeglasses, and 2 “buck-teeth”. A Blue’s greatest flaw and best quality are one and the same: naivety. “Blues” are filled with the best intentions but remain inevitably clueless. “Blues” often miss the point or fall victim to their own misguided actions while remaining as endearing and lovable as puppies.

“Blues” do not feel unique and rightly so. All “Blues” are identical in every aspect of the word. The desktop is filled with “Blues” who are all named Blue. The only spark of individuality that a “Blue” has is the ability to tell each other apart; a feat that no other desktop character can achieve.

“Blues” are social characters that spend most of their time interacting with everyone. They are completely accepting of their life on the desktop and live from day to day and moment to moment. “Blues” normally interact with other “Blues” as well as with the Pencils. Romantically, “Blues” naturally find synergy with “Blacks” (the female equivalent to the “Blues”).

The role of a “Blue” as a character is to represent the “every-man” as a catalyst for social commentary. “Blues” are often involved in stories that investigate the relationships between men and women or the naďve ignorance surrounding man’s interactions with the people and things surrounding him.

Chewey

Chewey is a typical pencil with yellow painted body which is covered with dents and holes. His tip is dull but still very functional. His eraser is rounded but also very functional. He's been sharpened and used over the years so Chewey is shorter than most of the other pencils, about the same height as Angus.

Although “Pencils” tend to be spiritual, Chewey’s thoughts rarely exceed his concern for his own mortality and his desire for longevity. These regards are in direct contradiction to one another while they are the two greatest fears of any pencil and Chewey’s internal conflict. These fears manifest themselves as deceptive acts of aggression toward the other pencils that he encounters as a means of self-preservation. A large amount of his time on the desktop is spent “tricking” pencils into perilous situations like tossing themselves into the trash, sharpening themselves to the point of uselessness, rolling off the back of the desk, and otherwise causing their disappearances.

Unfortunately for Chewey, there are lots of pencils and it is unlikely that the ever-present influx of replacement pencils will be discontinued. Each day remains the same as the last; another day on the desktop is another good day on the desktop.

The role of Chewey as a character is to investigate man’s increasing sense of his own mortality and purpose as he ages.

Crayons
The 63 crayons have googly eyes and cute names (Crimson, Sky, Strawberry, Teal, Sunburst, etc.). They live on a child’s desk without their brother, Orange. They appear in flashbacks and in Orange’s dreams. They have the mental capacity of 5 year-olds. Orange has no desire to return to them and they don’t even know he’s missing.

They represent our lost childhood, innocence and "childish things" to be left behind.

The 63 Crayons also appear in their own comic strip. That strip is used for ideas that did not necessarily fit with the main Office Surprise story lines or characters.

Dr. Fountain Penn MD PhD PDQ

Dr. Penn is a high quality refillable fountain pen with gold trim and a fancy calligraphy point. He is trained in psychology and is a licensed therapist. He is the most grounded desktop inhabitant completely aware of his existence and purpose. His goal is to help each writing instrument live up to its potential.

Dr. Penn works mostly with the Blues. But on occasion has treated Orange and Chewey. Sometimes he finds himself overwhelmed by the Blues’ problems, which are usually the same problem shared by all of them at the exact same time.

Dr. Penn represents the sound psychological answers so few seek in their lives.

Elmar/el Marco

Elmar is a thick black permanent marker and the tallest writing instrument on the desktop. Written on his barrel in large white letter from bottom to tip is “Elmar Company”.

"Secretly" Elmar is el Marco, a crime fighting superhero that rids the desktop of evil. When he appears as el Marco his cap has been removed and place at the bottom of his barrel. He is inverted so that his felt tip is on the desk and the writing on his barrel goes from his newly located head to his tip. His cape and other desktop objects often hide the majority of his written name, while in disguise, leaving only the partial phrase “Elmar Co” visible. He wears a mask to hide his identity; this makes his eyes appear to have no pupils. Nobody ever witnesses the transformation to el Marco or back to Elmar.

Ironically, there is no evil on the desktop; something which he attributes to his own vigilance. He has no concept of the delusional world he has created for himself. el Marco means well, but he is always leaving large black marks all over the desktop as he “swooshes” around on patrol.

Elmar/el Marco interacts with all of the desktop characters: Blues think he’s a hero, Blacks think he’s dreamy, everyone else thinks he’s crazy. Elmar denies he is el Marco when confronted with the truth.

Elmar/el Marco is the child in all of us, who wraps a towel around his neck and runs thru the house pretending to fly (inevitably, until he’s told by his mother to go play outside before he breaks something!).

Frenchie
Frenchie is a standard #2 pencil with a yellow painted body. He has been sharpened and his eraser has been used so much that is has been filed down at an angle.

Frenchie is a political activist who stands on his soapbox (staple box) preaching to whomever will listen. He is neither conservative nor liberal and he preaches against both equally. He is a moderate centralist who fights against the far sides of politics and the extremes of dealing with these problems, specifically targeting el Marco as an unwarranted vigilante, who does more harm than good.

Frenchie doesn’t appear to have any friends. He is content merely to have an audience (usually pencils and occasional Blue).

Frenchie represents the voice of political moderation and societal understanding and reason, which seems to be missing in many cultures around the world.

The Highlighter Gang


Sergeant Major Floyd Clegg (Status - Active): The pink highlighter leader of the Highlighter Gang, Sgt. Clegg is a large, wide barreled pink highlighter, slightly shorter than Elmar. He is a drill sergeant, who believes that the lawless frontier that is "the desktop" requires martial law as a governance until a more formal government can be established. He feels that it is HIS responsibility to teach new writing instruments the rules of the desktop (his rules) when they arrive. 

Sgt. Clegg views el Marco as a lawless vigilante threat. This belief and the desire for an orderly government are the only two values that he shares with Frenchie, with whom he often finds himself at odds. While he recognizes that Elmar is el Marco, having once offered him a position in the Highlighter Gang (which he turned down), he either has no authority to stop him or is simply incapable of doing so.

Sgt. Clegg’s represents the blind minds of those who follow rules and laws without question.

Agent Orange (Status - Active): Classified.

Aqua-Marine (Status - Reserve): This large blue highlighter goes by the name "Aqua" and is nearly as tall as Elmar. He is a gentle giant, dumb as a post, who is generally used as the mindless muscle of "the Team". When called upon, Aqua will follow Clegg's orders to the letter.


Detective Green (Status - Semi-retired): Detective Green is a large, wide barreled green highlighter, manufactured by the Star Marker Company. He has a black star painted on this barrel. Using old fashioned police skills, Detective Green uses reasoning, experience and observation as the tools of his trade.

Old Yella (Status - Retired): Old Yella is a skinny barrel highlighter about the size of a Blue pen. He is the oldest inhabitant on the desktop and remembers how things "used-to-be" before all of the young whippersnappers arrived.

He is Sgt. Clegg’s great-uncle and “friends” with the stapler whom he calls Stanley. The staples that he met years ago are long gone; the new staples think he’s an old "kook". To their credit, they are probably correct in this assumption.

He doesn’t believe things will be better than the good-ole-days. He is slightly senile, yet recognizes that he is old and could be discarded at any time. Driven by the need to pass on his years of wisdom and experience, he often tries to offer advice to anyone that will listen. However, his recollections of days past are fading and his well intentioned tales are often lead astray, becoming rambling nonsense.

Old Yella represents the older generation, full of knowledge and wisdom, yet generally ignored or unappreciated.

Invisio
The Invisio character is clear plastic barreled pen has run out of ink. He believes by removing his cap that he can become invisible. Of course, this is impossible. The other desktop inhabitants believe that he is insane and his attempts to use this "power" are often simply ignored.

Mechanical Pencil
Mechanical Pencil is an off-screen character and perhaps the most book smart writing instrument.

His only known relationship is with the Blues, who seek his assistance in designing and building devices. He provides the Blues with very specific plans for building exactly what they ask for, even if it’s impractical. His plans are often missing critical elements that the Blues failed to provide as part of their requirements.

Mechanical Pencil represents the engineering world around us which, through "progress", often does not make our lives easier and sometimes complicates matters.

Miss Red

Miss Red is the only red ballpoint pen on the desktop. Unlike the Blues and the Blacks she does not have buckteeth. The Blues think she is the most beautiful pen on the desktop. This, of course, infuriates the Blacks, who are uncontrollably jealous of the attention that she receives.

Miss Red is either quietly confident or blissfully oblivious. She has been "seen" talking to Orange (crayon), but her voice has never heard by anyone else. The desktop bully, Push Top, seeks her affection, but she is appears to be completely uninterested in him.

Whenever she is out and about it is very distracting to the Blues, regardless of what they’re doing, often resulting in disastrous and catastrophic sequences of events.

Miss Red represents the mysterious, unattainable image of perceived female perfection that so many men desire to find, but never will.

The Ones who came before

“The Ones who came before” are standard #2 pencils who where, at one time or another, sharpened and thrown into the ceiling tiles, to remain as trapped observers of the desktop for all time. They have the limited amount of wisdom that could be attained as a result of dangling above an office desk for several years.

Having existed in the office longer than most other office supplies, “The Ones who came before” are considered to be wise. They regularly receive visits from pencils that journey across the desktop looking for sage wisdom. While the advice they dispense often sounds credible it is usually useless and underpinned with sarcasm.

“The Ones who came before” have little meaning in their lives and spend most of their time looking for ways to amuse themselves. With nothing better to do, they try to find opportunities to play jokes on anyone who might pay attention to them.

The role of “The Ones who came before” is to illustrate the inherent cruelty in man and similar to “The Oracle” to highlight the importance of choosing credible advisers.

The Oracle

The Oracle is a black desk stapler who in and of itself has no “life” on the desktop. With a combined consciousness, made up of the sum of the staples which reside within its protective casing, The Oracle serves as a false beacon of truth for the pencils who journey to ask it questions.

The Oracle’s biggest flaw is readily apparent in its schizophrenic behavior which has gone unnoticed by the pencils. The various personalities of the staples, who inhabit it, are constantly in conflict with one another; sometimes oblivious to, sometimes apathetic to, and sometimes outright aggressive to one another and their visitors.

Many of the staples, presumably the ones closer to the front of The Oracle, are aware that they are collectively being mistaken for a desktop "Magic 8 ball" and happily play into the role, while trying to keep the newer staples at the rear from blowing their collective cover.

Some disagreements over what advice to give to the pencils will bring The Oracle to a complete impasse, while others reach such volumes that they threaten to reveal The Oracle’s secret. The staples within the stapler each have unique personalities which proves to be a great hindrance to them. They are rarely able to come to a consensus on any given thought. There are simply “too many cooks in the kitchen”. Most questions that are posed to The Oracle by the pencils will inevitably be handed off to “the Ones who came before”.

The role of The Oracle is to illustrate the controversies surrounding “blind faith” and highlight the importance of wisely choosing qualified spiritual advisers.

Orange (crayon)

Orange, being a misplaced crayon, is out of place on the desktop and struggles with his desire to be accepted and his natural instinct to return to the simple and comfortable place where he once was. He overcompensates for his insecurity by lashing out at those around him.

Orange has difficulty making friends due to his instincts to “show up” the other characters. He often sees things with a clarity that eludes the other desktop characters and can’t help pointing out their mistakes; This makes him very unpopular, especially with many of the pencils.

He does socialize regularly with Chewey and Ralph, who are also desktop misfits.

The role of Orange as a character is to be the voice of reason while at the same time showing the importance of humility over self-importance. Moreover, his relationship with Chewey and Ralph, illustrates the value of friendship and the difficulty experiences in finding a place in society after childhood.

The Pencils

The Pencils that inhabit the desktop community are standard, #2 pencils with yellow painted bodies. Most pencils look alike, but may vary in appearance based on characteristics such as sharpness (unsharpened, sharp or dull), height (due to sharpening or breaking), eraser usage (flat eraser, round eraser, angled eraser), or other physical markings such as chew marks, etc.

Pencils are very spiritual, spending most of their time seeking out the reasons behind existence and investigating their own mortality. Pencils will often make a pilgrimage to ask spiritual questions to and seek moral guidance from "The Oracle” and “the Ones who came before”.

Pencils normally interact with other Pencils or with Blues. The role of a Pencil is to represent mankind’s quest to understand the meaning of life. They are often involved in stories that investigate faith, god, mortality, or purpose. Sometimes Pencils can serve to investigate some social issues that Pens are not capable of understanding.

Phyllis (Phyl)

Phyl is a refillable pencil. She has a plastic blue barrel, metal tip, metal pocket clip and a small eraser. Because she is refillable she has the potential to be the one of the longest living writing instruments. While this infuriates Chewey, nobody else seems to be bothered by the fact that she single handedly could render the need for all other pencils obsolete. Chewey, stricken by love's undeniable influence, cannot bring himself to "convince" her to leave.

Phyl is friends with the Pencils, Blacks and Blues (even though the Blues think she’s a boy because of her name). She is generally liked by and gets along with everybody else. She knows Chewey likes her and toys with his emotions while she waits for him to admit it to her and himself.

Phyl represents the wholesome, confident (Tom-Boy) girl next door, who is completely comfortable with her sexuality.

Pinky

Pinky is a slightly used, sometimes amorphous, pink eraser who uses cunning to elude Sir Reginald in and ever-occurring game of cat and mouse. Pinky is an animal, which would prefer to be left alone and lay around all day sleeping. Without the ability to speak or otherwise communicate with the other desktop characters, its' only concern in life is to find a place to nap and avoid being captured by Sir Reginald.

Push Top
Push Top is a push button pen with beady little eyes. His pocket clip can be utilized as a muscular arm, good for pounding/pushing around the small Blues. Push Top is a bully, who’s only goals are to beat-up the Blues and to make Miss Red his girlfriend by impressing her with his physical strength. He is feared by the Blues, ignored by Miss Red, and is generally friendless and lonely, releasing his frustration the only way that he knows, violence and intimidation.

Push Top represents the insecure bullies who turn to physical violence as their only outlet.

Rainbow
Rainbow is the only openly homosexual inhabitant of the desktop. The girls love to be around him. The boys think he has great taste in music. Some know and understand his sexual orientation; others are confused by it. Some may even be in denial. But, either way, Rainbow pen is there to stay.

Rainbow's purpose on the desktop is to not only represent the homosexual population, but to express the ignorance and prejudice which the gay community must often tolerate. 


Ralph

Ralph is a green eraser-less miniature golf pencil. He has little black eyes and the words “Ralph’s Pitch & Putt” written on his barrel in white letters. He is about the size of a crayon and the only pencil that appears pencil tip up.

Ralph is "The Pen Fairy". How he became "The Pen Fairy" is a bit of a mystery, a topic he will not discuss. He is bound to grant one wish to every pen he encounters, a job he does with great reluctance. Ralph must speak the Pen Fairy Poem (PFP) prior to granting a wish to a pen. Like a genie, he will twist the meaning of words in the wishes he hears for no purpose other than his own enjoyment. His only motivation is to do as little as possible. He socializes with Orange, Chewey and the other pencils, while trying to avoid pens (especially Blues) at all costs.

Ralph represents the lazy man who is filled with great potential, doing the bear minimum to get by.

Sir Reginald

Sir Reginald is a "handlebar" mustached, monocle wearing permanent black marker with a black cap and gray/white body. This snooty English big game hunter is obsessed with capturing his long-time nemesis, the elusive Pink Eraser. Regardless of how simple or complex his plans Reginald always seems to be bested by his prey.

Reginald takes no time to reflect on himself and his blind obsession. Loud and boisterous, he consistently recruits pencils to assist him in his hunt, convincing them that by capturing the Pink Eraser, they can prevent their work, their very purpose, from being erased. The single-minded Reginald will befriend anyone that might bring about the realization of his dream.

The role of Reginald as a character is to show the futility of man’s obsessive behavior towards unattainable desires.

Sharpener Dog
Sharpener Dog is a small plastic pencil sharpener. Reginald has used him in his quest to capture the Pink Eraser. He is an animal who merely follows his instinct to sharpen pencils.


About Us
In January 2004 Erik approached Curtis with an idea. An idea that would rapidly become a creative outlet, hobby, and chore that would consume innumerable hours and energy, resulting in far more work and laughs than either expected or intended... Create a world where inanimate desktop characters come to life.

The physical limitations and environment are true to form, while the desktop's inhabitants struggle with the questions which have plagued us all since the dawn of time..."Why are we here? Is there a god? Why do some of us get shorter as we get older?"