Time for some humor: Duane Abel and the comic strip ZED join the pages of the Free Press

DUANE ABELMeet Duane Abel, creator of the comic strip ZED.

After being born in a small Ohio town and growing up on a steady diet of Saturday morning cartoons, the Sunday Funnies and cereal, Abel discovered his destiny the first time he picked up a pencil and scribbled his first cartoon. He joined the ranks of profes­sional cartooning at the age of 13, selling cartoons to several small magazines and re­gional publications.

He walked into his hometown newspaper at the age of 15 with the comic strip ZED. The feature began in the fall of 1995 and soon Abel was offered a syndication con­tract from a Future Features Syndicate. By signing on the dotted line Abel became the youngest syndicated cartoonist in the coun­try…but before launching the comic strip, the syndicate closed its doors. However, with a strong local readership, Abel began to offer his creation to other publications. It was during this time that he was offered a full tuition scholarship to the University of Akron, to major in theatre arts. While preparing ZED for his first book collection with Plan Nine Publish­ing, Abel signed another contract with American International Syndicate, but the owner suffered a heart attack before pro­moting ZED to newspa­pers. Abel was too busy to notice as he was tour­ing in a one-man theatri­cal production and excit­ing football fans as the school mascot, Zippy the Kangaroo.

Upon graduation (and putting out of business a book publisher and two news­paper syndicates) Abel married his college sweetheart, Coral, and soon welcomed his first child into the world. He then took control of his creative destiny and formed Corkey Comics, ensuring that ZED would always have a home in book collections and newspapers. ZED currently appears in several week­ly newspapers and has been collected into Corkey Comics book publications.

Abel is a member of The National Car­toonists Society and has been nominated for the Ignatz Award.

In the summer of 2014 he wrote, directed and starred in the comedic stage play JEL­LY JARS.

Abel travels to more than 100 schools every year presenting his student assembly “Draw Your Destiny” and is a busy keynote speaker, sharing the wisdom of the Sunday Funnies and how they can be used for per­sonal and professional development.

Abel and Coral are the proud parents of two boys, Zackie and Clayton, and live in Ohio.

Abel’s comic strip ZED has been enjoyed by readers for more than two decades.

ZED is a laundry dweller that began his life within the secret underground tunnels that connect to all washers and dryers. He had the fortunate experience to make a wrong turn one fateful morning, leading him into the lives and hearts of his adopted family.

From April 2021.