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zed strips


Duane discovered his destiny the first time he picked up a pencil and scribbled his first cartoon! Ever since that day he began a lifelong pursuit to bring happiness to the world. While in elementary school Duane corresponded with the masters of cartooning, and from those years as an envelope apprentice Duane learned not only the craft of cartooning, but the four words required for success ( thank you Bud Blake)!

Duane joined the ranks of professional cartooning at the age of thirteen, selling cartoons to several magazines and publications. Applying the four words to success mentality, Duane walked into his hometown newspaper at the age of fifteen with the comic strip "ZED". The feature began in the fall of 1995 and soon Duane was offered a syndication contract from a small newspaper syndicate. By signing on the dotted line Duane became the youngest syndicated cartoonist in the country! Before launching the comic strip, the syndicate closed it's doors. However with a strong local readerships Duane began to offer his creation to other publications.

It was during this exciting time that Duane 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, Duane was also touring in a one man theatrical production and exciting football fans as the school mascot, Zippy the Kangaroo!

Upon graduation Duane married his college sweetheart 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 a dozen weekly newspapers and has been collected into four book publications. Duane has been nominated for the Ignatz Award and enjoys speaking to children with his program, "Draw Your Destiny". Duane and his wife Coral are proud parents of two boys, Zackie and Clayton.


Q: What is “ZED”? 

A: 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 faitfull morning, leading him into the lives and hearts of his adopted family.


Q: How did you get started drawing cartoons?


A: I began to draw cartoons at a very early age. When I found out that there were people who make their living drawing cartoons all day I knew that was how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.


Q: How long have you been drawing ZED?


A: ZED began in the pages of my community’s weekly newspaper in the fall of 1995, when I was fifteen. We have been thru a great deal and are now celebrating our fifteenth anniversary.


Q: How many papers publish ZED?


A: ZED appears in a dozen weekly newspapers throughout Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Idaho. Just a tad under my goal of 2,000!


Q: Who are your artistic influences?


A: I must say that I have respect for each and every cartoonist that has come before me. My personal favorites include Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts), Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey), Jim Davis (Garfield), Bil Keane (Family Circus), Tom Wilson (Ziggy), and Brian Crane (Pickles).


Q: Have you always wanted to be a cartoonist?


A: YES! I have never wanted to be anything else! To be able to escape into my studio and create a comic strip that will make someone’s day a little brighter is the coolest job in the world!


Q: How can I get you to come and speak at my school?


A: Simply have your principal/teacher email me at: duaneabel@corkeycomics.com. It is that easy!


Q: What does the future hold for ZED?


A: Many more years of laughs and hugs! ZED will make it to the big screen, small screen, Broadway, and a fast food toy!


Corkey Comics

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All material is ©1995-2018 Duane M. Abel. All rights reserved.