Looking as if the dryer has just fluffed him up, the world’s only laundry dweller now has a fourth comic book out. For those who don’t know Zed, he can most often be found in the laundry room hovering around loads of wash, or on top of a mailbox entertaining an audience. The clothes may be dirty and the audience might consist of only a couch, but Zed will always find ways to amuse himself.
In Zed: Loads of Love, there are twenty-two pages of comics, each page containing two black-and-white comic strips. Duane M. Abel’s comics are three to four panels in length and easy to read. His illustrations are uncluttered, and the text is simple to follow. His characters have funny lines, witty observations and sweet little jokes. The originality of Abel’s concepts keeps the writing surprising and new.
Although Zed spends an unusual amount of time around the mailbox and laundry room, he is loved by all the family. In the strips, he amuses mom, entertains young brothers Brian and Clyde, safeguards the laundry from dad, and is good company for the neighbors. Being around Zed comes with benefits, too. Zed’s carefree ways tend to rub off on the family in a variety of ways. Before Zed came along, Brian probably didn’t know there was a fun side to visiting a laundromat. Dad wasn’t encouraged to nap so much, the house wasn’t musical, and the neighbours probably never felt so important.
In this comic book, Abel shows readers the many sides of Zed. He wonders like a child might when he asks Brian, “Do I have to brush my teeth again if your mom calls me a ‘sweetie pie’ before bed?” Zed behaves like a gentleman when Mom has mud to cross, and he entertains with so much gusto that Clyde develops thoughts of franchising Zed and making Zed collectibles. Nothing seems to get Zed down, either. A snapped comic-strip frame, a flat tire, an undunkable cookie, or a rained-out concert are all handled with positive thoughts or innovative actions. The Unbalanced Laundry Rodeo is Zed’s idea for a fun way to use an unbalanced washing machine, and hanging white socks on the clothesline to tan is his solution for a dark sock shortage.
Reading Zed comics will result in steady chuckles and smiles from readers of all ages. Friendly to all and upbeat in nature, Zed is quality amusement that will endure. It’s been a treat for me to read Duane M. Abel’s work. To win a copy, be the sixth reader to email the name of your favourite comic strip to [email protected]