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Cartoonist + Inspiration = “Toonspiration” at GDES

Cartoonist Duane Abel is pictured with GDES kindergarten students (from left) Braelyn McMillan, Morgan Cooper, Kason Getz and Mason Pegg.

Duane M. Abel, the creator of the comic strip ZED, visited Glen Dale Elementary School Thursday afternoon. The cartoonist presented his “Draw Your Destiny” program that promotes the importance of goal setting, the power of literacy and the importance of education.

During an assembly for the entire student body, Abel delivered an inspiring and motivating message with the help of a Sharpie and an easel with a flip-chart.

Abel believes there are four words required for success: work, study, learn and try. Those are words Bud Blake, the cartoonist who created the comic strip “Tiger,” wrote in a letter to Abel when he was in the 4th grade. He has lived by that motto ever since and credits Blake’s encouragement to his successful career. He hopes the students will remember those same words when working toward a goal in their life.

Abel began drawing ZED for his hometown newspaper when he was 15. He still draws ZED at his home from his basement studio in Ohio.