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WHO IN THE COSMOS ARE LEN AND HUGH?

Len and Hugh conceived ZOOFKY and the planet ZOOFNIK in 1959. You might well ask why it took so long for ZOOFKY and his world to make an entrance. Well, back then both men were newly married, starting their families, and working hard to make a living. Life was so demanding that even though they produced scores of sample strips, they found little time to keep it going so they abandoned the project in its infancy. This was a pity because neither Peanuts nor Pogo had arrived yet, and theirs could have been the first social satire comic strip.

Len and Hugh, a couple of Worcester, Massachusetts boys, had been high school buddies until their lives were temporarily derailed by serving in World War II. Upon returning home they went their separate ways to college and art school. Since the time they got together in 1959 and created ZOOFKY then dropped it, they had no further contact. Fifty years went by. Each of them pursued their separate careers, Len as a commercial artist and Hugh a business executive, later an author.

One day in November 2009, out of the blue, Hugh found in the mailbox a folder containing thirty-three ZOOFKY strips with this note from Len: "I thought you might be interested in seeing our 'efforts' again Doesn't seem like fifty years since we co-created ZOOFKY. Your South High classmate of '43." Hugh was incredulous. Then followed an hour long phone conversation, each bringing the other up to date on their lives. They simply celebrated their reunion. As if in sync the two octogenarian WWII vets asked the crucial question: should they pick up where they had left off fifty years earlier. The answer was unanimously YES!.

Len showed the old strips to his daughter and sons who found them delightful. Hugh showed them to friends and one of his daughters who reacted similarly. But most amazing, even though the strips dated back to the late 1950s when Eisenhower was president, the issues in the strip are as current today as they were then. Since both men are in good health - their minds are still alert except for forgetting names - they are expecting to be productive for at least another decade. In fact, that's a promise. Meanwhile, new strips are in the making from the perspective of these youthful senior creators who wish to share what they have observed from a long stretch of living.


©2010 Hugh Aaron and Len Gallant