Joe Zabel

For Ohio native Joe Zabel, art and storytelling have always been intertwined. Inspired at an early age by the art of Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, Joe studied cartooning and went on to do comix illustrations for American Splendor, a self-published mystery comic The Trespassers, and graphic novels for the webcomics site Modern Tales. More recently, Joe has focused on bite-sized flash fiction, jumbo-sized stretched canvases, and digital illustrations for Story Shack. See Joe’s fiction on Wattpad.

Stories illustrated by Joe Zabel

The Call Was for a Foot

Written by Paul Weidknecht

Goosedown flakes fell clear and defined against the backdrop of the dark evergreens across the valley, and Clad stood leaning forward, his forearms atop the deck’s rail, the flask dangling from a hand. The call was for a foot, ending sometime after midnight: Santa was going to have a rough go of it. He tipped …


Attie and the Owl

Written by Susannah Jordan

Attie guided the car past horses and tobacco fields. An old house, its former contents piled on the porch, watched traffic through blank windows. A statue faced the door. There was no driveway. A ditch out front discouraged parking. Attie turned to see her father at the table, locking eyes with identical gray ones. “Your mother …


The Game

Written by Carla Dow

I line up the shadow of the enemy in the target crosshair. My heart is pounding so fast I fear it could flip right out of my chest, like a fish out of water flailing with its final gasping breaths. “Permission to engage,” I request. My voice grates against the static in my headphones. My thumb …


Lunch is on me

Written by Kristina England

Brady stretched. He had spent a long night alone surveying a nearby warehouse. Stanley Stanley shouted from his office. “Brady!” “Aw… Man.” Brady jumped up from his desk and made his way over to the boss’s office. “Yes, sir?” “I hear your partner is out sick today.” “Yup. He got that nasty stomach bug going around.” “Good. Well, not good. Poor fella. …


McGillicuddy’s Wake

Written by Donal Mahoney

Two new crutches and two double shots of Bushmills Irish Whiskey enabled Joe Faherty to move from the back seat of Moira Murphy’s 1976 Buick into Eagan’s Funeral Home for Tim McGillicuddy’s wake. At 87, Joe was in bad shape, only a tad better than McGillicuddy who looked splendid in a rococo casket. The way the …