Comic Strip / Comics

What Bill Amend Comic Strip Shares Its Name With One of the NATO Radio Alphabet Codes?

Bill Amend is a well-known American cartoonist, famous for his comic strip named “FoxTrot”. However, there’s another comic strip that shares its name with one of the NATO radio alphabet codes – ‘Zed’, which was also created by Bill Amend. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history and significance of this unique comic strip.

The Origin of ‘Zed’

The ‘Zed’ comic strip was initially created in 1997 as a part of Bill Amend’s weekly comic series – “FoxTrot”. The story revolves around a group of friends who run a spy agency called ‘Zed’ and undertake various missions. The name ‘Zed’ derives from the NATO radio alphabet code for the letter “Z”, which is pronounced as “zed” in most English-speaking countries, except for the United States.

The Popularity of ‘Zed’

The ‘Zed’ comic strip quickly gained popularity among readers due to its unique storyline and engaging characters. It became so popular that in 2002, Bill Amend decided to create a separate comic book series solely dedicated to it. The first issue of ‘Zed’ was released in October 2002 by Antarctic Press.

The Characters

One of the reasons why readers loved ‘Zed’ was because of its dynamic characters. The main protagonists are three young adults – Zane, Ed and D.J., who run the spy agency. Zane is the leader of the group and is known for his quick thinking and strategic planning skills.

Ed is an expert hacker who can hack into any system with ease. D. is an inventor and gadget specialist who creates various gadgets for their missions.

The Missions

The missions undertaken by the Zed team are often absurd but hilarious at the same time. For instance, in one of the comic strips, the team is sent on a mission to retrieve a stolen rubber duck from a swimming pool. In another, they’re tasked with retrieving a monkey that has escaped from a zoo.

The Legacy of ‘Zed’

Although ‘Zed’ comic book series ended in 2005, it left an indelible mark on its readers. The unique storyline and engaging characters made it stand out from other comic strips of its time. Even today, there are many fans who still reminisce about the good old days of reading ‘Zed’.

The Importance of Comic Strips

Comic strips have been an essential part of popular culture for over a century. They provide readers with a brief escape from their busy lives and offer them an opportunity to indulge in some light-hearted humor. Comic strips like ‘Zed’ have played a crucial role in shaping the cultural landscape and have left an indelible mark on our society.

The Enduring Popularity of Bill Amend

Bill Amend’s contribution to the world of comic strips cannot be overstated. His unique style and engaging storytelling have earned him numerous accolades over the years, including several Reuben Awards. Even today, his comic strip – “FoxTrot” continues to entertain readers with its witty humor and charming characters.


In conclusion, ‘Zed’ is not just any ordinary comic strip – it’s a testament to Bill Amend’s creativity and wit. The name ‘Zed’ may have been inspired by the NATO radio alphabet code for the letter “Z”, but it’s the engaging storyline and dynamic characters that made it so popular among readers. Although it may no longer be in publication, its legacy lives on among fans who still reminisce about the good old days of reading this unique and entertaining comic strip.