Zig Zag is a character creation of Canadian furry artist Malcolm Earle, aka Max Black Rabbit. She is an anthropomorphic skunk-tiger hybrid who is easily recognized by the markings on her face, body, and the distinctive chevron-shaped black stripes on her tail. Zig Zag began as one of Max Black Rabbit’s mature-themed illustrations and has since taken a life of her own. At the very least, she has been in existence since January of 1997.
Zig Zag is considered to be one of the most famous and recognized characters in the furry fandom. She has been drawn by many artists besides Max Black Rabbit, making numerous cameos and appearances over the years. She appears in Sabrina Online and Sabrina Online: The Story as Sabrina's boss at Double Z Studios.
The oldest child of her family, Zig Zag has two younger siblings, a brother and sister, neither of whom share her striking coloration which she inherited from her maternal Siberian tiger grandfather. Zig Zag's childhood was an unhappy one; her father was abusive and her mother neglecting. With dysfunctional parents, she had to assume responsibility and care of her two siblings. Finally as Zig Zag grew older and started 'filling out', her father began delivering a different kind of abuse. This was the last straw that ultimately drove her from their poverty-stricken home.
After running away, she attempted to pursue an acting career. She worked hard but her lack of credentials, experience and her own 'exotic' looks meant her career was poor and encumbered. It even reached a point where returning home was a thought Zig Zag considered.
But her much awaited big break did come, in the world of adult entertainment industry. Despite initial hesitations, she made her choice. From that point forward, she worked her way up. Her career as adult movie actress was on the rise, coupled with her business acumen culminated in the opening of her very own Double Z Studio. At this point she is described by her creator to be in her mid-twenties and still stars in many of her own productions.
Then in a manner perhaps cliché, she returned home, gathered her siblings and brought them to her grandparents. She successfully sued her parents for custody, citing parental neglect and abuse. With her siblings safe, this victory was icing on cake as far as this skunk was concerned. With that done, she returned to her job; enjoying her hard won success and wealth, her place as a phenomenon in the adult underground, gaining both fans and public scrutiny, but most of all, just being happy being herself.
One of the most well-known Zig Zag fanfiction, James Bruner's Zig Zag the Story continues her story. Here, she is several years older, having recently turned 30 before the start of the narrative. This story takes a closer look at her life story, personality and how she tries to find happiness. Here Zig Zag meets and develops a romantic relationship with James Sheppard, a computer consultant and owner of his own company. In many works of fanfiction, James Sheppard (a German Shepherd/Coyote hybrid) is taken to be Zig Zag's special someone.
In her official biography, "Zig Zag" is a purely fictional nickname given to her by childhood friends. Her real name is never established by Max. Nevertheless, "Zumbrowski" is the last name conventionally used by most fanfiction authors due to its employment in Sabrina Online. Various first names have been ascribed to Zig Zag by fanfiction authors. In Zig Zag: The Story, she confessed privately to James that her real first name is "Tonya"; other first names assigned to her include "Zelda".
Zig Zag - in all her incarnations by fanfiction authors - is characterized by being very generous and liberal with her show of affection, and protective of those close to her, whether they be employees or loved ones. She is the type of boss that makes no small effort at keeping her studio personnel happy. Zig Zag is also bisexual, having serious heartfelt loving crushy feelings to all around her (of both genders) - especially Sabrina!
Sabrina Online depicts Zig Zag with a soft spot for kids. She volunteered a babysitting deed at a child-proofed day at Double Z Studios, as a pre-embarrassed, shorthanded Sabrina was needed there. Zig Zag was quite pleased to meet and kindly bond with Tabitha and Timmy... only to be Tabitha's movie star influence!
Adult-oriented, pornographic (or yiffy) fan artwork featuring furry characters has been popular in furry fandom since the beginnings of this subculture. Zig Zag first became known as the star of a series of "yiffy" drawings by Max Blackrabbit, whose artistic style placed him into the upper tier of popular amateur furry artists. Zig Zag's persona won her a number of fans, due to the character's apparent zeal and enjoyment of her status as an adult film star. Unlike many female pornography characters (both real and fictional), Zig Zag was seen as bold, assertive and dominant; an individual that’s in charge of any situation she was in.
Her rise as a celebrity is most likely due to Eric W. Schwartz and his decision to include her in his Sabrina Online comic. The popularity of Schwartz's web comic undoubtedly helped expose Zig Zag to a wider general audience. Zig Zag has captured the imagination of Sabrina Online fans so much that she has become a minor recurring character in stories written about Sabrina. Furthermore she has collected fans all of her own. Often her stories are based in the "Sabrina-verse", with Zig Zag being the main character rather then Sabrina. The most well-known Zig Zag fanfiction would be Zig Zag the Story by James Bruner which features discreet cameos by various characters created by others, which in turn has had some of its story elements incorporated to fanfiction of others.
Taken together, Zig Zag has become part of a loosely shared expanded universe, centering somewhat around Eric W. Schwartz's Sabrina. It is a universe displaying the rather rare example of people writing fanfiction (Identity Crisis) of a fanfiction (Zig Zag: The Story) of a fanfiction (Sabrina Online) of a fandom derived character.
As befitting an icon in the furry fandom, Zig Zag has made numerous cameos. Examples of which include the Tank Vixens card game (in a booster pack), Yiff: The Card Game, Furry Fight Farm, and several online comics:
- 21st Century Fox
- Apollo 9
- Badly Drawn Kitties
- Dela the Hooda
- Fifine (as ZZaigg)
- Misty the Mouse
- Sabrina Online
She has also appeared in written works of fiction:
- Identity Crisis
- Sabrina Online: The Story
- Zig Zag the Story
- The Super Collie adventure: On the Lamb