Thursday, July 09, 2009

Universal Press merges with Uclick

Big news in the world of comic strips (and syndicated content): traditional media's Universal Press Syndicate and new media's Uclick have been combined to form a single syndication and licensing arm of parent company Andrews McMeel Universal. "This historic move brings together two industry leading companies to create a dynamic new organization," says company founder, chairman, and president John McMeel, "capable of supporting today's renowned creative talents and the superstars of tomorrow, propelling them to new levels of popularity and success, as well as looking to the future by creating new distribution channels and outlets for this beloved art form."

Since 1970, Universal Press Syndicate has discovered and brought to global markets many of the most popular humor, games, and editorial features in newspapers -- including Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Doonesbury, Garfield, For Better or For Worse, Cathy, and Ziggy. UPS also handles James Bond, Judge Dredd, Modesty Blaise, and Manga: TokyoPop Presents - Undertown, plus advice features Dear Abby, Ask Dr. Weil, Focus on the Family and The Motley Fool, and columnists Roger Ebert and Ann Coulter.

Uclick, created in the late 1990s, distributes comics, text features, and games on desktops, the Web, and mobile phones. Its portal (lauded by the Daily Cartoonist) features the largest collection of comics anywhere on the Web, with more than 200 traditional comic strip and cartoon features from multiple syndicates and self-syndicated artists. The extended GoComics family includes Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, Annie, Liberty Meadows, Wizard of Id, and newcomer The Cardinal.

Following the reorganization, Andrews McMeel Universal now has two major branches: Universal Uclick and Andrews McMeel Publishing, a leading publisher of humor, gift, general trade, cookbooks, and calendars (including the two most expensive New York Times Best-sellers on record, The Complete Far Side and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes). The combined muscle of the two divisions gives Andrews McMeel Universal a unique position to offer access to multi-channel distribution for authors and artists.

Press release: Universal Uclick: Driving Content Services and Syndication in the 21st Century
Kansas City Business Journal: Andrews McMeel combines Universal Press, Uclick; Uclick CEO Edwards resigns
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