Universal Uclick is an American content syndicate which provides syndication in print, online and on mobile devices for a number of lifestyle and opinion columns, comic strips and cartoons and various other content. Some of its best-known products include Dear Abby, Doonesbury, Ziggy, Garfield, Ann Coulter, Richard Roeper and News of the Weird. A subsidiary of Andrews McMeel Universal, it is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
Universal Uclick was formed in July 2009 following the merger of Universal Press Syndicate with the digital entertainment company Uclick. In 2011, it acquired United Feature Syndicate to become the largest American press syndicate.
Universal Press Syndicate was founded in 1970 by Jim Andrews and John McMeel. The company began syndicating Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury comic strip in October 1970. Trudeau won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning in 1975 for his work on Doonesbury, and the strip is now syndicated in more than 1,400 newspapers worldwide. Over the following decades, the syndicate added other well-known comic strips including Ziggy, Cathy, For Better or For Worse, Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side, Foxtrot, Baldo, The Boondocks, In the Bleachers, Non Sequitur, Stone Soup, Real Life Adventures, Cornered, Lio, Cul De Sac, Thatababy, Wumo, editorial cartoonists and columnists.
As a result of this, Universal Uclick has become one of the largest print syndicators in the United States, as United Media was the company's main competitor in the industry (it is not quite a monopoly, since King Features Syndicate and Creators Syndicate still have extensive operations).
Comic strips and panels
Well-known comics currently and formerly syndicated by Universal Uclick include For Better or For Worse, FoxTrot, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, The Boondocks, Doonesbury, Cathy, Pooch Cafe, Baldo, What the Duck, Ink Pen, Liō, Cul de Sac, Ziggy, Tom the Dancing Bug, The Far Side and Peanuts (since February 27, 2011) in newspapers, calendars and books.
Universal Uclick also owns and operates GoComics.com, a comics aggregate website featuring comic strips currently syndicated in print, online and on mobile devices by Universal Uclick, as well as discontinued titles such as Calvin and Hobbes, The Boondocks and Bloom County, webcomics such as Pibgorn and Kliban, plus a selection of syndicated comic strips from Creators Syndicate and Tribune Media Services.
Universal Uclick syndicates the editorial cartoonists Don Asmussen, Tony Auth, Stuart Carlson, Lalo Alcaraz, Glenn McCoy, Pat Oliphant, Ted Rall, Ben Sargent, Tom Toles, Matt Davies, Matt Bors, Matt Wuerker, Ruben Bolling and Kerry Waghorn.
Puzzles and games
Universal Uclick distributes daily puzzles and games in newspapers and other print media. The company also distributes puzzles and casual games online through consumer and news web portals as well as through its own puzzle and game portals, PuzzleSociety.com and UclickGames.com. Universal Uclick products include crossword puzzles and games edited by Timothy Parker and Pat Sajak, number placement puzzles like Sudoku and Kakuro, jigsaw puzzles and other casual games. Universal Uclick distributes the daily Jumble online (but not in print, where Tribune Media Services distributes the puzzles).
Syndicated columns and text features
Universal Uclick syndicated columns and text features are distributed in newspapers and other print media worldwide and online through consumer and news web portals, as well as through the Universal Uclick syndicated column and text feature consumer site, uExpress.com. Popular Universal Uclick columns and text features include the advice columns Dear Abby and Miss Manners, conservative columnist Ann Coulter, film critic Roger Ebert, and News of the Weird.
Comic books and manga
In 2006, Universal Uclick launched the United States’ first comic book reader application for mobile phones. The introductory line of titles included Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Five Fists of Science, Godland, PvP and Too Much Coffee Man. Universal Uclick has also published mobile versions and iPhone applications featuring comic book titles from Devil's Due Publishing, Image Comics, IDW Publishing and Jeff Smith’s Bone series.
- "Universal Press Syndicate and Uclick Merge". Gardner, Alan. The Daily Cartoonist, July 8, 2009.
- Universal Press Syndicate
- Universal Uclick to Provide Syndicate Services for United Media, PR Newswire, February 24, 2011.
- United Media Outsources Content to Universal Uclick, Editor & Publisher, April 29, 2011.
- "Uclick Introduces Comics Gadget for iGoogle", Editor & Publisher, October 17, 2008.
- Blass, Evan. "uclick to deliver GoComics Books service to cellphones", engadget mobile, February 28, 2006.
- Soponis, Trevor. "U.S. Publishers Work to Offer Comics on Phones", Publishers Weekly, October 31, 2006.
- Twiddy, David. "Comic books turn up on mobile phones", USA Today, September 6, 2007.
- Universal Uclick official site
- Andrews McMeel Universal corporate site