Universal Press Syndicate
Universal Press Syndicate, a subsidiary of Andrews McMeel Universal, was an independent press syndicate. It distributed lifestyle and opinion columns, comic strips and other content. Popular columns include Dear Abby, Ann Coulter, Roger Ebert and News of the Weird. Founded in 1970, it was merged in July 2009 with Uclick (which published its comics on GoComics) to form Universal Uclick.
Universal Press Syndicate was founded by John McMeel and Jim Andrews in 1970, two graduates of Notre Dame. Their early syndication success came as a result of Andrews reading the Yale Daily News. While clipping a column by a priest, he was distracted by Garry Trudeau's Bull Tales comic strip on the facing page. When Trudeau's Doonesbury debuted as a daily strip in two dozen newspapers on October 26, 1970, it was the first strip from Universal Press Syndicate, and a Sunday strip was launched March 21, 1971. Circulation of Doonesbury eventually expanded to more than 1,400 newspapers internationally. At first, ownership of the strips was in the hands of both the artist and the syndicate, but beginning in 1990, Universal Press gave them full rights to their respective works. The company also instituted a policy that says any cartoonist who has been with them for five years or more receives four weeks a year of vacation.
Along with editorial cartoonists Ben Sargent, Pat Oliphant, Tom Toles, Glenn McCoy, Ted Rall, Matt Davies and Don "Bad Reporter" Asmussen, UPS syndicates crossword puzzles and games edited by Timothy Parker.
Universal's international syndication arm, Atlantic Syndication, was founded in 1933 by Evening Post Publishing Company as Editors Press Service. In 2004, Universal acquired Editors Press Service from Evening Post Publishing Company and renamed it Atlantic Syndication.
Some syndicated works
Past and present UPS strips include:
- The Academia Waltz
- The Boondocks
- Calvin and Hobbes
- Cul de Sac
- The Far Side
- For Better or For Worse
- Ink Pen
- Non Sequitur
- Pooch Cafe
- Tom the Dancing Bug.
- What the Duck
Columns and columnists
Past and present UPS columns and columnists include:
- Dear Abby
- Ann Coulter
- Roger Ebert
- The Needleworks by Nancy Thomas
- News of the Weird
- Ted Rall
- The Vid Kid by Rawson Stovall
- Focus on the Family
- The Last Word in Astrology
- Tell Me a Story
- Gardner, Alan. "Universal Press Syndicate and Uclick Merge". The Daily Cartoonist, July 8, 2009.
- "Doonesbury: Drawing and Quartering for Fun and Profit". Time, February 9, 1976.
- The Lee Salem Interview, Hogan's Alley #7
- Gardner, Alan. "Atlantic Syndication Combines with Universal Uclick". The Daily Cartoonist. April 7, 2010.