While I was drawing my first ever camera ready art for UK í81 in 1980, I excitedly carried on with thumbnails for the next underground issue. These "thumbnails" were very detailed pencils (crosshatching and all), fully lettered, in 8.5 X 11 sketchbooks. The closest approximation of what these thumbnails looked like is the intentionally slapdash jam I did with Steve Willis (Ultra Morty, published in UK #12, example below) but they were even tighter and better rendered than that. More like the Father and Son goofy drawing surviving from 1983 to the right of it as far as an example of detail.


I was inexperienced and didnít realize how much effort I was wasting on detailed thumbnails like this. I would later learn to just do gesture drawings, two pages to a sheet, while typing the script. I did all of Habitrails, Father and Son, and Colonia that way (example below).



Anyhow, the entire underground #2 was drawn in that detailed form in 1980. I even started to prepare camera ready art for it in 1981. I completed 12 pages of that before stopping due to frustration over UK 81 not setting the world on fire. Sadly, in 1997, I threw away all four sketchbooks full of these thumbnails, scripts, notes, master plans, etc. from 1979-1984 (the period between UK í81 and the first 1984 UK&OT zine), as well as the camera ready art. One of my greater regrets in life. If I still had them, I could present the Underground UK #2 as conceived but never published. I can still do this from memory, to both redeem my chucking it all out and to amuse the few souls who may find it of interest. Here goes:

THE COVER

I did some engraved red and blue signed and numbered prints in 1980 entitled Ultra Klutz #2, as I knew it was the image I wanted to use on the cover. It is supposed to represent Sam leaving Klutzoid to return to Earth. This little image was reproduced in UK #31, otherwise they are all sold and I have no copies. If anyone out there happens to have one of these color prints and would like to send me a scan it would be cool to post it here.



INSIDE FRONT COVER

Pilot vs. Crowquill was the name of an incomplete page I did that explained how the traditional crowquill pen was superior to the Pilot razor point felt pen I used on UK í81, and the one pen kicks the other ones ass. It was published in Geriatricman Annual #1 by Chuckles Productions (the late Chuck Bunker) in 1987. I no longer have the art or a copy of that publication, so if anyone has a scan I would love to post it here.


I GUESS IíLL GO BACK TO EARTH NOW

I've approximated this little three page story via a mash-up from the latter Onward Comics #5 version, by ommiting Chaoz and Ordain, plotlines around the planet Rust, and Argoll was not introduced yet. It was a quick, silly little story to facilitate getting him off of Klutzoid and back to Earth. The original camera ready art is long lost with no copies.


THE RADIOACTIVE CAN

This nine page story is the only thing that survives from the underground UK #2, because it was recycled into UK #6. With minimal lettering modifications, it is the crowquill style I only used on the aborted #2, plus the shading film on Samís silver areas like with UK í81.


THE AERIAL DERELICT

I've approximated this five page story via a mash-up from the latter Onward Comics #7 version, by ommiting Fiji, Ichiro, and growing plot lines that had not yet developed in the old underground version.


ANOTHER REGULAR MONSTER?

Another mash-up showing how this eight page story went without Fiji, Ichiro, etc. in UK #8.


KENJI GETS BUSTED

UK #9 was all new material, and UK #10 was an upgrade of The Cybernetic Greenbean from UK í81, so we jusmp all the way to UK #11 now. Once again without Fiji & Ichiro, but Argoll is finally introduced at the end of these seven pages, which would have rounded out the 32 page issue.


INSIDE BACK COVER

This was the original back cover intended for UK í81 that was not used, and not published until 1985 in Chuck Bunkerís The Roly Poly Pudding zine. I doubt I would have used it for the color back of underground #2, but may have used it as filler on the inside back cover, unless I got a letters page started. But I want to show it here because it is a crazy non-PC lost treasure. I threw away the art and lost the zine 20 years ago and Brad Foster kindly scanned this for me in 2017. I could not even remember what is was until I saw it again!


So there you have it. The underground Ultra Klutz #2 as it never was. I'm not glad I threw away the original materials, but I am glad UK '81 did not sell well. If it did, and I kept pumping out comix in this style, it would have curtailed all the development that made it a better series a few years later.


UNDERGROUND ULTRA KLUTZ #3, AND BEYOND...

I continued to carry on with super detailed thumbnails with Ultra Klutz Gets Busted a nine pager later used in #11. It is nearly identidal to page 14-22 of that issue, except since there was no Ichiro character, it was just a random citizen who gets framed, so no need for a mash-up. The Legion of Klutz Annihilators, at 21 pages, was the last of these thumbnails, or drafts really, that eventually became UK #13. It was probably drawn in 1982, and is nearly identical to the 21 pages in #13. So these two stories would have comprised underground #3.

In addition to these detailed thumbnails, the sketchbooks were loaded with story ideas and doodles that would become the fuel for UK #14, #16, #25, #26, all the way to #31, or Ultra Klutz Dreams, or were completely discarded:

AN ULTRA KLUTZ ROMANCE
(finally introducing Fiji and Tana)
LOST IN SPACE PARODY
GOOD OLD JOE HAS GOT TO GO
DOUBLE TROUBLE
THE FWEE BEAST
THE RETURN OF CHIB
ZONE SYNDROME
THE HALUCISNAKE
THE ETERNAL RIP-OFF
(introduces the Klutzian/Rustic/Human/Alpha Centauri related races)
THE DEATH OF ULTRA KLUTZ
(this story bears no resemblance to the Lost Laughter story of the same name)

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