For the debut ad for Ultra Klutz #1, I did this special illustration just for the ad. I also got double use out of these ads by using them as flyers. Back in 1986, you could print 3,000 copies at a local quick printer and send them to distributors, who would in turn insert them in all their catalogs to retailers, for free! By the early 90's this became a paid service and catalog ads cost several hundred dollars.



Probably due to my Graphic Design background, I was keen on lots of advertising, so I bought a year long contract with CBG to run an ad every week at a reduced rate. To fill in the weeks between monthly Ultra Klutz releases, I strategically ran these cheaper little 3X4 ads, each one being a letter of the alphabet and a character from the book. I had so many stories planned in advance, you will note that I had one for Quigley (who did not appear until UK #31), and for Vince (who did not appear until Lost Laughter)!



I'm not presenting the ad for every issue here, but here is the one for #3, interesting because it has a few extra Justice Louts characters that are not on the final cover. The airbrush illo was done in my last semester of college art classes, when I knew I was going to be publishing comics after graduation.



Interesting little news coverage about the UK '81 release with UK #5. The black and white boom was still running stong and this move would not have flown just a few months later.



Almost comical to read now, but here is a letter to the editor venting my frustration with distriutors. It didn't know it yet, but it was the precursor of the black and white bust of early 1987.



Ad for UK #6, the first issue drawn after the zine material ran out. The flyer version of this had a Crisis logo that looked exactly like the real DC logo. I guess a distributor or retailer sent one in to DC Comics, because they sent me a "cease and desist" letter. I changed the logo to typesetting for the CBG ad and the comic.

Some hard core old school comics fans lauched this short lived magazine called Four Color in January 1987. With full color two page spreads like the one below, they tried really hard for mainstream layouts, editorial illustrations, typeography, etc. Someone alerted me to this article called "The Short, Happy Life of the Black and Whites" with an image of Ultra Klutz. So here's the goofy parts: The several page article makes no mention of Ultra Klutz, even though the biggest image used is UK, rather than Fish Police and Ninja Turtles, which are discussed. The image is from UK '81, which was not part of the B&W Boom, rather than use Ultra Klutz #1 from 1986. The cover is modified in that the words "Smash Debut Issue" are typeset and replace my original hand lettering. I actually saw one of these guys at a convention at the time and asked why they went to so much trouble to typeset that. It seemed pointless, and if anything made my cover look slightly less ameturish, which was the thrust of the article. He said they didn't, they just did the perspective effect on it. Hmmm. One of the most bizarre and confounding media experineces I have ever experienced. Ultra Klutz ran 31 issues. I think they folded after the third issue. I always fantasized about running a mock article in Ultra Klutz called "The Short, Happy Life of Four Color Magazine." But that would have been petty, wouldn't it have? Would it?

Ads for UK #7 and #8, utilizing art from the alphabet ad series.





Full newpaper sized two-color ad for UK #10. Good lord, sunk some money into that one!




Here we are long after the bust. These ads are feeling desperate in retrospect, with the "pester your retailer" campaign with UK #16.



Some press coverage for my "new reader" campaign with UK #24.



The downward spiral. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I loved making the issues in this era, but it was so frustrating to see the sales slip away.



Some press coverage for my return from hiatus. This was actually the second Ultra Klutz Preview. CBG generously previewed 16 pages of #5 in 1986, and again with #28 in 1989.



The last hurrah! Trying to maximize some press synergy out of a three issue "mini-series." I sent out a few thousand tri-fold mini-posters via distributors based on this image. I have no surviving copy. If anyone has a scan I would love to post it.



My career was largely ignored by The Comics Journal, but I tried advertising there for the Lost Laughter sequal. Not sure what good that may have done.



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