THE UGLY STICKERS
Written by By Jonathan Wojcik
All scans courtesy David Paul of Bubble Gum Cards!
I was acquainted with the Uglies before I ever even knew it, having acquired the wriggly rubber critters you see here from some entirely unknown source at some entirely unknown point in time. Really, they were just sort of there one day, in a ziplock baggie, in a wicker basket, in a cardboard box on a ping pong table in my childhood basement. My parents never remembered owning them before or buying them for me, but I'm glad they were there, as they remain some of the coolest and more valuable toys in my entire collection.
It would take a few years for me to figure out, but what I'd initially taken to be some sort of generic, brandless vending machine toys were actually a short lived toy tie-in with a line of collectible stickers by Topps trading cards, originally printed in 1965 with additional releases and modified sets through 1976. Illustrated by Norman Saunders and Basil Wolverton, each slobbering, putrescent monstrosity was available with one to four name variations, allowing children named Iris, for instance, to be taunted by their peers with sticker #23 here. "Haha, Iris!" they would say, "There's a decomposing cuttlefish whose mother also apparently named it Iris!"...life before all those x-station-game-boxes must have been sweet.
If you've even just recently stumbled upon Bogleech or my artwork, it's probably already apparent that the Uglies combine everything I've ever found appealing about monster anatomy, sometimes all in the same Ugly. If I could bring a single monster to life as my best friend forever, I'd probably pick one of the Uglies. If I had to become a monster in some kind of paranormal mishap I'd probably pick one of the Uglies. Taken as a whole, the Uglies represent my most ideal menagerie of beasts and weirdos, the most flawless, sublime collection of creepy-crawlers ever to see print, and it's about damn time I gave them a proper home on Bogleech. Thanks to a hefty image donation by the Bubble Gum Cards website, I can finally not only host a set of Uglies myself, but meticulously review every single one of them. Click the thumbnails below to check out the entire Uglies series! You can also check out the official site of Norman Saunders for thoughts by one of the masterminds themselves!