The Ugly Stickers
To this day, I have no idea how I got these awesome little weirdos. They just sort of turned
up in a plastic bag in the basement of my old house, way back in 1997. At the time, I
assumed they were just really cool, generic vending machine toys without any particular
basis, but within my first few weeks on the internet in '99, I stumbled upon a fan site for
Ugly Stickers, a collectible set of positively GORGEOUS monsters released by
Topps in 1965, nearly thirty years before I was born. The site I found doesn't exist
anymore, but the above link will take you to the
official site by Norman Saunders, who
co-designed the set with cartoonist Basil Wolverton!
Every single one of the Ugly Stickers are pure monstrous brilliance, combining grotesque
and otherworldly anatomy with a whimsical personality that makes even the most
pestilent Ugly seem like a fun guy to hang out with. If you're familiar with any of my art, you
can probably tell that these things have had an enormous impact on my design
While it should be fairly difficult to pick a favorite amongst such gems as hairy
multi-mouthed eyeballs and melting tentacle faces, it's good old sticker #3 here that I find
the most appealing. It's hard to explain what's so special about this one, really; everything
about it just "clicks" for me. I like the fuzzy underbelly, the flattened two-lobed anatomy,
the binocular-like's all just incredibly cool and alien with a simple, compact
little bug-blob shape. If I could have just one real-live monster for a pet, this thing would be
HIGH on the list of contenders, and I'm glad it was among the rubber toys I uncovered.
You can see all of the toys that were produced on the official site I linked to!