Strip Show: Universal Press Syndicate’s Latino Lean

“International demand for comics and other Universal Press Syndicate content continues to grow,” says Kerry Slagle, president of UPS’ international syndication division, Atlantic Syndication. “It’s not that these newspapers are necessarily adding extra pages to their comic section, but they are always interested in adding new and entertaining content.”

Atlantic Syndication, which began in 1935 as “Editor’s Press Service,” was co-founded by the ousted former president of Chile, Carlos Davila, following a coup d’etat that exiled him to New York City. Despite the overthrow, that history has kept the South American marketplace in the company’s business model since the outset. According to Slagle, Editor's Press Service was the first company to offer syndicated services from the U.S. to South America.

Prior to 2004, Atlantic Syndication was an independent international representative for UPS, before UPS bought it out. Currently, Atlantic is distributing 24 comics in Latin America in Spanish. “If a big client decides that they want to run one of our other comics in their papers, though, we can accommodate that,” says Slagle. Its syndication agreements are often structured as yearly agreements, granting usage of individual comics.

Atlantic’s biggest markets for its comics are Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and all of Central America. In addition to comic strips and text features for print papers, the company also distributes interactive word puzzles and number games such as Sudoku through its interactive division, U-Click.

Slagle estimates that Latin American sales account for approximately 35%-40% of Atlantic’s total international revenues.

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