UclickMedia Release -- SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Andrews McMeel Universal today announced the launch of the first Comic Strip Superstar, the international competition in search of the next popular comic strip artist. The winner will receive a publishing contract from Andrews McMeel Publishing, a $5,000 advance from Universal Uclick and a monthly stipend for the development of 20 comic strips that will be considered for syndication.

"As the nation's premier humor publisher in newspapers, books, mobile phones and online, Andrews McMeel Universal is uniquely suited to bring this comic strip contest to the public," said Hugh T. Andrews, executive vice president of Andrews McMeel Universal. "We are excited by the opportunity this contest provides to continue our mission to seek, recognize and celebrate remarkable creative talent, and to share it with an appreciative and enthusiastic audience through a variety of distribution channels."

Beginning today through Sept. 12, 2009, up to 5,000 entries will be accepted for the competition at www.amazon.com/comicstripsuperstar. Each entry should be original, unpublished work consisting of 10 daily comic strips and two Sunday comics, a title and a brief synopsis. From the submissions, Universal Uclick will narrow the entries down to 250 quarterfinalists. The quarterfinalists will then be narrowed down to 50 semifinalists by John Glynn and Lee Salem, seasoned Universal Uclick editors. In the semifinal round, popular comic strip creators Garry Trudeau ("Doonesbury"), Lynn Johnston ("For Better or For Worse"), Scott Hilburn ("The Argyle Sweater") and Mark Tatulli ("Lió" and "Heart of the City") will choose 10 finalists and post feedback for each on Amazon.com. Amazon.com customers will then have the opportunity to view the finalists' submissions and vote for the grand prize winner.

"We know Amazon customers are extremely creative and enjoy discovering new talent. This competition gives them the opportunity to discover great new comic strip artists, while having a few laughs along the way," said Jeff Belle, vice president of U.S. Books, Amazon.com.

The winner will be announced Nov. 9, 2009, and will receive a prize package from Andrews McMeel Universal which includes a publishing contract with Andrews McMeel Publishing and a newspaper syndication development deal and contract for distribution on GoComics.com desktop and mobile applications from Universal Uclick.

For complete terms and conditions on the Comic Strip Superstars competition, please visit www.amazon.com/comicstripsuperstar.

About Andrews McMeel Universal

Both Andrews McMeel Publishing and Universal Uclick are divisions of Andrews McMeel Universal, which was founded in 1970 by Jim Andrews and John McMeel. Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC is an industry-leading publisher of humor, gift, general trade, cookbooks, and calendars with more than 300 new titles annually. Universal Uclick includes the nation's largest independent newspaper and licensed property syndicate and the leading digital entertainment provider of humor, comics, editorial cartoons, daily games and text features for the desktop, Web, and mobile phones.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth's Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth's most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as books, movies, music & games, digital downloads, electronics & computers, home & garden, toys, kids & baby, grocery, apparel, shoes & jewelry, health & beauty, sports & outdoors, and tools, auto & industrial.

Amazon Web Services provides Amazon's developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon's own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Examples of the services offered by Amazon Web Services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS), Amazon Flexible Payments Service (Amazon FPS), Amazon Mechanical Turk and Amazon CloudFront.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca and www.amazon.cn.