The Ultimate Alphabet (ISBN 1-85145-050-5) is a best-selling book by Mike Wilks. It is a collection of 26 paintings, each depicting a collection of objects starting with a particular letter of the alphabet. It was published in 1986 as a competition with a £10 000 prize, closing in 1988. Unlike children's alphabet books, it contains unusual words, and is extremely intricately painted, with the paintings in a realistic style, but rendered surrealistic by the strange juxtaposition of subject matter. Wilks himself appears at least once in every painting, as does his trademark snail. Each letter is itself represented several times, typically in braille, morse code, semaphore, and sign language as well as in its printed form.