Stamp(s) of Approval for the Comics

June 7th, 2010 | Posted in News


High-resolution images of the stamps are available for media use only by emailing mark.r.saunders@usps.gov

From the US Postal Service:

“Sunday Funnies’ Comic Strips Get Stamp of Approval

What:

First-Day-of-Issue dedication ceremony of the Sunday Funnies 44-cent Commemorative First-Class stamps. The event is free and open to the public.

When:
10:30 a.m., Friday, July 16, 2010

Where:
The Ohio State University
Performance Hall at the Ohio Union
1739 High Street
Columbus, OH 43210-1393

Who:

  • Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee
  • Curator and professor The Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Lucy Shelton Caswell
  • USPS President, Mailing and Shipping Services Robert F. Bernstock

Honored guests available for interviews:

  • Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker
  • Garfield creator Jim Davis
  • Dennis the Menace artists Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand
  • Archie Comics newspaper strip writer Craig Goldman
  • Calvin and Hobbes Editor Lee Salem

Background:

The Sunday Funnies pane of 20 stamps honors five of the nation’s most beloved comic strips: Archie, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. The strips, as well as their characters, may have changed over the years, yet each nevertheless remains an enduring classic.

Offering an idealized portrait of American adolescence, Archie existed only in comic-book form before debuting in newspapers in 1946. A typical small-town teenager with a knack for goofing things up, 17-year-old Archie Andrews is often torn between haughty brunette Veronica Lodge and sweet, blonde Betty Cooper.

A military strip with universal appeal, Beetle Bailey first appeared in September 1950. Possibly the laziest man in the army, Private Beetle Bailey is an expert at sleeping and avoiding work. His chronic indolence antagonizes Sergeant Orville P. Snorkel, who is tough on his men but calls them “my boys.”

Dennis the Menace follows the antics of Dennis Mitchell, a good-hearted but mischievous little boy who is perpetually “five-ana-half” years old. His curiosity tests the patience of his loving parents and neighbors, guaranteeing that their lives are anything but dull. The comic debuted in March 1951 as a single-panel gag.

Garfield first waddled onto the comics page in June 1978. Self-centered and cynical, the crabby tabby hates Mondays and loves lasagna. He lives with Jon Arbuckle, a bumbling bachelor with a fatally flawed fashion sense, and Odie, a dopey-but-devoted dog.

Calvin and Hobbes explores the fantasy life of six-year-old Calvin and his tiger pal, Hobbes. The inseparable friends ponder the mysteries of the world and test the fortitude of Calvin’s parents, who never know where their son’s imagination will take him. The strip ran from November 1985 to December 1995.

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Comments

  1. Hey! I live in Columbus! Speaking of, Tom, are you coming to the Tri-annual Cartoon Festival of Art this Fall? I hear it’s quite the shindig.

  2. Mark Engblom says:

    “Calvin and Hobbes EDITOR?” Well, I suppose that makes sense considering Bill Watterson is still doing the Mr. Hermit schtick.

    Which brings up an interesting question: I wonder if Watterson had to give permission for the Calvin and Hobbes image to be used as a stamp, of it falls under the pervue of the syndicate, you’d think the syndicate would be flooding the market with Calvin and Hobbes stuff if Watterson doesn’t control the copyright. Interesting questions…and maybe one you could pose to Lee Salem (off the record, of course).

    • Tom says:

      That is a good question. I just saw Lee at the Reubens last week but I really don’t know him. We met once when he spoke at one of our chapter meetings, but I don’t exactly chat him up at those events. I’ll try and remember to ask next time I see him.

      My guess is that they did need to get Watterson’s approval on that, and he either has a soft spot for the USPS and doesn’t consider being on a stamp crass commercial prostitution of his work or he’s been desensitized from seeing approximately one billion unlicensed truck window decals depicting Calvin peeing on a Ford or Chevy logo.

  3. Julius Dithers says:

    I always wanted to lick Betty and Veronica. And Odie.

  4. David Lubin says:

    Cheers to the USPS for printing the Sunday Funnies stamps, but Jeers for refusing to honor Alfred E. Neuman and MAD Magazine with a stamp. I’ve written the Postmaster General at least twice suggesting a stamp to honor MAD but obviously it’s not meant to be. Maybe one day.

  5. Ray says:

    I’ve always been a little disappointed in Watterson’s attitude, but the window sticker thing would drive me to violence I think.

    The Far Side should be in there, but without a central character it would be tough to depict.

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