Comics Turned into a Stamping Ground: Creators Mention Stamps April 5 to Drum Up Support for Postage Marking a Century of Cartooning in 1995

Article excerpt

WHEN AT LEAST a dozen syndicated cartoonists mentioned stamps in their April 5 comics, they were trying to mark an important anniversary.

It was not some sort of postal anniversary that caused these creators to wax philatelic for a day, but rather the impending 100th birthday of comics in 1995. The April 5 effort was an attempt to build awareness for a campaign to get the U.S. Postal Service to issue a series of commemorative cartooning stamps that centennial year.

The April 5 cartoons did indeed elicit a great deal of press attention.

Newspaper Features Council (NFC) co-project chair and International Museum of Cartoon Art (IMCA) trustee Catherine Walker noted that a number of print and broadcast media called about doing pieces after seeing the stamp comics.

The NFC and Florida-based IMCA have been petitioning for the 1995 stamps along with the National Cartoonists Society, Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and Ohio State University's Cartoon, Graphic and Photographic Arts Research Library.

These organizations and institutions sent an 83-page proposal to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee last year. They (as well as individual cartoon creators and aficionados) also sent letters to the committee, which is considering the cartoon postage request.

IMCA chairman Mort Walker, for instance, wrote the committee to say: "Comic strips were invented in America with the 'Yellow Kid' in 1895 [andl have contributed greatly to our language and culture. …