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Paying tribute to classic video-game icons, Ireland’s state-run postal service today released four stamps featuring Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Pac-Man and Space Invaders.
Taito Corp.’s Space Invaders and Namco’s Pac-Man — debuting in 1978 and 1980, respectively, making them the oldest of the quartet — are represented by screenshots, while Nintendo’s Mario and Sega’s Sonic themselves are showcased on their stamps.
The stamps are issued by An Post and designed Dublin’s Zinc Design Consultants.
As DC Comics continues its celebration of the 75th anniversary of Batman, the iconic hero will again grace postage stamps in a limited-edition set officially unveiled Oct. 9 as the U.S. Postal Service kicks off New York Comic Con with a first-day-of-issue ceremony.
Each sheet of 20 “Forever” stamps — they’re 49 cents each but will remain good even when rates increase — will features designs representing four eras: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the current New 52 era. There’s also a round stamp with the Batman symbol.
Batman is only the latest in a series of DC characters, including The Flash, Wonder Woman, Superman and Aquaman, who have graced U.S. postage stamps recently. And this isn’t actually the first Batman stamp, as Linn’s Stamp News notes: The DC Superheroes set issued in 2006 included two Dark Knight stamps.
Canada Post last year honored Superman’s Toronto roots, and his 75th anniversary, with a series of commemorative stamps.
Passings | Egyptian cartoonist Mostafa Hussein died Saturday following a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 79. Hussein had been a cartoonist for the state-owned Al Akbar newspaper since 1974, and was often accused of being sympathetic to those in power. His final cartoon, published in Al Akbar two days before he died, was inscribed “I ??don’t have time to finish this cartoon, forgive me. I will miss you.” [Ahram Online]
Awards | The Cartoonist Rights Network International (CRNI) has announced the winners of this year’s Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning, and for the first time in the history of the award they are women: Indian cartoonist Kanika Mishra and Palestinian cartoonist Majda Shaheen. Mishra faced death threats for her cartoons about a religious leader who raped a 16-year-old (and eventually went to prison); Shaheen also was threatened with violence after she drew a cartoon depicting the Al-Quds Brigades as a dog in a cartoon critiquing Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s relationship with the organization. [Comic Riffs]
Britain’s Royal Mail is releasing a set of 10 stamps today featuring a diverse group of comics characters from British comics. They’re available to those outside the U.K. as well and feature internationally famous characters like Judge Dredd and Dan Dare in addition to less-known folks like Roy Race and The Four Marys. There’s also a Dennis the Menace in the set (he’s the one appearing in front of the Beano comic), but don’t confuse him with the U.S. character created by Hank Ketcham. Though both characters debuted within a week of each other in March 1951, they’re different boys.
To see the full gallery of stamps, visit the BBC website.
The “Sunday Funnies” stamps announced earlier this year by the United States Postal Service will be issued July 16, kicking off at 10:30 a.m. with a dedication ceremony at The Ohio State University, home of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
The five stamps honor Archie, Beetle Bailey, Calvin and Hobbes, Dennis the Menace and Garfield, so it’s fitting that the ceremony’s guests include Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker, Garfield creator Jim Davis, Dennis the Menace artists Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand, Archie newspaper strip writer Craig Goldman and Calvin and Hobbes editor Lee Salem.
See larger images of the stamp artwork, and read the text from the back of the “Sunday Funnies” pane, after the break:
That’s right, America’s favorite teens will be featured on a new postage stamp to be issued on July 16. From the press release:
The United States Postal Service will be honoring the Archie love triangle as part of the “Sunday Funnies” series for “offering an idealized portrait of American adolescence” since 1946, when the comic books expanded to include the newspaper strip. The daily newspaper strip, now written by Craig Boldman and illustrated by Fernando Ruiz, continues to run in newspapers and online publications worldwide.
Funny, I don’t really think of Archie as a newspaper strip, so it’s interesting to hear it has been running that long. The other stamps in the Sunday Funnies line are Beetle Bailey, Calvin and Hobbes, Dennis the Menace, and Garfield, which is sort of an odd assortment. Anyway, it’s nice to know that the Archie gang will be assuming their rightful place, alongside Mother Teresa, Tom Mix, the Lunar New Year, and the Mackinac Bridge, as the subject of a U.S. postage stamp.
U.S. comics fans have a new reason to give the United States Postal Service a big, wet smack on the lips (oh, like you needed one before) as they announced late last week that their commemorative stamp plans for 2010 include on honoring seminal editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin and another set titled “Sunday Funnies,” which will feature stamps of Beetle Bailey, Calvin and Hobbes, Dennis the Menace, Garfield and … Archie?? I tend not to think of Archie as a “Sunday funny,” but any port in a storm, I suppose.