Friday, January 28, 2011

Chris Wedge - Robots

Besides stamps and first day of issue cancels, the USPS will utilize a slogan cancel that commemorates or informs. In the past these slogans have been used to commemorate fairs and exhibitions, pray for peace, use of airmail, mail early for Christmas, etc. and are used in cities throughout the US. Over the past few years in an effort to reach the younger potential collectors the USPS has joined forces with the movie industry to help promote movie releases to video. These cancels included promotion of Star Trek (1991), The Grinch (2000), Spirit the Stallion of the Cimarron (2002), Cat in the Hat (2003) Shrek (2004) Robots (2005)....

I had no problem with this, since the promotion of animated movies was within my collecting interest, others have not agreed. At Patent Baristas in March 2005, there statement is that the USPS is printing an advertisement for the movies, in particular Robots and that the movie is not of national importance. It may not be of importance, but I had no issues with it. In fact I went out of my way to try an obtain a clean cancellation. Getting slogans cancels can be difficult since they are part of the daily mail stream and I started by dropping 5 envelopes in the mailstream in hopes of getting a good cancel.

When I received a nice example of the slogan cancel I sent the envelope to Chris Wedge, at Blue Sky Studios, director of the movies Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005). Wedge was very considerate in providing a sketch of the main character Rodney Copperbottom, along with a separate sketch of Scrat from Ice Age for my son, Matt.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gene Deitch - Tom Terrific

Gene Deitch - Tom Terrific - 2011.01.14

I love getting sketches in the mail, it's like getting an unexpected present...I will send out first day covers to artists I know I will not be able to meet in person. I know that the odds are usually against getting a response from some of the people I send out to, but I figure it doesn't hurt to take the chance. However, I do wait impatiently each day hoping for a response...

When I got to my PO Box this afternoon and found a response from Gene Deitch I felt like a kid. Gene Deitch is an American illustrator who moved to Prague and set up family and studio. Deitch has produced animated cartoons for studios such as UPA/Columbia Pictures, Terrytoons/20th Century Fox (Tom Terrific) MGM (Tom and Jerry) King Features (Popeye, Krazy Kat) and Paramount Pictures (Nudnik).

Tom Terrific with the Mighty Manfred the Wonder dog was a 5-minute cartoon created by Gene Deitch for the Terrytoons Studios, which were run as part of the CBS television show Captain Kangaroo from 1957-59 (during my childhood). I used to watch Tom Terrific every day and thought he was the greatest. Tom Terrific, lived in a treehouse and could transform himself into anything he wanted thanks to his magic thinking cap. Along with his lazybones sidekick Manfred, Tom matched wits with his foe Crabby Appleton...

I had sent Mr. Deitch a first day cover with a Disney Lion King stamp, as I had nothing that would complement his work, I was going for the animation aspect. Mr. Deitch choose not to sketch on the FDC, but instead draw a picture of Tom Terrific on the return envelope. A surprise in every package...

Deitch authored a memoir, "For the Love of Prague" based on his experience of being the only free American in Prague during 30 years of Communism.

In 1958 Deitch's theatrical cartoon Sidney's Family tree was nominated for an Academy Award..1961 Academy Award for Animated Short for Munro written by Jules Feiffer.
2003, Deitch was awarded the "Annie" by ASIFA Hollywood for a lifetime contribution to the art of animation.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Vampirella - Mark Texeira

Mark Texeira 2008.12.07 Comic Fest, East hanover, NJ

A classically trained painter Mark entered the comic field in the 1980's with work on Jonah Hex, Psi-Force, Punisher War Journal, Vampirella, Sabretooth, Spiderman, Moon Knight, Black Panther, Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Birds of Prey, as well as his own title Pscythe. Mark has also produced cover art for several record labels...

Vampirella was created by Forrest J. Ackerman for Warren Publishing, and was developed by writer Archie Goodwin and artists Frank Frazetta (cover art), Tom Sutton and Jose Gonzalez. Vampirella first appearance was in 1969, in Vampirella #1.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Roland Harvey

Roland Harvey 1988 Australia - US Bicentenary

Top cover is my design, block printed, signed by stamp designer Roland Harvey. The bottom cover is a hand painted cachet by Adams (I do not have any information on the artist, I picked this up in a trade). When the Australian-US issue was announced in 1988 I was thrilled to created a cachet, as my wife loves animals, especially koalas and dogs. Therefore my design was for my wife. We even went to San Francisco for our honeymoon so she could see koalas up close at the SF Zoo.

Harvey is an Australian children's illustrator, and author. He is best known as an illustrator of children's books using pen, ink and watercolor. His works have been described as 'witty slapstick style' and 'characteristic humorous and detailed illustrations'.

My Place in Space, named an Honour Book in the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Awards, and The Friends of Emily Culpepper, commended in the same awards. Burke and Wills, part of Harvey's unique Australian history series, won the Clifton Pugh Award for illustration, and Islands in My Garden won the 1999 Wilderness Society Environment Award. One recent book, Sick As: Bloody Moments in the History of Medicine, was shortlisted for the 2001 Children's Book Council of Australia Eve Pownall Award for Information Books. (Wikipedia).

Harvey has also designed several stamps for the Australia Post, featuring his unique drawing style. Including the Australia-New Zealand joint issue and the above Wild Babies. I couldn't help but notice in the first stamp, near the 45c, the Koala butt shot! Gotta love it!

Thanks Roland.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Beetle Bailey

I just received this email alert from the staff at Beetle Bailey -
To our faithful friends and fans of Beetle Bailey,

Beetle Bailey did not appear in the New York Daily News today. We were informed that the paper was cutting costs and that Edward Fay, vice president and director of editorial administration, was the one who made the decision. It makes no sense for the paper to drop one of their most popular features. If you share this opinion, please send a message of protest to: and

Hopefully, he will reinstate Beetle if he receives enough response. Please forward this email appeal to your friends and family and don't forget our fans in the armed forces. We would appreciate anything you can do.

Thanks - Mort, Greg and Brian Walker and staff