The philatelists at The Portland Stamp Company are minting an entirely new generation of mail-art phenoms. Combining the sequential comic narrative panel format and a tabula rasa of art possibilities, along with the tactile enjoyment of old-school perforation, Portland's new artist series makes acquiring stamps an artventure that Franklin Delano Roosevelt (America's stamp collector-in-chief) would have found pleasing.
The ongoing series of unique stamps can be acquired in blocks and sheets or as beautiful packages. Two boxed sets have been released so far (more to come). All are signed artist editions, and each box has a 24-page zine containing interviews with the creators about their stamps and process.
The Portland Stamp Company has been releasing these over the past few years "as a way to push ourselves to do things we wouldn’t have otherwise done—and to collaborate with people we like or wanted to work with," says co-founder Joshua Berger.
More ephemeral paper in a paperless world, you say? Perhaps. But stamps are for experiencing and savoring. These function on both levels.