• PrintMag

Going Postal

By: Steven Heller | May 11, 2009



I often go postal–I mean, I go to the post office on most Saturdays. It’s the day I buy stamps. And I love those adhesive backed stamps that require no saliva (and prevent unmentionable disease). The other day, I bought ten sheets of the new Simpsons stamps at the new 44-cent denomination. Was it worth it? You bet. There are certain stamps that speak to you, and these are among them. But I have others, which sadly are not produced any more. For instance, the 1967 unofficial “hippie stamp,” featuring the classic portrait of Henry David Thoreau. I recall long lines of long-haired, bead-bedecked freaks buying them up at the P.O.


And then there are the Stars of The Silent Screen stamps illustrated by Al Hirschfeld, the great theatrical caricaturist. I was on the Citizens Advisory Stamp Committee when that was published–and what a radical departure it was to have a cartoonist design a stamp. There are other stamps that I’ve kept over the years, like the Bucky Fuller stamp illustrated by Boris Artzybasheff. And I once owned this–the famous biplane stamp–but I don’t know what happened to it.

So what is your favorite stamp? Or better yet, who would you like to see on a stamp that hasn’t been commemorated?

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