Monday, January 24, 2011


Here's some show-and-tell. Last year, the US Postal Service issued a series of Sunday Funnies stamps. The First-Day-of-Issue Ceremony took place July 16, 2010 at Ohio State, co-sponsored by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum. As I was leaving on vacation on the 17th, I couldn't make the ceremony. A couple of very thoughtful Columbus pals, Brian & Dana Mason, went to the ceremony for me and got the above First Day Cover (FDC) signed. After the ceremony, the guests signed autographs. They were:
David Failor - Executive Director, Stamp Services, USPS
Lee Salem - President and editor, Universal Uclick, the largest syndicator of comic strips. "Calvin & Hobbes" was developed and syndicated while Salem was then managing editor.
Greg Walker - co-writer, "Beetle Bailey" and "Hi and Lois"
Nancy Silberkleit - co-CEO of Archie Comics, widow of former Archie publisher Michael Silberkleit and daughter-in-law of Archie co-founder Louis Silberkleit
Craig Boldman - writer of the "Archie" newspaper strip (1992-present) and of the "Jughead" comic book. Resident of Hamilton, Ohio.
Marcus Hamilton - "Dennis the Menace" daily strip artist, 1993 - present
Ron Ferdinand - "Dennis the Menace" Sunday page artist, 1982 - present
Scott Ketcham - son of "Dennis the Menace" creator Hank Ketcham

The two names most people will recognize -
Mort Walker - creator - "Beetle Bailey" (1950-82), "Boner's Ark" (1968-82), co-creator "Hi and Lois" (1954-89), "Sam and Silo" (1977-86); founder of the International Museum of Cartoon Art (1974-2008). Not much to add about this living legend that I didn't say in this earlier post. Walker's 2008 decision to merge the collection of his museum with the Cartoon Research Library has enhanced the legacy of both institutions.

Jim Davis - creator - "Garfield" (1978-present), "Garfield" cartoon specials and series; "U.S. Acres" (1986-89). I haven't been a regular Garfield reader in years, but as a kid I was a Garfield fanatic. I remember being 8 or 9 on vacation with my family. We were in a bookstore and Dad told us we could get X number of books for the long ride in the car. I'm sure I bought all comic strip reprints, one of them being the first Garfield paperback. As I read it in the back seat, I would ask Dad for definitions of any word I didn't know or understand. Later on, I had Garfield bed sheets, probably into junior high. While Garfield probably peaked as a national phenomenon in the '80s, it's still a major concern. Kudos to Davis for keeping his base of operations in Muncie, Indiana.

Notably absent was Bill Watterson, creator of "Calvin & Hobbes". Watterson is well-known as a recluse who doesn't like his picture taken, so his absence at a media event is no surprise. I'm sure he was invited, but I wonder what his response was.

Many of the attendees were philatelists who collect First Day Covers. They were a little concerned that my friends had people sign on the actual FDC. The collectors had them sign the program card. Brian & Dana thought it looked cooler on the FDC, which has the stamps. They're right.

No comments: