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Friday, December 02, 2005
Superhero Stamps

Mark Evanier has some items on the fact that there's going to be a commemorative stamp release of DC superheroes. Looking at the full press release about next year's commemorative stamps, several questions suggest themselves:

-- what's with the consistent design element of the stamp price with a line through it? Are they about to give deep, deep discounts but haven't filled in the new price? [OK, I since realized that the line probably indicates that they're not promising that a first class stamp will necessarily be 39 cents by the end of 2006.] [And Mark thinks that it's to avoid the images being reproduced and used for postage.]
-- isn't the idea of "Amber Alert" stamps kind of creepy?
-- most relevantly, how do the DC stamps -- and the Disney stamps, for that matter -- square with these guidelines on what's supposed to go on stamps?

"Stamps or stationery shall not be issued to promote or advertise commercial enterprises or products. Commercial products or enterprises might be used to illustrate more general concepts related to American culture."

The Disney ones are labelled "Art of Disney: Romance", and are the third series to "honor the art of Disney", so it's not like they happened to pick 4 Disney images to illustrate "romance".

Now, I can see how "superheroes" is a legitimate subject, and you can't do that without commercial properties, but how did DC became the beneficiary of this? Does anyone know if there might be another series coming with Marvels? If not, Marvel must be pretty pissed off right about now. I mean, Wonder Woman and (some versions of) Hawkman are foreigners, for cryin' out loud! And despite Arthur Curry's American father, I don't think you can retain US citizenship once you announce that you're King of the Seven Seas. (I believe Silver Age Superman was a naturalized American citizen in his identity as Supes, but I don't know about the current continuity.)

And yet Captain America is not on a US stamp? I rest my case.

UPDATE: According to a commenter at Making Light, Marvel gets their stamps in 2007.

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