On Strips: Postage Stamps

By | Friday, June 30, 2017 1 comment
In 1893 Postmaster General John Wanamaker came up with the idea of creating a special stamp to honor something, and the first commemorative stamp honored the World Columbian Exposition held in Chicago that year. Since that time commemorative stamps have been created to immortalize a wide variety of things including the states, the presidents, American heroes, great inventions, monumental days in history, and popular icons. Today's question: how many comic strips and/or comic strip characters have been honored on postage stamps? (I'll keep this US-centric because... well, I only have so much time to research these blog posts!)

Well, my initial search turns up a good chunk right off the bat. In 1995, the US Postal Service created a series called "Comic Strip Classics" consisting of newspaper comics that were created before 1950. There were twenty comics represented in that series:
  • The Yellow Kid
  • The Katzenjammer Kids
  • Little Nemo in Slumberland
  • Bringing Up Father
  • Krazy Kat
  • Rube Goldberg’s Inventions
  • Toonerville Folks
  • Gasoline Alley
  • Barney Google
  • Little Orphan Annie
  • Popeye
  • Blondie
  • Dick Tracy
  • Alley Oop
  • Nancy
  • Flash Gordon
  • Li'l Abner
  • Terry and the Pirates
  • Prince Valiant
  • Brenda Starr
In 2010, there was a smaller series called "Sunday Funnies" that featured:
  • Archie
  • Beetle Bailey
  • Dennis the Menace
  • Garfield
  • Calvin and Hobbes
Archie was a bit of a stretch since he debuted in comic books in 1939. But an Archie comic strip did begin in 1947 and ran until 2011, at which time he switched over to re-runs. So technically, he would qualify, I suppose. But that would mean I'd also have to mention that there have been stamps featuring:
  • Tarzan
  • Superman
  • Batman & Robin
  • Wonder Woman
  • Spider-Man
  • Betty Boop
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Donald Duck
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Pink Panther
  • Raggedy Ann
  • The Muppets
  • Charlie McCarthy
  • Star Wars
  • Charlie Chaplin
While none of them are really known for being comic strips, having debuted in other media, they did all technically have comic strips at one point.

I was thinking that Peanuts had been something of a mainstay of philately, but evidently, the first Peanuts stamp did not debut until 2001. The most recent ones from 2015 were specifically focused on A Charlie Brown Christmas animated holiday special.

A curious piece I wasn't expecting to find was that, in 2010, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin was featured on a stamp. The stamp features a photo of him, as well as drawings of two of his recurring characters, Willie and Joe from his Stars and Stripes strips.

From what I can tell, the USPS tended to shy away from fictional characters until the 1990s. Prior to that, there were only a few instances where a fictional character was honored, and most of those were of the "personification of an idea" variety: Victory, Freedom, etc. In the 1970s, they started getting a little more in pop culture with the likes of Santa Claus and Tom Sawyer. (Yes, the first stamp featuring Santa didn't come out until 1972.) Smokey the Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog show up in the 1980s. But it's not until the '90s where the USPS starts anything with pop culture, and it's not until that 1995 release of "Comic Strip Classics" that we start seeing references to pop culture on a more regular basis.

But that's who all I can find. Did I miss anyone? I must've. What other comic strips have found their way onto US postage stamps?
Newer Post Older Post Home


I have a question for you if I may would you consider the comic book STAMPS COMICS 1 from Oct 1951, to be considered a key comic book for collectors. Because there is a website that is called keycollectorcomics.com! And we'll this individual who runs it seriously has to be the most disrespectful person I have ever had to deal with while collecting comic books. I have emailed him several books that should be listed on his website and considered to be a key comic book, and he has listed a few things I have told him such as Gene Autry 1. This kid didn't know that this comic book is the key comic book for all western comic books and we'll he had to look into this information and we'll its because of his information that is out there has made it super hard for anyone who is a collector who is trying to sell comic books online. Almost like wata game grading has turned a hobby into such cut throat that I had to sell everything I had in video games to JJ Hendricks the owner of pricecharting website. Because of what wata game grading has done is make illiterate teenagers hustle and take from honest hard working individuals such as myself. My good friend Neal Adams who has recently died told me that the business he worked for was so dark and cut throat that CGC has turned it into a monetary gain than a hobby a hobby he loved that one day made him resent it and everything he wanted to say or Stan Lee wanted to say to there boss can be see in action comics 302 this is when my friend was given to much work to do and we'll having to attend a comic con to sign autographs when he had the flu! So this is what he did to basically not get fired from his job him and Stan Lee often times would do things like this out of humor and basically tell there Boss exactly how the truly felt for example I mentioned action comics 302 ever get a chance look at adventure comics 420 supergirl yes but behind what does it look like this is there way to call them a derogatory name and every American gets to see it for what they are so that's their gift to the comic book industry.