Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Topical storm...

What up, stamp fan!?

Are you one of the many who enjoy collecting thematically? According to Wikipedia, "Topical or thematic stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps relating to a particular subject or concept. Topics can be almost anything, from stamps on stamps, birds, trains and poets on stamps, to famous physicians and scientists, along with historical people and events on stamps, which is often a standard theme for many stamp issuing countries. The earliest stamps simply depicted busts of reigning monarchs, important figures, or coats of arms, but as time went on stamps started to have a wider range of designs. Bears appeared on provisional stamps of St. Louis in 1845, while the beaver was featured on the earliest stamps of Canada. More than 150 years later, the variety of designs on stamps is enormous, giving topical collectors plenty of scope to find stamps for their chosen theme. In fact, so many stamps have been issued that some popular themes, such as "ships" or "birds", have become nearly impossible to complete, and topical collectors may specialize further, such as by looking for only square-rigged sailing ships, or only flightless birds."

Some other popular themes are cars, animals of all sorts and different vocations such as nursing. Thematics is one of the most popular forms of stamp collecting with almost half of all collectors concentrating on one specific subject. Topical collecting even has its own category for competitive exhibitions. Below are a few examples of Topical collections:

Birds! Birds! Birds! 

Classic cars. 

Crazy cat lady? ;)

What's bugging you!?

What's your favorite topical theme? 

Stamp geek, out! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

I don't always look up memes but when I do they are stamp related...

Hello again stamp fam, back at it again with another unusual post about postage stamps but this time I am adding a bit of humour into the mix. I scoured the interwebs looking for the funniest stamp related memes I could find and to my delight I found a surprising amount of funny photos! A little background for those of us who've been living under a rock for the last ten years myself included lol. A meme, according to Wikipedia is, "an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non genetic means, especially imitation.
a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc. that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by Internet users." <------- "Very good...what he said."  Major bonus points if you get the reference!

Without further ado, please enjoy these hilarious and cheeky postage stamp memes below! :)

A Classic Meme template with a sassy stamp twist! 

Is there nothing this man can't do!? 

This meme is the truest thing on the internet. 

Ah haaaaaaaa, so true. 

This is 1005 TRUE! 

The two memes above are probably my favorites lol! 

Bahahahaha, also true. 

It was so good I included it a second time with a different caption. 

Ugh, this happens more often than you might realize. 

So sad, let's not let this become reality, stamp fam! 

Which is your favorite? Leave a comment below to let us know! 

Stamp Geek, out! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Art, art,!

Keeping in line with our weird and wonderful stamp theme I stumbled upon some beautiful examples of mythical inspired art on a set of stamps issued by Royal Mail in 2009. RM commissioned Artist Dave McKean and novelist Neil Gaiman of The Sandman comic fame to design these beautiful works of art and the presentation pack that they came in. The series depicts a dragon, mermaids, fairies and pixies as well as a giant hurling a boulder to name a few. The artwork and accompanying write up are all derived from British folklore and tales.

According to Wikipedia, David "Dave" McKean (born 29 December 1963) is an English illustrator, photographer, comic book artist, graphic designer, filmmaker and musician. His work incorporates drawing, painting, photography, collage, found objects, digital art and sculpture. McKean's projects include directing an original feature titled Luna and a book with the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman, born Neil Richard Gaiman (10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theater, and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008). In 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards.

(From Left to Right: Neil, Dave)

As I mentioned earlier in this post, the stamps are inspired by British folklore from years gone by. The first stamp issued was the fire breathing dragon whose origins are heavily rooted in Welsh culture. According to UTAOT, "Vortigern, King of the Britons, encountered a red dragon and a white dragon fighting in a deep underground. The white dragon fled, leaving the red dragon victorious – the king took the creature to be his emblem." 

The next stamp issued is the Unicorn and although there is much speculation there is no concrete proof that Unicorns ever existed (one can dream though). The horn of the unicorn, known as an alicorn, was once a much prized trophy usually removed from the carcass of a Narwhal. 

Pixies were depicted on the next stamp in the set and are primarily found in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset. According to UTAOT, "Dartmoor is thought to be a particularly popular place, with a sighting in 1897 of a small figure wearing red and blue clothing – he quickly vanished when he realized that he had been spotted."

Up next is the giant Albion who, according to Holinshed’s Chronicle, once ruled Britain, before his defeat in battle with Hercules in Devon which paved the way for humans to colonize Britain. Myths pertaining to giants persist throughout British literature and folklore. Such is the case in Lord of the Rings where two rock giants are locked in battle tossing stones at one another whilst the helpless Frodo and gang try to climb The Misty Mountain.

The second to last stamp issued is that depicting the malevolent mermaid who would lure fishermen in boats to their deaths by singing to them from rocks in the sea and watching them drown as they tried to reach the beautiful melody.

The last stamp issued is that of Mab, queen of the fairy people. She was depicted famously in a speech by Mercutio in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" where in her describes her as a midnight prankster who plays tricks on sleeping men whilst driven by a team of atomies.

Below is the actual stamp artwork depicted on the stamps:

(Here we have a Pixie taking his sweet ride out for a spin along the forest floor. This guy's a real hot rod!) 

(All hail Queen Mab and her frightening Hitchcockian birds!) 

(This guy has a serious case of heartburn!)

(Behold, the giant with the most fashionable beard in the land!) 

(The earliest form of Yoga ever recorded!)

(And who can forget the majestic unicorn, frolicking through the blood of her enemies!) 

And of course my home and native land got in on the action long before Britain with this Canada #1289 - Sasquatch (1990) 39¢ issued in 1990. 

Stay cool stamp geeks! 

- Peace