The “Sunday Funnies” stamps announced earlier this year by the United States Postal Service will be issued July 16, kicking off at 10:30 a.m. with a dedication ceremony at The Ohio State University, home of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
The five stamps honor Archie, Beetle Bailey, Calvin and Hobbes, Dennis the Menace and Garfield, so it’s fitting that the ceremony’s guests include Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker, Garfield creator Jim Davis, Dennis the Menace artists Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand, Archie newspaper strip writer Craig Goldman and Calvin and Hobbes editor Lee Salem.
See larger images of the stamp artwork, and read the text from the back of the “Sunday Funnies” pane, after the break:
The Sunday Funnies pane of 20 stamps honors five of the nation’s most beloved comic strips: Archie, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes. The strips, as well as their characters, may have changed over the years, yet each nevertheless remains an enduring classic.
Offering an idealized portrait of American adolescence, Archie existed only in comic-book form before debuting in newspapers in 1946. A typical small-town teenager with a knack for goofing things up, 17-year-old Archie Andrews is often torn between haughty brunette Veronica Lodge and sweet, blonde Betty Cooper.
A military strip with universal appeal, Beetle Bailey first appeared in September 1950. Possibly the laziest man in the army, Private Beetle Bailey is an expert at sleeping and avoiding work. His chronic indolence antagonizes Sergeant Orville P. Snorkel, who is tough on his men but calls them “my boys.”
Dennis the Menace follows the antics of Dennis Mitchell, a good-hearted but mischievous little boy who is perpetually “five-ana-half” years old. His curiosity tests the patience of his loving parents and neighbors, guaranteeing that their lives are anything but dull. The comic debuted in March 1951 as a single-panel gag.
Garfield first waddled onto the comics page in June 1978. Self-centered and cynical, the crabby tabby hates Mondays and loves lasagna. He lives with Jon Arbuckle, a bumbling bachelor with a fatally flawed fashion sense, and Odie, a dopey-but-devoted dog.
Calvin and Hobbes explores the fantasy life of six-year-old Calvin and his tiger pal, Hobbes. The inseparable friends ponder the mysteries of the world and test the fortitude of Calvin’s parents, who never know where their son’s imagination will take him. The strip ran from November 1985 to December 1995.