A big hello to any US (or visiting) readers attending this weekend’s Stampshow in Columbus, Ohio!
I read in a news report that organizers (jointly the American Philatelic Society and the American Topical Society) are seeking to tap into more of the pop culture appeal of stamps at this exhibition. Sounds like a good idea to me. I appreciate the effort that old-school philatelists put into their exhibits on obscure paquebot markings or the plate proofs of Upper Biddlonia, but the hobby is evolving with the times. If that means that more fun begins to sneak into philatelic exhibitions in the form of stamp art or dragon mascots, then I’m all for it.
And dragon mascots it is at Stampshow 2018. The USPS has released a set of colourful stamps celebrating the mythology of dragons. I’m not aware of the USA ever having had actual dragons, but nor is the USA the first country to put dragons on its stamps. My homeland, Australia, released a whole set of Mythical Creatures in 2011, none of which actually exist. Normally I get a bit shitty when stamp issues aren’t relevant to a nation, but Mythical Creatures was that year’s annual release designed specifically to appeal to kids, so on that basis, I’ll allow it. (The UK recently put a dragon on a stamp too, but at least it was commemorating the UK-based Game of Thrones TV series, so it almost passes muster.)
I was overjoyed to read that Stampshow’s mascot is the superbly named Perf, the Magic Dragon. I’m gunna go ahead and assume that’s a pun on the song Puff, the Magic Dragon, and I’d like to say: excellent work, whoever came up with that. Does everybody here realise that Puff’s best friend was Little Jackie Paper? How very appropriate for a stamp show attempting to appeal to the young while also catering to the old, who are really into things like perfs and papers.
I’ve previously written about stamp shows. If you’re off to Stampshow this weekend, I’d love to hear what you thought, in comments either on this post or that old one. Especially if you were a first timer. Did Perf the Magic Dragon fire up a passion for philately in you?