African stamps: the hairdos and the tortoise

Central African Republic 2016 Homage to David Bowie 3000f minisheet

Sorry for my long absence from the blog, folks! You’d think a hired assassin working for top dollar would be offered a decent wifi connection, but covert black ops budgets aren’t what they used to be. A big welcome to new followers. I promise not to hit you with a ninja star from behind a tree before you even know I’m there.

So, I’m home now and back to the hobby of punks. If you, like me, were a kid collecting stamps in the 70s or 80s or 90s – or even if you’re collecting now, in which case: hello! I thought you were dead –  your album was probably brimming with big, colourful stamps from developing countries that had little relevance to the issuing nation. Because who’s to say that Equatorial Guinea can’t celebrate the centenary of Japanese railroads?

Equatorial Guinea 1972 3ptas Centenary of Japanese Railroads

The motivation for this phenomenon is Continue reading

Come, sail your ships around me

It’s New Issue Day down under and this time around, Australia Post is giving me the absolute ships.

Australia 2015 Era of Sail: Clipper Ships
Let’s be frank, ships are a cliché on stamps. Any country with a coastline probably has good historical reasons to bung sailing ships on their stamps. Ships are also a popular thematic collecting area, because Old Men, so even countries with no open water access put ships on their stamps and collect Grandpa’s sweet pension money. This is not to deny the devastation that the loss of the Titanic wreaked upon the Republic of Burundi.

Burundi 2001 Titanic 100th Anniversary
Australia 1984 Clipper Ships ThermopylaeBut cynicism can walk the plank. Truth is Continue reading

What’s long, sticky, and displays a large pair of balls?

Here’s a late-night quickie for you. As I was researching a fabulous forthcoming entry, I stumbled across this USPS release from last month and was so knocked out by the design, I had to share it with you at once.

Wilt Chamberlin is the first (!) NBA star to be featured on a US postage stamp. Can’t say I know much about the man or his career, but I have learned he was 7’1″ tall. That’s 215.9cm to the rest of us. (Hi America! Join us in the 21st Century sometime. It’s lovely, everyone speaks English, and everything is divisible by ten.)

So how does one depict such a literal and metaphorical giant on a stamp?

Like this:

Wilt Chamberlain was a very tall man Was that as good for you as it was for me?

Continue reading