Monday, 16 September 2013

305. Canada's Superman.

  Despite appearing to be the all-American hero, and despite Jersey Post Office recently making a claim on him (see Blog 253), a new issue of stamps from Canada seems to make it clear that the DC Comics super-hero, Superman, is in fact, Canadian or at least half-Canadian.  A set of 5 stamps from booklets, a miniature sheet which combines all 5 stamps and a 6th stamp produced in coil format were released on 10 September 2013 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Superman character by American, Jerry Siegel, and Canadian, Joe Shuster. The designs depict various images of Superman as he was shown over the 75 year period of his continuing appearance in DC Comics' publications as well as on television and in the cinema. The coil design depicts the famous S emblem which is emblazoned on the chest of Superman's costume.

  The five designs are united in the miniature sheet depicted below:-
  Canada Post may well have missed a trick in the philatelic commemoration of popular iconic science fiction characters since, following the same thinking that justified the issue of a Superman set of stamps, they should have probably also approached the BBC to join Royal Mail in the issue of stamps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr Who. Why? Well, the first producer of Dr Who in 1963 was a Canadian, Sydney Newman, and he played a pivotal role in the creation of the character who earlier this year appeared on the bumper stamp issue made by Royal Mail. A money-making opportunity missed?
 For sports enthusiasts, on 3 September 2013 Canada Post issued a set of 7 stamps, each design being produced in a separate booklet, and a miniature sheet which depicted National Hockey League jerseys. The stamps were lithographed by Lowe Martin:-
  In Blog 302 I mentioned an issue from Ghana which depicted world heritage sites and I complained that none of them were located in Ghana. However, it appears that the set is comprised of additional items which do indeed depict Ghanian world heritage sites and depicted are 3 miniature sheets which show scenes in Ghana. These are obviously of local interest and seem to me to be worthwhile buys.

  There is a range of interesting issues which recently appeared or will soon be released from Hong Kong China. The first of these issues was released on 23 July 2013 and depicts illustrations relevant to the subject "Chinese and western wedding customs". The set is comprised of 6 stamps, a single stamp miniature sheet and a "Heartwarming" "mini-pane" of 8 stamps. The stamps were designed by Eric Chan and lithographed by Cartor:-

  A single stamp miniature sheet was released on 22 August 2013 which was the second issue in the "World Heritage in China" series and depicts Lijiang Old Town in Yunnan Province. The item was designed by Gidian Lai and lithographed by Enschede:-

  A further new issue is due on 1 October 2013. Two stamps will be issued in coil format and booklet format and one is specifically for the local mail rate ($1.70) and the other for airmail postage ($3.70). The booklets contain 10 x $1.70 stamps (sold for $17) and 10 x $3.70 (sold for $37). The stamps were designed by Arde Lam and lithographed by Cartor.

  Footnote issues:

  The Lithuania-based philatelic agency,  Stamperija, has announced another flood of philatelic items produced in the name of the Mozambique Post Office. A second issue of philatelic items on the subject of transport is said to have been released on 25 March 2013 which was comprised of 15 sheetlets, each containing 6 different "stamps", and 15 miniature sheets. The subjects of each sub-set were:- Formula 1 racing champions, Concorde, Airships, High Speed Trains, the US astronaut Alan Shepard, Apollo 8 spacecraft, Drone aircraft, Public service vehicles, Steam locomotives, Rescue boats, Fire engines, Centenary of the Tour De France cycle race, Sled dogs, the Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei and the Vendee Globe Sailing Regatta. None of the designs of these products appear to have any relevance to Mozambique itself. So far, then, up until 25 March, Stamperija has produced 298 "stamps" and 61 miniature sheets (a total of 359 items) during 2013 with the name of Mozambique printed on them.
   Meanwhile the self-described "Boutique" New York-based philatelic agency, Philatelic Collector Inc.,  has announced another list of new products for its client territories, Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa.
   On 19 August 2013 a second issue in Samoa's waterfall series was made - again a single stamp and a $10 miniature sheet. The products were designed by "The Samoan Photographer".
   Tonga has had another 12 definitives and a miniature sheet which combines all 12 values produced with the name of Niuafo'ou printed on them. I do not yet know the date of issue of those items.
   Cook Islands, too, has had another 12 new definitives produced for it along with, of course, the obligatory miniature sheet which, of course, includes all 12 stamps. The new issue depicts insects and was released on 2 September 2013. The designer of the set was Alison Dittko. A single $8 stamp was also issued by Cook Islands on 18 September 2013 and it features an illustration of the first postage stamp, the Penny Black. No reason is given by the philatelic agents as to why it was felt necessary to choose this subject for a stamp issue at this particular time since the release does not appear to coincide with any particular anniversary or event relating to the Penny Black. I suppose we must draw our own conclusions about why such a stamp has been issued now.

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