1995 32¢ Little Nemo in Slumberland
Comic Strip Classics
- Third sheet in the Classic Collection Series
Stamp Category: Commemorative
Set: Comic Strip Classics
Value: 32¢, rate for first-class mail
First Day of Issue: October 1, 1995
First Day Cities: Boca Raton, Florida
Quantity Issued: 300,000,000
Printed by: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Format: Panes of 20 in sheets of 120
Perforations: 10.1 x 10.2
Why the stamps were issued: The Comic Strip Classics sheet was the third issue in the Classic Collection Series. There was push to create a stamp to honor American comics as early as the 1960’s, but didn’t get real consideration until 1993. With the 100th anniversary of the comic The Yellow Kid, a comic committee, and an 83-page proposal the USPS finally agreed.
About the stamp designs: Even though only one stamp was approved, Terrence McCaffrey, head of stamp design, thought there was no way to honor American Comics with one single stamp. Therefore, he had a list of all proposed stamps and had Carl Herrman, art director, mock up a sheet of 20 stamps. McCaffrey wanted all the stamps to be taken from original panels by their respected artist. Herrmann worked on going through thousands of panels to find comics of the 20 chosen that showed the central theme of the comic in one panel with clean lines. Then with the help of American Color, that colorizes most of the comics in American newspapers, he was able to colorize them with accurate color choices, even those that were outdated.
Little Nemo in Slumberland (#3000c) – Since the comic strips had such fine line and lots of detail it was hard to get everything into a small stamp and have it still translate. Since each strip ends with the boy waking up upon falling out of bed, it was decided that this would be the image for the stamp. This worked well especially since the name is long and had to have room to be legible.
About the printing process: In order to include the text on the back of each stamp, it had to be printed under the gum, so that it would still be visible if a stamp was soaked off an envelope. Because people would need to lick the stamps, the ink had to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration as non-toxic. The printer also used an extra-fine 300-line screen, which resulted in some of the highest-quality gravure stamp printings in recent years.
History the stamps represent:
Little Nemo in Slumberland
A masterful artist, Winsor McCay exceeded the conventional limitations of the comic strip to create this comic. It is a surrealist panorama of a boy’s adventure in dreamland. Employing brilliant colors and imaginative compositions to heighten the dreamlike state of his principal character, McCay took readers along with Nemo into fantasy worlds of both beauty and danger.
The first strip to be drawn in a realistic style and to utilize quality color printing, this comic made its debut in Pulitzer’s New York Herald in 1905. When McCay moved to Hearst’s paper in 1911, he simply retitled his strip In the Wonderful Land of Dreams and continued Nemo’s nocturnal adventures until 1914. In 1924, Nemo reappeared in the Herald and remained there until 1927.