1995 32¢ Bringing Up Father
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of the comics in American newspapers, he was able to colorize them with accurate color choices, even those that were outdated.
Bringing Up Father (#3000d) – Sometimes there are certain aspects of a comic that must be included to do it justice. That is just what happened here for Bringing up Father. Mort Walker, creator of Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois who had been campaigning the US Postal service since the 1960’s for cartoon recognition, thought that Jiggs in the cartoon should be wearing his silk hat. He also thought Maggie should be portrayed in a more positive manner. Herrman had to go with something else, but found a perfect solution which depicted this cartoon in the exact way it should.
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:
Bringing Up Father
George McManus created a number of comics with varying degrees of success before he came up with this comic in 1913. The strip told the saga of Jiggs, an Irish-American bricklayer suddenly made wealthy by the Irish sweepstakes, and his socially ambitious wife Maggie. Readers of all walks of life could identify with the henpecked Jiggs and eventually the strip became popularly known as Maggie and Jiggs. Jiggs’ habit of escaping from Maggie’s fancy parties to eat corned beef and cabbage popularized the dish.
This strip was one of the most widely syndicated strips of the “Golden Age of Comics,” appearing at the height of its popularity in 500 newspapers in 20 languages in 71 countries.