Disney’s Baddest of the Bad Sneak
Onto Surprise Set of New U.S. Stamps

We love to hate them. How else do we best describe all of those animated Disney villains we have come to know over the years? Now, 10 of the most dastardly of the Disney evil-doers will appear on a set of stamps issued on a sheet of 20 forever stamps by the U.S. Postal Service.

The stamps were announced today and will be issued July 15 during D23 Expo 2017 — a Disney fan event — July 15 at the Anaheim, California Convention Center. RSVP for the ceremony via this website: usps.com/disney.

Among those featured will be the antagonist from Disney’s first animated feature-length film, the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937).

The other villains appearing are Honest John, from Pinocchio (1940), Lady Tremaine, from Cinderella (1950), the Queen of Hearts, from Alice in Wonderland (1951), Captain Hook, from Peter Pan (1953), Maleficent, from Sleeping Beauty (1959), Cruella De Vil, from One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), Ursula, from The Little Mermaid (1989), Gaston, from Beauty and the Beast (1991), and Scar, from The Lion King (1994).

Art director Derry Noyes of Washington, D.C, designed the stamps.

The stamps also are a tribute to the women — most of them young and eager to work for Disney — who worked long hard hours in the Ink and Paint Division to trace and color the film cels that were used to create the early Disney films, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio and Fantasia.

The department was formed in 1923. In the early days of animation, creating a film was a painstaking process. After the animators’ pencil drawings were finished, they went to Ink and Paint at which thousands of cels had to be created by tracing and coloring.

There, highly specialized artists meticulously recreated each pencil line in ink, capturing every nuanced movement and expression. In the early 1930s, the artists began using rich colors on the animation cels.

About 100 female inkers and painters would rouse themselves as early as 4:30 in the morning and work as much as 85 hours a week to do the intricate work in order to finish the film on time.

The last full-length animated Disney film to use the hand-painted cel process was The Little Mermaid (1989). Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Lion King (1994) were hand drawn. The original pencil drawings for those films were then scanned and painted digitally. For these stamps, the characters Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Scar (The Lion King) have been recreated using traditional ink and paint techniques.

Patricia Zohn in 2010 wrote a fascinating story about the inkers and painters for Vanity Fair. She used much material from her aunt, Rae Medby McSpadden, and her friends, who worked in the Disney animation studios full-time in the early years and off-and-on into the 1960s.

“If you were there by nine you got the black pen,” remembers painter June Walker Patterson in Zohn’s story. “They’d change pens exactly at nine—when you got the red pen. I was in the red every time. I was docked for every minute that I was late.”

Rae made her way to Los Angeles and had been lucky to get in with the last trainees of January 1936. She was hired in January 1936 after five unpaid months and weekly, nerve-racking “elimination days,” when accuracy and speed were meticulously reviewed, Zohn wrote.

“ ‘They were very demanding,’ inker Yuba Pillet O’Brien remembers in Zohn’s story. ‘Out of our class [‘35] of 60, they only hired 3 and 1 was let go.’ All for the starting salary of $16 per week. But what some candidates lacked in experience or art education, they made up for in moxie.”

National Topical Show Brewing in
Milwaukee This Weekend

The National Topical Stamp Show (NTSS), sponsored by the American Topical Society, will be held June 23–25 at Milwaukee Crowne Plaza Airport, 6401 S. 13th St., Milwaukee, WI 53221 (Just off I-41, exit 319.) Show hours are Friday and Saturday 10–6, and Sunday 10–3. Parking is free, $5 admission good for all 3 days.

The show will feature:
• 15 dealers
• a cachetmakers bourse
• exhibits treated thematically; that is, they tell a story. Come to see the variety and creativity
• the United Nations Postal Administration will be present with current items for sale
• Birthday Tribute and Program on thematic exhibiting pioneer Mary Ann Owens
• ATA Annual Meeting
• Disney-Themed Beginner/Youth Area
• Silent Auctions all 3 days
• Meetings of ATA-Affiliated Study Units
• What’s in Your Attic? Free Stamp Evaluations
• Tours, Reception, Banquet, Hospitality Room

APS Executive Director Scott English will attend the show, offer special recognition to some ATA members, and make a special announcement at the ATA’s annual meeting at 1 p.m. Friday.

There are programs, society meetings, and special events throughout the show see a complete schedule.

More information is available on the NTSS website or contact the ATA office at 618-985-5100.

Carter Awards for Young Philatelists

The American Philatelic Society has announced the recipients of the 2017 Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Award for Outstanding Young Philatelist (ages 15–24) and Outstanding Young Adult Philatelist (ages 25–40). The national and local service awards were announced earlier.

Outstanding Young Philatelist
Charles Epting, of California, is a member of the APS, American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, United States Stamp Society, and the Royal Philatelic Society of London. He is the president and works in marketing and other areas for H.R. Harmer auctions of Tustin, California.

He has authored several articles, including “New York City in the 1930s,” for the May 2016 edition of The American Philatelist; “An Unlisted Canal Zone Photo Essay,” for the September 2016 United States Stamp Society Specialist; and “Review of The Erivan Haub Collection of U.S. and Confederate Postmasters’ Provisionals,” for the August 2016 Chronicle of U.S. Philatelic Classics. A regular columnist for Stamp Insider he also has written for First Days, the Ephemera Journal, U.S. Stamp News, and American Stamp Dealer and Collector.

Epting has shown his exhibit, “Roosevelt’s Tree Army: Postal History of the Civilian Conservation Corps, 1933–1942” at AmeriStamp Expo 2016 and Okpex 2016. He presented seminars at Westpex, WSS-NY 2016 and StampShow 2016, and attended Monacophil 2015. Finally, he helped secure Harmer sponsorship of the APS Tiffany Dinner at StampShow 2016, where he introduced 2016 Luff Award winners Diane DeBlois and Robert Dalton Harris.

Outstanding Young Adult Philatelist
Amanda Morgenstern, of Illinois, has volunteered extensively in several areas of philately. She promotes the hobby and has assisted the Southern Illinois Stamp Club in many ways, such as shows, youth, group leadership, local roadshow events, and website suggestions. She has had extensive involvement with national and international promotion in her volunteer work with the American Topical Association.

Morgenstern’s volunteerism with ATA has included her volunteer-webmaster position from 2012 to 2016. ATA’s Facebook page has benefited from Amanda’s participation and leadership. Recently, she has taken the lead in supplying information for Twitter use. Amanda has created several cachets for ATA events and is always willing to help with any kind of project. Her fine sense of design has helped bring the hobby into the 21st century. Morgenstern was elected to the ATA Board of Directors in 2016.
Among other philatelic groups that she has served is the Graphics Philately Association. Morgenstern edited its quarterly journal from 2014 to 2016. She instituted a full redesign of the publication which has now received recognition in philatelic literature competitions.

Awards are presented each year at the APS General Meeting, this year on August 5 at StampShow 2017 in Richmond, Virginia. If honorees are unable to attend the show, other arrangements are made for an official presentation.

The Nicholas G. Carter Volunteer Recognition Award recognizes the outstanding efforts of our volunteers at national and local levels and also recognize our younger members whose outstanding leadership is crucial to our future.

Total Solar Eclipse Stamp at
Post Offices Nationwide June 20

The U.S. Postal Service will issue on Tuesday, June 20, a forever stamp noting this year’s total solar eclipse using a special kind of ink that will make an image of the moon appear beneath your thumb.

See our earlier blog post with details about the stamp itself.

The first-day-of-issue ceremony is taking place at 1:30 p.m. (Mountain Time) June 20 at the Art Museum of the University of Wyoming in Laramie. The university is celebrating the summer solstice on that day. Prior to the event, visitors are encouraged to arrive at 11:30 a.m. to witness a unique architectural feature where a single beam of sunlight shines on a silver dollar embedded in the floor, which occurs at noon on the summer solstice in the UW Art Museum’s Rotunda Gallery.

Ceremony participants are anticipated to include:
Dr. Madhulika Guhathakurta, NASA Astrophysicist
Chip Kobulnicky, University of Wyoming Department of Physics and Astronomy Professor
Fred Espenak, Photographer of stamp image, Eclipse expert
Kevin Romero, Acting District Manager, Colorado/Wyoming District, USPS
Jim Cochrane, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President, USPS

Oklahoma Stamp Show June 16–17

The Okpex 2017 stamp show starts today, Friday, June 16, and closes tomorrow Saturday June 17. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The show is being held at the Reed Conference Center, 5800 Will Rogers Road, Midwest City, OK 73110, located off Interstate 40, just 5 miles east of downtown Oklahoma City.

The show has 13 dealers and the United States Postal Service will also have a booth. There are also competitive and non-competitive exhibits on display.

Both The Oklahoma Philatelic Society, and The Oklahoma Postal History Society will hold their annual meetings at OKPEX 2017. The local chapter of the American Topical Association will hold its 4th OKPEX “Roundtable Meeting” and the American Association of Philatelic Exhibitors will hold an “Open Forum on Exhibiting” for exhibitors and those interested in becoming exhibitors.

Scott Tiffney, APRL Reference Assistant, will be staffing an APS table at the show.

For more information, visit its website.