As long time readers of this little blog will recall, I am quite a fan of comics-related post stamps.I’ve been collecting them for some 30 years now, and wroteÂ about the subject quite regularly in the past.
Recently, though, my attention has shifted somewhat to stamps that are not really stamps. They look the part, but they’re basically worthless and in any case should not be used as postage. I got interested by what philately calls cinderella stampsÂ some yearsÂ agoÂ when I tracked down a sheet of stamps featuring the heroes of Spirou magazine that were published as a supplement to the magazine in 1961.
When I came across a similar sheet of Dan Dare themed stamps that looked quite similar, my interest was immediately peaked. They are labeled “Interplanetary essays – created and designed in Great Britain”, but also bear a 1958 copyright stating “H.E. MacIntosh, Springfield, Mass.” I’m not sure whether Dan Dare ever made it to the US, but the quality of the stamps is simply superb, and I got to wonder why someone would go to such lengths to create stamps for a property that is hardly known overseas.
As it turns out, H.E. MacIntosh was a stamp publisher who regularly published pamphlets to get young people enthusiastic about stamp and coin collecting, and also went as far as to create his own stamps and banknotes about these subjects. For these particular stamps, MacIntosh used designs (and most probably the original plates) that were created for a series of collectible stamps published in the UK in 1954, as part of a marketing campaign for Lifebuoy soap. Those are prohibitively expensive, but Mr. MacIntosh’s sheetlet regularly pops up on Ebay, and is quite affordable.