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USPS Comic Stamps That Never Were

With the barren United States Postal Service stamp-scape for comics lovers in 2022, let’s take a look, with the help of Richard D. Sheaff, at some cartoonist-related postage stamps that never materialized.

Stamps by and about cartoonists have been issued (all the above),
but some ideas never got a sticky backside.

The self-caricature by Xavier Cugat, a cartoonist much better known for a different career,
didn’t make the perforated cut.



Another self-caricaturing cartoonist, who also had another career,
made the cut (left), though there was a different design (right) considered.


This stamp (above) made it to your local Post Office’s walls and folders,
though it too went through many designs possibilities:



Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan ran as a comic strip and comic book for decades so we’ll include him.

Above is the Forever stamp issued in 2012. Before that there had been other considerations:



Haddon Sundblom’s Santa (above) made it on a postage stamp,
but I don’t think Thomas Nast’s interpretation ever did. Though it was contemplated.


Here is a series that I would have bought multiple sheets had it seen print.

Editorial edit: Thanks to Brian Fairrington, who noticed the mistake, and to Rick McKee, who sussed out the answer, (see comments below) we now know that the image attached to the Jeff MacNelly stamp is actually a drawing by David Simpson.

Now how did the USPS make that mistake?

See more never realized U.S. stamps at Dick Sheaff’s page,
some a bit cartoony like Lou Brooks series that “might have been.”

Community Comments

#1 Brian Fairrington
@ 4:50 pm

FYI -The artwork on the Jeff MacNelly stamp is not MacNelly’s

#2 D. D. Degg
@ 5:39 pm

Brian, any idea who that not-MacNelly cartoon belongs to?
I did a Google Image search for Jerry Nadler cartoons (that’s who it looks like to me) but came up with bupkis.

#3 Mike Rhode
@ 8:12 pm

DD –

a couple more of interest – cartoonist James Flora at and and
and Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon via the movies at

#4 Mike Rhode
@ 8:15 pm

I wrote about some of the earliest versions of comic stamps in the US years ago at

#5 Rick McKee
@ 8:51 pm

As for the “MacNelly” art, I found this, but I can’t make out the signature:

The weird thing is, I also found this, (supposedly by Bob Englehart in 1981, but there’s no signature):

I do believe somebody ripped him off.

#6 Rick McKee
@ 8:57 pm

Ok, it’s all coming back to me now:

#7 Rick McKee
@ 9:01 pm

Looks like my other comment didn’t get posted. The art on the MacNelly stamp is by David Simpson, after Bob Englehart:

#8 D. D. Degg
@ 9:24 pm

Rick and Mike, we have released your comments from AI jail
(it hates multiple links in a comment).
Rick, I have kept all your comments here for continuity sake.
Brian and Rick, thanks for the journey to truth.

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