New stamps honour Superman’s Canadian roots

On August 23, Canada Post unveiled a new series of stamps marking the 75th anniversary of the creation of the man of steel, by Toronto-born artist Joseph Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel.

The unveiling was held at Fan Expo Canada, in Toronto, Canada’s largest pop culture event. “At Fan Expo you will be able to see them, but they won’t be available until Sept. 10,” Kiesha McIntosh-Siung told Canadian Stamp News. “Of course people will be able to pre-order them online.” Shuster, who moved from Toronto and attended high school in Cleveland, Ohio, modelled Superman’s city, Metropolis, after Toronto, and the Daily Planet after the Daily Star. The two created the character in 1933, and sold it to DC Comics, which introduced Superman in 1938.

The set consists of five commemorative stamps and a coil stamp, all showing the character in heroic poses. The stamps are permanent-rate domestic postage. They are being offered in five 10-stamp booklets. The booklets have five different covers, all taken from comic book covers and not based on the stamp designs, but all contain two of each commemorative stamp design. The booklet stamps are self-adhesive with simulated perforations. The stamps are also being produced in coils of 75 self-adhesive stamps.

Coil stamps are a different design by John Byrne. There is also a souvenir sheet with a strip of the five stamps, and an uncut press sheet with six souvenir sheets. Only 7,500 press sheets are being offered. The souvenir sheet stamps are water-activated with standard perfs. McIntosh-Siung, said two official first-day covers would be produced. One cover will have the five stamps and a Toronto cancel. The second cover will have the coil stamp, and a cancel of Metropolis. Kosta Tsetsekas and Jasper Murphy of Signals Design Group, Vancouver, designed the stamps. They were printed on Tullis Russell paper by Lowe-Martin using seven colour lithography and general four-side tagging.

It is not the first time the man of steel has graced a Canadian stamp. In 1995 he appeared on a set of 45-cent stamps honouring Canadian heroes. In addition to Superman, the set included Johnny Canuck, Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Captain Canuck, and Fleur de Lys. He also appeared on a United States 32-cent stamp. Ironically, Siegel and Shuster envisioned Superman as a bald telepathic villain but later reworked the character into the form known today. As one of the first superheroes, the character’s costume of shorts over tights, became a standard look for superheroes. Over the years, the character has been portrayed by seven actors on television series and movies.

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