Displaying items by tag: Canada Post

Friday, 13 November 2020 05:09

Canada bans import of comic books

A stamp featuring iconic Canadian comic book superhero Johnny Canuck was issued by Canada Post in October 1995.

On today’s date in 1940, the Government of Canada banned the import of comic books, paving the way for the development of home-grown war-time heroes like Johnny Canuck.

Rather than rely on U.S. imports to aid war efforts, a previous personification of Canadian culture was re-invented during the Second World War. The fictional lumberjack first appeared in political cartoons dating back to 1869, when he was portrayed as a younger cousin of Uncle Sam and John Bull, who were personifications of the U.S. and Britain, respectively. A hero without superpowers, Johnny Canuck was strong, brave and passionate about Canada.

More than a homegrown comic book hero, “Captain Canuck” personifies the spirit of Canadians by embodying self-sacrifice, determination and integrity—all with a full dose of humility and compassion.

In 1941, John Ezrin, of the Canadian comic book publisher Bell Features, saw a young boy browsing through a comic book at a newsstand.

The boy, 16-year-old Leo Bachle, was critical of the artwork and drew an action scene on the spot.

Ezrin, who was impressed with the boy’s work, asked him to create a character by the following morning.

That night, Johnny Canuck – Canada’s second national superhero – was born.

On Oct. 2, 1995, Canada Post commemorated Johnny Canuck alongside four other comic book superheroes in a five-stamp set (Scott #1579-83).

Johnny Canuck is depicted as he appeared in the comic books: he’s dressed in a flight jacket with goggles, leather headgear and boots. The 45-cent stamp (SC #1580) was printed by Ashton Potter and designed by Louis Fishauf based on Bachle’s drawings.

Source: canadianstampnews.com

Published in News
Sunday, 06 September 2020 03:55

OTD: Canadian actor Mary Pickford stars in Rosita

Mary Pickford was featured on a 51-cent stamp issued by Canada Post in 2006.

On today’s date in 1923, Canadian silent-film actor Mary Pickford starred in Ernst Lubitsch’s first U.S. film, Rosita, which premiered at the Lyric Theater in New York.

In 2006, Canada Post featured Pickford on a 51-cent stamp (Scott #2153d, #2154b) as part of its “Canadians in Hollywood” series.

John Candy (SC #2153a), Fay Wray (SC #2153b) and Lorne Greene (SC #2153d) were also featured in the four-stamp issue, which was printed by the Lowe-Martin Group on Tullis Russell coated paper using five-colour lithography plus two varnishes. The stamps, which have general tagging along each side, were issued in water-activated souvenir sheets of four stamps (SC #2153) and self-adhesive booklets of eight stamps (SC #2154).

“Canadians have had a tremendous creative influence in film and television, and these stamps recognize their success as part of our heritage,” said Danielle Trottier, stamp design and production manager at Canada Post.


Pickford became “America’s Sweetheart” in the early days of the 20th century, when the flickering lights of the silver screen first beguiled viewers with moving pictures.

She was widely known and well-loved for the charming characters she portrayed on screen, but few Americans knew their “sweetheart” was actually a girl from Toronto.

Born in Toronto in 1892, Gladys Louise Smith adopted her stage name when she moved south to work on Broadway. By 1909, she accepted a film job and found immediate success thanks to an acting style that was perfectly suited to silent film.

Pickford developed a tremendous rapport with her fans and soon became internationally famous. Her celebrity status enabled her to demand substantial fees and creative control over her work, and she eventually managed film production and distribution before co-founding United Artists with veteran actors Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith in 1919.


“It’s so important that people remember Mary and recognize her for the remarkable woman she was,” said Keith Lawrence, who knew Pickford when he was a child and is now president and CEO of the Mary Pickford Institute in Los Angeles.

“She had a deep love for Canada and would’ve considered this stamp a huge honour.”

She’s pictured on the stamp with the coy, child-like expression of her many film characters, and against a background of sweetheart roses.

“Each actor is portrayed as they appeared at the peak of their fame, and against a background associated with their work,” said Trottier. “For Pickford, the roses recall her famous nickname and suggest the romance viewers saw in her screen image.”

Inspiration for the style of the four stamps came to designers John Belisle and Kosta Tsetsekas, of Vancouver’s Signals Design, as they began the research phase of their creative process.

“We started by looking at old Hollywood movie posters, and soon realized that this was a great design concept,” said Belisle. “The feel of movie posters has changed over the decades, but they’re always bold and dramatic. We tried to capture those qualities on the stamps, with iconic portraits and typography in motion, to suggest moving picture.”

Published in News