Bugs Bunny returns July 27 on 10 U.S. forever stamps
By Michael Baadke
A smart-aleck animated rabbit named Bugs Bunny made his first appearance in 1940, in an 8-minute short-subject cartoon titled A Wild Hare.
The United States Postal Service is issuing a new set of 10 Bugs Bunny forever stamps on July 27 to commemorate the 80th anniversary of that cartoon debut.
The Postal Service announced July 16 that it would begin revealing individual images of the stamps on the afternoon of July 17.
The first of those 10 images, shown here, depicts Bugs as a barber in an updated adaptation from the 1950 cartoon Rabbit of Seville.
The word “forever” reads up from the lower left corner in dropout white lettering, and “usa” appears in white lowercase letters in the lower right corner.
The remaining stamps will be pictured in an upcoming issue of Linn’s Stamp News.
The stamps will be first shown on the USPS Facebook and Twitter pages, beginning with a 1 p.m. Eastern Time presentation Friday.
Additional sneak peeks will be scheduled before the stamps are issued, according to the Postal Service.
As of July 16, the Postal Service had also revealed two sketches of Bugs Bunny that will be printed on the back of the 20-stamp pane.
Shortly after the Bugs Bunny issue was announced on June 23, the Postal Service published a detailed description of the 10 stamps.
“On the first row of stamps Bugs appears as a barber with white smock and pointy scissors; achieves ‘airness’ on the brink of a slam-dunk in his basketball jersey; is debonair in beret, ascot, smoking jacket, and shades as a screen idol in his Hollywood digs; jokes it up as a jester in bright green garb and fool’s cap; and does a diva turn as an operatic Brunhilde in blonde braids and winged helmet.
“On the second row of stamps, Bugs is a mermaid in a curly 1940s up-do; is classically composed in white tie and tails at the piano; heroically poses as the carrot-powered Super-Rabbit with blue suit and red cape; warms up to pitch a big-league ballgame; and helps save the planet as a World War II U.S. Army staff sergeant in combat uniform with an American-flag backdrop.”
When the nondenominated (55¢) stamps are issued, the Postal Service will hold a “virtual stamp dedication ceremony” on its Facebook and Twitter social media pages, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time July 27.
Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there haven’t been any in-person first-day ceremonies for U.S. stamps since March 4, when the Arnold Palmer forever stamp ceremony was held in Orlando, Fla.
According to the Postal Service, viewing the stamp event on the USPS Facebook page requires the viewer to have a Facebook account and to click the like button for U.S. Postal Service.
The next steps are to scroll down the page to “Posts” and click on the event, according to the Postal Service.
To view the event without Facebook registration, visit the USPS Twitter page.
On either platform, it might be necessary to refresh the webpage at intervals until the event becomes available.
The stamps will be sold in post offices nationwide on the issue date in full panes of 20 only. Orders for the new stamps are also being taken on the Postal Service’s retail site.
Warner Bros. Entertainment produced the stamp illustrations, according to the Postal Service, “based on iconic moments of Bugs Bunny’s career.” Greg Breeding designed the stamps, and USPS director of Stamp Services William J. Gicker served as art director.
The stamp pane includes a decorative header with “Bugs Bunny” lettered across the top.
Warner Bros. Animation artists also created sketches of Bugs Bunny that appear on the reverse side of the pane.
Banknote Corporation of America, one of two contract security printers currently printing stamps for the Postal Service, printed the Bugs Bunny stamps on its Alprinta 74 offset press.
The new 10-stamp set will mark the second appearance on U.S. stamps for Bugs. The first came in 1997, when the Postal Service issued its 32¢ Bugs Bunny stamp in a pane of 10 (Scott 3137). A variety issued at the same time includes one imperforate stamp alongside nine stamps with die-cut separations (3138).
That 1997 issue was the first in a series of commemoratives paying tribute to animated characters in the Warner Bros. Looney Tunes stable. It was followed by stamps celebrating Sylvester and Tweety in 1998 (Scott 3204-3205), Daffy Duck in 1999 (3306-3307), Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote in 2000 (3391-3392), and Porky Pig in 2001 (3534-3535).
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