US Stamps

December cartoon caption contest winner has Columbus taking a navigational leap into the future

Jan 7, 2024, 1 PM
The winner of the nonphilatelic line in the December cartoon caption contest is Joe Timko of Vicksburg, Mich. He suggests how Columbus may have used then-undreamed-of planning tools, as he talks to Queen Isabella on the 1992 29¢ Voyages of Columbus stamp.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

The portrayal of Christopher Columbus petitioning Queen Isabella shown on the 1992 29¢ (Scott 2620) from the Voyages of Columbus block of four (2620-2623) is much more informal than most representations of the event. 

The 1992 stamp was the cartoon contest stamp for December, and most of the entries seemed to favor the informal approach, addressing the possible benefits to Spain or the queen.

Bill McCloskey of Bethesda, Md., appeals to vanity with “When this place starts issuing stamps, your Highness will be a sure shot to be on at least one.”

David Vikan of Dickinson, N.D., appeals to venality with “Your Majesty, you’ll make a bundle. Indians have casinos!”

Undoubtedly, the queen had questions, and several entries commented on that aspect. I especially liked this one from Steve Kotler of San Francisco, Calif., “Questions, questions, questions — what is this, an Inquisition?”

The practicalities of the trip provide the backdrop for the nonphilatelic winner with the line by Joe Timko of Vicksburg, Mich., shown in the picture above.

Josh Tanski of Varysburg, N.Y., brings the scene into the modern era of stamp collecting with his line that wins the philatelic part of the contest, “We might find some rare Caribbean island kiloware.”

Both winners will receive a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension).

Here are the best of the other runners-up:

“As part of the agreement, I want the following recognition: a country named after me, several cities, dozens of statues, and hundreds of postage stamps issued in my honor,” by Vernon Kleen of Springfield, Ill.

“Yes, but if I don’t get to America I can’t fulfill your order for extra spicy orange chicken!” from Alex Kaplan of Naples, Fla.

“Sorry, we can’t fund your voyage until we pass a Continuing Resolution,” sent by Scott Chamberlain of Long Beach, Calif.

“And once we get there, we’ll stay at Howard Johnson’s to keep the costs down,” by Dave Epps of Portland, Ore.

“Isabella, for the last time, the earth is not shaped like a pizza pie … It’s shaped like a ball of mozzarella!” by George DeKornfeld of Hobart, N.Y.

Thanks and a tip of the hat to all who entered. The next contest will be announced in the Feb. 12 issue of Linn’s.

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