US Stamps

‘Peanuts’ character Pigpen front and center for December cartoon contest

Nov 28, 2022, 9 AM

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

I would bet that 95 percent of Linn’s readers are Peanuts fans and have positive feelings about the pane of 20 Charles M. Schulz forever stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service on Sept. 30, 2022, shown in Figure 1.

I’m a huge fan, and I was the advocate while a member of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee for the 34¢ Peanuts stamp issued for the 50th anniversary of the comic strip in 2001 (Scott 3507). As shown in Figure 2, that stamp depicts Snoopy as a World War I flying ace.

When I retired from the CSAC in 2010, the Postal Service gave me the framed art shown here in Figure 3. It has a prominent place in my stamp den.

That said, Snoopy is not my favorite Peanuts character. Of the 10 images on the new pane, I’m partial to Pigpen, maybe because he is pretty close to my childhood persona (at least according to my mother). Come to think of it, my wife probably agreed.

So, I’m choosing that stamp for the December cartoon caption contest.

Perhaps later, I will use other stamps from the Charles M. Schulz pane for the contest. I previously used one of the stamps from the 2015 A Charlie Brown Christmas issue (Scott 5021-5030) in a cartoon contest (Linn’s, Dec. 10, 2018). That forever stamp (5028) also is shown in Figure 2.

For now, put yourself in Pigpen’s maelstrom of dust, and tell me what you think he might be saying or thinking about the venerable comic strip, about Christmas or the holiday season or why he has that Mona Lisa smile. You also could venture into politics, philately or anything else that occurs to you.

Entries with a touch of humor or irony stand the best chance of winning the contest.

There will be two prizes given to the winners: one for the best philatelic line and one for the best nonphilatelic line.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125; or email it to If you send an email, it is essential that you include your postal mailing address.

For each winner, the prize will be a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension).

Entries must reach me no later than Dec. 23.

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