USPS reveals designs for 2024 stamps celebrating Dungeons & Dragons, Ansel Adams, more
By Charles Snee
On Nov. 30, the United States Postal Service revealed additional stamps to be issued in 2024. Also announced were issue dates and locations for 13 previously announced issues that will debut during the first three months of next year.
According to the Nov. 30 press release, 10 stamps will be issued in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the iconic role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.
“By inviting participants to imagine themselves as wizards, warriors and other adventurers in exciting and treacherous fantasy worlds, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS opened doors to whole new universes of creativity for generations of players,” the USPS said.
The stamps, which are to be issued in panes of 20 (two of each design), feature richly detailed images of characters and creatures that will be familiar to Dungeons & Dragons players. Veteran USPS art director Greg Breeding designed the stamps and pane using existing illustrations.
A single stamp will honor John Wooden (1910-2010), the legendary head coach of the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins basketball team that won a record 10 NCAA Division I men’s basketball championships during his 27-year tenure. Those 10 wins came during a 12-year span that includes a record seven consecutive championships.
Known as the “Wizard of Westwood,” Wooden coached the Bruins to four perfect 30-0 seasons.
Artist Alexis Franklin created the portrait of Wooden that appears on the stamp. An image in the background shows a player defending a shot by an opposing player.
“The numbers on the two players’ jerseys, 4 and 10, evoke the Bruins’ four perfect seasons and the 10 national championships during Wooden’s tenure,” the USPS said.
Ten stamps in a pane of 20 will feature dynamic photos of carnival scenes at night. Prominent in the pictures are various carnival rides, some of which rotate at high speeds to give their riders a thrill.
According to the Postal Service, “The stomach-twisting thrill rides, the indulgent snacks and sweets and the general spirit of lighthearted fun make the nation’s carnivals and fairs a place for visitors of any age to enjoy.”
Breeding used existing photos to design the 10 Carnival Nights stamps.
Renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) will be celebrated with a pane of 16 stamps reproducing some of his awe-inspiring black-and-white pictures. USPS art director Derry Noyes designed the stamps.
“These 16 stamps feature some of Adams’s most famous images in his signature ‘straight photography’ style, an approach defined by its precision and directness,” the USPS said.
The USPS also announced dates and locations for stamps scheduled to be issued from January through March.
First up in 2024 is the Love stamp, which will be issued Jan. 12 in Romance, Ark., without an official first-day ceremony.
Ten days later, on Jan. 22, the USPS will issue new high-denomination stamps for expedited mail service that show photos of stellar formations taken by the James Webb Space Telescope. The $9.85 Pillars of Creation Priority Mail stamp and the $30.45 Cosmic Cliffs Priority Mail Express stamp will be issued without a ceremony in Greenbelt, Md., home to the Goddard Space Flight Center, where the telescope was assembled.
On Jan. 25 in Seattle, Wash., the Postal Service will issue the next stamp in its current Lunar New Year series. The Year of the Dragon stamp will be issued with a first-day ceremony.
The 47th stamp in the Black Heritage series celebrates Constance Baker Motley (1921-2005) and will be issued Jan. 31 with a first-day ceremony in New York City, where she died on Sept. 28, 2005. Motley was the first Black woman to serve as a U.S. federal judge and argue a case before the Supreme Court of the United States.
Novelist Saul Bellow (1915-2005) appears on the 34th Literary Arts series stamp, which will be issued Feb. 6 in Chicago, where Bellow resided for most of his life.
The Radiant Star coil stamp for presorted standard mail is set to be issued Feb. 19 in Star, Idaho, without a first-day ceremony. The stamp will be produced in large coil rolls of 3,000 and 10,000.
Ten stamps commemorating the Underground Railroad will be issued March 9 in Church Creek, Md. The first-day ceremony likely will be held at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park in Church Creek. The stamps depict 10 sepia-toned portraits of men and women who escaped slavery and/or assisted others to do the same.
Owensboro, Ky., home to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, will host the March 15 first-day ceremony for the stamp honoring bluegrass music. The stamp features four string instruments typically used by bluegrass bands: guitar, fiddle, five-string banjo and mandolin.
The quartet of Garden Delights stamps showing photographs of different female ruby-throated hummingbirds hovering close to either a zinnia, cigar flower, spotted touch-me-not or sunflower will debut March 16 in Strongsville, Ohio, during the Garfield-Perry March Party stamp show. The stamps will be issued without an official first-day ceremony.
On March 22 at the St. Louis Stamp Expo in St. Louis, the Postal Service will issue a pair of stamps featuring illustrations of vibrantly colored flowers. An official first-day ceremony is not planned for the Celebration Blooms forever stamp and Wedding Blooms 2-ounce-rate stamp.
A single forever stamp showing a digital image of a manatee bobbing near the surface of the water will be issued during a March 27 first-day ceremony in Silver Springs, Fla., home to Silver Springs State Park, which provides ample opportunities to see the docile marine mammals in one of the largest artesian springs ever discovered.
Details about the first 2024 stamps to be announced by the USPS were published in the Nov. 13 issue of Linn’s Stamp News.
More stamps are to be revealed in the coming weeks and months, the USPS said.
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