Sunday, December 13, 2015

Don Rosa's year of mail art

Last week, I translated a May 2014 open class article I wrote on the blog in French about Don Rosa. This Unites States cartoonist and story teller that succeeded to write in the Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck universe from 1987 to 2005.

Don Rosa has an addictive style, that fans are missing new stories so much editors are issuing complete commented editions since the begining of the decade. But, as a long-time amateur cartoonist, these editions present autobiographical texts on Don Rosa's life before he became a Disney star thank to Danish press company Egmont.

In the third tome of the North American version by Fantagraphic Books, published last June - already present in the Nordic editions since 2011, Don Rosa told of his 1970-1971 year studying ingeneering in Kentucky through mail art.
Président Eisenhower teaching postage stamp class to six little Jeffersons (Don Rosa, courtesy of his official Facebook page's webmaster).
In I Like Ike!, Don Rosa explained how he kept in touch with his best friend while studying far from home. He sent one letter a week and illustrated the cover, around forty in total.

At first, a simple caricature of his friend of small size, but quickly the whole cover was covered in black ink... and even the stamp participated to the show.

With the kind authorization of Don Rosa's representent in Europe, I reproduce here three covers that will talk to philatelists. Like this class where six 1968 one cent Jefferson are taught by a senior 1970 six cent Eisenhower... cut from a booklet cover.

Western comedy around this "Eisenhower, U.S.A.", a stamp wanted "cancelled or alive" :)  (Don Rosa, courtesy of his official Facebook page's webmaster).
The six plus cut-out stamps are proof the artist respected the postal rules and was surprised that all letters arrived to the addressee. Even when the address was part of the design: a wanted poster to find a mysterious Ulysses Sydney Anderson Eisenhower. Don Rosa succeeded to include the stamp in a cereal box, a novel cover or a first page of the Reader's Disgust (sic).

The second to last letter: the postman was warned (Don Rosa, courtesy of his official Facebook page's webmaster).
Humour culminated with a warning to the postman of an exam at the end of the university year: because he was taught to read the same address all year long, he could remember it for the next and final week.


And no... The final one addressed to "same place as usual" was returned to the university dorm and from there redirected to Don Rosa's family address. No, postmen had not been attentive enough.

The text written by Rosa in 2011 reminds younger generation of a time when the postal system could work without at-sign.

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