Saturday, May 16, 2009

One Blustery Day With Stamps

Good morning. It's a bright, blustery, suprisingly chilly day out there, the view from the kitchen window is filled with cold, fluffed-up orioles and hummingbirds and indigo buntings, and I have been disappointed in the quantity of asparagus that has grown since I attacked the overgrown asparagus crop and made asparagus soup on my return home, and so I had rhubarb and yogurt and honey for breakfast instead. (I have a Maddy fast asleep upstairs because you Do Not Wake Teenagers Up On Saturday Unless They Ask To Be Woken. And there is rhubarb on the stove for her which she will not eat.)

It's still spring out here, just: the daffodils are finshing, the tulips are joyous, there is blossom aplenty on the cherry and the apple trees, but the plum-blossom is pretty much over.

I am already banned from agreeing to do any more blurbs and introductions by my agent. But please, please, please do not ask me, because, like it used to say on the signs you would see in pubs warning you not to ask for a credit, a refusal often offends. Right now, I seem to be doing nothing but introductions I've already agreed to do, and they always take longer, and need more thought than it occurred to me they would when I agreed, although it seemed strangely appropriate that the introduction to Douglas Adams' So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish was both late and peculiarly melancholic.


I mentioned here before that Dave McKean painted some Royal Mail stamps based around the myths of the British Isles. They look like this:

(Actually, they don't, due to the following request from Norvic Philatelics.

On your journal page you are currently hotlinking to one of our images. I would ask you to stop doing it, host the image on your own site, and post a link to where you got it from.

I also tweeted you about this yesterday, but I suspect it got lost in the morass of your 1.5m followers.

Let me know on the email above when you've sorted the entry out please.

You can see them at

(The last one, of a Mab-like fairy, was originally going to be a banshee, but then someone realised that the first time someone got a letter telling them bad news, in an envelope with a banshee stamp on it, it would be seen as a Stamp of Ill-Omen.)

The Royal Mail asked me to do something to go along with them, and seeing that I get very requests from Royal organisations, I agreed: my job was to write VERY short stories, one for each stamp, for the presentation pack. And my self-assigned job while I did it was to try and make the stories, the images and the stamps peculiarly British -- why a fire-breathing Dragon rather than a good English Wyrm? And how do I get British with Unicorns?

The Royal Mail have just put the stamps (and the presentation pack, and the First Day Covers) on sale for pre-orders. Wherever you are in the world, you can order it from them directly: Lots of lovely Dave McKean art, some of it much bigger than stamp size.

This is the link to the presentation pack.

This is the link to the whole Mythical Creatures area of the website.

And on Twitter I learned from Leslie Turek that Royal Mail solution, if anyone asks, is to enter US phone # as follows: 01 0 617 1234567. (I assume that the 01 would be whatever your local country code would be if you are not in the US.)

The stamps are released on June 16th. I have no idea how limited the Presentation Packs will be, although the magic of Stamps is always collectability and limited numbers, so if you're on the fence, putting it off or anything, then you should probably order a set. (No, I do not get royalties or anything on them and neither does Dave. But it's worth mentioning here, because otherwise people will be coming up to me for the next few years complaining that they wanted them but that they were sold out.)


Another Stephin Merritt CORALINE The Musical interview, with my favourite quote at the very, very end.

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