National Stamp Collecting month began as a joint venture of the Council of Philatelic Organizations and the United States Postal Service® back in 1981. Then-Postmaster General William F. Bolger published a statement in the Postal Bulletin proclaiming stamp collecting as “the world’s most popular hobby,” and urged “employees and customers alike to discover the joy of stamp collecting — the hobby of a lifetime.” Since then, the Postal Service™ has continued to promote October as National Stamp Collecting Month.
Just in time to add some extra excitement to this year’s National Stamp Collecting Month, the Postal Service will issue the Batman Forever® stamps on October 9, 2014 (see stamp announcement). Since his debut in 1939, Batman has protected Gotham City from the forces of evil and has become one of the most iconic super heroes in history. Showcasing eight unique designs in a pane of 20 stamps, this new issuance celebrates the 75th anniversary of Batman and chronicles the evolution of the character, from his origins to present day. Four versions of the popular super hero are depicted on the sheet from four eras of comic book history. In addition, there are four incarnations of the Bat-Signal.
The first row of stamps features Batman with his fists clenched. This muscular, determined Caped Crusader has spent the Modern Age of Comics defending Gotham City from its most notorious villains. The second row of stamps displays Batman dramatically staring up at the Bat-Signal. By the Bronze Age of Comics, artists had encased the hero’s spare black bat logo with a yellow oval. The insignia became the crime fighter’s trademark. The third row of stamps shows Batman swooping into the frame with his cape flying behind him. The image from the Silver Age of Comics accentuates the hero’s signature glowing white eyes and utility belt. The bottom row of stamps highlights Batman as first envisioned by creator Bob Kane during the Golden Age of Comics. The hero’s hooded mask, elongated ears, black cape, and gray suit formed his iconic visual identity.
A column on the left side of the pane includes four different circular stamps. Each is affixed with a different Bat-Signal — beginning at the top with a Modern Age version and ending at the bottom with a Golden Age depiction — the spotlight Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon sent into the night sky to alert Batman. The background illustration features a silhouette of Batman standing on a bridge with the skyline of Gotham looming above him. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp pane. The Batman Forever stamps can be purchased at select Post Office™ locations and ordered via , 800-STAMP-24, and . Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.