Saturday, November 19, 2011

Maximum Review

It’s been a while since I discussed maximum cards, and while they don’t pop up often in my collecting, the recent X-men post reminded me that I should highlight a few that I’ve created since I last wrote about them.

I don’t typically collect art postcards, but when the abstract expressionist issue came out, I went to one of the few remaining postcard stores I know and found this painting of Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic #34 (Scot #4444g).  This is a maximum card in its most traditional sense.

I will admit to never having seen a single episode of The Honeymooners (Scott #4414t), but I found a few postcards for the show on E-Bay, including this one, which has Jackie Gleason’s face virtually identical in both stamp and card.  If you look closely, though, you can see Art Carney’s face is slightly different in the two photos.  Still, pretty darn close. 

The Black Cinema release was an exciting issue for me because it involved actual one-sheets on movie stamps, the first time the USPS had ever done that (a trend I hope they continue in the future).  But the only film I had in my collection that matched a stamp was for Scott #4340: King Vidor’s classic Hallelujah! (1929) 

The question then became one of whether I should also throw in the Irving Berlin stamp (he wrote all the songs for this seminal musical; Scott #3669) or not.  I like to be as inclusive as possible with a movie’s subjects as depicted on postage stamps, but there was also something to be said about the clean, simple marriage of identical images without lots of busy additions.  I chose the former route, and added the Jazz stamp a couple years later (Scott #4503), since its stylized artwork was a close match with the poster.  But I’m sure a lot of traditionalists would disapprove.