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NPCW: Cartoonist makes his mark on National Postcard Week 2018

Deltiologists around the world celebrate National Postcard Week the first full week of May each year. In 2018, Antique Trader traded NPCW postcards with dozens of postcard enthusiasts.

We here at Antique Trader are once again elated with the response and participation during National Postcard Week, which, in 2018, was from May 6-12. Looking at each of the postcards we received was entertaining and educational.

National Postcard Week 2018 recap

NPCW postcard

Remembering M.T. Liggett (1930-2017) in Mullinville, Kansas, was sent in by Hal Ottaway of Wichita, Kansas. Notice Hal’s caricature on the right.

Although time and space does not allow a complete recap of all the cards received, I do want to run down some of the cards that grabbed my attention for different reasons.

It’s always fun seeing cards illustrated by long-time comic artist Rick Geary. Even after 40 years, the award-winning artist continues to be active in the comics trade. According to his website [www], Geary and his wife attend San Diego Comic Con every year. (This year, SDCC runs from July 19-22.)

One of the postcards Bette Mays sent in features a cartoon of the anthropomorphized Panacea Cats in Laurel, Mississippi. “O’Bear, a Manx cat and Missy, part Maine Coon cat belonged to the Mays family,” the card explains. Showing a disgruntled O’Bear standing upright on his soapbox, with Missy explaining, “O’Bear said, ‘May the fleas of 108 camels nestle in the armpits’ of folks who wouldn’t let him run for office!”

Postcards are big in Texas

NPCW postcard

Demaris Swint of Alamo, Texas, shows highlights from a trip to Italy and carries the motto “Traveling the Postcard Life!” The card is designed by Rick Geary.

From Alamo, Texas, Demaris Swint’s Geary design includes the motto “Traveling the Postcard Life!” Swint explains on the back of this card, “My daughter, Christine and I had a marvelous time traveling around Italy. We had an audience with Pope Francis (us and 25,000 other people). Ate pizza with buffalo milk cheese. The leaning tower of Pisa and the historic area of Florence was amazing. Christine ran atop the walled city of Lucca.” Celebrating NPCW in high style, Swint, who is a member of the Postcard Club of Alamo, Texas, mailed us five different National Postcard Week postcards!

Bob Snyder of Winchester, Virginia, also commissioned a postcard from Geary. Bob’s card focuses on President’s Day and commemorates George Washington’s time in Winchester, Virginia from 1748-1758.

Postcards as commemoratives

Delores Rowe’s Geary-designed postcard commemorates the 100th anniversary of regular airmail delivery. The first regularly scheduled airmail flight took place May 15, 1918, from Washington D.C. to New York City, with a stop in Philadelphia. If you look closely at the postcards dropped from the biplane, you’ll see a card with a black Stetson cowboy hat; this is to remember Delores’ husband, Leon.

Hal Ottaway is a name familiar to NPCW participants. Hal’s postcard is a commemoration to Kansas metal folk artist M.T. Liggett, who passed away in late 2017. Geary even incorporated a caricature of Hal in the postcard design by mounting Hal’s “own head on top of an iron pole in the ground.”

The final Geary postcard comes from the Wichita Postcard Club. With the parade of dough boys marching under an American flag and “Victory” arch, it looks to be a nod to the end of World War I. (November 11, 2018 will mark the 100-year anniversary of the end of “The Great War.”)

Postcards as a platform for change

In addition to commemorating personal, national, and global events, postcards can also be used to raise awareness for social and medical causes. Sue Reinker of North Olmsted, Ohio, created her National Postcard Week postcard in memory of her husband, who died from ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The front of her card proclaims, “May is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Awareness Month,” while the back says, “Let’s Find A Cure.”

“I hope to spread the word for others who suffer with this horrible disease. They need a cure,” Reinker writes in her note.

Handmade NPCW postcards

A lot of thought and artistic creativity goes into these custom postcards. The pair of postcards that Alan Yurko submitted each exhibit masterful calligraphy skills. Also, the handpainted landscape scene with subtle glitter accents is lovely.

NPCW postcard

Katina Hronas of Dallas, Texas, created this elaborate, one-of-a-kind card with foam board, fabric, paints, and ink. It is franked with a Barnes Circus stamp.

Speaking of handpainting: Katina Hronas from Dallas, Texas, may have spent the most time and effort creating her NPCW postcards. Hronas created her postcards by gluing fabric onto both sides of a foam-type board and machine stitching around the outside border. She then finished it off by hand-painting designs on the front. And then hand stamping and lettering the back. It was then mailed as a regular postcard (not in an envelope) and received a postal cancellation. Well done!

As you can see, Antique Trader received a wonderful variety of cards for National Postcard Week 2018. We’d love to learn how many postcards you, our readers, exchanged; please drop us a line or give us a call and let us know if you’d like us to participate next year. 

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