Friday, February 25, 2011

Porno Stamps? Odie, what are you doing?

Perhaps I'm a big fan of hidden clues and messages in artwork. I do this all the time in my own work - hide clues, figures, words, etc. in the shadowing or lines, etc. - and I'm always looking at visual imagery from a "hidden image" perspective. I'd love to say that it comes from a cool artsy background, but in reality it stems from the whole scandal of the subliminal nudes claimed to be hidden in the ice cubes of some commercials when I was a teen.

Today I bought some stamps, including two sheets of the new Sunday Funnies stamps recently issued by the US Post Office. When I looked at them for the first time, a couple of things in two of the panels jumped at me and I did a double take.

I don't want to plant any further ideas in your head, so just look at the Garfield panel above and then take a closer look at Odie with the perspective of looking for something sexual hidden in plain sight through the magic of lines and shapes.

More on Odie and what I see him doing tomorrow... but now I'll decipher Archie for you.

Archie and Betty Looking for a Ménage à trois?

And nu? Look at the way that Archie and Betty are both looking at Veronica; not at each other. And then there are two hearts popping out of Betty's head as she stares dreamily at bad, rich girl Veronica.

Veronica smiles coyly, eyes closed, but her hand shows the hand signal for "swing."

Now look at the little blue "bar codes" underneath the three characters' arms; if you break that to binary code (notice that there are "fat" and "thin" lines or "zeroes" and "ones") then it breaks to 11010011, which is this character: Ó

Accent on the "O" - Text for the Big "O"?

It gets better; If you translate 11010011 to base64, then you get this penis emoticon character: 0w==

Fun with American stamps and The Lenster...

Opportunities for Artists

Deadline: April 30, 2011.

Call for Entries: The Graceful Envelope Contest - Artists everywhere are invited to participate in the 2011 Graceful Envelope Contest, conducted by the Washington (DC) Calligraphers Guild under the sponsorship of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

There is no entry fee.

This year's theme is "Time Flies," so design an envelope that explores good times, quality time, the times of our lives, time travel, or any other idea you have time to develop.

Address the envelope artistically to:

The Graceful Envelope Contest
Washington Calligraphers Guild
P.O. Box 3688
Merrifield, VA 22116

This is the contest's 17th year. The Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum created and administered it until delegating responsibility to the Washington Calligraphers Guild in 2001. The National Association of Letter Carriers exhibits the winners, which are also exhibited online at The complete Call for Entries (including categories for children) is posted on the Washington Calligraphers Guild website or you may contact contest coordinator Lorraine Swerdloff at

Sunday Funnies: Porno Stamps?

Don't shoot the messenger, but am I the only one who sees a little too much in the new Sunday Funnies stamp set from the US Post Office?

Has some stamp-designing-artist at the USPS pulled a fast one on the ole Post Office?

Study the stamps and later on tonight or tomorrow I will reveal what I see, to see if you see what I see...

Torpedo Factory Art Center Visiting Artist Program

Deadline: February 28, 2011.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center (TFAC) invites emerging and experienced artists to apply for one, two, or three-month residencies (June, July and/or August, 2011). The TFAC ( in Alexandria VA is home to more than 140 visual artists working in 82 studios. Artists create in a wide variety of media including painting, fiber, jewelry, ceramics, printmaking, and sculpture. The TFAC is open to the public every day; visitors are invited and welcomed into studios to watch artists at work, ask questions, and purchase original art.

Visiting artists will be provided with studio space and will be able to display and sell original work. Finalists will be selected by yours truly.

There is no application fee.

Download the Prospectus and Application Form from Send questions to: