Laernu and More

Colin Edwards and Alan Batley were responsible for the majority of the Discworld Stamps between 2004 and 2008; Colin as designer and Alan the artwork. These stamps are still widely applauded not only for both bringing to life the fantasy of Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, but also for the fun and humour injected into the designs.

Since then the pair have provided collectors with some of the most unusual and entertaining Cinderella stamps in this world .... and the mythological world of Laernu. Perhaps half of these stamp sets are a partnership between Colin and Alan, while Colin alone is responsible for the rest. What you can guarantee is both quality and fun. Their collaborations usually comprise a full range of collectables for the Cinderella philatelist. There will be covers, using only the best envelopes. The attention to detail on the stamp design and artwork would put most modern stamp issuing authorities to shame. There has been a trend towards the inclusion of a Designer’s Proof sheet which illustrates the evolution of the stamp from initial sketches to the finished article. The fun comes partly from the carry-over from the Discworld stamps, where there would be a small but significant design detail change in one stamp per sheet. Or perhaps more than one, because Colin never tells us what is there or not; we, the collectors are expected to find them. On various issues there will be colour variants, or printing variants. Sometimes we get imperforate sheets of colour tests, often as a bonus if we have behaved ourselves.

Colin’s solo efforts have tended to originate as decoration for the envelopes he popped into the mail, but inevitably collectors wanted more. But the range of items available for collectors also inevitably means that collectors will never be able to collect a full set. A number of items will be one-offs, and there would be collectors in possession of these for whom the lure of even silly financial offers would be snubbed. There are unrecognised variant stamps out in the real world. How many collectors would have checked all their stamps under a UV light for a bit of extra detail added with a security pen? All this guarantees collectors an on-going challenge. Alan and Colin are not prolific, but my albums get fatter each year. In between the different issues I add a stamp here and a sheet there, ever building a collection. Collecting these stamps will ensure that even if you are a compulsive completist collector you will not suffer Paradise Syndrome. But if you search hard enough you will come across some rare, or even unique, items.

For convenience the stamps issues have been subdivided into the Laernu issues from Colin, the joint effort work for the Isle of Vue Valentine’s issues, those issues featuring skulls (a recurring motif), and anything else. An addendum also lists many of the postal labels that have adorned post coming out of darkest Norfolk.

If you are interested in finding out more about these Cinderella stamps, or wish to see what others say about them, join the Cinderella Stamps Forum

A catalogue of all the Discworld stamps and the Discworld Emporium, purveyors of the current Discworld stamps, can be found online.