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Post Office Issues Illustrator's Stamp Tuesday

Mill Valley's Craig Frazier's fourth stamp for the U.S. Postal Service marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Boy Scouts of America.

Craig Frazier will receive an honor for the fourth time Tuesday that many illustrators can only hope to attain once. The 54-year-old Mill Valley resident will see the U.S. Postal Service issue a 44-cent stamp that he designed.

The "Celebrate Scouting" stamp coincides with the Boy Scouts of America's 100th anniversary. Scouts from all around the country will attend a ceremony Tuesday at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia during the 2010 National Scout Jamboree.

"It feels really nice," Frazier said. "You do not get tired of doing it. There's something about seeing your work published in a form that goes on letters around the world. It's quite a privilege."

The stamp depicts a scout in a cap and backpack perched on a summit at the climax of a hike. That image is depicted within the silhouette of another scout looking into binoculars. "Capturing the majesty and tranquility of the great outdoors was the ultimate goal," Frazier said.

Frazier, who has lived in Mill Valley for 22 years, has been one of the illustrators that the Postal Service's 10 art directors commission to design stamps in recent years. He also designed the 2006 Love stamp that featured two blue lovebirds.

"I think I just got a little lucky," he said. "I'm now in a recognized strata where people know what I'm doing. Somehow I got on the radar."

Frazier's work is by no means limited to stamps. He has illustrated several children's books and designed the poster for the post-9/11 "America: Open for Business" campaign. He's also made posters for the Mill Valley Film Festival in 1992 and the Fillmore Jazz Festival in 2007, as well as packaging for Realm Cellars wines and the logo for Sushi Ran in Sausalito. He recent did the sign for ToyHouse, the new toy store at Tamalpais Commons on Miller Ave.

Frazier isn't the only Mill Valley artist to design a stamp. Kazuhiko Sano's portrait of Gary Cooper was selected last September, the latest of his nearly 20 paintings or illustrations for stamps, which have run the gamut from disco to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Boy Scouts have been honored with stamps in the past that provide a glimpse at the rise of postage costs over the year. The post office honored the Boy Scouts with a 3-cent stamp in 1950, a 4-cent stamp in 1960 and a 22-cent stamp in 1985. In 1998, a 32-cent "Celebrate the Century" stamp jointly honored both boy and girl scouts.

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