Illustrator Paul Kidby is behind a new Royal Mail stamp collection that celebrates Terry Pratchett's fantasy Discworld series, and the 40th anniverary of its first book, The Colour of Magic.
Released today, the eight special stamps feature some of Discworld's favourite characters including Rincewind, The Librarian, Granny Weatherwax, Sam Vimes, and Great A'Tuin, as well as specially commissioned artworks of Death and Mort, Tiffany Aching and Moist von Lipwig – all created by Terry Pratchet's illustrator of choice, Paul Kidby. They're available to pre-order from today and go on general sale on 10 August.
Sir Terry Pratchett is regarded as one of the UK's greatest fantasy writers. His defining work, the Discworld series spans 41 novels that have been translated into over 40 languages, with more than a hundred million copies sold worldwide. If you've not yet had the pleasure of discovering this fantasy world, it's a flat, circular planet revolving on the shoulders of four giant elephants who stand atop a vast star turtle called the Great A'Tuin. This turtle is 10,000 miles long and of the species Chelys galactica. Its shell is scarred with meteor craters, and its eyes are as big as seas. As you can imagine, it leaves plenty of material for an illustrator to work with. In fact, Paul Kidby has been illustrating for Discworld for over three decades.
Many Pratchett fans will be as familiar with Paul's work as they are with the popular series itself. He began working with Terry Pratchet in 1993 and has designed the Discworld book jackets since 2002. He has illustrated many Discworld publications including The Art of Discworld, best-selling The Last Hero and the 2017 publication Terry Pratchetts Discworld Imaginarium. In 2019 he illustrated Good Omens written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
“It has been a huge honour to illustrate this set of stamps to commemorate 40 years of Discworld," says Paul. "I am delighted to finally be able to tell people about it as it has been a big secret to keep. It's a wonderful celebration of Terry's ongoing legacy and continued popularity."
"These striking stamps will be loved by generations both young and old," says David Gold from Royal Mail. "Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels remain as popular as ever and it is fitting that in the 40th anniversary year of The Colour of Magic, we celebrate with a set of stamps that honour the work of an iconic and globally admired writer."
The stamps are available to pre-order from today at www.royalmail.com/discworld, by telephone on 03457 641 641 and at 7,000 Post Office branches across the UK. A Presentation Pack including all eight stamps in the set is priced at £13.50. The stamps go on general sale on 10 August.