One of the things that seemed always to fascinate the Merry Pranksters at The Coach House Press in its early days, say between 1967 & 1975, was the whole notion of forgery, image appropriation; especially in its relationship to authority, in currency, paper money, stamps, academic degrees (the “piece of paper” so many of us spent so much money to acquire that would presumably legitimize our entry into the “work force”), all of which in various manifestations were created and used. For example, the blue 8 cent stamp on the post card in question, which was never issued by Canada Post, was printed and placed on the card and then sent thru the mails. Canada Post duly cancelled and delivered it.

The most avid forger within the Pranksters was Michael Sowdon, whose “Queens by Mack McMac” illustrated Robert Sward’s novel, The Jurassic Shales (1975). Sowdon, a master with the process camera (an essential tool for offset printing), would make large copies of the dollar bill and then use the face of the young Queen Elizabeth to construct a variety of collage images, the most notable of which was used to make The Queen Mask (see the cover image on my book MASKS).

Postcards with an enlarged current Canadian postage stamp were mass produced and eventually the feds got wind of it all and came to visit us, instructing us to cease and desist or be prosecuted.

– Victor Coleman