By Sean Cliver
Put it this way, looking back to the year 2004, it was a great year for books about the history of skateboarding in general with the Independent book being the one that really sticks out a mile from the rest but as I started to read this book by Sean Cliver, I realized that we had another corker in the making!
This book review went missing from this site when we launched it, don’t ask us how, it just did and the other day i was reading this book and thinking, everyone should own this who skates, it needs to go back up online.
Cliver answered an advert in Thrasher offering work to the best young designer that came their way over at Powell Peralta and ended up getting the job designing graphics with VCJ, the design icon at Powell who had single handedly created the wonderfully striking Powell graphics for their riders who in turn saw their sales rocket into million dollar sellers worldwide.
Cliver then worked with Steve Rocco and various other heads during the tumbling times of the late 80’s when the skateboard industry fell on its arse and a new breed of graphics, riders and terrain dominated the industry that had always stuck by its own guns.
The graphics that were being designed at that time were most influential to the kids that bought them and these graphics today are still discussed in forums across the globe with the rarest ones selling for up to $5,000 per board. This book takes you through all of those board graphics and the artists that designed them, plus quotes from all of the pro riders that remember why they chose them or designed them themselves in the first place leaving you with an array of information relating to the most influential art and design concepts of skateboarding.
The book also delves into the darkness too covering the back stabbing that went on during and after the scene changed, the board graphics that would not be accepted by main stream shops, the Mums and Dad’s that thought they were too graphic in detail for their children and also the cease and desist orders from stolen artwork from big companies like Warner Bros. It’s a fantastic story once you open the cover.
Overall, this book is incredible, I could not put it down once I had started and will definitely read it again in about a month. It has quotes from Natas Kaupas, Jeff Grosso, Danny Way, and a thousand other pro riders plus words from various artists like Wes Humpston, John Lucero, Pushead, and many many more.
If you owned a skateboard once, or indeed if you are pushing on one today, you need a copy of this book, so go get one.