Monday, July 27, 2015

Check It Out

by Sean Cliver 
Gingko Press, 2009
Main Campus Stacks GV859.8 .C55 2009

Available for four-week check out with your SWC photo ID card.

In The Disposable Skateboard Bible, legendary skateboard graphic artist Sean Cliver (who, in 1989, landed his first job as a designer at the skateboard company Powell-Peralta) provides a fascinating history of skateboard art and culture, from the 1950s to the present. The book is a comprehensive encyclopedia of the skateboard, with hundreds of images of deck designs over the past 60 years. I was amazed to see not only the skateboard I rode *everywhere* in Chula Vista in the 1960s and 1970s, but also the skateboards the neighbor kids had!

In addition to encyclopedic info about the designers and companies, the author includes many brief essays written by skaters and designers. My favorite story is of "the $6000 Hawk", a thrilling tale of how, in 1992, a UK collector found (in a warehouse) a stack of six Powell-Peralta Tony Hawk boards. He wasn't particularly thrilled to find them (as he was looking for something else), but decided to buy the least-scuffed one for 25 pounds ($50 USD). He later sold it on eBay for nearly $2000...and the buyer turned around and resold it to another buyer for $6000! The commentary by the UK collector *and* by the $6000 buyer (who has had tons of offers, and is unwilling to sell), is an exciting read. Amazingly, no one knows what became of the other 5 boards!

Even those who are not interested in skateboarding will find the book fun to look through - the artwork itself is superb!

Review by Rachael Smithey, SWC Librarian 

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