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The Disposable Skateboard Bible

by Brian Fichtner
on 11 November 2009

Not quite satisfied with his first homage to the deck, "Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art" (which we covered Amazon.)

At a whopping 368 full-color pages, the hardcover indeed makes for something of a biblical account, cataloging an astonishing breadth of 20th Century skateboard graphics. Peppered with quotes from former pros and accounts from obsessive collectors, Disposable also ventures into new territory, charting the nostalgia-fueled craze of collecting that brings many to the brink of bankruptcy.

We had an opportunity to ask Sean a few questions about this latest undertaking and he generously obliged with some heartfelt, inspiring answers. Read on below.


What compelled you to produce a follow-up to "Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art?"
Unfinished business, mainly. There were a few key artists, skaters, and companies that I hadn't been able to find when I made the first book, like V. Courtlandt Johnson, Mark Gonzales, Greg Evans, Bruce Walker, Christian Cooper, Mark "Gator" Rogowski and Art and Steve Godoy, so half of the drive to do another book was just to tie up those loose historical ends. But then another part of me—the obsessive-compulsive collector—wanted to compile the most comprehensive visual overview of skateboards produced from the '60s to present times.

So to differentiate this book from the last—not that it mattered, people are still confused as to whether or not this is just another revision of the first book or an altogether new one—I placed an emphasis on collecting in the introductory text (it's not as horribly dry as that sounds) and drop all of the new quotes, anecdotes and histories into the board galleries. There are, incidentally, over 2000 board images shown in the book. I tried counting them up one night, but lost my train of thought somewhere around 2300 and didn't have the heart to start over.


How did the act of collecting become a talking point for the book?
I'm one of those sad people in life that is genetically bound to nostalgia and the sentimental act of collecting things. I began avidly collecting boards circa 2000—I'd collected some before that, but never in quite so manic a fashion—which sounds harmless at first until you learn that some of those boards can cost anywhere from 50 to 10,000 bucks. Worse yet, I have that OCD problem where once I get into something it's all or nothing. And in this case "all" meant the creation of not one but two books.

Anyway, I've always been fascinated with the collector psychosis, so this isn't so much a "skateboards are super neat collectibles!" talking point as it is a half-ass thesis on the literal madness that collecting can be at times in direct relation to skateboards. But in the end it really was just an excuse so I could drive around California for another two years and root out all sorts of boards that are still in existence and have rarely or never been seen before.

Interview continues with more spreads after the jump.

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