Not to be presumptuous, but if at times while reading the various product non-descriptions and all the other various "header card" nonsense, you've thought to yourself, "Wow, this dude sounds like he's on the verge of a mental breakdown," I'd have to say, "Sure, why not," which ultimately brings us to the return of the "Balloon Boy" graphic.
Normally this would have been a ridiculous post supplied by the inimitable Dave Carnie to island hop between our more momentous graphic events, but I'm sure you've noticed the sudden dearth of his absurd words and that he's nowhere to be found. Well, that's not true, I'm just being dramatic and shit because you can now find him writing full-time over at the resurrected editorial board of Creem Magazine. Yes, that Creem Magazine, the one made famous by the infamously critical words of Lester Bangs and the happy-go-lucky li'l "Boy Howdy" character drawn by Robert Crumb. And while I'm sad for us (waah!), I'm stoked for him (yeah!) because his voice deserve a far, far greater reach and audience than our little waste of a cyberspace outhouse.
I'm a sappy man of many mental sentimentalities when it comes to skateboarding, but Ray Barbee will forever be at the forefront of all my warm, fuzzy, maple-laced memories from throughout the years. Ray's big-time video debut moment came in 1988 via Powell-Peralta's fourth video release, Public Domain, whereupon he instantly became one of my favorite skaters . His effortless style and flat ground flair completely altered the way I approached—I mean, heck, who am I kidding… wished I could approach street skating. He just made everything look FUN.
When Side Effect first emerged from the Minnesota scene, I think I saw somewhere where she sells seashells by the seashore. Sorry, couldn't help but lose myself there, because it felt really weird to type "saw somewhere" followed by "where," so I somehow had to shake my grammatical unease. Anyway, back to the point, someone surmised, albeit incorrectly, that I actually had something to do with Side Effect, like it was a part of StrangeLove or something. Maybe because we share many of the same riders? A logical conclusion, no doubt, especially in this incestuous world of skateboarding, but a wrong one nonetheless. It is in fact a company of our brother's from a different mother, Rob Sissi, who also happens to assist in managing the StrangeLove roster of riders, hence the cross-contamination.
Any long term skateboarder in the lifer sense will surely remember a classic T-shirt that came out in 1990 boldly stating "USA #1." The design accompanied the Blind Jason Lee "American Icons" pro model, drawn by Marc McKee, which was heralded as an instant classic and has since become an elusive Holy Grail for many skate collectors to this day. You have to understand, satire wasn't really a part of the skate graphics repertoire back then, but the "American Icons"blew the door wide open for a flood of illustrated social commentary to come out of skateboarding in the decades to follow—and thank god.