Huzzah! If I had a glass in my hand I'd surely huck it against the wall in a fantastic smash, because it's nigh closing time for 2021 and, well, we're not leaving. I mean, yes, we are leaving 2021—don't really have a choice in the linear sense of time—but the thing is we're still standing despite all the curveballs of the year. So yes, huh-fucking-zah indeed . To celebrate the happy fact, let's take our annual look back at the wood that was in 2021.
Well, it should come as no surprise after rocking and reeling throughout 2020 that bits 'n' bobs of the experience leaked out onto our boards in the first quarter. And as if that shit show of a year wasn't bonkers enough, the whole shebang boiled up and over the top on January 6, 2021. All comic-con cosplay aside, seriously, who's the super genius who googled the flag of Georgia and came to the insurrection party waving that of a country in Asia? What the fuck indeed. Stay in school, kids, or at least have a remedial knowledge of world geography before trying to stage a respectable coup.
But the downside to being influenced by the year’s unfortunate events, e.g. the murder of George Floyd for all to horrifyingly see on May 25, 2020, was the coinciding COVID disruption of board production and screening operations. That said, our memorial to his death and the Blue Meanies who just can't seem to pull their collective heads out of 1865's ass was very late to the rallying table but still managed a relevant release in Black History Month with 100-percent of the profits donated to blackartistfund.org and an overall message that will always remain the same: all you need is love—and fuck racism.
The next quarter—hahahaha! Why are my fingers laughing? Well, firstly, because I sound like a total dick using the word "quarter," and secondly, because that would imply we actually had a production calendar when there was realistically no way we could have even stuck to one if we did. The name of the 2021 game was rolling with the punches and that's how we wound up with our back to the wall and having to back-to-back our extra-special plus-size guest model appearance by Natas Kaupas with the extra-special plus-size Corey Webster and Velvet models (the last of which being the exact same shape as the Natas), because in an ideal release world I would have wanted to space those two “big boy” stories out from each other. We also had a little screening snafu with an 8.1 that required a quick change on the dressing room floor, so we yanked a quickie up off the bench resulting in a more colorful redux of last year's plain Jane, '60s-inspired "Hell on Wheels."
I hate to keep kicking the dead production horse here, but hell’s bells if everything in the second half of 2021 didn’t go full helter-skelter in our fantasy release schedule and none more glaringly so than a firecracker-themed two-pack intended for July that didn't pop off our shelves until… October? Rad. So of course this meant most all of our Halloween-themed boards got blasted past All Hallow's Eve and cast to the winter winds of November and December (but more on those below).
Also, I normally wouldn't include restocks on particular graphics from previous years in these recaps (hence the exclusion of our flagship "Heart Skull"), but I'm including the "Purple Chemtrails" here as a gentle reminder for anyone who can’t grasp the very simple fact that these are skateboards—not Hummel figurines or some Franklin Mint bullshit to go ballistically Beanie Baby over. So, to alleviate any further confusion over this matter, please kindly refer to our FUQS for all the answers to anything StrangeLove you never wanted to know. Oh, and as for the Jesus, I'd like to say he should have rolled back out of the graphic grave on Easter, but no… he was just another Hosanna-come-lately in our 2021 line.
You know how a nasty pimple swells and swells until it finally bursts in a messy ooze of white pus? Well, that's about what happened with all of our wood orders at the tail end of this year... kinda like every other skateboard company, too, I guess, because the Great Skateboard Drought suddenly ended, the Great Skateboard Deluge quickly began, and the Great Market Flood violently ensued. And lucky for us, we had that one extra little step in the bulk of our deck production process—the screenprinting aspect—so everything we hoped to drop in the fall just kinda dribbled out all the way into mid-December, leading toward the very late release of a traditionally Halloween-themed collaboration with Full Court Classics that instead came home for the festive holidays. Sorry, fellas!
Anyway, as is the unofficial custom here, we like to dress up as other companies for Halloween so I dug deep into my closet of work to pull out an old mask of mine worn between the years of 1997–2006 for a "Sci-Fi Double Feature," a trivial fact that may or may not have flown over many clueless heads. And because evil is as franchises tend to do, we threw in a couple blood spattered sequels and a souped-up rebirth of Cthulhu to round out the horror decor for our final fall harvest.
No one likes a pun, but I’ve spent enough time ruminating on the past this week and need to focus on the coming future, so let's just say we laced up 2021 with a Strawberry and a Panda and that’s that. A sincere thanks to everyone from Nick Halkias and I, as we’re grateful for all the support and we’ll be seeing you real soon in the new year with new stuff. Cheers!
1. That’s right, I watched The Great, joked around one too many times for my own good, and now it’s stuck in the craw of my vocabulary. Fresh.