THIS WEEK'S ARTLESS EBAY WATCH
A Whole Lotta '90s, Early Aughts & More
This week I’m not only providing the Artless® readership another dive into the depths of online auctions but I even took the time to make them look cute.
Here we go.
Time is weird. I thought the Vans Omar Hassan Story dropped in February but YouTube tells me it was two months ago.
If you collect books paying $49.99 for The Thrasher Radical Skateboarding Book is a sound deal because there aren’t many skateboarding tomes and this one is an interesting look at The Bible in the ‘90s.
Rather than going heavy on the “street skating trend” that really started to catch on in the late-80s, High-Speed Productions, Inc. answered the need by creating Slap Magazine in 1992 with Lance Dawes at the helm. Dawes expands on this in an interview with North Magazine, Issue 10:
I worked at Thrasher as a darkroom tech, developing film and printing, because that's how it was back then–no digi, no nothing. It was actually their idea to start a new magazine. Kinda like if you're Girl and you're like, "Fuck it, let's start another company.” So they wanted to start another skateboard magazine and I think they realized that Thrasher was getting old and stale. By '91 they were still putting Christian and Ice T on the cover. No offense to Christian, but they should have been putting Gonz and Jason Lee, and Mike Carroll on the cover, but they weren't. I was the youngest dude that worked at Thrasher, and I rode for Dog Town, and I skated every single day–skated to work and I skated home from work–and I skated Embarcadero every day too, so they were like, "Let's get Lance to do it". That's Slap in a nutshell. I didn't even come up with the name, they already had it. They were like, "Yeah, we're gonna call it Slap.” Why? "It's the noise the tail makes when you do a Lien-to-tail..." I'm like, "Don't you think that defeats the purpose?! Taking a vert trick, and vert is fucking dead right now. You want to start a magazine that's new and you're naming it after the sound a vert trick makes? It makes no sense". Haha! It is what it is.
So it wasn’t “Skateboarders Looking At Photos,” but what I surmise from Dawes’ quote is that the Thrasher “brand” wanted to stay transition-centric and Slap was going to cover the streets.
As you can see from the book and December 1990 cover above, Thrasher was all in on ATVs such as Omar Hassan, and with good reason. Omar could and still can rip on any terrain. Remember this is all pre-Think’s ATV era or the existence of Antihero.
Anyway, it’s a radical book and look at this photo.
No one was wearing AJ1s at this time and despite lacking a head, it’s an incredible flick. You can even see the kidney placed print on his shirt which is very early-90s. I rarely see this title pop up and in 2023 terms, it’s a cheap hardcover coffee table score.
Collecting skateboarding stuff is more than decks.
That’s the entire point of this column and Evan Hecox does way more than skateboard decks, in fact, he was originally scouted because of his work in the snowboarding industry. So while Evan’s “portrait” boards are not only a Chocolate rite of passage, they’ve become coveted collectibles in ‘90s deckage, he also makes other cool shit to hang on your walls.
Compared to other Hecox prints that have sold and are currently up for auction, this is an affordable option, even after you bring it to your local framer.
Also, don’t cheap out and get the shitty glass, you’ll want to preserve this thing.
While the Hecox print seems like an object that will continue to appreciate in value, this is just “a poster” with Jamie Thomas’ signature on it.
Poster is signed by the legendary skater Jamie Thomas at a demo he did at a local skate park in Panama City Beach in 1996. I got him to sign my board and this poster I brought with me.
I’m not saying that this is worth $300 or even $200—the thing is shredded—but there’s some charm in how it’s aged and also, if the listing is correct, 1996 would make this an early appearance of the Chief’s “Zero” and “Cross.”
I’m not a huge autograph fan, especially when you’re putting your name over… not your art or even over your art. It’s kind of like all the bad parts of graffiti but in this instance, there’s something perfect about Jamie Thomas signing his name on the Stars and Bars and then adding “Zero” and a Christian symbol. It’s Americana, it’s kind of contradictory and the juxtaposition is also a little bit dumb but if I were Chad Bowers at Quasi, I’d offer $100.00 and turn this into a graphic.
If you aren’t familiar with Dysfunctional, the listing I linked is a bit deceptive. The book itself appears to be thin but it’s actually 208 pages. At the time of publishing, this is the cheapest copy on eBay so I’ll explain why you should buy this for $75 or make a lowball offer and you can look at other auctions to get a feel for why this is a perfect book about skateboarding that you should own.
For starters, it’s out of print and I feel like it has been since 1999. Also, the book was conceived by Aaron Rose, not Ben Weaver as the listing implies—we’ll get into that later—and if you’re not aware of Aaron’s pedigree, here’s a nice video piece with KCDC that lays out his massive contributions to the art of skateboarding. I’m saying that Aaron was the right person to catalog decades of skateboarding with the right style and tone. I’d argue it’s the best documentation of skateboarding in the book format.
At first, Dysfunctional feels as spontaneous and fluid as skateboarding itself but as you pour over the pages you start to understand how guided the journey is, no matter how loose it feels. Much like a great video part, it encapsulates a time in an engaging manner without being too heady.
I missed out on getting a copy of this book when it was originally released and didn’t get one until I passed a stoop sale in Brooklyn around 2005. The fellow selling it for “10 bux or whatever,” was having a moving sale and was excited that someone who knew what the book was had purchased it.
Despite owning it for so long, I had never thought about “Ben Weaver” until I started to write up this auction. I poked around and I’m fairly sure he was once the art director of the highly Wire Magazine, not to be confused with the band Wire or the show The Wire.
*UPDATE 8.9.23: Shame on me for not reading the masthead. Ben Weaver was also the original Art Director and Lead Designer of Free Magazine until recently. Thank you to Free for the nudge.
This Julien Stranger Underworld Element graphic was from a series of hip-hop rip-offs. It’s hard to imagine Julien on a company with a graffiti-influenced aesthetic but he was and his Skypager part is a Classic.
But $800 is fucking insane.
Contrary to the headline, if you’re into mediums or just want to own this shirt, you can have it for $75.00 or maybe even less. Faith No More started as a funk metal band but they morphed into the “Thinking Person’s Chili Peppers” and even had a rivalry with the Chi Peps.
I liked the Chuck Mosely (RIP) era of FNM but I was also very green and quickly grew tired of slap bass.
This is a crazy one. A collab between Airbourne Skateboards and Faith No More. There could be a great backstory but I have a ton of shit to get into.
Airbourne also gave Allen Losi his own brand. Again with the last names you’re never hearing in your civilian life.
You can cite all the exceptions in the comments if you like but I think having the act of skateboarding or a skateboard or a skateboarder skateboarding on a graphic mostly stinks, but if you really like Dave Mayhew or you’re just a contrarian who thinks the A-Team had cool visuals, this might be worth grabbing.
It’s great to see Dave still doing it on Instagram. Get him a Jacuzzi guest board.
If you’re nostalgic for the Yellow Shirt Era this is a must-have. It’s cheap, it’s got a simple graphic and it… shit, hold on… it looks like a short-wide.
“Size is large and is a classic old school fit”
Don’t be afraid to be a punisher and ask for dimensions on this one or just roll the dice.
And the winner of “Description Of the Week” goes to:
“Beyond Rare, Dope Furby Deathwish New shirt here. My friend got this from Greco or AR like 8 years ago. Probably Greco cuz they're pretty tight. Not even sure if this was released. Good luck!!”
I pulled the headline from the description of this “Dogtown” jumpsuit. Imagine spending however long it takes to make this only to stand back, realize it’s “too Flashy” and then not even try it on.
“I know somewhere out there, someone’s going to Proudly ROCK this while skating! The name badge is glued on, can easily come off.”
Rick, I don’t think anyone is going to rock this for $99.99 or $9.99 or $0.99 but I’ve been wrong many times.
I’m guessing the inspo for this bLind-era Guy Mariano hooded T-Shirt was the Gap versions that were popular with the World Camp at the time. You see, coming off the full-coverage prints of the ‘80s, something this minimal felt refined and almost sophisticated… until you wear it to school and people start calling you Guy.
I have feelings about that because my middle name is Guy—a shortened version of Gaetano. I would have preferred the full version to the nickname because when you’re Italian, being called “Anthony, Guy” sucks.
Guy Mariano never rode for Sheep but he made the shoes popular in his multi-shoed part in Girl Skateboards Mouse (1996). Mike York wore them as well, like, I’m pretty sure he said on the Nine Club he wore the same damn pair. Guy’s old shoes if I’m not mistaken.
In an industry slim on vegan options in the ‘90s, I wore a ton of these back then. They kind of felt like wood but they broke in nicely.
BONUS: All my old stickers are stored in a Sheep box and I A-B’ed the auction photos vs. my sticker box to confirm that this is legit.
At first glance, $200 sounds reasonable.
Unfortunately, like many shoes with foam material, they have deteriorated but that wouldn’t stop you from taking out that spray varnish you use on your local curbs and preserving them. Honestly, having a glossy pair of Reems covered in gloss, immortalized-ish on your mantle would be really fucking sick, plus they’re autographed if you care about that shit.
You might not remember that Lance Mountain rode for adidas. You also might not remember this shoe. It’s chunky but it’s also, somewhat, streamlined, and the price is affordable by all metrics. Having never skated a pair I can’t speak to their functionality but as a piece of history, they’re great. A slimmed-down version wouldn’t be the worst.
I remember thinking this shoe looked like a less confusing adidas Kobe Bryant (RIP) signature shoe. As you know, Kobe also left the three-stripes for the Swoosh.
A lot of people think the Choad/Snak era led to Savier.
It’s funny how as shoes get more technical and bulky, the Snak looks more appetizing. Kinda.
This pair is mint but it doesn’t appear to have the bottle-opener keychain. If you buy these I might be able to go into my sticker box and sell you mine for cheap.
Sure, you remember iPath, you enjoyed Rasa Libre, and everybody loves Nate Jones, but do you remember when Matt Field rode for Pony?
Maybe Austyn did?
You’re probably wondering why I’m featuring this non-skate silhouette in this newsletter.
Well, I have an affinity for the Nike Lava Dome. I always dreamt of a skate-friendly version. I also really enjoy seeing photographs where the subject is wearing interesting footwear.
And there it is. Jason Dill—wearer of many interesting shoes—running a pair of Lava Domes, photographed by Mike Blabac.
Unfortunately, you can’t buy this photo from Mike’s store but look at that tail placement!
This was a headscratcher when it came out as there wasn’t much of a synergy between metallic hardcore and skateboarding and also, when you think of FA you immediately think of Dill and AVE and not their partner Mike Piscitelli.
But in learning that Strife frontperson Rick Rodney once lived with Dill and maybe Mike, this starts to line up.
I recently heard a podcast with Dwid where he said: “Vocal Test” (I’m paraphrasing here) was an anthem for anyone because it’s just yelling. Like, it’s not a language so anyone can scream along.
That’s genius and this shirt is a great one to stash as larger prints return to apparel.
Speaking of things returning, the Flare Renaissance has been teased and somewhat manifested for a minute.
If you’re ready to embrace this aesthetical shift and join the upside-down world of reverse tapered pants, these are priced reasonably.
This is confusing. When I was designing this post, this particular copy of Alien Workshop Photosynthesis (2000)—one of the most important videos in skateboarding history—was only $75.00.
They usually go for much cheaper which is a crime. What I mean by that is a copy of Photo should go for at least $100 in my brain. So now it’s been bumped up to $100, making the going price of a copy of Photo as confusing as the actual US economy itself.
For an object like this, think about it this way:
Art is worth whatever someone will pay for it.
Even if these start going for two bucks, you should be happy paying $100 to own a copy forever.
Don’t believe in this listing.