I seriously love ‘zines. In my eyes, they are the embodiment of everything that is great in independent skateboard media. They’re totally raw, completely unfiltered, staunchly uncensored, and absolutely unapologetic. It’s not very often that I actually see one these days. But when I do, it’s definitely something worth writing home about.
I picked this one up last weekend while I was hanging out with Brian Upton up at The Sk8Haus in Surprise, Arizona. Well, in all honesty, I guess I up and stole the damn thing; Brian, I promise I’ll bring it back next time I pay you a visit, which will probably be pretty soon. I picked it up off of his magazine-stacked coffee table… every shop in the world should have a magazine-stacked coffee table, shouldn’t they? And in the process of bumping my gums and saying my typically long-winded goodbyes, I simply forgot to put the darn thing back down before I left. Sorry, Brian. I’ll buy you burritos while I’m up there offering my sincerest apologies for being a dick-sized pencilhead, okay? Fair enough, buddy?
Back to the topic at hand. This ‘zine is professionally produced. It features pretty slick paper, and it looks like it’s offset printed; a quality touch, to be sure. The Thomas Goldman, Peter Cirilli, and Deville Nunes photos were super impressive, and I loved the hand-illustrated New Hampshire-to-NYC travel piece that Johnboy did. There’s an enlightening interview with Derrick Blaine Dykas, who heads up a Detroit nonprofit named Community Push that acts as a voice and support system for inner-city skaters; we’ll have to research that one a bit more, because it sounds like a really great program. I’m going to stop bumping my gums right there, because I don’t want to ruin all of the surprises. The issue that I’m holding in my hands right now is Issue 37, the March 2017 issue. Track one down, and read it for yourself.
Another thing about ‘zines that I really like, are the advertisements. Because ‘zines are (generally) super-underground publications with fairly limited circulation and readership, advertisers can sometimes take risks that they might not take with bigger, more popular magazines… and in any rate, ‘zine editors are generally the types of chaps that are more than happy to run censorship-free ships, and go with the fun flow, while the advertisers themselves tend to be tiny little upstarts that really don’t give a fuck about anything at all besides making an impression and having a good time with it. In this issue, Quasi and The Vacation Skateboard Company had really eye-popping ads. Element had a really great one, too, which sort of caught me off guard; you don’t usually see marketing heavyweights like Element advertising in ‘zines. Yet there they were, right inside the back cover. I spent quite a few minutes apiece, visually picking theose ads apart. The aesthetics were amazing, yet they were curiously devoid of any real, direct, or useful information. That left me curiously intrigued, and actively searching them out. Best ads ever, in my book. They actually worked the way great ads should work.
How would you go about finding one of these? The best way is to drop them a line, directly; email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, they’ll probably be pretty happy to send you one. If they need a few bucks for shipping and stuff, don’t be an idiot; shut up and quietly pay it. Trust me, it’ll be way worth it.
If you didn’t thoroughly and completely read the last paragraph, the way to winning one of these is to email email@example.com. You can also surf into their website at www.skatejawn.com, if that’s what freezes your beanie.