June 09, 2014

Book Review: Skateboard Stickers

While this is not a newly released book, my thought is that any good book related to skate culture is worth a review.

"Skateboard Stickers" was put together by Mark Munison and Steve Cardwell and published by Laurence King Publishing. It is, as the title clearly suggests, a book about skateboard stickers. Now anyone who has been around the skate scene for any time will know how fundamental skate stickers have been as part of skate art and culture. Skate stickers extended the creative impulse that saw art put on the bottoms of skateboards by the likes of legends like Wes Humpston and Jim Phillips. Some of the most iconic graphics in all of skate art can be found on skate stickers and in an era where OG decks from the 70's and 80's are skyrocketing in price, some have turned to skate sticker collecting as a more affordable way to reconnect with their skateboarding past.


"Skateboard Stickers" collects together, in full colour, 350 different skate stickers from different eras and includes many of the most well known classics and some others which you might not have seen before. On the plus side, I was very pleased to see stickers such as Denny Riordon's included in the book. I was, however, a little disappointed that such iconic stickers as the Tony Hawk chicken skull, the original Caballero chinese dragon, the Rodney Mullen chess board or the Santa Cruz Slime Balls were not included. My main thought here goes toward that individual who wants to have a book of classic skate art, and of course, those are particularly iconic in this regard (and also happen to be amongst some of the more expensive stickers to buy if you want an original).

That said, whatever disappointment one might feel at those stickers not being included, there are indeed a number of absolute classics that will certainly please. With a few exceptions, most of these are stunningly reproduced within the book.


One of the big pluses in the book is that it is not only comprised of pictures of skate stickers (though that is what it primarily is of course), but also includes some short chapters by pre-eminent skate artists Wes Humpston and Jim Phillips. Skaters are also represented in other short chapters and numerous short quotes throughout the book, all on the subject of skate stickers or skate art more generally. These add a layer of depth to the book that make it more than a mere 'picture book.'




If you choose to get this book -- and I would certainly recommend it if you are at all interested in skate stickers -- you are not only getting a fairly broad survey of skate stickers, you are also getting a brief introduction to skate art more generally. There are, of course, other books about skate art, but this book sits nicely alongside those, with the particular benefit of focusing itself on skate stickers specifically, all for the reasonable price of $10.95 USD on Amazon.com.

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