It’s always special when someone that has skated their whole lives becomes an incredible artist. It creates a stream of artwork that skateboarders feel an absolute affinity towards. So when we saw Girl Skateboards were re-releasing the Pictograph series from Andy Jenkins in 1995, we knew we had to get them in at Supereight!
Andy Jenkins is a genuine legend, and skateboarding owes him a lot for the brilliant artwork he has brought to us all over the years. Throughout the years, Jenkins has not only released endless, timeless board graphics (one of his first being the iconic Jason Lee – Cat in the Hat board), he also created Wrench Pilot, a cult classic comic that originally featured in Transworld from the early ’90s. Wrench Pilot featured a character named, Lettus Bee, a skater that skated “for joy… not the glamour or the fame”.
Lettus was loved by so many skaters around the world because Jenkins created a character we could all relate to. One comic that stood out to me was issue #21 where Lettus enters a party, only to sit down and imagine himself shredding an ashtray next to him. This is something every skateboarder has done, whether it is an ashtray, sink or kitchen work top, we have all imagined skating these mini spots in our heads. We can’t help it, everything we look at is with this skate mentality. This, for me, is why Andy Jenkins is so special, he is an artist that truly understands the skater psyche.
The Pictograph re-issue series maintains the same graphics from the original 1995 release, the only change being the pro’s themselves on the board. The most recent pro’s for Girl such as Simon Bannerot and Tyler Pacheco have been lucky enough to get their names on these beautiful decks. With graphics inspired by 1950’s art, these decks possess a unique style that differs from the classic Girl artwork we are all used to. It is rare to see a Girl deck without the OG logo placed on it somewhere.
These may not be the original pro’s for these decks, but the graphics still very much work for each skater. As the name suggests, the Pictograph series represents certain characteristics of the individual pro. A good example of this would be the Brophy graphic which features his pictograph of a lion. Big hair and a strong powerful pop are some key characteristics of Brophy and this makes the lion a great representation of both him and his skating. This is obviously the theme of the series and something which adds a level of personality to each graphic. Not only do the images look good, they are also making you think.
What makes these boards special is the history behind them, not just the graphics but the artist releasing them. It’s important to keep these artists relevant as they truly understand what it is to be a skater. Learning the history of skateboarding and encouraging younger generations to do so is a brilliant thing. So, reissues such as this not only hype up the skaters that remember these graphics from their youth, they also assist newer generations into looking back into the history of skating and finding inspiration in other avenues rather than whatever is being released onto Youtube at the time. Nothing against modern skateboarding at all, it blows my mind on a daily basis, but that is not to say Rick Howard’s part in Goldfish isn’t going to do the exact same thing.