One of the problems I quickly ran into while working on The Disposable Skateboard Bible is that I simply didn't have enough pages to include or devote space to all the ridiculously trivial things I would've liked. I was able to indulge myself on a few decks here and there—the spread of Powell-Peralta Lance Mountain Future Primitive variants being my crowning OCD achievement—but was never really able to call out specific details or provide close-ups of all the production differences for truly pissant purposes. Luckily there's an even more disposable medium than skateboards these days—the Interweb!—and it has since become the worldwide outhouse of the world. Gotta take a load off your mind? Simply go online and spray some diarrhea out of your fingers. Best of all, there's no need to wipe or flush because within 24-hours it all just slowly sinks to the bottom with every other million-billionth thing to be uploaded that day. Information superhighway? More like information super compost heap.
Anyway, for today's guinea pig post (I've still got like nine days to go on this "free trial" to see if it's truly dummy proof), I've chosen to showcase the Powell-Peralta Mike McGill F-14 Jet Fighter, by V. Courtlandt Johnson. This was back from when there was a lot more "brigade" going on than "bones" in Powell graphics, and it's also one that despite a relatively short print run—in comparison to many of their other graphics in the '80s—still has a few "variant" details worthy of note.
To start with, when the F-14 was first released in 1981 it came in a 6-ply wood/fiberglass construction, distinguished by the smooth, rounded wheel-wells, and a two-color screen-printed graphic [green and yellow boards shown above]. A 7-ply wood model was then introduced with the traditional, if not trademark, Powell-Peralta wheel-wells and the addition of a short-lived "7-ply Hardrock Maple" tagline* to the same two-color graphic [white board shown above].
At some point in either late-1982 or early-1983, Powell-Peralta added a third screen-printed color to its production boards and introduced a new version of the F-14 graphic—the main difference being a revised rendering of the jet exhaust. The F-14 was eventually retired in 1984 and replaced by the iconic Skull & Snake, an image much more synonymous with Mike McGill. Well, that and those awkwardly short shorts and sleeveless T-shirts, but that's beside the graphic point now, isn't it?
In 2005, Skate One formally reissued the Mike McGill F-14 under its Powell-Peralta brand, but a year or two prior to that a private individual had created a limited number of unlicensed, professional quality reproductions of both versions of the graphic with rounded and squared wheel-wells [examples of both shown at left]. Several of these "repros" have since changed hands in the collector market and, on occasion, confused more than a couple of people—one, allegedly, being Mike McGill himself, the silly debate of which can be read here.
* I've seen this tagline printed on the Steve Caballero Bearing and original Tony Hawk models circa 1982, as well.