In early 2003, I put together a proposal to pitch the basic concept of Disposable: A History of Skateboard Art to various book publishers. One of the sample spreads that accompanied this document portrayed what I presumed would be the sure fire hook for any editor: virtually all of the text and visual elements* to the infamous controversy that surrounded the creation and production of the 101 Natas Kaupas Devil Worship graphic by Marc McKee (1991). True to superstitious fashion, however, this just might have cursed my chances because every single publisher either passed on or just plain ignored the proposal. Pissed me off to no end at the time, but it's not like I could blame them. At least four-to-five other books on the subject already existed in what they perceived to be an overcrowded niche, not to mention that skateboard books in general were notorious for bricking hard on store shelves and garnering more dust than dollars over time.
Things eventually worked out for me in grassroots fashion with Concrete Wave Editions, and within a month of having to deliver the final book pages to the printer in late August 2004, I learned from the former partners of Screaming Squeegees (the Orange County-based screening operation responsible for printing all of the SMA: Rocco Division, World Industries, Blind, Liberty, Foundation, 101, and Plan B boards produced between 1988–early '92) that there was a very real possibility a Blind Jason Lee Devil Worship sample had been printed back in '91. Allegedly, the deck seps had been delivered to Screaming Squeegees on a Friday, and the whole incident with Steve Rocco, Jason Lee and the returned $10,000 check took place over that weekend—during which time the rumored sample had been printed. Up until then, however, I'd been told by Marc that the only product to be printed bearing Jason Lee's name was one small run of T-shirts, so I had my doubts as to whether or not a screened board genuinely existed. But if indeed one had been printed I was obviously very keen to document it accordingly. Unfortunately, neither person could produce any evidence of a Jason Lee Devil Worship deck before the book went to print ... or any of the revised editions to follow ... and The Disposable Skateboard Bible after that.
Just recently, however, one appears to have surfaced—or at least the closest thing to it, that is—and was auctioned off on eBay [see listing below]. Despite bearing Jason's name on the bottom, though, this still can't be considered a genuine prototype because it is in fact a 101 Natas production model that supposedly later had its bottom re-screened by an employee using the original Jason Lee separations that were still laying around Screaming Squeegees. So... close, but no cigar. The deck, incidentally, sold for a final price of $677.00—exactly 10 bucks more than what would have been a far more ominous and suitable amount.
* I did contact Jason to supply what would've been the fourth firsthand side to the story, which he kindly did, but a week or two after doing so he requested that I not use the quote, citing a desire to not go on record about that particular incident in his past (a couple years later, though, he apparently had a change of heart and candidly discussed it in the documentary The Man Who Souled the World).