MARC MCKEE

Bench Talk Podcast

Marc McKee is one of a handful of artists that helped define the modern skateboard graphic. He started at World Industries when the brand was created in 1989 and is still with Dwindle Distribution today. During his nearly 30-year tenure with the Dwindle brands, Marc’s list of accomplishments include: steering the industry away from skulls and towards cartoon graphics, ushering in the era of parody graphics, and helping define the editorial direction of Big Brother magazine. To say this guy has been a key player in our industry is an understatement to say the least.

Clearly, Marc has many great stories from his time in skateboarding. He tells many of them on the Bench Talk podcast. This is definitely worth a listen just to gain some perspective on the evolution of graphics. And, at the 51:08 mark, McKee tells the story of what could have been the most epic fail in skateboard graphic history.

“I had this almost major epic fail for Darkstar. I was supposed to do a graphic for this skater named Dave Bachinsky. So I wanted to do a portrait of him. He’s into, like, canoeing. He makes paddles out of recycled skateboards I think? Or they’re laminated like skateboards. So it’s a picture of him in a canoe. I had never met him in person. So I Googled him on Google Image—I use Google Image a lot for references—just to see what his portrait looked like. Someone had labeled Figgy as Dave Bachinsky. So I used that as the reference. He had on sunglasses in the photo. So you couldn’t quite tell. But they don’t look identical, so I made that mistake. So I sent it to the art director for Darkstar and he forwarded it to Dave Bachinsky. And he’s like, ‘It’s okay, but it really looks like Figgy.’ And I was like, ‘Holy shit, I used the wrong portrait!’ So I redrew the portrait. I was able to in time, luckily. That would be an epic fail, as they say.”

Listen to the full interview below.