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Hoozdoo 12: October-December 2010

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Maybe it's because I couldn't skate a lick when I was younger (my I-just-gotta-land-an-ollie re-do in my late '20s was the pathetic equivalent of a mid-life-crisis man buying a Harley), but for whatever the reason, I'm digging issue 12 of Hoozdo, which mostly focuses on Phoenix's skateboarding and underground cultures.

The quarterly magazine opens with a short essay by Bobby Carlson about what it was like to skate in an empty Phoenix-area pool in the early '90s. (Note: If you have to scoop residual water from the pool bottom with buckets, make sure you bring a receptacle with a small enough lip or else you're going to get your board all wet, dude.)

Accompanied by Holga-like, shallow depth-of-field shots of kids skating in and hanging by empty pools, Carlson also waxes poetic about the sport/anti-sport's essence and how there's a confluence of companionship and alienation amongst its participants.

More review and where to grab your own after the jump ...

One of the other features is a first-person piece about (literally) underground Phoenix, and covers secret-ish spots such as the Biltmore Tunnel/Bat Cave that are perfect to travel via skateboard. Luther Blissett's narrative hooks me at first, but then wipes out with slow-moving action and the second reference to the PBR-friendly Bikini Lounge in as many essays. (Hoozdoo's scribes must all hang out together.)

The remainder of the publication is flushed out with Brandon Huigens' amusing Fruits the Cats comic, a super hilarious dressed-in-drag paper doll insert of Joe Arpaio, and a decently executed piece on the history of the one-fingered salute (otherwise known as "the bird") that includes a strange segue about the Fountain Hills fountain.

Representative sentence: "Skating is social, but more importantly, it's anti-social," Bobby Carlson, "Lords of Christown [Metrocenter, really]"

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