Work and Progress

August 31, 2010

Rolling City: A Graphic Short in block-prints

Filed under: 1. Rolling City: A Graphic Short in Block Prints — Work and Progress @ 6:03 am

It was 1984, and I was a poor kid from a working class neighborhood. Richard Ramirez was on the loose, Ronald Reagan was president, and The Los Angeles Raiders were Super Bowl Champs.

I was a chubby, ten-year-old in 1984, when I got my first skateboard. It had two-toned wheels, black grip tape a nose guard, a skid plate, grinding pads, board rails and a sun graphic on the bottom.  I thought it was the greatest thing ever.

80’s skateboards weren’t the double tail ended “flippity, flip boards” you see today. No sir! they were heavy as shit and very hard to flip. 80’s boards were equipped with the equivalent in armor as a Knight of the Round Table. Actually my first skateboard was  a generic version of a Christian Hosoi pro model. Nonetheless I was ecstatic to have such a toy.

My real introduction to fanatical skateboarding was through my neighbor’s (Shelly) highschool boyfriend.  A 16-year-old named Charlie, who was what we called in those days, “the surf type”. Charlie dressed real foreign to the neighborhood we lived in. He wore sleeveless T-shirt, G & S surf shorts, and checkerboard slip-on Vans with the pinky-toe side of the shoe all worn out.

Charlie Shelly (left) and Me (right)

Charlie skating a bowl somewhere in Long Beach, 1984

In the short time that Charlie and Shelly dated, Charlie taught me about skateboarding and who the cool pro skaters were, like Lance Mountain, Mark Gonzalez, Hosoi etc.  He’d bring magazines for me to flip through like Transworld and Thrasher.

Venice Beach local Jesse Martinez Cover of Thrasher, 1985 Photo by:Keenan

He also introduced me to my first street skating tricks like the “boneless,” how to truck grind a parking block, and ollies.

A year after I got my first skateboard,  it had become chipped at both ends, parts were hanging off of it and the wheels were shrinking. It finally felt like it was broken in.  I was skating hard and learning fast.

Charlie came around mostly on the weekends to visit Shelly. We’d hang out and work on street tricks in the front yard, while Shelly watched, bored to death.

One Saturday, he didn’t show up, and Shelly would hardly talk to me. when I asked her about him. She’d just say “I don’t know Serg”.  and walk inside her house. I skated in the front yard every Saturday anyway. All day practicing. It took the whole summer before I realized they’d broken-up. I was devastated.

The summer of ’85 brought some eventful moments into my life. On August 30th the Night Stalker, Richard Ramirez was captured, my favorite movie of the year was playing in all the theatres, and I had lost a best friend.

Without Charlie’s guidance I had to find out about skateboarding on my own. So I did what kids in those days didn’t do; I went outside of my neighborhood and like an eleven-year-old Kerouac, I went on the road, or at least the sidewalk, looking for something new about skateboarding.

But on the way out… I hit a snag………

To be continued……….

Text and original block-print images © by Sergio Teran

For optimal effect read this post with soundtrack: Born to Lose by Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers.

Rolling City Vol.1

Rolling City Vol. 2

Rolling City vol.3

Rolling City Vol. 4

Rolling City Vol.5


  1. Serg, kick ass!!!!!

    Comment by Billy Z — August 25, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  2. I love your art and I love your story!!!! Can’t wait for more-

    Comment by TONI BARCA — July 24, 2013 @ 4:14 pm

    • Thank you Toni!

      Comment by Work and Progress — July 24, 2013 @ 7:48 pm

  3. I love your work and your story! Can’t wait for more.

    My husband skated SF and knew Brice( founder of Trasher) – My hub was the only black kid skating up and down the hills. That was the 1970’s

    Comment by TONI BARCA — July 24, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    • Thanks Toni! Very cool to hear your husband was a skater too. Its no wonder Barron’s so good.Thanks for Taking a look.

      Comment by Work and Progress — July 24, 2013 @ 7:47 pm

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