I ordered this book sight-unseen, having been a big fan of Jim Phillips' skateboard art when I was a teenager. But ultimately, when it arrived I found it to be a real disappointment.
Almost none of the art is reproduced from the originals. Skate stickers, for example, are all printed from the stickers themselves, as far as I can see, with little attempt to clean them up for print. I counted exactly one picture of a work in progress. Plus, they seem to be trying to create the "comprehensive" book of Phillips' art (despite not having access to any of it), so they chose quantity over quality. As in, there's a million zillion pieces of art in the book, all reproduced at about 15% size. I'm not kidding -- there are entire twelve-page comics he drew reprinted here, where all 12 pages are laid out on A SINGLE PAGE OF THE BOOK, almost completely illegible. Bummer.
Much of the rest of the page space is taken up with this long, rambling essay about the artist's life. There's little discussion about art technique, influences or inspiration; most of it is about Phillips' experiences in Santa Cruz, hanging out with people, going to shows and surfing. I've lived in Santa Cruz. I'm sure he had a fun time and all, but it's not a very interesting life to read about. Needless to say, I couldn't get more than a few paragraphs into the saga, even though it often dominates entire pages, with drawings crammed into the margins at maginfying-glass defying size, like some high school kid's doodles.
The editor seemed more interested in some of Jim Phillips' rock posters for the Maritime Hall than he was with the skate stuff, because some of those are reprinted fairly well, on full pages. Strange choice of emphasis, though, for a book that places the "screaming hand" (Phillips' most instantly-recognizable iconic image) on the front cover.
You'll notice that Amazon lists this book's author as Jim Phillips. I doubt the man himself had anything to do with putting it together. This accredation is just to make up for the strange omission of an author's name. Nobody is credited with this book at all, that I could find. The overall impression is that it was either a fan's scrap-book labor of love, or just slapped together for a quick buck. Phillips' art deserves a better treatment.