The Skullz Press Compendium

Mike Giant

Mike “Giant” LeSage is a tattooing, globetrotting art star with a clothing line (Rebel 8) and sold-out shows in his wake, as well as the author of a blog on a respected S.F.-based art site ( One could almost forget his humble origins—lurking in the dark of night as one of America’s best graffiti artists. Thankfully, Upper Playground has published a compendium of his four super-rare, self-published “black book” zines. Black books are much like traditional sketchbooks, but in them the artist works out letter styles and characters, and exchanges drawings with friends to inspire one another. Most of the zines were done with little to no pencil sketching, just sharpie to paper. It’s great to see the evolution of his drawings and styles when published together, with the gradual inclusion of tattoo imagery, as it takes on more of a prominent influence in his work and life. But even better yet is the all-new zine, Passive Moles, which is much more symbol-heavy (crosses, phones, logos) and has great urban landscape drawings that some of his recent art-show work has included. The only downside is the omission of the collaborative zines Mike Giant published with artists Dalek, Joker and Pursue. Can a brother get a Vol. 2, Upper Playground?