Hollywood, 1993. The scene was an art opening, and Dave Carnie, 23, skateboarder, photographer and writer, wanted to catch the attention of Jeff Tremaine, editor of the outlaw skateboarding magazine Big Brother. Dispensing with the traditional resume and writing samples, Carnie chucked a potted plant from a second-story balcony at an unsuspecting Tremaine, who responded to this attention-getting prank by giving him a freelance gig. Seven years and many assignments later, he succeeded Tremaine as editor of the L.A.-based publication.
Carnie's antic humor is a match with the monthly's foul-mouthed, zany take on the skateboarding universe. Its painfully honest journalistic approach has yielded such memorable articles as a trip with heavy metal band Slayer to Disneyland, irreverent reviews of bands' 8-by-10 public relations glossies, a how-to on photographing tropical birds, and product tests laden with arcane words from the Oxford English Dictionary. While Neanderthalism and silliness are linchpins of the Big Brother aesthetic, the magazine also boasts quirky postmodern prose that wouldn't be out of place in the literary journal McSweeney's.