This paper investigates how the circulation of Read and Destroy magazine, aka R.A.D. (1987 – 1993) propounded a distinct visual culture which not only enabled the development of skateboarding as a leisure pursuit in the UK, but also introduced the graphic language of revolt and subversion, associated with punk, to predominately juvenile male consumers. Using original published material and first-hand accounts from the editorial team it will describe how this periodical provided the pre-blog network necessary to cultivate skateboard culture in the UK.
Through analysis of these original visual artefacts I aim to describe the cultural networks that R.A.D. fostered, bringing to light the subcultural motifs and oblique visual strategies that enriched the lives of young British consumer’s eager to escape from their mundane surroundings.
It will argue that R.A.D. acted as a crucible upon which countercultural codes and tastes associated with music, fashion and Californian Kustom Kulture were forever fused with skateboard culture and attitudes.