Richness of Content: Bam Margera, the skater-turned-Jackass-star-turned-record-label-founder, has once again proven himself to be a fairly savvy self-marketer. Rather than penning a run-of-the-mill autobiography, Margera has opted as usual to take the nontraditional route with Serious As Dog Dirt, which takes an in-depth look at Jackass/Unholy Union/skateboarder extraordinaire via handwritten notes, personal photos, and scribbled-on calendars that the MTV notable has collected over the past decade. Rather than this being your typical biography, Serious As Dog Dirt is a memoir that reads more like a personal diary, only with the most over-the-top, excess-fueled, ass-cheek-bearing content you can imagine.
For fans of Margera, there is enough imagery within Serious As Dog Dirt to last you for months. Thanks to oodles of scribbled notes and desk calendars that contain commentary to coordinate with each day of the week, it's difficult not to feel a bit voyeuristic throughout the whole process. Granted, Margera has never been hesitant at exposing his life (and the motley group of characters that make up his posse) and it all feels oddly natural. When you take a gander at the 1997 calendar, you'll see such commentary from Bam like, Crazy Philly photo session with Transworld gang to Off-roaded like a madman to the highly intriguing statement, The worst day of my life, then after 5:00 it started to get better.
Given the fact that Margera has marketed himself wisely via reality TV celebrity, you're likely to recognize the majority of faces seen amongst the myriad of photos/sketches. Of course, along with the candid pics with HIM's Ville Valo or random road trip shots you'll also be exposed to Brandon Novak's hemorrhoids and a Jackass diagram for a shit dollar. This kind of content certainly isn't in your typical bio, and it's hard to not be fascinated by the day-to-day life that Margera has led since achieving stardom as a skater kid. // 8
Style: The style doesn't necessarily have anything to do with writing skills, but the unorthodox approach to telling a story via visual aids works effectively in this particular case. Will your mom and dad appreciate the approach to Margera's memoir? Not likely. Not likely at all. There's, of course, the shock factor but that's to be expected from a member of the Jackass crew. Deciphering Margera's handwriting can be a chore at times, but curiosity will possibly force you to trudge through it all. There is just something intriguing about a guy who rents a Ferrari for $3,000 per day (leaving the top down in the rain) just to Drive to Dracula's castle for a glass of red wine. // 7
Overall Impression: While there is such a gluttonous amount of attention-grabbing content in Serious As Dog Dirt that it almost becomes tiring by the last page, you can't accuse Margera of living a boring life. The pages featuring his calendars may be fairly tedious to anyone who isn't a hardcore fan, but if you're buying the book you're probably already a devotee. Does Serious As Dog Dirt give you the same well-rounded look at Margera's history that a full-fledge autobiography would? Not by a long shot. In fact, the journal entries and photos leave more questions than answers. There will be plenty of aspects (whether it be a photo of Don Vito in a devil suit or a sketch of Jackass-skit-in-the-making) that leaves you scratching your head, much like Jackass, you'll still muster a smile. // 7