Tag Archive | Phoenix

2013 Nerd Year’s Resolutions

Holy crap, this blog is a ghost town. I’m not gonna ride in with promises like every other time I’ve restarted this venture. But I’m gonna post an entry today. And see how it goes from there. How does that sound?


1. Enter the Rose City Comic Con Costume Contest with a Mass Effect related costume. 

This should be pretty obvs but I really want to build N7 armor this year and yeah…this needs to happen. Hopefully a second job will mean reasonable income and I CAN DO THIS.

2. Join the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club. 

BECAUSE IT’S CALLED VAGINAL FANTASY BOOK CLUB. And I watched one of their video-chat-meetups and they are hilarious ladies whom I aspire to be. Which is sad because they’re my age (or younger) and they’re rich and famous and smart and motivated. I am sad and humbled. So I’m joining their book club to be more awesome like them.

3. Read at least three comic book titles a month. 

I’m not usually into odd numbers but three is better than one and more reasonable than five. My problem with comics has always been TOO MUCH. I get amped up and overwhelm myself with titles and then I can’t afford them or can’t afford the time.

4. Play a new video game series. 

I’m in love with several franchises, but I need to expand my horizon a bit. I’d like to find at least one new game that really moves or inspires me this year and add it to the collection. I’m sure muh spouse and my good friend will help in achieving this goal.

5. Make another tattoo appointment. 

It’s time. My poor Phoenix has been patiently awaiting new ink for the entirety of the 2012 year and received nothing in return. In fact, I think 2011-2012 were pretty barren years for her in general. I’d like to change that. At some point this year – I would like to get back in the hot seat and finish up my ink.

6. Purchase and start having artists create pieces for a sketch book. 

It would be cool to have my own personal book, one for Dan, and then another that we both share. I was thinking Phoenix, at first, because of the tattoo but now I’m really drawn to drawerings of Thor. Mass Effect is probably a bit too obscure for most artists. Dan would probably choose Hellboy. MAN, I really want to do this now. ECCC is coming up in March and kicks off the convention season in the Pacific Northwest. We’d need to get on the ball with this one.

7. Take the comic writing class from Brian Michael Bendis.

Finally. Put my mouth and money where my heart is. Or my heart where my mouth is. Either way, it’s gonna cost money.

8. Join up with a writing group/workshop. 

This sounds much less nerdy than the others, but is blog and comic book and author related, so I’ll let it remain. It would be nice to have a group of people I don’t know helping me improve my writing. YES PLEASE.

Done. Even if more are floating around in my brain…eight is enough. This entry is enough. I hope to be around a lot more this year. I hope to be better at life this year. 2012 was kind of weird and shitty.


X-Shirts: Female Mutant Inspired Fashions

Do you know how difficult it’s been to find an attractive, properly fitting ladies shirt with one of the X-Womenz emblazoned across the chest? Well, it’s been damn difficult. This may shock some of you but Storm, Phoenix and Rogue just aren’t the most popular Marvel faces affixed to an item of clothing.

This also goes hand in hand with another rant/beef I have: even though Rogue is much-beloved by fangirls (this fangirl at least) there is not a single mass-produced costume inspired by her character. Any Rogue costumes and wigs have to be custom made. Which SUCKS if you want to dress up but can’t sew your own.

It’s only been recently that the Storm and Phoenix pre-fabricated costumes have appeared for purchase through major retailers (in varying degrees of skankitude).


Weird mix of old school costume and original Phoenix. With just a dash of sleaze.


I really adore the head piece to this costume. And all the silver. It pretty much rocks 100%.

I love the Storm version, but wonder about cosplay race-bending.

Is it appropriate for a white person to cosplay as a comic book character of color? According to this blog post, no. And for all intents and purposes, I tend to agree.

So then, would it be weird for me to wear a shirt with Storm on it? Unfortunately there is no guide post on the internet for that particular question (THE NET HAS FAILED ME!)…so I’m gonna also go with “no.” And use a similar set of logic: there are enough white female X-Characters with whom I can identify. If anyone wants to argue I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

Anywho – the whole point of this post was to highlight the trend of using the X-Ladies (the BEST ones, sans White Queen) on more clothing attire. And jazzing them up a bit, so it’s not the old Jim Lee 90s version or the throwbacks to the original crew either.

Read More…

Phoenix Tattoo: Session Four

Went in for the fourth session of the Phoenix Tattoo with London Bellman. He worked today on the shoulder blade – the area we’ve dubbed the Supernova. We decided that some purple shading would work well and I’m so elated with how much it’s softened the upper section. I wasn’t quite sure how well a hard line would work against my skin and with the whole flow of the tattoo itself, so this is a good compromise.

Afterwards we stopped by the Yarn Garden (Local Yarn Store – LYS) to pick up some Lamb’s Pride Bulky for the Jayne hats. Unfortunately – they didn’t have yellow or orange, but I picked up the red and settled on some Cascade 128 Superwash chunky. So the next phase is to knit up the hat with the new supplies and figure out where to go from there.

The tattoo is really coming together and entering the final stages of completion. Now, if you look at it straight on, it seems done. But there’s still the inside portion to finish up, which will probably be at least another two sessions. The next one will occur on November 13th, 2010.


Phoenix Tattoo Session One

Phoenix Tattoo Session Two

Phoenix Tattoo Session Three

Comic Book Tattoos at San Diego Comic Con International 2010

It’s two weeks until SDCCI 2010 and I have a favor to ask all of you.

One of my missions at Comic Con is to connect with as many people as possible with comic book tattoos. I would love to get your tattoo story, where you got it, how many sessions, what it means to you and would love to snap a picture.

The ultimate goal is to create and host a website that is a depository for all the awesome comic book tattoos out there. A safe haven where nerds with ink can come to share their tattoos and meet like minded folks.

As a comic book tattooed person, it’s fun to connect with others and learn about their experiences and share some awesome art inspired by something we’re passionate about. Comic book conventions have been that space for me – where I know most people will recognize and appreciate my tattoo in all it’s nerdy glory.

So – I’d like to give back some of that love and recognize and appreciate all of YOUR nerdy tattoos in their splendiferous loveliness.



Name: Mindy Crouchley, 27

Tattoo: Jean Grey as Phoenix 3/4 Sleeve

Inked At: Imperial Tattoo AND Atomic Arts Studio in Portland, Oregon

Hours: 17 (so far)

Inspiration/Story: Reading the Phoenix: End Song comic book, struggling to complete my undergraduate education, Jean Grey as a strong female character, the mythology of the phoenix bird

Other Tattoos: Goldfish and Crossbones, Ohm Symbol


AN EXAMPLE: Expanded

Mindy Crouchley is 27 year old woman in the middle of getting her Jean Grey as Phoenix Tattoo 3/4 sleeve completed at the Atomic Art Tattoo Studio in Portland, Oregon.

The inspiration behind the sleeve was reading the Phoenix: End Song graphic novel and falling in love with the Jean Grey character for the first time, after having read X-Men Comic books for almost 15 years.

The beauty of the female form, the strength of Jean Grey and the mythology of the phoenix tattoo were all the elements she wanted to put together in one powerful image.

The first two sessions took place almost three years ago at Imperial Tattoo in NW Portland and the result was awesome…but Mindy felt it needed more.

She undertook a medical study at OHSU to get the needed funds to add a space background including the Earth, a spiral galaxy and Saturn. She estimates that there are two more three hour sessions left until the final product emerges. She has already been to three three-hour sessions at Atomic, adding to that the 8 hours the original image took. Over 17 hours of inking so far!

She has two other tattoos – a goldfish and crossbones and an ohm symbol. But like every addict, she has plans for more.


You can send in pictures and info or arrange to meet at Comic Con. I’ll be available here (leave a comment), on Twitter at TinyHeroes, or you can contact me by email at

Videos are also welcome!

My goal is to have the site up and running within two weeks after SDCC. Thanks for putting the word out there.

Phoenix Tattoo: Session Three

No videos this time – but here’s a recap anyway. Told London Bellman at Atomic Arts Tattoo Studio that we probably wouldn’t be back for three months (indeed, my next appointment is September 11th) – and wanted to clean it up enough to show it off at the San Diego Comic Con.

He understood – and finished up filling in the space on the left side of The Phoenix, as well as some flame outlining. He also did more cleaning up of Jean Grey’s anatomy with black shading.

Here’s a few pics ranging from before any inking to the end of three hour appointment. Click on the image to scroll through them!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Phoenix Tattoo: Session Two

Yesterday I spent another three hours in the chair of London Bellman, and I have to admit I am crazy impressed with the work he’s done. Who knew that actually looking at portfolios and picking someone based on the style of their artwork would yield such amazing results?

Not too much story to tell – we arrived at the duly appointed time, took the seat and the pain started. He worked on more of the space around the elbow, and on the elbow bone itself. It’s good to get one of the more painful parts out of the way, especially since it’s going to be a few weeks before we can get another appointment scheduled.

He also started some pretty amazing shading and softened up the lines of the fire, which has made it look more like…ya know, fire.

I was worried about the size and spacing of the stars, but I think they’re perfect given the scope of the Phoenix herself – everything else must match up to that scale.

London also got rid of the dreaded hand. Check out the video here:

Probably not gonna be able to set another appointment until mid-April (or later), but I don’t mind waiting. It’s quality over speed and quantity.

Phoenix Tattoo: Session One

Outlining - that's the easy part. Now insert color.

Went in and spent three hours at Atomic Art Tattoo Studio on the 3/4 Phoenix sleeve tattoo. The plan is to add stars, planets and even a spiral-freaking-galaxy. I met with London Bellman previously (as you’ll recall from this entry) and we finally set up an appointment for today.

Since we’d had a good conversation, and I trusted London with his amazing artistic ability – I didn’t really need to hem and haw over the work before we got started. He shaved my arm, laid out the design and started lining everything in. I mean, everything. The earth, saturn, the spiral galaxy and all the stars. Then he colored in the earth, which is on my elbow and was quite painful. I’d had a bit of tattooing in that spot, but nothing like this grinding right into the bone.

All of this took up our scheduled three hours so I paid the man and took off, wearing a ridiculous white bandage that limits arm movement and makes it looks more like a serious injury than it really is. The outlining is small and simple – it will heal in no time. The earth hurts much worse, especially since it’s on the flex of the arm.

Looking forward to our follow-up appointment in two weeks. That’s when the real pain will happen. Until then – enjoy a fun video I put together.

Phoenix Tattoo: Session Two

So – just to get you all psyched for some up and coming content – I will be meeting with a tattoo artist this afternoon to go over ideas for finishing off my Phoenix 3/4 sleeve tattoo. I will be adding space designs – and have spent the last two months searching

The Phoenix Tattoo in it's current state

high and low for an artist who could render those designs on my flesh with the most accuracy and beauty.

This is that guy: London Bellman of Atomic Art Tattoo here in good old Portland, Oregon.

My concepts include adding a half-earth towards the bend of my elbow – along with inky blue/purple space, stars, a spiral galaxy and maybe a ringed Saturn like planet. Also hoping to get some touch-up work done on the original piece.

I’m feeling really confident about this man – he seems like a genuine artist and someone who will be easy to communicate my ideas to and get a gorgeous looking piece. I scouted him out through word-of-mouth from a trusted friend, scouring his portfolio and the shop reviews.

What I discovered in my searching is that there is a wealth of tattoo talent here in Portland. You can EASILY find at least five or six shops in town with impressive reviews and the chops to back them up. Some others I considered before finally choosing Atomic include:

Infinity Tattoo: Alice Kendall specifically

Optic Nerve Art: Pedro Dorsey probably does the best portrait work in town

Imperial Tattoo: Todd J. originally created the Phoenix

Raven Ink Tattoo: Been inked here before – seen artwork done on friends. Will most likely be back up if Atomic falls through.

Atlas Tattoo: Great old school flash arty stuff. Not right for my style

While I was mostly sold on the artwork and the vibe from the shop (custom pieces only – setting is a zen kind of Japanese garden) – what finally did it for me was locating this interview with London Bellman on youtube yesterday. This is the kind of calm, respectful person I feel most comfortable letting near my skin:

Gonna find out in a few hours if my hopes and dreams for tattoo-age with this character will come true.

Much Love,

Mindy Crouchley

X-Men Tattoos

In checking my WordPress stats, I see a common search term coming up over and over again. So, in recognition of people searching for X-Men Tattoos (a really arduous process requiring some patience)…I’m posting this here blog filled with pretty pictures and links to their origins. Hopefully it will be a helpful compilation!

Tattoo 1: X-Symbol


Tattoo 2: Rogue


Tattoo 3: Phoenix/Jean-Grey


Tattoo 4: Gambit and Rogue


Tattoo 5: Wolverine


Read More…

Out of the Ashes

I’m back. Took a mini-vacation during the spring and summer term break, cause I really needed it. Spent a lot of that time compiling super geeky fan-vids. I would link to them, but I’m too embarrassed. I’d rather leave them to the seeming anonymity of random youtubers. I’ll give you a few hints though – they feature X-Men characters and romantic relationships.

But here I am, with full intentions to post new-ish content. You can start to rejoice immediately.

I’ll review “new” books again, I promise. Today, I feel like kicking back and showing some love to a TPB that I’ve read more than once. This is a book that I own, and am proud to have as part of my collection. I swear, this has absolutely nothing to do with my fanvids. *knowing wink*

Here we are now: Phoenix Endsong.

Dan gave this to me for my birthday last year. I have a feeling this book was relatively unknown to me until I started searching for phoenix tattoo designs. You simply cannot google the words “phoenix” and “jean grey” without hitting on an image from this absolutely, insanely GORGEOUS book.

If you haven’t read this, you should. I wouldn’t suggest it for anyone new to the X-Universe, because it’s laden with references to previous incarnations of The Phoenix and her relationships. It’s also closely following the Grant Morrison New X-Men run, which is not my personal favorite. Not as great as everyone says, to my knowledge. Bringing in the Ice Queen as a main character and eliminating Gambit and Rogue will never win me over as a fan. I dig the realistic approach to the series, but I get tired of…revamps to these characters. Reboots to the X-Men team. These folks already have 10 different realities. Difficult to keep their stories and lives straight…with years and years of history to account for. I understand the concepts behind reboots, but…ok…I am yammering now.

Anywho – the story behind why these characters are together, and who some of them are was not immediately clear to me, and probably wouldn’t be to the first time reader, either. But the beauty (oh, and there is a lot of beauty) of the book, is if you have even a functional knowledge of  the Jean Grey/Phoenix mythology, you can love and mostly understand this book. I chose to ignore Quentin Quire and the Stepford Cuckoos. And Emma Frost and Cyclops mackin’ on one another. Too creepy. *shudder* I don’t dig that shite in any timeline.

Read More…