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?
HERE WE GO FOLKS:
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.
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.
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.
AN EXAMPLE: BRIEF
Tattoo: Jean Grey as Phoenix 3/4 Sleeve
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 Mindy@Tinyheroes.net.
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.
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!
– We arrived at the Stumptown Comics Fest 2010 around 11am yesterday, checked in and got our volunteer badges. Our first stop was the Dark Horse Comics booth to pick up some freebies (buttons, poster, etc) AND Dan showed off his tattoo to the guys, who took a pic and posted it on Twitter.
–We promptly ran into Joe M. – a friend and former co-worker who also has a strong obsession with comic books. It was a pleasant surprise. Joe is big into the Yelp community, and was attending a Food Cart event later that day, but he hung out with us long enough to attend the first panel.
– We made a beeline for Natalie Sept and Matt Howard’s table – they were selling some awesome buttons and prints. You can find their products on this website here: natmatt.org.
– We browsed for a little while longer, and ended up at the Things From Another World booth – where they were selling a ton of Trade Paperbacks for 50% off. It was pure torture! Dan scored a BPRD paperback and I bought the Marvels paperback – each for about $10. You can’t got wrong, right?
– Then it was time for the Teaching Comics panel. I’ve put together some video from the event.
The video is not comprehensive by any means – the panel itself was nearly two hours, and the real meat of it happened towards the end, but it might give you a better idea of what it was like to spend two hours witnessing the intriguing conversations brought up by these folks. It felt like the beginning of something wonderful. The initial moments of a movement to make comic books a more respected literary tradition. The professors were just as compelling as the industry folks – sometimes more so. Featured in the video – James Sturm (Center for Cartoon Studies), Diana Schutz (Portland Community College), Brian Michael Bendis (Portland State University), Benjamin Saunders (University of Oregon), Trevor Dodge (Clackamas Community College, Pacific Northwest College of Art), Katya Amato (Portland State University).
Another exciting factoid – Portland State University has the ENTIRE DARK HORSE COLLECTION available for viewing. No really, everything. How wonderful is that?
Not enough for a full article, but important enough to avoid a simple one-liner on Twitter.
Having had a large and highly visible tattoo on my arm for the last two years – I’ve had my fair share of compliments, insults and insults disguised as compliments. These have ranged from burly biker dudes, tween girls and middle-aged women. Specifically in that order.
I get that people are full of opinions, and having prominently displayed body art leaves you vulnerable to hearing said opinions of anyone passing on the street. But terms like “trashy” and “low-class” used as descriptors for people (women especially) are exceedingly classist, and are generally lobbed from people with advanced opportunities and education against those who are not so well-situated in life.
While it’s all fine and good to personally eschew tattoos, piercings, hair dye, eating meat, blowjobs, whatever – thinking you have the right to approach strangers and share your unsolicited opinions is pure and utter bullshit. But that’s part of the territory, and as a body art enthusiast, something I’ve come to love/hate about the permanent change I’ve made to myself. And it’s kinda worth it when sexy Battlestar Galactica actors compliment and touch your arm. Mmmm. 😉
While normally I’d reserve my ire until I actually read this 46 page graphic novel…just the few preview pics are enough to make me shake my head in bitter disgust. Whenever I consider how the X-Women might spend their leisure time, or what sort of female bonding they’d do when they have the chance, I automatically think – bikinis and jet skis!
I’m not being sensitive. Truly. Or even over-reacting. This is me completely under-reacting to this news. What else could I possibly say? Pretty sure the art-work by Milo Manara and Claremont’s statements speak for themselves. What they say to me: yeah, we’re totally being sexist dicks and completely disregarding at least 50% of the X-Men fanbase, but WHO CARES? Did you see the Tits and Ass on Rogue? Fuuuuck Yeaaaah!
But in case I misconstrued their statement, here’s the artwork:
“We’re speaking primarily to an audience that may not be as religiously familiar with the American canon in terms of characters and the world itself, so you want to create a physical environment that is accessible to the broadest possible collection of readers.”
Speaking for themselves.
That’s the rumor these days kiddies. That, along with Bryan Singer now ONLY producing X-Men: First Class is some of the biggest comic book movie news to hit in the last few weeks. How do we all feel about Joss Whedon putting his rumpled ass in the Director’s seat for one of Marvel’s biggest franchise movies?
Uncertain – at worst. He has proven that he can wield a deft hand with ensemble casts, but he’s always had the fortune of being the one to assemble them (there’s a nerdy Avengers Assemble joke in there somewhere). This cast has been hand-picked by several directors who’ve come before him.
As the DH, Dan Robertson, also pointed out in one of our incredibly nerdy/fan-freak conversations – Whedon would have the task of directing and managing some Actors (with a capital A) that are notoriously difficult to work with in Hollywood. Specifically Edward Norton and Robert Downey Jr. I worry more about Norton, than RDJ. Whedon knows how to mine the comedic for the tragic quite easily, and I feel like he would have no problem coaxing golden performances out of RDJ and Chris Evans.
Also rumored to be in the running – Louis Leterrier (le terrier? Really?) and I’m putting at least some weight behind Jon Favreau, although his helming Ironman is most certainly a nice bid for Whedon. Favreau sort of came out of left field like – WTF, THAT guy? The SWINGERS GUY?
And pulled off one of the more successful Marvel franchise film series. Christopher Nolan also dicks around with smaller independent fare, and has done well with his Batman flicks. So – why not Whedon? Just cause Dollhouse and Firefly? Come on dudes, Buffy, Serenity and Astonishing X-Men. That’s like, three pieces of awesome versus only two bomb TV Shows (which have spastic cult followings of their own).
It’s hard out there for a pimp. All’s we are saying, is give Whedon a chance. Maybe he’ll force them to include at least ONE FUCKING WOMAN in the Avengers. Spider-Woman? Ms. Marvel? She-Hulk? He’s Joss Whedon, champion of awesome women. He’s like the golden ticket for inclusion of female characters. *fingers crossed on that one*
But he could do Runaways instead. Which would fit his M.O. more solidly – it’s got super-powered teen girls kicking ass. And would make my nerd heart cry, cause I know that dramatically decreases the chances of any “strong” female presence on the Avengers team. But, yay him. Dudes got bigger fish to fry outside of some wobbly television series with Fox.
That’s all she wrote…for now…
COMING UP NEXT: Kick-Ass Movie and Graphic Novel Review
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.
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
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.
Here’s a follow-up to the last post. I am strongly considering a Rogue tattoo, but want to do something a little Art Nouveau. I stumbled upon this image when doing the research the other day:
There’s also a black and white version of this same image. I like the concept, but I’d want a straight on shot of Rogue, not this tilted-up angle, which makes her face look a little weird. It’s very…round and squashed. The tattoo would give her more chin and a better pronounced neck.
But it seems a nice way to tie in quite a few of the X-Characters without having to do several different pieces, especially since I’m not wild about getting ALL the X-Men tattooed on my person in the first place. This would be on my back – right shoulder. Or my left arm. I can’t quite decide. The X-Symbol in the background is a nice touch, and I’d probably keep that in as well, but would change the shading so it was black ink instead of white.
Maybe on my whole back? I was kinda saving my lower back (the tramp stamp area) for a lotus-buddha design that I’ve been craving…so Rogue couldn’t take up the entire space. And, although I’m quite addicted to tattoos, I’m not sure I want them covering my entire body.
There was a discussion by the female tattoo artists on LA Ink about this idea of what places on their body they would like to remain bare. Not necessarily for the sake of the public, but to still lay claim to their own personal space. It’s amazing how long it takes for your skin to become yours again after a tattoo is placed there.
After some consideration, I’ve decided that my chest is off-limits. My boobs already attract enough of their own attention without any further adornment needed.
So – this piece is definitely something I will keep in mind, but placement is going to make a big difference – because this is intricate enough…it will need to be big. And I already have one superhero tattoo on my body. I’m not sure if I want anymore. I know – blasphemy, right? But The Phoenix image means something else to me as a symbol of rebirth and a promotion of one of the greatest stories in comic literature. I’m not sure if Rogue would have that same impact. It would be COOL, but not quite meaningful enough.
And if something is gonna be on your body for the rest of your life, it should have personal meaning, on-top of looking fucking cool.
Much Love, Mindy C
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