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How Nerdy is Your Ink?

Comic Books

How Nerdy is Your Ink?

I am a big fan of tattoos, always have been. My earliest exposure was my Uncle Wayne’s skunk tattoo which I of course associated with Flower from Bambi. Tattoos are storytellers; they weave a tale about an interest, a life event or another person with an image. Black and white or Technicolor, these many times complex images say a lot about who you are without ever speaking.

There has always been a stigma surrounding the inked. People with multi-colored forearms were perceived as disreputable or even dangerous. Only bikers and hoodlums would be crazy enough to willingly undergo hours of torture via needle. Over the years this mindset has changed. Tattooing has been recognized as an art form. Canvass a crowd today and people without ink are often in the minority.

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Tattoo designs have changed significantly as well. Sure, people are still killing it old school with an Americana style tat or a tribal piece but the palette is much broader. Movies and comic books heavily influence what will be forever emblazoned on your body. Tim Burton’s creepy yet beautiful characters have been captured by many on their skin. Star Trek has another widely tattooed cast of characters; the Federation emblem, first generation crew, next generation crew and of course, the Borg. Let’s not forget Alien, Predator and Star Wars. The fantasy realm see its fair share of replication as well, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter’s quintessential images are quite popular.

One of my own tattoos was influenced by the movie The Dark Crystal. It is a time spiral used by Aughra to foretell the coming of the Great Conjunction. The tattoo has significance to me not only because it is one of my all-time favorite movies but also the memory it evokes of my brother and I watching the movie together. We loved crazy Aughra.

How Nerdy is Your Ink?

Aughra: Now, ask what the Great Conjunction is, what’s the Great Conjunction?
Jen: What’s the Great Conjunction? You tell me!

JJ Hobbit
A friend of mine is caught “Between the Dawn of Faerie and the Dominion of Men” with his mountain pass tattoo from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

We cannot forget about the comic book superheroes—they’re especially popular. Everything from emblems to complete fight scenes peek out from short sleeves and shirt collars giving the passerby a hint of heroism. Even memorial tattoos are incorporating these iconic figures into their tributes. Batman, Spider-Man and Superman seem to top the list but many other good guys and villains make their way onto a back, chest or arm. Tattoo artists create movement and action in a 2D image on skin. The end product is often stunning.

How Nerdy is Your Ink?
Here is one of my favorites from a recent article TOP 10: Cool SUPERHERO tattoos by mcx on

How Nerdy is Your Ink?
Brianna pays tribute to her cousin JJ with two of his favorites, the Batman symbol and raptor claws.

How Nerdy is Your Ink?
Some people aren’t comfortable leaving the house without the whole team.

Comic tats aren’t just about superheroes. One of my favorite comics, Saga, also represents. Alana and Marko are often seen together but other characters like Lying Cat and Izabel get their day in the sun as well. It’s the smaller characters—and in this case, I do not mean size—that I enjoy seeing recreated. I think it says something about how deeply connected a person feels to the comic. Everyone thinks of Marko and Alana but a tattoo of Ghüs or The Stalk shows you are in deep. One doesn’t appear until chapter 12 and the other…well, you will have to read it to see.

How Nerdy is Your Ink?
Don’t get caught lying with this guy around.

How Nerdy is Your Ink?
You will never feel defeated with Ghüs offering you support.

Tattoos are a commitment. They take time, are fairly pricey depending upon the level of detail and then there is the pain. The fact that people are willing to have a permanent image placed on their body to remind them of their favorite comic or movie is indicative of how attached they are to the story and its characters. Need I remind you tattoos do not wash off—ever. If you change your mind chances are you are going to dole out more than you paid for the tattoo to get it removed. The average price for a tattoo artist is $75-150 per hour. The average price for tattoo removal is $60-100 per square inch with anywhere from 5-8+ sessions for total removal. Oh and I hear it’s more painful too.

What or who do you think will be the next big influence? I predict the impending release of Deadpool will cause a run on red ink. Perhaps this year’s Age of Ultron will be immortalized via vibrating needle. I will be on the lookout for “I Got No Strings” tats in the near future. Whatever your taste may be—sci-fi, horror, fantasy or superhero—I want to know how, nerdy is your ink? Please share what you have, what you want to get or the coolest geek tattoo you have ever seen in the comments. Meanwhile, I will be right here, brainstorming my next tattoo.

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