Amazingly, it’s been six years since I last got a tattoo. I got my first one when I was 16, and intended to cover all of my arms with bits of comics. Tattoos are expensive, however, and until the other day I only had seven, and a mere four split between both arms. Boo!
Since Saturday, however, I am on the road to glory again. Littles took me to his people at Southgate Ink in (duh) Southgate, who looked after me properly and hooked me up with an artwork of great beauty and wonder.
The tattoo I got was something I’ve wanted since I was a little boy – the cover of one of my favourite comics, Marvel UK’s legendary Death’s Head number 1. If you remember I did a comic a few years back about Death’s Head, how awesome the character was, and why I loved it so. You can read it here.
The image, by the way, was drawn by the brilliant Bryan Hitch. He did it when he was seventeen, something I had no idea about when I was reading the thing aged nine or whatever, and only found out the other day when he told me on Twitter.
ha! @akirathedon I was 17 when I drew that! I also hand- lettered the title logos there as well! Nuts. Shows early potential though!
— BRYAN HITCH (@THEBRYANHITCH) September 21, 2012
SEVENTEEN, and drawing comics professionally! It’ something that should be an inspiration to everybody. Here it is:
Yes. I was very excited to finally get this mighty thing on my arm. (I was also excited to see that my comic is in the top column of google image results for Death’s head 1!). We downloaded the image, and the good people of Southgate Ink gave me something to smoke while they took that image, and turned it into something tattooable.
That’s the first outline. It should be noted that I had them redo the initial transfer/”pencil” outline 4 times until I was happy with the placement of the thing. If you ever get a tattoo make sure you’re completely happy with the placement, you’re not gonna be able to movre it once it’s done, after all…
There we are with the initial inking done. Took about 2 and a half hours under the needle to get to that point. Outlines don’t really hurt, in my experience. It’s more a dull, buzzy ache. Colouring is a different matter, although Littles claims otherwise, but he would, because he is a Hard Man, obviously.
There I am getting the colour done. That took another couple of hours. It’s a beautiful process to observe. As with all colouring, the highlights part is magical.
And there it is, complete, in action (preparing for my set at MorrsionCon inVegas this week, argh!), shiny and resplendent with baby bum cream, which one is advised to apply to the tattoo for a week after completion to aid the healing process. SO BEAUTIFUL! SO EXCITING! SO HANGING IN A MUSEUM WHEN I’M DEAD! WOOO!
I would like to thank Littles, The good people of Southgate Ink who provide a wonderful atmosphere and great artists, and Bryan Hitch and Geoff Senior and Simon Furman, for Death’s Head, the greatest Freelance Peacekeeping Agent ever to do it.