I have an awesome wife. The MIGHTY Rosie has always done right by me, being generous and thoughtful. For my birthday/Christmas this year, my main gift is to have my left arm tattoos covered up. There are three stories here, why I have tattoos to start with, why I chose the picture I chose and the day itself.
Why I have tattoos: I got a tattoo about 13 years ago. I showed the tattoo artist the shape and asked for it bigger, he did it to scale, so I wanted one taking up my upper arm and got a tiny one on my shoulder. In order to fix that I got another one to fill it out. To balance them out, I got one one my right arm. They are one of the few things I have done that I regret. Getting them covered up has been a cathartic undoing of mistakes.
Why the picture: Well it surprises no one, but I am a massive comic fan. So it was no question whether my cover ups would be comic related. I wrote about the first cover up here The Right Arm of Vance Astro part 1
and the rest of it here The right arm of Vance Astro part 2: return of the pain
so I knew that know matter what, I would go back to design for life tattoo studio and the amazing Simon K Bell who designed it. But why this one? That goes back to my silver age of comic collecting, the 90’s. I missed the boat by a few months in the 90’s. I didn’t really jump on the Image bandwagon when that started and I missed the launches of X-Force and X-Men vol 2 by a matter of months and it wasn’t till near 20 years later that I looked at Ultraverse or Valiant. And Vertigo wasn’t my thing either, so I missed many of the fads of the era, because I wasn’t in on the ground floor. But that changed after several months of reading Peter David’s first run on X-Factor. His use of humour and in depth character study was a revelation for me at the time and then Marvel announced that he was the writer of the flagship title of a new imprint, Marvel 2099.For those who don’t know or care, Marvel 2099 was the idea of looking at the future of Marvel heroes, what would they look like 107 years from the present day, at that point the present day was 1992. There was Doom 2099, Punisher 2099, X-Men 2099 and Ravage 2099.The first, the longest lasting and by far the best was Spider-Man 2099. Drawn by Rick Leonardi and written by Peter David, this was a less friendly neighbourhood and less friendly Spider-Man. Being on the ground floor for this has always left very fond memories of it in my head. Despite many comics fans having buyers remorse, I acknowledge the flaws of many comics of that era, but I really enjoyed comics in the 90s and that was the time that they hooked me, never really letting go, so it was always going to be a 90’s character on my arm and he was at the time one of my favourites.
The tattoo: So after applying some numbing cream (again courtesy of the MIGHTY Rosie) I went to the tattoo place and saw the first part of the tattoo. I didn’t realise how big it was going to be. So I got the sketch done by Simon who applied the stencil to my arm.
The numbing cream helped, I will admit that. Managed to sit for over 4 hours with little problem. However, when he got to my shoulder, I realised the that I didn’t expect the tattoo to go so far up and that’s when I realised how painful it gets when the tattoo is close to bone. That last 90 minute hurt more than the previous 4 hours, by quite a long way. But damn it’s hard to argue with the results.
I won’t lie, that was a tough sit, but with a chicken caesar wrap, couple of bananas and the several episodes of Michael Bailey’s Views from the Longbow, I got through it with a smile in just enough time to go and get my son from school.
This is what was had been finished by 4:30.
So now I have matching tattoos, in that I love both of them. There’s still more to go and I will have to book another appointment but for now, I’m very happy with what I have on my left arm and it’s only going to get better.
Most of the impetus for all this is the support and care of the MIGHTY Rosie.
Like I said, my wife is awesome.