13 July 2008

Spotted!:: Tattoos of the literary kind

My mother's opinion of an individual would instantly plummet if she found out that his/her skin was in any way inked. Little did she know that I was planning to get the word "honey" in Arabic on my right hip. Thankfully for her, I realized that spreading Mexican hips should not be decorated in any type of permanent art, since I would start off with the word "honey" but over time, it would eventually say "horse" or "mackerel buffalo."

Thankfully for us, some people have gotten creative. They use the poetic words of masters-- ones that do not get lame with time, like poorly researched kanji. A special soul has gotten together a website with anthologies of tattoos.

Some are still fresh and inflamed.
Others are group tattoos with shared meaning.
All are intoxicating.

It's not surprising to see that Shakespeare, Saint-Exupery, and Vonnegut inspired many a tattoo enthusiast-- the latter of which is credited for the picture to the left. As a YA librarian, however, I was particularly moved by Stephen Chbosky's contribution to body art.

I met this Pittsburgh homeboy at ALA in Anaheim just a couple of weeks ago, and I hope he knows that his words are also eternal.

And speaking of tattoos and grand muses...

The most influential performer in my life, the monolithic Tori Amos, is adding to her repertoire by coaxing visuals out of her girls-- as she calls her songs. Various graphic novelists, including Hope Larson and Lea Hernandez, are coming out to interpret Tori's work in the new volume Comic Book Tattoo. You can see a few articles here, there, and everywhere.

This, to me, is an orgy of the things I love best. I would never have imagined, ten years ago, that something like this could be possible. For me to sway my hips to "Caught a Lite Sneeze" as I read liquid drawings.