Comics, Toys & Stuff

Comic Con 2017 Tattoos

On July 20-23, tattoo collectors and artists converged with 130,000 fans at the Comic-Con International: 2017 in San Diego. The San Diego Convention Center is a million-plus sq./ft. venue; during this time every summer, it is the mecca for collectors of other genres besides comic art, including horror, video game, anime, sci-fi, and old-school gaming.

“This is my first time here,” said one collector from Europe who had an abstract dragon piece on his shoulder, “I’m looking for Dungeons and Dragons articles.”

The halls were filled with vendors selling comic books, monster masks, posters, tees, plushies, Funko dolls, posters and Star Wars figures.

“You can take a photo of my shoulder too,” said Madeleine Roux, an author who was signing books for her fans. She had a Star Wars-inspired piece on her left shoulder and a feather quill pen tattoo by her right hand. One of the fans waiting in her line had a morphed AT-AT and puppy tattoo.

Shannon Lee, a San Diego-based tattoo artist, shared a table with Gold Stripe Tattoo. Together, they had photo booklets and live models present to solicit their work.

The Suicide Girls had a display booth on the 1500 aisle. Many of them were dressed in cosplay (custom costumes) but also showed enough skin to expose their killer collections. “This arm has Gizmo (from the movie Gremlins), said Ria Mac Carthy, “and the other has The Nightmare Before Christmas characters.” Her other friends then took turns showing of their collections by group-posing in silly and animated positions.

Jennifer and Ken, from Los Angeles, both had collections that were well suited for the show. They had many pop-culture icons inked on their skin; one piece was influenced by the “Clockwork Orange” movie.

Kirby Shaw, a musician, was waiting to see the cast of “Fear the Walking Dead.” Tattooed on his shoulder was a hand from X-Men #13 and it was captioned “Man of Action.” Shaw said it was inspired by the late Jack Kirby, who once placed his hand on his mother’s pregnant belly and said to her that, I’m going to be a man of action.

By the notorious Hall H, many collectors waited in line for up to 24-48 hours to enter and get a glimpse of their favorite celebrity. This year, the cast and some production members from Game of Thrones, Avengers: Infinity War, Stranger Things, and Westworld — came out on stage.

“It’s worth the wait,” Megan said, “because we get to see some never before seen trailers and talk to the actors and actresses up on stage.” Megan was sitting on the sidewalk where she showed us her World of Warcraft tattoo on her calf.

By 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, the convention closed its doors to begin preparing for its 2018 campaign.

Author: Mike Madriaga
Photography: Mike Madriaga and Alan Hickey