Tattoo News Review
12:17 PM
Photo by James Macari for Contributing Editor.

I just had to take a break from my first book deadline because the recent tattoo news has been ... well, as fun and fanciful as the Obama Chia head. Ch-ch-ch-cheezy! Love!

The headlines covered everything from celeb tattoo snafus to inked ad campaigns to new regs facing the industry, but let's first kick it off with something for my ladies and gay boys ...

... Contributing Editors spread of the hottest tattooed professional models, shot by James Macari. yummmm

Two of the models are repped by UGLY Talent, a talent agency with offices in NYC and London that specializes in alternative beauties, like the heavily inked. They also have a great online store with cool tees. [Thanks, Evan!]

Those boys can even make Hanzi and Kanji look hot. And speaking of, while that tattoo trend may be fading in the US, Chinese tattoo lovers are going for lettering in English. The Miami Herald offers some interest facts on tattoos in China like this one:

"Tattoos have been around for nearly a millennium in China. Perhaps the most famous one graced the back of Yue Fei, a famous general in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279 A.D.) whose back read: 'Serve the country loyally.' Legend has it that his mother ordered the tattoo as inspiration."

Over time, however, tattoos became the mark of criminality in China and only until recently has that stigma started to wear of.

In the US, the single-needled style tattooing learned in prisons and on the streets of LA have been touted as fine art works these days. Case in point: Yet another article on the fabulous Mr. Cartoon whose cholo art graces the bods of rappers, rock stars and Skid Row's finest. My favorite line from the article comes come Brian Grazer, who's doing a film based on Cartoon's life: "The mainstream is coming around to his aesthetic, not the other way around. He doesn't change. He's still hard-core. He's a gatekeeper to that world."

Cartoon is listed as one of the top tattooists in Playboy's Top Ten Tattoo Parlors written by Inked mag editor Jason Buhrmester. It's an impossible task picking only ten out of the country's best but Jason did hit my favorite shops and avoided the TV show studios. Kudos.

Manlier Perrier-1.jpgAll this tattoo testosterone got bubbly Perrier's attention. This new ad shows them trying to be "manlier" via tattoos. giggle. [Thanks, Chris!]

In tattoo geek news ...

Gizmodo gives a shout to the Neuma tattoo machines.

Neuma, light weight airpowered machines, was developed by the fabulous Carson Hill in 2000. Now Neuma has released the Neuma Hybrid: an electric motor module that transforms the pneumatic Neuma into an electric Neuma. I'll have a full post with details soon.

Wired looks at sites that collect geek and science tattoos.

And this is what happens when geeks get drunk.

In convention news ...

Oregon got its first tattoo convention. [Check the slideshow at the end of the article.] Here was the major snag:  Oregon law mandates an Oregon state tattoo license -- meaning out-of-state artists can't tattoo at the convention, so all who worked the show were locals except for LA Ink's Corey Miller. Miller obtained a "demonstration permit," which allowed him to tattoo designated "models," for educational purposes, but he couldn't charge nor tattoo members of the general public. But a spokesperson for the Oregon Health Licensing Agency said the rules may just change this year (after all, they just licensed mobile body art shops, aka tattoo pimp vans). Kval.com has a video of the show here.

The Edmonton Tattoo and Arts Ink Festival rocked Canada this weekend. Edmonton Sun interviewed the infamous Gil "the Drill" Montie who said he was detained at Customs when flying into the country from Texas. He was told not to work or attend any "educational institutions and taking any academic, professional or vocational" courses while in the country. [He was brought to give a seminar at the convention.] Gil didn't have kind words about it. He also didn't have kind words for Jessica Alba, who he said was "an insufferable diva," on the set of Into the Blue, one of the recent films in which he has a small role (he's also in the horror flick Hallettsville released last month). Check the photo gallery here, including this one of Gil below by Jordan Verlage.

In tattoo law news ...

Minnesota may soon get state-wide health and safety regulations for tattooing. According to the Star Tribune, "the estimated 750 body art practitioners and 250 establishments in Minnesota aren't regulated by the state, though a number of Minnesota cities and counties have ordinances." The state bill would require training and inspections. If the local regulations meet or exceed its requirements, tattooers would be exempt from the license requirement but still subject to inspection.

In Florida, a bill was recently passed making it a third-degree felony to tattoo someone under 18 years old without parental consent. Currently, it's a misdemeanor. [Thanks, Vince!]

Also in Florida, the Health & Family Services Policy Council will review House Bill 1343: the Tattoo Practice and Tattoo Establishment Act, which directs the Department of Health to establish, "in consultation with the professional tattooing industry," requirements for licensing and registration of tattooists and studios.

Controversy over the proposed ban on visible tattoos for West Memphis cops hit Arizona headlines.

And in Oklahoma, a Lawton tattooist has already lost over $130K because his local city code doesn't allow a tattoo studio to open within a thousand feet from a school, church, or playground. A judge in Oklahoma County already overturned a similar ruling as unconstitutional, so a law suit is in the works if the City Council doesn't act here.

In celeb tattoo news ...

Pete Doherty entered the Tattoo Hall of Shame with the word "Waste" inked on his buttocks. A fit as perfect as a pair of tightie whities.

Levi Johnson -- Sarah Palin's daughter's baby daddy -- regrets tattooing Bristol's name on his finger. Almost as regrettable as watching Palin come close to being in the White House.

Keifer Sutherland talks about his tattoo addiction: "I have a lot of tattoos - it's kind of disease. You get the first one and then if it matters to you, you get more." And while he has regrets about some of his work, over he says, "most of the time it's a nice map for myself about the journey of my life."

Lindsay Lohan was back at Shamrock Social Club for new tattoo. Yeah, I don't care either.

In memorium ...

In sad news, a Houston studio owner was shot and killed while protecting customers. Three men, dressed in dark clothes and wearing bandanas to cover their faces, came into the Black Widow Tattoo Parlor and tried to rob customers when artist Steve Robbins got in the middle of the robbery and was shot several times. Police are still looking for the suspects. R.I.P.


Somber end note. And isn't it always the ones who try to do right..

Nice roundup, though, even if the ladies and "gay boys" end up the real winners here.

Awesome review! And now I have the images of Tanz and Nick to help me get through my day;)

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