Rebel Ink is brought to you from the same team that produces Urban Ink. I have to admit that as much as I wanted to dislike it, the magazine is better than I thought it would be. Rebel Inks press release describes the magazine:
" . . . focuses on "hardcore ink". The people featured in this magazine are covered head to toe with vivid and detailed body art sure to shock and awe any reader."
Yea, I know a big yawn, but from reading Rebel Ink, it seems to be trying to capture the edgier demographic of, lets say a Savage Magazine but executed in a much better way. Both the layout and the photography are excellent, head and shoulders above the tired Tattoo/Tattoo Flash/Savage layout.
The articles are your usual fare with a dark twist, interviews with Tera Patrick and her husband Evan Sienfeld, a good interview with Paul Booth a must for any magazine walking on the dark side. I was also pleasantly surprised by by the interview with the Gotham Girls roller derby team.
I also picked the latest issue Urban Ink, which could be Rebel Inks brother magazine since they both share the exact same font and half of the same name for the title. This was a good issue, I was disappointed to see that Zulu's Question/Answer article was no longer in the magazine, but the quality of the articles were very good. If you pick up this months Urban Ink, make sure to check out Dan Browns article "America Tattoo's and the NBA", a well written, thoughtful and nuanced article.
Althought, I give Urban Ink a lot of credit for focusing on people with color with tattoo's, there are a few issues I have with the general content of the magazine
Last but not least Skin and Ink had the usual fare of pretty tattoo's, convention reviews and assorted articles, but the piece that caught my eye was a letter from one of the readers, here is a snippet.
"I have been reading our magazine for a few monthes now and have yet to identify with any of your models. To put it boldly, I have seen no black models . . ."
Well I've been reading skin and ink for the past few years, and I have seen no black models, we are in agreement there.
Now the response.
"As for covers those are selected from feature stories within the specific issue . . . we tend to go with models who have unique tattoos that are bright, clear and easily viewed from five to ten feet away on the newsstand"
Nice to see the sisters are asking the questions, I've been asking for years. In Bobs (Bob Baxter the Editor) defense the sister asking to be on the cover looks "A Mess!!" and I'm glad didn't make it but, there is deficit of people of color in most of the mainstream tattoo magazines, damn you can even show a tattooed Polynesian woman someone with a little color. There are heavily tattooed black women are out there, they might not be going to the conventions but they are out there and it would make it a better magazine to include a few. Urban Ink and Inked have found a lots of them but Skin and Ink, Tattoo and Tattoo Flash don't seem to run across any.