Wednesday, June 04, 2003

tattoos in intimate places and an ear infection named Coconut

John M. Ford (Mike, to his friends), writes to say

"... and an ear infection named Coconut."

Yes, I know that by now you've had this pointed out by the entire
English-speaking population of the Earth, but there was a curious
synergy: T'other night I was watching an old Channel Four doc on the
Great Train Robbery, and it contained the line:

"The fireman returned to the cab to find the driver on the floor, his head
bleeding. It was filled with men in balaclava masks that hid their faces."

Obviously, said I upon copying this to Teresa, an inside job.

Not the entire English speaking world, no. There are still people without internet access out there, and several of them decided to just let it go.

Hello! My question is about tattoos. How often do you meet fans with body ink related to Sandman or any of your other work, and how do you feel about tattoos in general?

I ask because I'm am planning on incorporating Morpheus and Death into a design for my back, and I figured that I might ask your permission first.

Much love,

Andrew H.

Pretty frequently. There were some nice Sandman tattoos at Book Expo, not to mention someone who'd had my signature tattooed onto her shoulder (and it had come out looking really nice, in an abstract sort of black-marks-on-pink-skin sort of way).

I think I went momentarily into shock in about 1992, during a signing at Golden Apple in LA when someone got me to sign his arm at the start of the signing, and turned up at the end of the signing having had the signature tattooed on, with the liquid skin sprayed over it, still beading blood. I hadn't expected it, and the idea of seeing my signature as a tattoo took me rather by surprise (although I was used to Sandman tattoos by that point).

But that sort of used up my shock quotient.

I'd say at about half the signings I do, and probably 80% of the readings or events, someone will come up and show me a tattoo, often cheerfully revealing areas of skin normally reserved for loved ones, or at least the beach. (Sometimes, as well, people will look around, and then tell me that they don't really think they can show me where they have their Key to Hell tattooed with quite so many people in the line behind them.)

I've seen some amazingly beautiful tattoos, and some very very proud people. Mostly I just wish that the original artists could see them, or that someone would put together a website on which pictures of them could all be collected.

So yes, of course you have my permission, not that you need it, and I hope it turns out to be everything you wanted.

PS: Having put up the link to Golden Apple, I clicked on it, and discovered it has a photo of me taken about 14 years ago on the website's front page. I was skinnier then, and I have no idea what happened to those shades, but whatever it was they deserved it.