It was already a strange day because a few hours earlier on a stopover in — if memory serves — London Heathrow, I bumped into Lucas Zpira who was on his way back to France, but when we finally landed in Johannesburg, South Africa just as the sun was setting, I looked at the beautiful clouds on the horizon and saw that it was not one sun setting, but two. It seemed very clear to me that we had landed on Tattooine, not in Africa. You can click that picture to see the original unaltered image if you want. (Edit/Note: Just to be clear, this is from a few years ago… I’m not in Africa right now!)
I’m sure there is some fascinating yet thoroughly unromantic optical explanation.
When watching the predictable finale of Ink Master I have to be honest that in some ways I was more impressed by the customers (the “canvas” as they put it on the show)… it’s hard enough sitting for six hours, but to sit for twelve hours of tattooing spread over two days, where on the second day you’re getting the same areas that were lined the day before filled is hellish. It’s an incredible amount of abuse and pain for the average person to go through, let alone some experienced tattooed pain pig. But then it was pointed out to me that they were using spray lidocaine.
I’m getting tattooed again next Wednesday (and I’m sorry I haven’t yet posted pictures of my most recent session, but I will wait until after the next one I think), so out of curiosity I ordered a few different kinds of topical spray/wipe tattoo anesthetics. They contain a mix of benzocaine, lidocaine, and tetracaine, and seem to work by penetrating through the tattoo punctures — so in theory the tattooing hurts at first, and then quickly numbs. Like I said, I got a few different different products, so I will try them each and post my review and feelings about them. They were quite inexpensive, so if they work, it seems reasonable. Friends that I’ve mentioned it to have almost all said something like, “I don’t think I need that, I can take the pain,” but that’s not what it’s about. I mean, 95% of the people reading this blog I’m sure have long-since proven that they can “take the pain”… But is that really why you’re still getting tattooed? Maybe taking the pain was important the first few times, but at this point I don’t think I have anything to prove and to be honest, I have too much pain in my life already. And for people who have to take a day off work to get tattooed, I know that a product like this has the potential to reduce the physiological stress/shock of the tattoo process and greatly reduce the recovery process. Anyway, I will report back on this next week.
While searching for those products (and there are a zillion websites selling them), I also saw so many places selling surface bars and other items that used to be hard to get. It’s amazing how commonplace the formerly atypical has become. I suspect there is a good chance that history will forget my name when it comes to anything but BME, but I’m equally proud of my main two body modification “inventions” — surface bars (coming up with and fine tuning the design along with Tom Brazda, and then through common sense and trial and error coming up with major improvements like the flat bar) and injection-method eyeball tattooing (which was of course perfected by Howie/LunaCobra). My selfish ego hopes for credit, but so many of these procedures have had their inventor’s forgotten — Hell, I’ll bet that a huge number of people don’t even realize the incredibly long list of things Steve Haworth is responsible, starting but not ending with 3D art implants and electrocautery branding. Still, probably for the best that none of us ever considered patents! It’s probably better to be forgotten than to be remembered poorly.
Other than that, I just finished reading 528 pages — 11 issues — of the amazing Dutch (Belgian perhaps?) comic The Song of the Vampires (real title: “Zang van de vampiers“… I’m sorry, but as a German speaker, Dutch always sounds to me like German spoken in a silly voice) and am going nuts because the final issue has not yet been released (or maybe has just been released very recently since it’s showing in stock on some online shops) or translated. I am becoming a big fan of European graphic novels, especially French sci-fi (I think I’ve mentioned Leo’s Aldebaran series, which I’ve bought in English hardcopy after reading an equally unauthorized “scanlation”). To the best of my knowledge it has not yet been released in English, so there’s just the pirate version I just linked to. If it comes out in English I will gladly purchase it.