Ok, so this blog was supposed to be posted over a week ago, but I could not muster the strength or energy to get it done. It seemed that I somehow got brushed by the black finger of death while in Milan, with the worst illness I have faced to this day. I have no clue what this Italian funk was that I caught, but I do not wish that shit on my worst enemy… Well ok, maybe they too should be struck with it one day…
The journey overseas started out amazing. I got to the airport and while waiting on the plane the ole familiar faces of Brad Fink and his entourage showed up. We sat and chatted until time to board, and then we all made our way towards the back of the plane where we were all seated. A few moments later Jason Schroder, Nikko Hurtado, Carlos Rojas and several others boarded. It was like we were on a “tat bro” field trip over to Milan. I love this about conventions. You might travel alone, but you are always with friends. The tight-knit community we have is unparalleled to any other industry. And what a fucking breeze the Italian customs was, I wish it was this easy to get into every country! Not even a question asked or a second look, just a head nod and another stamp on the passport.
Once I got checked into the hotel Adam Hayes, Jason Schroder and I toured the city for a few hours. I took them over to see the Skull Chapel [San Bernardino alle Ossa] I highly suggest going to see this if you come to Milan –very small but worth it if you can find it. All that is etched onto the outside stone is “Date et Dabitur Vobis.” The chapel is located on the other side of the Duomo away from all the trendy expensive touristy shit.
What a long fucking day that was. This was convention number two without drinking and I am feeling it. I feel great not being hung-over, but fuck I miss a drunken sleep upon arrival. Lying in the room trying to cope with the adjustment of the six-hour time change and lack of sleep I received a text from Oliver Peck. Apparently he did not book a room and wanted to crash with me and Chriss Dettmer… I had a feeling this lack of sleep was about to become a trend for the weekend.
Both the roommates arrive… we had dinner, mingled some and Chriss was off to bed. I saw that Oliver was hungry for the nightlife, so after downing a few Red Bulls it was off into the night with him. You know what that means…. Party, party, party and dice game after dice game. My luck just was not with me this go-round –three times I was up to win over 200 Euros and all three times it was stripped away with the last roll of the dice… Fuck L, R, C. [Left. Right. Center.] And fuck c-lo.
The next morning Chriss and I found our booth, lugged the mags in, set up and prepared for our day. What a great room we were in, it was off the beaten path, but with neighbors like Javier Rodriguez, Alex Reinke, the Horiyoshi III family, Guen Douglas, Horimasa, Crystal from Gomeniko Books and more, who can complain!
The convention flew by like normal and I got to see Chriss bang out some really nice tattoos over the weekend and was even able to get one for myself!
Milan is definitely one of my favorites, there are so many amazing artist and friends attending this. It is well worth the trip over to be around the talent that attends this show… –with the likes of Henning Jorgensen, Valerie Vargas, Yushi Takei, Dan Sinnes (Featured in TAM Issue #24), Alex de Pase, Javi Castano, Jondix, Theo Jak, Chad Koeplinger and Jack Rudy just to name a few.
Miki Vialetto does a great job with this show as well as the London Convention. Both of these are highly recommended to attend as an artist or just a visitor.
I hope every one that attended made it back safely and was able to avoid the horrid grip of what seemed like the hand of death that some how embraced Chriss and I. I hope to never catch this ungodly disease again.