Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: It was nice to read recently that Coney Island, USA located at 1208 Surf Avenue has been declared a New York City landmark. It was January of 2011 that the Coney Island’s Landmark Preservation Commission made its decision to protect this early 20th century building, now decorated to look like a sideshow on a circus lot. Built in 1917 as a branch of the Childs Restaurant chain, the building is complete with curved windows, a Spanish tiled roof and mosaics covering the front of the building. The commission described the building as “a stylish building in the Spanish Revival style that was fitting for the area’s beach atmosphere.” This building is one of the few in the area that has been protected in the recent years as the neighborhood undergoes widespread razing and redevelopment to make room for high-rises and hotels… (more…)
Mothers have always been a popular theme in the world of tattoos, and the first tattoo a young man gets is often associated with this theme, not least because of the ruckus he will avoid when returning home with it. At first most mothers become angry at such an impulsive deed, but once she realises that this is an indelible display of unconditional love for her and that it will be visible to all for all time, all her heart can do is melt… (more…)
By Paul Dobleman:
Once again, more ass! April’s winner is Hollywood Nelson! I chose this story because it was written so well. Congratulations! Hollywood Nelson, you’re an asshole! She chose the griffin donkey for her collection… (more…)
Travez chose the donkey Pegasus for his collection… Here is the March asshole of the month… (more…)
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Percy Waters was one of the great tattooists/suppliers in the history of our business. Over the years he produced machines with many different frame designs and in his catalog he offered a full line of supplies. Waters was an old-school supplier and the machines that he offered were set-up to operate with connector cords. If you look at photographs of tattooists working in the early 1900s, you will notice a mass of wires on their work stands. These wires connected them machines to their power supply. The clip-cord had not been invented yet, so each machine had its own cord… (more…)
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Gib Thomas, as the story is told, was born in New Orleans around the turn of the 20th century. Early on it was obvious that he had drawing talent, and at the tender age of 14 he left home to make his own way. Somewhere along the path he picked up the art of tattooing which he stayed with it for the next fifty years. It has been said that his needle-name “Tatts” was given to him while on the Ringling Show in 1917… (more…)
By Paul Dobleman:
Once again, many great stories. I chose this one because of its random simplicity and it was original compared to “I spit in my bosses face” type stories. So this asshole also wanted no photo of herself and to remain candid we will call her “Alex” Asshole of the month… (more…)
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Thomas Lanier Williams was born March 26 1911 in Columbus Mississippi to the son of a shoe salesman. He studied at the University of Missouri, Washington University in St. Louis and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1938. In 1939 he moved to New Orleans. It was here that he took his college nickname “Tennessee,” which he got on account of his heavy southern drawl and the state where his father was born. Williams had been a prolific writer since the age of five. During his career, he produced 25 full-length plays, short stories, screenplays, novels, poems and an autobiography. Throughout his career he won many literary awards including The Pulitzer and the New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award and was considered a major American playwright… (more…)
By Tim Shelton
Everything Went Black: An Artist Tribute to Black Flag, presented by Still Life Tattoo on March 10th, 2012… (more…)
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Sometimes all it takes is just one image to set you off on a historical voyage. A few months ago, Mr. Grez from King Avenue Tattoo e-mailed me looking for help in identifying an old-time tattooist. Mr. Grez had a beautifully painted sheet of flash with a Homeward Bound image signed by Jim Fraser. Mr. Grez wanted to know if this Jim Fraser was the tattooist better known as James Fraser or Prof. J.S. Fraser. They are one and the same person… (more…)
Jay Brown: Mi Vida Loca – The Life & Times of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie Vol. 4 (Pre-Order Available Now)
By Jay Brown
Well, the story continues and the history jumps off of the pages as Eddie tells of his life and adventures in the tattoo world. This next issue starts off where the last one left off, and I even heard that some of the stories from the earlier books develop more, as the chronicle of this great tattooer continues on in the much awaited, Mi Vida Loca – The Life & Times of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie Vol. 4. I’ve been told that this one is the best yet… (more…)
By Paul Dobleman:
There were a lot of good ones but this is the winner for January and the first asshole of the year! Due to the nature of the story this person wanted to remain candid so we’ll just call him, James. This is James’s story…
Subscribe, renew or add to your Tattoo Artist Magazine subscription now for a chance to win an original Sailor Jerry acetate (initialed), one extra year’s subscription to TAM and the Chris Treviño Book: Gods and Warriors.
Winner will be chosen March 1st, 2011.
(Contest is for tattooers only.)
Click here to sign up: http://www.tattooartistmagazine.com/payment [Picture of Sailor Jerry acetate on expanded page.]
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: I recently came across an ad in The New York Times for prints from Edwards S. Curtis’ Native American photographs. Curtis is well-known for his images of the fading American Indian’s way of life. One of the images offered in this advertisement was for the Oglala Sioux Chief Jack Red Cloud (1862-1928). This got me to thinking about our Jack Redcloud, the tattooist who made his name tattooing in Brooklyn, New York.
Unlike the Indian chief, Jack Redcloud the tattooist always spelled his last name as one word. Maybe this was out of respect for the famous chief. At one time his shop was known as Redcloud Jack’s, but in the later years he was referred to as Jack Redcloud…
By Dave Gibson
My uncle used to tell this story about when he was in the Navy… He and his small group of friends liked getting tattoos and talking about them. One shipmate in particular had an unusual tattoo, and he never wanted to talk about it. My uncle described it as a pig with a tree behind it, a bird in the tree and a moon in the sky. No matter how much coaxing, the sailor didn’t want to talk about it. Finally, one day he gave in and said, “Alright, you wanna know? It’s a ________________.”
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: The Zeis Studio, Milton Zeis’ supply business was set up to provide a full line of supplies for the tattooist. Many of Zeis’ ideas were taken from suppliers that preceded him in the business, especially Percy Waters. In addition, the Zeis Studio offered a home study course on tattooing which was just an expanded version of what Waters had offered decades earlier. However, to Zeis’ credit, he also offered many items that broke new ground in the tattoo supply business. The Zeis Studio was one of the first major supplier to offer machines that were set up for clip cords; the first to offer color production flash, blue line flash and a shading guide for the beginner tattooists…
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: I recently got a tip about the movie Raggedy Man from Texas tattoo history buff Matt Collins. Raggedy Man, which was released in 1981, stars Sissy Spacek as a divorced mother set in a small Texas town in 1942. Eric Roberts co-stars as a sailor who visits North Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas. During one scene in North Beach, “Bill the Beachcomber” is seen tattooing in the front of his shop at 2810 Surfside.
It must have been in the 1950s that Bill and his wife settled into the North Beach area of Corpus Christi. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi was a popular stopover for tourists. The beach area where Bill was located remained a popular destination until the Harbor Bridge was built-in the late 1950s and traffic was detoured away. By the time I got to North Beach in the mid-1960s North Beach had been battered by hurricanes for decades, including Hurricane Carla in 1961. The one-time popular tourist hotel like “The Breakers” was run-down and on the brink of closing and only a few curio shops, restaurants and bars were still in operation. Two tattoo shops, one owned by Bill Matthews and the other by L.R. Dean, and both located on Surfside Blvd. were still holding on…
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Sailor Jack Cripe was born in 1918 but very little of his early history is known. Once in show business he worked as a tattooist, tattoo attraction and banner painter and dabbled with sword swallowing and knife throwing.
Cripe left the show business world for 13 years and sailed as a merchant seaman but those dates are also unknown to us. Jack Cripe had a bodysuit of tattoos, some done by Sailor Katzy and Sailor Barney. He said that he did most of his own tattoos himself because he could not afford work by someone else.
In the beginning, all tattoos were done in black. Once the caveman had fire, they had soot, that when mixed with water turned into a pigment that could be pushed into the skin. Henry Ford’s comment about his Model-T comes to mind, “You could get it in any color you wanted as long as it was black.” Black was the only pigment in tattooing for centuries…
By Paul Dobleman
Send me a story via letter or e-mail of why you are the asshole of the month! If your story gets chosen, you win a free donkey tattoo from the asshole of the month flash page. This will be for 2012 only and each winners story that was chosen proving them to be the asshole of the month will be posted on Tattoo Artist Magazine’s blog, along with a picture of themself and the donkey tattoo they chose.
GOOD LUCK!!! (more…)
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: The Pike, often known as the “Coney Island of the West”, was a large amusement park located on the waterfront in Long Beach, California. It all started with a pier that was built in 1893 that grew into a major amusement area. It is unknown when or where the first tattooist set-up shop at the Pike, but it was probably in the corner of one of those small arcades that lined the, “Walk of a Thousand Lights…”
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Before Doc Webb came into the tattoo world he worked as a commercial artist for the Fox West Coast Theaters. He also worked in Seattle, Washington at local arcades making signs. While working at these arcades Doc Webb met tattooist Bob Kelton. As fate would have it before too long Doc Webb had a tattoo machine in his hands and he spent the next 40 plus years working as a tattooist. Doc Webb operated shops in Vallejo, California and in San Diego, California. In fact, he spent his entire tattoo career around the military and the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) flash sheet seen here is a classic example of Doc Webb’s tattooing style.
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Today, we can say that Chicago is one of the great cities of the world, but Chicago was a late bloomer. It was still a wilderness roamed by Indians at a time when many other large cities were great centers of trade and industry. Less than one hundred years after it was founded Chicago joined these cities as one of the largest in the world. Chicago gets its name from the Miami-Illinois Indian word shikaakwa, which means “stinky onion.” This meaning came about because of the onions that grew along its river. The 1990 World Almanac lists Chicago as the third largest city in the United States, after New York City and Los Angeles, and the twenty-second largest in the world — all of this for a city that was not incorporated until 1832! In 1840 the population was 4,417, and by 1850 it had grown to 29,936! From there the city never looked back…
Courtesy of Tattoo Archive: Has anyone else noticed that the large bottles (33.82 oz) of black Pelikan Ink have disappeared from store shelves and tattoo supply catalogs? For several years the famous German ink makers have put labels on their large bottles of Noir Black ink warning, in nine languages, that their product was “Not to be used for tattooing”. I am almost certain that this had little effect in the tattoo business. You must remember that for at least one hundred years Pelikan Ink was the standard for the tattoo industry. Tattooists and tattoo suppliers alike would brag that they used the very finest German black ink, which was shorthand for Pelikan Ink…