The Crow Tattoos:

The Crow, directed by Alex Proyas and starring Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee), is most famous for the unfortunate death of Brandon on set. The film is based on the comic books written by James O’Barr in the 1980’s which in turn were based on two real life tragedies. James’ fiancee had been killed by a drunk driver and this was one way he tried to cope with the loss. The other tragedy was something he had heard about: an engaged couple murdered over the ring. These two events helped him think of the plot for The Crow, “That became the beginning of the focal point, and the idea that there could be a love so strong that it could transcend death, that it could refuse death, and this soul would not rest until it could set things right.”

Brandon Lee as Eric Draven done by Paul Acker at Seance Tattoo
Quote and graveyard done by Chemzz 182 Tattoo

Brandon Lee died during a freak accident on set when his character, Eric Draven, was shot by Michael Massee’s character, Funboy. Michael fired the prop gun which had earlier been loaded with dummy cartridges filled with real brass caps (for the shot), bullet, but no powder. After filming the initial scene with the gun, the props master fired it to get the cock off, which in turn knocked the prop bullet into the barrel of the gun. It was next used by Michael Massee on set during a scene where he was meant to shoot Brandon as he entered the room. Fake shootings usually contain extra gun powder to make it extra loud and authentic, but with nothing in the barrel. Since the fake bullet had become lodged in the barrel earlier in filming, it was fired at Brandon much like a real gun, killing him on set.

Realistic black and grey sleeve done by Manuel Clementoni
Dark portrait done by Matthew Murray at Black Veil Tattoo in Salem

According to Michael Massee, 12 years after the accident he still had nightmares about accidentally shooting Brandon. People interested in “cursed” films often refer to The Crow, and the Lee family curse, as Brandon’s famous father, Bruce, also died due to “mysterious circumstances.”

A more old school portrait done by Nae Pier Nebula
Half sleeve done by Carlos Freeze Gonzalez Ferrer

The makeup used for Eric Draven is loved by all who watch the movie, and it was apparently inspired by a marionette mask that James saw painted on a theatre in London.  “I thought it’d be interesting to have this painful face with a smile forcibly drawn on.” It reportedly took between 35 minutes and up to an hour and a half to get the makeup right each day on set. Another set fact is despite the title being “The Crow”, no crows were used in the filming of the movie, but ravens instead. The ravens had to be trained to fly at night, in rain, through a wind tunnel, and one had to be specially trained to sit on Brandon’s shoulder.

Quote and portrait done by Eric Hex
A brighter take done by Anna Gabrielle

As tattoos, most fans of the movie opt to getting some sort of portrait of Brandon, as well as quotes from the movie or comic, and sometimes depictions from the comic, as well as crows or ravens.

A trash polka portrait done by Paul Talbot
Bloody quote and portrait done by Monikyna Tattoo

Do you prefer the comic or the movie?

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Alien Tattoos:

Aliens have long been a subject of much fascination for many people; from those who believe they have been abducted, seen UFO’s, or those who just love aliens in pop culture.

Little Green Man by Alison Smiley at Golden Rule Tattoo
E.T by Kira Bishop at Dove Tail Tattoo

Some favourite pop culture aliens include E.T, xenomorphs from the Alein franchise, Roger the alien from American Dad, little green men from Mars Attacks, and many more.

Roger the alien by Brenna Rose at Top Hat Art Collective
Three eyed alien by Fernando Mondragon

Alien films are often seen as more “nerdy” fitting the sci-fi mould well, but they also mix well with horror and/or comedy.

I want To Believe by FeDe Spicy Tattoo
Xenomorph by Jesse Williams at Black Rider Tattoo in Vancouver

Many people believe that Area 51, located in Southern Nevada houses aliens that are being experimented on by the American government. Much of this conspiracy comes from the secrecy shrouding the are as civilians aren’t allowed to enter, and even the airspace cannot be entered without permission. One of the most popular alien theories involves a UFO crashing in Roswell, New Mexico. Many believe that the remains of the said UFO were brought to Area 51 for reverse engineering.

Aliens by Tiffany Drmsby
Minimalistic UFO by Ali Crawley at Heartbreak Social Club

Do you believe in aliens?

Chill alien by Valentina Bubu Sandri
Xenomorph by Paul Acker at Seance Tattoo

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Frog and Toad Tattoos:

Frog and Toad are two characters of a series of illustrated short stories written by author Arnold Lobel in the 1970’s, that were also made into short claymation animation pieces in the 80’s.

By Sidney Thoreson
By Amber Howe

The stories are meant to teach children to be kind, and were also the beginnings of Arnold coming out as gay. He described frog and toad as two aspects of himself, and his daughter described the pair as of the same sex that love each other.

By Sara Taylor at Arsenal Ink
By Kiki Kono at Great Whale Tattoo

There are four books, each containing five wholesome short stories that are simple, humorous, and full of teachable moments.

By Ryan Bray
By Knotted Sword Tattoo

Frog is tall, green, cheery, and relaxed; while toad is short, squat, light brown, and while still friendly, is the more serious and pragmatic of the two.

By Julia Seizure at Divine Ink Devon
By Mark Bennett at Tough Luck Delaware

For many these two were a favourite couple growing up, and getting them as tattoos can be a callback to childhood and simpler times. As a tattoo, they are largely drawn quite similarly to their illustrated selves, meaning simple designs, colours, and textures.

By Ian Powers at Powers Tattoo Company
By Julia Hayes at Moonrise Tattoo

what is your favourite Frog and Toad story?

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The Umbrella Academy Tattoos:

The Umbrella Academy is a series of comic books written by My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way which was later made into a Netflix original show. Today (July 31st 2020) marks the release of season two, and fans are very excited.

Umbrella by Antclaytattoo

Gerard Way apparently started drawing characters backstage before shows, and wrote it during the tumultuous time before My Chemical Romance broke up (as well as during the breakup).

Hazel and Cha Cha by Leo Monezuelas

Cameron Britton (Hazel), and Mary J. Blige (Cha Cha) became great friends on set due to their similar senses of humour. Though Mary reportedly had to go to “dark places” for her role of Cha Cha, and also had to practice martial arts every day on set with Cameron and their trainer.

Small umbrella by Constantible

The show has been filmed entirely in Canada (so far), Toronto to be exact, despite its American setting.

Hello Good Bye modelled after Klaus’ hand tattoos by Amelia at Berserk Tattoo in Melbourne
Hazel and Cha Cha by Shaz at Rat-A-Tat Tattoo

The show and comic are both great for those who love less mainstream superheroes and stories that play with time travel and the apocalypse.

Cute Hazel and Cha Cha by Harry James
Hazel and Cha Cha by Shauna Gregory in the UK

As a tattoo, some of the most popular designs include the umbrella logo, Hazel and Cha Cha’s masks, and show favourites such as Klaus.

Hazel by Justin Chapman
Klaus by Cadence at Ink Room Canada

Who is your favourite character? Do you prefer the comics or the show?

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BoJack Horseman Tattoos:

BoJack Horseman is an extremely popular Netflix original that tackles serious issues with the backdrop of goofy cartoon characters. Spoiler alert!

BoJack and friends by Yo Soy Lau
BoJack and quote by Kenzi mackattacctatt

It is both one of the goofiest and most tragic stories I’ve watched in a long time.The creator of the show, Raphael Bob-Waksberg, has said it’s very important that the show be set in a world where animal characters live and interact with humans in a human way. “I think by making BoJack a horse, it allows an audience to project themselves on him in a way that if you were looking at a picture of Will Arnett, you might not be as inclined to,” Bob-Waksberg explained to Slashfilm. “There does exist an odd universality to these animals. By making them more foreign, they become more relatable.”

Princess Carolyn by Cate Fields
Todd by Judasz Trasz Tattoo

The basic storyline isn’t all that original. A washed up male actor deals with (or rather doesn’t deal with) how toxic he is. Tackling substance abuse, depression, and his past, which helps the audience understand (to a degree) why he treats people the way he does. What makes the show interesting is how goofy it is, with whimsical characters that are able to do and say things a show might not always be able to get away with, because it’s a cartoon, and because many of them are animals.

BoJack and quote by Sof Carrillo
BoJack by iimerse

It’s a very bleak story that gets darker and darker with each season. The show also doesn’t really have a happy ending, which I think is rare these days. But it makes it much more real. Not every story ends happily and it’s unrealistic for everything on tv to be wrapped up at the end of an episode or even a season.

Mr. Peanut butter and Todd by Vero Gutiérrez
A young BoJack by Matt Stanton

Most shows and movies focus on a character being “fixed” and growing. While BoJack arguably does grow, he also relapses time and time again. He acts and reacts as an addict does, and as someone deeply damaged. Again, he’s a real character despite his ridiculous antics which is what makes him relatable.

A minimalistic BoJack by Rafael Abitte
Rick and BoJack by Kozo Tattoo

Some of the other most popular characters include Todd, Mr. Peanut Butter, Princess Carolyn, Diane, and many more.

Who is your favourite BoJack character?

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John Carpenter Tattoos:

John Carpenter is a well known director, writer, actor, and composer. He is most known for his work in horror, and is a beloved director, writer, and composer for all those who love the darker side of life.

Christine leg sleeve by the legendary Paul Acker at The Seance Tattoo Parlour.
They Live tattoo by Tattoos By Heidi.

A few of his most well known movies are; Halloween, The Thing, Christine, Village of the Damned, Prince of Darkness, and They Live. Though he has worked on many more.

Realistic Escape From New York piece by Craig Mackay.
Village of the Damned leg piece by Peti Cortez.

While most people know him for his horror, it’s not the only work he does. Some other notable non-horror movies of his are Escape From New York, Dark Star, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, and more.

Halloween leg sleeve by Michael Cloutier.

Halloween turned intone of the most profitable independent films of all time, terrifying audiences time and time again with killer Michael Myers. Halloween becoming such a success paved the way for other big slashers such as Friday the 13th in 1980 and Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984.

Cute lil The Thing piece by Mr. Dana at Lucky Peach Tattoo.
Prince of Darkness chest piece by Paul Acker.

Which John Carpenter movie is your favourite?

Another one from The Thing, by Dan Gagne at Mortem Tattoo.
Michael Myers Halloween piece by Isaac Morales.

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Star Wars Tattoos:

May the fourth be with you!

Yoda and baby Yoda done by Ash Lewis in a realistic black and grey style.

There’s no denying that Star Wars is one of the most popular film and television franchises ever made. Here are some Star Wars facts and cool tattoos to help you celebrate today.

Darth Vader done by Ufoo Tattoo.

Akira Kurosawa’s 1958 film “The Hidden Fortress” was one of many influences on George Lucas when he was first creating the story for Star Wars. Particularly the fact that both stories are told first from the point of view of lowly characters. The word Jedi is also derived from the Japanese word “Jidaigeki” which refers to the types of films directors like Kurasawa would make.

Cartoon Leia done by Allison Riot.

Harrison Ford wasn’t actually auditioning for the movies at all. George Lucas had him brought in to feed lines to other actors that were auditioning, but liked how he did it so much that he was offered the part of Han Solo.

Black and grey Darth Vader half sleeve done by Jeebby Aponte Quinones.

Orson Welles was almost the voice of Darth Vader, but that was changed when Lucas thought his voice would be too recognizable.

Gangster Chewbacca done by French Xav at Exile Tattoo Parlour.

Robert Englund (most fameus for playing the infamous Freddy Krueger) convinced a young Mark Hamill to audition for the movies after he was rejected for the role of Han Solo.

Luke’s severed hand and his lightsaber done by Chris Hatch.

Early shots of the millennium falcon escaping through an asteroid belt features potatoes spray painted to look like asteroids.

Darth Maul done by Bobby Tripp.

Star Wars features one of the misquoted lines in cinematic history. “Luke, I am your father.” Sound familiar? Well, it’s incorrect. Darth Vader actually says “No, I am your father.”

Kylo Ren and Rey done by Yesenia Concepcion.

Jabba Hutt was so large that he had to be puppeteered by seven people.

Realistic Jar Jar Binks done by Khail Aitken.

The Saga almost ended with Luke donning the Vader mask, but the idea was scrapped as Lucas wanted a happier ending.

Darth Vader and Kylo Ren portrait done by Jordan Baker.

Harrison Ford had been advocating for Han Solo’s death for about 30 years, and he finally got it in “The Force Awakens.”

Which Star Wars movie is your favourite?

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Super Mario Tattoos:

Mario first appeared in the classic Nintendo game, Donkey Kong, in 1981. Though in this game he was still named Jumpman. It wasn’t until 1982 when he reappeared in Donkey Kong Jr. that he finally became the classic character, “Mario”.

Ben Kaye Tattooer & part owner of Ship Shape tattoo, New Zealand
A very realistic Mario done by Ben Kaye at Ship Shape Tattoo in New Zealand.
Javier Antunez Artist:Owner of @TattooedTheory
Terrifyingly realistic version of Bowser done by Javier Antunez at Tattooed Theory.
Missi Robbe @evolutiontattooreno
Zombie Yoshi and King Boo done by Missi Robbe at Evolution Tattoo Reno.

Super Mario was indirectly influenced by Jackie Chan! The creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, has stated that Super Mario was largely inspired by a video game called “kung-fu”. The Japanese version of this game was based on a Jackie Chan movie called “Spartan X”.

Dave 'Junior' Nicholls
Bowser done by Dave ‘Junior’ Nicholls.
Jeanzito Hernandez
Bright and colourful sleeve done by Jeanzito Hernandez.
Robert Pup Byington
Nintendo themed sleeve done by Robert Pup in Byington.

Super Mario characters include the brothers Mario and Luigi, the iconic villain, Bowser, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Boo, Donkey Kong, Yoshi, Bowser Jr, Wario, Waluigi, the Koopas, Goombas, and more.

Day May Salt Lake City, Utah
a brilliant 8-bit sleeve done by Day May in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Kyle Williams UK Grindhouse Tattoo Productions
Luigi! Done by Kyle Williams at Grindhouse Tattoo Productions in the UK.
Rodney Eckenberger I Tattoo at Stillhouse tattoo in South Bend and Ink Couture in N.Y.
Wario! Done by Rodney Eckenberger at Stillhouse tattoo in South Bend and Ink Couture in N.Y.

The backstory for Super Mario is actually much darker than you might think! For those of you who haven’t read the instruction manual, here’s the gist of it. Bowser and his Koopa minions are actually black magic wielding wizards who turned the people of Mushroom Kingdom into bushes, blocks, and mushrooms. Yes, that means every time you use a mushroom or punch a block, you’re actually killing a citizen of Mushroom Kingdom.

Felipe Rodrigues Brasil
A Neo traditional Mario done by Felipe Rodrigues in Brazil.
Michela Bottin
Adorable Mario and Peach done in a new school design. Done by Michela Bottin.
Z.D (Zedtattoo) In China
New school Mario and piranha plant done by Zedtattoo in China.

As a tattoo, all Super Mario characters are popular designs. Usually done in either neo traditional style, new school, blackwork, or 8-bit.

Hongdae tattooist Kakao
Blackwork version of Boo done by Kakao in Hongdae.
mikeguinn
Classic mushroom done bu Mike Guinn.

Which Super Mario game is your favourite?

Frankenstein Tattoos:

Frankenstein is a story that has delighted and frightened readers since 1818, now two hundred years!

nikko-hurtado---frankenstein---tattoo------09032015120525
An electrifying monster done by Nikko Hurtado.
️Kyle ‘EGG_ Williams, Uk ,Grindhouse tattoo productions
A gorgeous realistic black and grey piece of the monster and a man with a torch. Done by Kyle Williams at Grindhouse Tattoo in the UK.
Jordan Croke Second Skin Tattoo, Derby UK
A very blue Bride of Frankenstein done by Jordan Croke at Second Skin Tattoo in Derby UK.
Jordan Croke
Another one done by Jordan Croke.

Frankenstein is the story of a mad doctor that brings the dead back to life. Only to find that he has made a monster.

Alejandro Mazakre
Neo traditional green monster done by Alejandro Mazakre.
Keely Rutherford London
Cute blackwork love tattoo by Keely Rutherford in London.
Tom Chippendale
An adorable monster out for some Halloween fun done by Tom Chippendale.

Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein when she was 18, and had it published when she was 20. She wrote it for a writing contest for ghost stories, and she shocked the world!

Audie Fulfer jr. tattoo artist in Fresno CA
Terrifying realistic and colourful monster done by Audie Fulfer jr. Tattoo artist in Fresno CA.
Kyle Cotterman
A realistic and bruised looking monster done by Kyle Cotterman at Distinction Tattoo in Kettering Ohio.

When the book initially came out, readers were disgusted and horrified, but by 1823 it became widely popular, as gothic literature was becoming all the rage.

Bob Tyrrell
Black and grey portrait by Bob Tyrrell.
Mike DeVries (@mikedevries_art) @MDTattooStudio
The monster under candlelight done by Mike DeVries at MDTattooStudio.

In 1910 the first Frankenstein film was made by Thomas Edison, a one-reel 15 minute short film, thought by some to be the first horror movie.

Debora Cherrys
Neo traditional portrait of the monster and his bride done by Debora Cherrys in Madrid.
Nicholas Keiser •Materia Tattoo @materiatattoo -Downingtown ,PA
A very colourful neo traditional monster and rose done by Nicholas Keiser at Materia Tattoo in Downingtown ,PA.

Many others have been made including Frankenstein in 1931, Bride of Frankenstein in 1935, Son of frankenstein in 1939, The Ghost of Frankenstein in 1942, and many more!

Fredao Oliveira
Brutal blackwork 3/4 sleeve of the monster and flowers done by Fredao Oliveira in Brasil.
Nick Sarich
Another green monster, this time done by Nick Sarich at Timeless Tattoos in Chicago.

Fans of gothic literature and horror movies often get Frankenstein tattoos, mainly of the monster, whose name is not actually Frankenstein. Many relate to the monster because he is a misunderstood creature. He may have some violent tendencies, but what he really wants is to be understood and feel love.

Gary Parisi
An electrifying portrait of the Bride of Frankenstein done by Gary Parisi at MAYDAY! Tattoo Co. Chicago.
paul acker
A beautiful Bride of Frankenstein done by Paul Acker at The Séance Tattoo Parlor in Bensalem PA.
franky
The monster also done by Paul Acker.

Frankenstein tattoos are often done in realism, black and grey, neo traditional, and American traditional, as well as black work.

John Claude
A little green monster done in American traditional style by John Claude in Cheltenham, England.
Steve Wimmer
The monster and the castle and storm that created him done by Steve Wimmer at The Grand Reaper in San Diego, CA.

“Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions, seems still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence: he may suffer misery, and be overwhelmed by disappointments; yet, when he has retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”
― Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyFrankenstein