Spider-Man remains one of the most popular superheroes ever created, thanks to writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko. Fans have been enamoured with Spider-Man ever since Peter Parker was first bitten by a radioactive spider in 1962, and today, many are even getting Spider-Man tattoos.
Spider-Man had a humble beginning as a comic book character and has since been in cartoons, live action and animated movies, video games, and even a Broadway musical. Spidey’s movies are probably the most well known and currently consumed amidst pop culture out there (aside from possibly Batman), and he’s been played by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland in the live action films, and was voiced by Shameik Moore, Chris Pine, and Jake Johnson as various versions of Spider-Man in his most recent animated film.
The first villain in the comics was the Chameleon, but other villains include Dr. Octopus, Venom, Electro, and one of his main arch-nemeses the Green Goblin.
While most folks ship Peter with Mary Jane or Gwen Stacey, his original love interest was Betty Brant, the secretary at The Daily Planet.
Peter Parker is the most well known version of Spider-Man, but other versions within the spider-verse include Miles Morales, Spider-Ham, Miguel O’Hara, Mayday Parker, and Gwen Stacey (as Spider-Gwen) among others.
The Addams family have been creeping people out and making them laugh since 1938 when the kooky family first appeared in Charles Addams’ cartoon in The New Yorker. Since then, they have also appeared in the 1960’s sit-com that ran for two seasons, a cartoon show in the 70’s that also ran for two seasons, a live action feature film in 1991 and a sequel in 1993, and a cartoon feature in 2019.
As tattoos, the character “Wednesday” is probably the most popular for fans, followed by Uncle Fester and Thing. Quotes and other characters also make for great tattoos. The most prevalent styles are black and grey, realism, and neo-traditional.
Wednesday Addams has long been a fan favourite, but like the other characters, she didn’t have a name until the 1960’s show. She was named after the nursery rhyme called “Monday’s Child”, detailing the days of the week, with Wednesday being described in the rhyme as “Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” In the original cartoon she is pail, dark haired, and has an obsession with the macabre. In the 1960’s show she is much sweeter and kinder, though her favourite hobby is raising spiders. The 1990’s films made her much darker again, and it’s this version of Wednesday that usually makes it to tattoos.
Creator Charles Addams was known for having somewhat macabre interests and hobbies, hence his ability to create such fantastic characters and stories. His house was apparently filled with medieval weapons and torture devices. He had a particular love for crossbows and even admitted to fantasizing about shooting an intruder or robber with one.
Angelica Huston (Morticia Addams) apparently grew up reading her parents’ book of Addams Family cartoons and even pretended she was Morticia. It is interesting how she ended up playing the character in the movies 30 years later. She also had to go through a daily routine of fitting into a metal corset that created the cartoonish figure of Morticia. This included gauze eye lifts, neck tucks, and fake nails.
The Office (US) is the immensely popular series based on the UK series of the same name. While both shows are popular, the American version has seen much more popularity worldwide, while the UK version receives most of its praise within the UK. The British version came to be (mostly in part by Ricky Gervais who also acts in it) and ran for two seasons. The US version was created in 2005 and ran for nine seasons, has been nominated for a total of 193 awards, 51 of which it won, and has one of the most loyal fan-bases in television, leading to many hardcore fans getting tattoos dedicated to it.
As tattoos, many people opt for getting the more popular characters, usually Dwight or Michael; but any and all of them can be found. Direct quotes and images based on quotes also make for popular tattoo designs; such as Michael’s infamous movie ”Threat Level Midnight.”
The Office has become such an integral part of North American pop culture that psychologists have even explored why people are so obsessed with it. Many people have even continuously binge watched it on Netflix, on repeat (myself included). Reasons for peoples’ need to watch and re-watch the show seem to all be about comfort, such as relieving stress, dealing with trauma or heartbreak, and even coping with mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression.
Some fun facts that you may not know about your favourite show include: the temperature on set had to be kept at a cool 17 degrees (64 F) because actor Steve Carell has active sweat glands that could ruin a shot. Jim and Pam’s proposal scene was the most expensive shot of the show, costing around $250,000 (US) because the backdrop of the storefronts were built for the show. Rainn Wilson (Dwight) auditioned for the role of Michael Scott, Seth Rogen auditioned for the role of Dwight, and Adam Scott auditioned for the role of Jim. Clearly, the casting director made the right choices (no offence to Seth and Adam). And speaking of casting, Phyllis Smith (Phyllis Lapin-Vance) was initially an assistant casting director for the show, but the producers were so impressed with her reading of lines for those who were auditioning that she was asked to act in the show instead.
For many of us, The Office is a favourite that makes us laugh over and over, and can be an immense source of comfort in dark times. It’s a show that’s such a big part of our lives that some even opt for immortalizing it on their skin forever.
Jennah works out ofBluebird Tattoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has become well known in the city and throughout Canada as a must see artist for anyone who loves anime, cartoons, video games, or comic books.
Jennah mainly works in new school or neo-traditonal styles, but also does brilliant black and grey.
If you’re a lover of the nerdier things in life, Jennah is a must see artist. Her own love of cartoons and anime shines through in her exquisite attention to detail in the characters she recreates.
Jennah does brilliant large scale pieces such as full arm or leg sleeves, but happily does small one-offs such as singular characters and creatures.
Tim Burton’s 1988 film, Beetlejuice, is as fun today as it was over 30 years ago. Featuring a great cast with Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, and the ghost with the most, Michael Keaton, Beetlejuice is a great spooky comedy for those who love the Halloween aesthetic, but not horror.
Along with being a hit cult movie, an animated show following Lydia and Beetlegeuse’s relationship was created, and ran for four seasons.
Beetlejuice was made on quite a moderate budget, but made $73 million at the box office, was the 10th highest grossing film of 1988, and even won an Oscar for best makeup.
The number “three” was very important in the film. To summon Beetlegeuse you must say his name three times, the Maitland’s say the word “home” three times to escape Beetlegeuse, they knock on the door three times to get into the afterlife, and when the family moves into the house, Delia wonders why there are only three sculptures.
As tattoos, fans continue to get Beetlegeuse portraits (both from the movie and cartoon), as well as tattoos of Barbara and Adam in their monster form, the sandworm, ghosts, the creepy house, and the Handbook for the Recently Deceased. The most popular styles appear to be old school, Neo-traditional, and black work, though realism and minimalism are also seen quite a bit.
John Carpenter’s “The Thing” is a favourite cult movie for many, despite its major flop when it first came out. The special effects are still what’s most loved and talked about with horror lovers today.
Special effects artist Rob Bottin was just 22 when he headed a team of 40 technicians, working on the film for seven weeks after previously working on The Fog with John Carpenter already.
One of the most famous scenes is the “chest chomp” where Dr. Copper tries to revive Norris by restarting his heart, with his arms in his chest. Bottin found a double arm amputee to film this scene so that they could attach prosthetics that could then be ripped off in a realistic a manner as possible.
Kurt Russell damn near blew himself up for real in that scene where he fights the “Palmer-Thing.” They used real dynamite in the filming of this scene and Kurt was unaware of how powerful the blast would be. John Carpenter kept the real shot in the film, so Kurt being thrown back and his surprise was genuine.
As a tattoo, various forms of metamorphosis are the most popular tattoos, particularly that creepy head. Fans of Kurt Russell have also immortalized his character. Realistic or old school styles also seem to be the most popular for those who want to have The Thing on them forever.
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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alien films are often seen as more “nerdy” fitting the sci-fi mould well, but they also mix well with horror and/or comedy.
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.
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.
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.
There are four books, each containing five wholesome short stories that are simple, humorous, and full of teachable moments.
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.
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.