PoP! spotlights the fans who have permanently branded themselves as geeks.
This edition of All Ink’d Up, just in time for the Halloween costume season, features a member of the PoP!ulation who takes “dressing up” seriously, to the point of permanence! Enjoy everyone’s favorite cranky cosplayer, TENIME_art, and his Geeky Tatts!
Name: Chris Tenime
Location: Western Chicago Suburbs
PoP!: What are your current Geek tattoos, and where are they on your body?
Chis: I’m not really a “picture” person when it comes to my geek-ink. I’m more of a “symbol” person, more likely to get logos than portraits.
In chronological order, my geek tattoos are:
Superman Shield, Right Shoulder
People find it ironic that I’d have this, considering how big a fan I am of his nemesis, Lex Luthor. I could give you some altruistic meaning behind it, like that I want to be a better person, that I want to be “super,” but that’s only half true. I really just want to be able to fly, take a bullet without feeling pain or dying, and see through the wall of the ladies lacrosse team locker room.
Wolverine Claw Sheathes, Back of Hands
Yes, I’m perhaps a tad bit disturbed, but again, I want the powers – the healing-ability, the unbreakable skeleton, the foot-long retractable claws. Laugh if you want, these are dreams of mine.
Hitman Barcode, Base of Skull
This piece has more meaning behind it than simply being based on the Hitman video game character. I grew up in a pretty religious home. The Book of Revelation remains a subject of interest to me, and when the subject arose with my mother, I discovered her belief that the Mark of the Beast may actually end up as barcodes tattooed on the inside of our wrists, containing all personal and financial information.
Needless to say, when I lost my faith in God at the age of 16, my first desire was to get a barcode tattoo. Ooooo, Rebellion! It wasn’t just rebellion, and it has nothing to do with the Devil himself (what has HE ever done for me!?), but more of a defiance of good – a celebration of corruption and evil. I wanted it on the back of my neck, and was waiting for my 18th birthday, but my financial status and low threshold for pain kept me from being too impetuous, thankfully.
The following December, video game company Eidos released the title Hitman. Now, I suck at video games, and subsequently, they end up being more stressful than entertaining. My best friend, Sam, however, isn’t, so watching him play is like watching a movie. I watched him play Hitman from beginning to end, and fell in love with the character (and profession!). I resolved that should I ever start shaving my head, I’d move the barcode from my wrist, up to the base of my skull. Seven years later (and after two years of shaving my head), 20th Century Fox released a cinematic adaptation of Hitman. As soon as the DVD was released, I printed up a screen capture, and took it to the artist.
Heroes “Godsend” Helix, Inner Right Forearm
The symbol resembles a DNA helix, and also a combination of two Japanese characters – Sai (才), which translates to “Great Talent,” and Yo (与), which translates to “Godsend.” I see it as my “brand” of being “superhuman.”
LOST Numbers, Inner Left Forearm
The “Numbers” (4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42) are one of the frequently recurring themes on LOST, as well as being one of the biggest mysteries on a show rife with mind-f—s. The plane that crashed was Oceanic Flight 815, Jack Shephard sat in Row 23, John Locke was in his wheelchair for four years, they were Hurley’s winning lottery numbers, and etched onto the outside of the hatch. The numbers also represent “the core values of the Valenzetti Equation, a mathematical formula designed to predict the end of humanity. The numbers in actuality are said to represent human and environmental factors in the equation (given numerical form), though their precise meaning is uncertain.” As someone fascinated with Armageddon and the end of existence, the Valenzetti Equation lends the most personal meaning to this piece.
PoP!: What is your favorite of your tattoos?
Chris: Probably the barcode, which is funny, considering it’s the one I’ll never see without the aid of a mirror, that is, until l I get any pieces on my back.
PoP!: Have you received any awards/recognition for your tatts?
Chris: I’m constantly receiving comments. Most people don’t “get it” (the Wolvie claws get the most “What are those?”), but occasionally, I’ll get an “Awesome!” from a fellow nerd. People are continually asking if the LOST numbers are for lotto, which is funny considering the numbers as Hurley’s winning lottery ticket was the first major reveal on the show. Others wonder if the barcode is scannable, which it is not. When I met Michelle Rodriguez at Chicago Comic-Con, I was trying to show her my LOST tattoo, but she was too busy geeking out over the Wolvie sheaths. Then, after she saw the barcode, she told me I was “just off the chain with them all.”
PoP!: Where do you get your work done?
Chris: Multiple places, usually off of friend recommendations.
Superman Shield was done at Chicago Tattooing & Piercing
Wolverine Claw Sheathes was done at Taylor Street Tattoo by Chris
Hitman Barcode was done at Quad City Tattoo by Bert
LOST Numbers and Heroes “Godsend” Helix were done (in the same session) at Brother E’s by Rich
I’m taking all future pieces to Rich, because he does good, fast work, and quotes really fair prices.
PoP!: Do you have any plans for more Geek tattoos?
Chris: Of course, duh! My next one is going to be Nicolas Flamel’s Caduceus, a symbol used in alchemy, which interests me in and of itself, but can also be geek-linked to the anime Full Metal Alchemist, wherein Alphonse Elric has the symbol painted in blood on the left shoulder of his armor. My version will be in red, but it will be lower, between the bicep and tricep on the outside of my arm (I have other plans for my left shoulder).
Obviously, I have plans for many, many more, and an Ex gave me some good advice on tattoos. Get the exact picture you want. Hang it up somewhere that you’ll see it every day for a year (next to your bathroom mirror or bedroom door are good). If at any time you get tired of seeing it, or feel like taking it down – don’t get the tattoo. I spend a lot of time thinking about design, color, placement, etc.
Thanks to Chris for getting “All Ink’d Up”!
Do you have a Comic, Cartoon, Sci-Fi or generally Geek-centric tattoo that you think would make an interesting feature for “All Ink’d Up”? If so, send your pics to firstname.lastname@example.org, visit us at the PoP! Forums or comment on this very article!
Email Jason Knize at email@example.com