Fandom is fun, but tattoos are forever. This is the first rule of tattooing. It will never go away. Even if you get it “removed” you’re probably going to have a pretty sick scar to go along with multiple sessions with a laser – a laser that is much more painful than the initial tattoo gun sessions.
That reminder of permanence aside, tattoos are a great way to show your love for something. We love geeky tattoos. Some of us even have them. They will help you never forget a time in your life, a show, a family member, even a favorite class in school. People get them for all different reasons though it’s somewhat unusual to find someone with only one. Going under the needle is a little on the addictive side and so are the bright colors and intricate designs that a true artist can create on your skin.
Geeky tattoos are truly awesome, and we wanted to gather a bunch together to showcase the pure animal magnetism that exudes from someone who has inked up their skin with their favorite characters, sayings, set pieces and more. Just walking the floor at a convention will give you hundreds of ideas of the kind of tattoo you might want to pay homage to your fandom.
Before we get to the epic gallery, here are some very important things to remember before you have something etched permanently to your skin:
– Yes, it will hurt. It’s a needle going in and out of your skin very fast and leaving tiny droplets of ink in your subcutaneous layer of skin (that’s what’s right below the part that the sun hits)
– Yes, it will bleed. If you can’t handle blood, you should either rethink the entire process of getting a tattoo or figure out a way to do it so you don’t have to see them doing the actual tattoo.
– Yes, it really does cost that much. Tattoos are works of art done in a medium that exposes the artist to human blood which is classified as hazardous by health codes. They charge hundreds of dollars for a reason. This is not a situation where you want to save money.
– It’s important that you take good care of a fresh tattoo – you are basically walking around with an open wound until it heals completely. That means that you should keep it clean and moisturized from the time you take off the initial bandaging job that your artists does.
– Other basics: No lotion with perfumes or dyes; stay out of the sun; don’t submerge your tattoo in water for long periods of time; do not pick at the scab – you will pull ink from the tattoo and need to go get touch ups.
When you go into a tattoo parlor, you should look around and see that it’s clean. Good tattoo parlors will have you do a consultation and make a downpayment and appointment. They won’t cover your back in a tattoo on the first visit. You will be asked to sign paperwork and legal releases, and you should read it. Few places will tattoo someone under the age of 18 even if they have a parent’s permission. And thanks to Health Codes, tattoos parlors that are legit will have separately sealed packages of sterilized needles for each customer. There are no “use it and clean it and reuse it” situations here. Every where this writer has gone for the last 15 years has not only had separately sealed needles but has had policies about having the customer watch them open each package and then dispose of them at the end of a session.
You should feel comfortable going and meeting with your tattoo artist to discuss what you want. They may have suggestions. They may be able to explain the limitations of the style you want. They may also have ideas on how to fix what a shortcoming of your design may be. Listen to them – they’re experts. That said, don’t let yourself get talked into getting something you don’t want because you will be stuck with it forever. If you’re worried you’ll be a pushover, take a friend for the consultation (some states won’t allow guests into the actual rooms where the tattoo happens).
Love the tattoo that you get. It’ll be with you for a long time. And get ready for everyone and their mother to ask you what it means, why you got, and everyone’s favorite “You do know that’s permanent, right?”
They mean well. Kind of. And when you’re done smiling at the naysayers, remind yourself that your tattoo is awesome and completely unique to your personal geekery. Here are some ideas to get you started.