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Jill Harness

26 Cool Tattoos Spotted at Comic Con

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Jill Harness

Geeks are known for their dedication to their favorite comics, TV shows, video games, and movies—so it's hardly surprising that there are tons of geeky tattoos at Comic Con, the world's largest pop culture gathering. Here are few of the greatest and geekiest tattoos spotted at this year's convention.

1. Batman Vs. Joker

As you might imagine, Batman is a pretty popular tattoo at Comic Con. This one is particularly impressive, since it looks like an actual comic book drawing.

2. Joker Vs. Batman

But if you really want a tattoo that looks like a scene from the comic book, it's best to have an action shot like this Batman and Joker tattoo.

3. Batman: The Animated Series Sleeve

This fan opted to get a whole Batman sleeve, but wanted it to be a little less gritty than many of the comics, so she chose the style of the characters from The Animated Series. While the tattoo isn't quite complete yet (Batman and Talia al Ghul are also on the sleeve, but not yet filled in), it already looks great and will only be better in the future.

4. That's No Moon Tattoo

Did you know that Star Wars was the first film to come in Comic Con? A marketing person from the film showed slides at the convention all the way back in 1976. That's why, aside from the general geek interest, the San Diego Comic Con has always had a tight relationship and adoration for all things Star Wars. This amazing sleeve shows just how much dedication some people at the convention have to the franchise.

5. Aren't You A Little Short For A Stormtrooper Tattoo?

Portrait tattoos require a truly skilled artist and often cost a lot because they need so much detailing. That should give you some idea of just how dedicated this fan must be to get a stormtrooper tattoo with such meticulous detail.

5. Prepare to Become One With the Force, Tattoo Fan

While most fans are quick to loathe the Star Wars prequels, the one character that managed to develop his own fan base seems to be the intimidating, cool-looking Darth Maul. In fact, this was actually the second Darth Maul tattoo I saw, both featuring actor Ray Park's autograph.

6. Time And Relative Dimension In Skin

I particularly like the traditional style of this Doctor Who tattoo. I just wonder if it's a tribute to Matt Smith's Doctor, or if he will add another tally mark when the next Doctor appears.

7. Don't Panic

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has long been a geek favorite, so you should always expect to see a few t-shirts inspired by the books at the convention, and don't be surprised if you see a tattoo as well.

8. Seriously, Don't Panic

Or maybe even a few Hitchhiker's Guide tattoos.

9. This Orwell Was Done Well

There are a number of book-inspired tattoos at the convention; I particularly like this 1984 tattoo.

10. It's No Dark Mark

There are also tons of Harry Potter fans at the convention every year, so it was hardly surprising to find some tattoos related to the books, but I found this guy's illustrations from the book particularly impressive.

11. The Legend of Zelda Tattoos

There are always a few Zelda tattoos to be seen around the con, but I saw more this year than ever before. In fact, this wasn't even the only royal crest chest tattoo I saw.

12. A More Modern Ancient Symbol

This one is interesting because it seems to be a Hyrule crest, but with a modified version of the loftwing rather than the more classic, geometric design. (If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me.)

13. Oh No, He's Only At Half Health!

This one was easily my favorite of the many Zelda tattoos because it featured so many aspects of the game rather than just a logo.

14. Chrono Trigger

Here's a pixelated scene from Chrono Trigger. [NOT Final Fantasy, as we initially wrote. Thanks guys!]

15. I Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost Tattoo

Speaking of classic '80s icons, this Ghostbusters tattoo was simply radical.

16. But I Am Afraid Of These Monsters

There are always plenty of horror fans at the convention, but few of them are as dedicated as this gentleman, who had a full sleeve filled with classic slasher monsters.

17. A Real Monster

I've never seen a tattoo featuring the real Dracula, Vlad the Impaler.

18. She's Still Pretty Sexy For A Dead Chick

When you love both zombies and pinups, it only makes sense to mix the two together. I'd expect nothing less from the mind who created Zombie Jesus.

19. A Pretty Poison Tattoo

Here's another delightfully dark babe in a tattoo, this time, Snow White. This lovely lady is a member of the Pretty Poison Burlesque troupe.

20. This Is Hallow-Sleeve

Nightmare Before Christmas fans are a dedicated bunch and this is far from the only sleeve I've seen that was inspired by the film, although it was the only one I saw at the convention.

21. Adventure Time, Come On Grab Your Ink

There were so many Adventure Time costumes this year and the show has a huge fan base. This girl has started getting a whole sleeve based on the cartoon, even if it has only been on the air a few years now.

22. Down the Rabbit Hole

This guy's Alice in Wonderland sleeve was also unfinished, but what he had completed was pretty impressive. 

23. Kill The Wabbit

Thank you Noah and Brad for identifying these great designs as the work of tattoo artist Jesse Smith.

24. The Most Artsy of the Bunch

This tattoo is based on one of the works of Alex Pardee, who has been an exhibitor at the convention for around 10 years. While he started out as an unknown artist with a tiny booth in the "Artist's Alley" area, he now is fairly popular and always rents out a large booth right beside one of the main convention entrances, making him a true Comic Con success story—and this ink a perfect Comic Con tattoo.

25. Tesla Powers Activate

This tattoo actually belongs to my friend David, but it was nerdy and at Comic Con, so it does belong in this collection. 

26. Narwhal? Narwhere?

This might have been my personal favorite at the convention—not just because I'm a sucker for narwhals, but because it is so simple and so cute at the same time.

So there you have it tattoo lovers—a chance to enjoy and explore the great tattoos spotted at Comic Con 2013. If you want to see some of the fantastic cosplay, don't miss my post featuring over 200 costumes. And if you know anyone featured in this article or the names of the artists who did these pieces, let me know in the comments so I can give credit where it is due. Thanks!

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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
‘American Gothic’ Became Famous Because Many People Saw It as a Joke
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Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

In 1930, Iowan artist Grant Wood painted a simple portrait of a farmer and his wife (really his dentist and sister) standing solemnly in front of an all-American farmhouse. American Gothic has since inspired endless parodies and is regarded as one of the country’s most iconic works of art. But when it first came out, few people would have guessed it would become the classic it is today. Vox explains the painting’s unexpected path to fame in the latest installment of the new video series Overrated.

According to host Phil Edwards, American Gothic made a muted splash when it first hit the art scene. The work was awarded a third-place bronze medal in a contest at the Chicago Art Institute. When Wood sold the painting to the museum later on, he received just $300 for it. But the piece’s momentum didn’t stop there. It turned out that American Gothic’s debut at a time when urban and rural ideals were clashing helped it become the defining image of the era. The painting had something for everyone: Metropolitans like Gertrude Stein saw it as a satire of simple farm life in Middle America. Actual farmers and their families, on the other hand, welcomed it as celebration of their lifestyle and work ethic at a time when the Great Depression made it hard to take pride in anything.

Wood didn’t do much to clear up the work’s true meaning. He stated, "There is satire in it, but only as there is satire in any realistic statement. These are types of people I have known all my life. I tried to characterize them truthfully—to make them more like themselves than they were in actual life."

Rather than suffering from its ambiguity, American Gothic has been immortalized by it. The country has changed a lot in the past century, but the painting’s dual roles as a straight masterpiece and a format for skewering American culture still endure today.

Get the full story from Vox below.

[h/t Vox]

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“Dissension” by Tobias Rothe. Original image courtesy Fondazione Federico Zeri/Università di Bologna // CC-BY 3.0
Get Your GIFs Ready for This International Public Domain GIF-Making Competition
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“Dissension” by Tobias Rothe. Original image courtesy Fondazione Federico Zeri/Università di Bologna // CC-BY 3.0

Excellent GIF-making skills can serve you beyond material for your clever tweets. Each year, a group of four digital libraries from across the world hosts GIF IT UP, a competition to find the best animated image sourced from public domain images from their archives.

The competition is sponsored by Europeana, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), New Zealand’s DigitalNZ, and the National Library of Australia’s Trove, all of which host millions of public domain works. The requirements are that the source material must be in the public domain, have a 'no known copyright restrictions' statement, or have a Creative Commons license that allows its reuse. The material must also come from one of the sponsored sources. Oh, and judging by the past winners, it helps if it’s a little whimsical.

The image above won the grand prize in 2015. And this was a runner-up in 2016:


This year’s prizes haven’t been announced yet (although Europeana says there will be a new one for first-time GIF makers), but last year’s grand prize winner got their own Giphoscope, and runners-up got $20 gift cards. (Turns out, there’s not a lot of money in public domain art.)

Not an expert GIFer yet? You can always revisit the audio version of DPLA’s advanced GIF-making tutorial from last year.

The fourth-annual GIF IT UP contest opens to submissions October 1.


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