Thursday photos: Roadrunner, roadrunner


Thanks, Bang Bang! (Jeremy now has no excuse.)

23 responses to “Thursday photos: Roadrunner, roadrunner”

  1. Rachel says:

    WOW! I am fascinated. Why a roadrunner? Please explain at your desire and discretion.

    Congratulations. It’s gorgeous.

  2. Standpipe Bridgeplate says:


  3. ScottyGee says:

    Congrats to you Mr. Barber! This is your first tattoo, right? Tell us about the image, the shop, the pain. It looks like your tattoo must’ve taken about two or more hours. After about ten minutes were you wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into?

  4. Dave says:

    First tattoo. The roadrunner is the state bird of New Mexico, and when I was a kid I loved loved loved seeing them running alongside the road when we’d drive through the desert. I also love the Jonathan Richman song. And this is on my right calf, so it will show when I’ve got my pants leg rolled up when I’m riding my bike, not that I’m very fast at all.

    The shop was East Side Ink on Avenue B. Really great place, friendly and knowledgeable. My artist’s book was full of a lot of freaked-out goth and horror stuff, but he did shading and hair really well so I figured he could do feathers, and he was very positive about this idea when I talked to him. Apparently he’s been in People and other such magazines recently for tattooing various celebrities, which I guess is oddly reassuring.

    I was very nervous, partly about the pain, partly about getting a result I didn’t like, and partly about crossing some kind of imaginary ontological divide into the land of the body-modified. Turns out I love the result, and if there was an ontological divide the crossing was less of a thing than I’d thought in advance (kinda like losing your virginity).

    The pain: At first it wasn’t that bad. Then it got kinda bad, mostly just highly irritating with a few really ouchy bits, but by then I was too far into it to stop. A White Bear was there (on her way home from a lecture by a famous and awesome Marxist philosopher), and talking to her distracted me. I was on the table for less than two hours, and by the end I was really glad it was over. I’m going back in a few weeks to have some subtle color added to a few parts, but that should only be a half hour, so endorphins should get me through that part.

  5. ScottyGee says:

    “I was very nervous…about crossing some kind of imaginary ontological divide into the land of the body-modified.”

    I wonder how many drunken sailors have pondered this very question. As with most things you consider, you’ve taken tattooing to a higher level.

  6. Dave says:

    I don’t know — don’t you think most people who’ve gotten tattoos have pondered that question, even if they may have articulated it differently? It seems like the parallel with losing one’s virginity is pretty clear, and there’s all kinds of pop ontology about that one.

  7. ScottyGee says:

    I hereby withdraw my compliment. Whew! And I thought you were smart for a minute…

  8. ScottyGee says:

    You’re welcome. And I’m home, if it matters.

  9. Rachel says:

    Get a room, you two.

    Dave, the only possible downside I can see to all of this is that your hairless leg is so adorable that I think you should shave all the time. Or would that pose another imaginary ontological divide?

  10. lane says:

    funny, i was just looking at dave shaved leg.

    does the tattoo kill the underlying hair folicles. either way at some point this little bird is going to poking through a kind of underbrush of sorts.

    if you do grow hair back on the bird you should shave just that part. that would be funny.

  11. swells says:

    Or you could manscape the hair on your other calf into a tumbleweed for a lovely tableau. Just a little artistic input.

  12. swells says:

    So I’ve just been on Bangbang’s page watching the seemingly endless slideshow of all the tattoos he’s done. So fascinating!–both his talent, and the crazy choices people make. Most are pretty gory but the detail and color is really amazing. This roadrunner is such a sweet little beauty. So much more peaceful than anything else he’s done!

  13. lane says:

    tumble weeds! exactly.

  14. ScottyGee says:

    Swells, don’t try to complement Dave. He doesn’t seem to cotton to such activity.

  15. J-man says:

    Well, I think it’s just lovely. Nicely chosen, Dave, and well executed. I’d like a pic after the hair grows back, please.

  16. swells says:

    15: Oh right. I wasn’t complimenting Dave anyway–I was complimenting the roadrunner.

  17. Stella says:

    Congratulations! It’s a marvel!

  18. Stella says:

    I’m curious…did you shave your leg ahead of time or did they do it for you?

  19. Dave says:

    Some FAQ I read said not to shave ahead of time, and that turned out to be right. The artist used some kind of gel as shaving cream that also moistened the skin for the carbon-paper transfer.

  20. Wow, pretty! Congratulations. Now I guess you will be obliged to go around saying “beep beep” and outsmarting coyotes.

  21. Jeremy says:

    For the record, I was honored to be able to see The Roadrunner Tattoo in person (and honored to be called out on my lack of excuse, too, but we’ll see… some day? I do have a 40th coming up in a few years, but I haven’t quite found the right tattoo artist specializing in Dig Dug imagery.)

  22. Stella says:

    “I do have a 40th coming up in a few years,”

    I don’t.