While Tom and I have been feverishly working on finishing the SECTION ZERO story itself, there have been a few other bits of business that needed attending to. Such as: my pledge to get a SECTION ZERO tattoo to commemorate our successful Kickstarter.
THE STATS. Of 1034 survey responses— where people could choose which tattoo I'd get— the clear winner with 402 "votes" was: NO RESPONSE. So about 40% of you had no opinion or really didn't care what I did to my own body. But that meant 60% of you did care, often strongly! The design choices broke down as follows:
- 311 votes: ZERO SYMBOL
- 140 votes: 24-HOUR BUG
- 106 votes: THERE IS NO SECTION ZERO
- 75 votes: PANIC BUTTON PRESS LOGO
I had already decided where I'd place each of these tatts— the Zero Symbol would go on my inside left forearm, and be about 3 inches across— so the next thing I needed to do was contact this man:
Not only is LUCKY MALONY a great tattoo artist (he's inked other cartoonists here in Portland, Oregon) but in a weird twist of fate I was once his landlord when he and his wife Sarah rented a small house we own! Their beautiful daughter Geneva was born while they lived there.
I contacted Lucky, sent him the winning design, and we set up an appointment— September 5, 2017, 4 PM, at his place of business: Anatomy Tattoo.
(The oddly-orange sky in the exterior photo is because of smoke from the Eagle Creek forest fire currently decimating a huge chunk of the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, about 40 miles east of here. Set off by an idiot teenager playing with fireworks. The area won't be the same for generations. Don't get me started.)
Never having a tattoo before— and having a near-pathological fear of needles (seriously!)— I told Lucky "I'm looking forward to having the tattoo. I'm not looking forward to getting it." Lucky, with his best, most calming bedside manner, assured me this wasn't unusual.
You know what? It wasn't that bad! Lucky said it would feel more like steel bristles than needles, and he was right! Other than one area on the inside of my forearm which was noticeably more sensitive, the general feeling wasn't of pain but of irritation. My skin felt very irritated, especially by the end.
I found the whole process fascinating. There was a reverent, almost ritualized feel to how Lucky set up his work station, chose his needles, mixed the ink (he got the perfect green, as far as I'm concerned), etc. I was surprised that, thanks to modern technology, Lucky could basically "draw" the tattoo, moving the needle across the skin while it pistoned up and down about 60 times per second. I was also surprised how exactly he matched the Zero Symbol design— right down to subtle line-weight variations. I've seen a lot of tattoos that don't come close to their original drawing/design, but Lucky nailed it. Took about 45 minutes.
We mostly talked about childcare.
Lucky bandaged his work, and explained how to care for it as it healed. This was the first time he referred to it as a "wound"— which was a bit unsettling, but did make you understand the need for proper care. There was a little swelling and blood seepage yesterday, but both of those seem to have gone away. The image looks a little blurry this morning, but I suspect that will go away, too. It doesn't hurt as much as it feels hot— like a sunburn. Exactly as Lucky said it would.
Would I do it again? Absolutely.
To commemorate my next successful Kickstarter.