[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Bloomsbury
Formats: Hardcover, Kindle
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble[/alert]

We see tattoos everywhere. Some we admire, some disgust or shock us, and many we puzzle over, but we rarely know the stories behind them. Pen & Ink presents very nice drawings of 63 tattoos and the owner’s story behind them. They vary a great deal: some sad, some sweet, some funny; some made in prisons, others in tattoo parlors. Many will bring tears to your eyes.

“A tattoo, whether an ornate full back piece or a scratcher job done in somebody’s living room, is art.”

Authors Isaac Fitzgerald and Wendy MacNaughton approached tattooed strangers and asked their stories. They are sketched here (assumed from photographs). These stories are excellent and a pleasure to read while looking at the tattoos on the opposite pages. Most of them are true human stories, many filled with deep emotions that touch us. But some tattoos were stupid decisions that were acquired when the owners may have been intoxicated or stoned, and now they hate them with passion. But their stories are just as fascinating. The font used in this book is interesting: hand-written in block capital, mixed with lower case cursive writing. It is not hard to read, though your reading is slowed down a little – which is a blessing, as you want to slowly absorb and digest these wonderful stories.

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