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C. Michael Hall is the writer of Ape Entertainment’s undead Western series “Helldorado” and the 3-issue “Hooligan” miniseries for Viper Comics, about an anti-hero in the midwest trying to bring order to his town, which goes on sale later this month. He also writes and draws a series of educational comics including the viral sensation, “Library of the Living Dead,” which has been downloaded more than a million times.
He also has several tattoos that will delight geeks of all ages, and let’s be honest — that’s why you’re here. “These are things I love, and which have influenced me in some way or another,” Hall told CBR INK about his tattoos. “They’re just outward expressions of who I am, and of the stories and characters I admire.”
Hall shows off his ink and discusses each piece in more detail below.
C. Michael Hall: The TARDIS is an expression of my almost lifelong love of Doctor Who; not only has the show entertained me and stimulated my imagination since about 1980, the main character’s wit, intelligence, and desire for non-violent solutions to challenges have always genuinely inspired me. He’s a sci-fi protagonist for the thinking man, or, in my case, the wanna-be thinking man!
The Frankenstein Monster is a character I’ve adored since childhood, and have even come to identify with on certain levels. He’s a tragic figure: a monster unwanted by a world he just wishes would love him, or, barring that, leave him alone. It’s a story that resonates with everyone, even if at only certain points in life, and it’s the same thing I think comics fans respond to with the Hulk. Plus it’s one of the great movie monster designs! I got this one as my 40th birthday present.
And Popeye is, of course, one of THE great characters of American comics, the everyman hero who never gives up and always does the right thing. How can anyone not love Popeye? And he’s the ultimate zen master: “I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam.” Words to live by, indeed.
When I was growing up, I told my family I wanted to someday have tattoos. Adults cautioned me against it, saying they projected a negative image, and that they’d distance me from the world. The truth is, my tattoos have helped me connect with other people like nothing else in my life. I can’t go a week without having at least one total stranger ask me, “Is that the TARDIS?” or “Is that the Frankenstein Monster?” People are constantly saying to me, “I love Popeye!” at which point we share stories of growing up on Popeye cartoons and comics. Everywhere I go! Drive-thrus, grocery stores, conferences and conventions! It’s a wonderful thing, having these external expressions of love for these characters, and getting to share that love with my fellow fans.
And yes, “Who” fans, that is a Seal of Rassilon above Karloff’s head. All tattoos were done by Travis Thornhill at Iron Street Tattoo and Body Piercing in Salina, KS.