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Brooklyn-based writer Frank J. Barbiere has been making a name for himself in the independent comic book world via his self-published Atlas Incognita brand, “Divine Intervention” from Arcana and “Five Ghosts” which he successfully funded via Kickstarter. The latter debuted at New York Comic Con earlier this month, and in December he’ll release a new story featuring his characters The White Suits in the pages of “Dark Horse Presents” — but we spoke with him for a very different reason.
Barbiere is a tattooed comic creator, and one of his arms is adorned with a subtly “Watchmen”-inspired tattoo featuring two tigers and the line of poetry “Fearful Symetry,” which also happens to be his favorite chapter of “Watchmen.” (No jokes about how his uninked arm can now be referred to as “Before Watchmen,” please.) His other tattoo is based on a Jawbreaker song. CBR INK caught up with Barbiere to discuss his tattoos long before the power went out in Brooklyn earlier this week, but the writer’s twitter assures us he is okay in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
CBR Ink: What about these images made you decide to get them as tattoos?
Frank J. Barbiere: As an English major, student of literature, and writer I’ve always been a fan of William Blake. When I first read “Watchmen” I was thrilled to see a chapter named after one of my favorite poems, and when I decided to get a second tattoo I was happy to incorporate one of my favorite poets and also reference one of my favorite comic book issues.
I grew up involved in bands and punk rock, so getting a Jawbreaker lyric and tattoo was also a no-brainer.
You have a “Watchmen”-inspired tattoo, but why did you opt to go this route as opposed to getting an actual image from the series?
I do want to get an actual comic book panel or image, but I like the fact it’s a little bit of an “undercover comic tattoo.”
Who was your tattoo artist for these?
My tattoos were done by Ashley Love, who tattoos at Thicker Than Water in NYC.
Now that the books are out there, can we expect any “Before Watchmen” tattoos in your future?
Haha, no specific “Before Watchmen” tattoos, but I’m thinking of getting something Ozymandias inspired in the future.
What do tattoos mean to you, or more specifically, what do your tattoos mean to you?
As a big fan of art I think the idea of having a tattoo is very appealing; it’s a personal piece of art you always have with you. I think my tattoos speak a little about who I am, my taste, and the cultures I subscribe to.
…and if I can plug some comics, I hope everyone checks out “Dark Horse Presents” #19 and #20 this December & January for the return of my characters, The White Suits. You can keep up with all my work at my blog: http://www.atlasincognita.com and follow me on twitter @atlasincognita.