Monday, June 15, 2009

Post No Bills Premier Edition: LA Ink

For some time now Jim has been on me to write a monthly segment on his blog. The fact is, I tend to live a bit of an interesting… or perhaps a better term would be eccentric life. Whether it be working on an aircraft carrier or keeping a six foot alligator loose in my New York City apartment, I have over the years entertained my friends with my hijinx. Needless to say, when Jim started looking for various posts for his Disciples it was clear my stupidity would make good fodder.

I’ve put off writing for him for sometime now, but it’s hard to say “no” to Jim…I’m fairly certain he’s the devil. I wasn’t sure where to start. Should I tell past experiences or should I write about my daily jackassery? Then an opportunity came my way that clearly was the first installment of my weird-ass adventures.

A year or so ago, after writing on some website somewhere that I had a coupla cartoon tattoos, Harley Quinn and Josie of the Pussycats, and mentioning my connection to the world of Transformers, I was contacted by Kat Von D’s show LA Ink. They asked me to appear on their show on the Discovery channel. This was during the end of producing their third season. The idea was to tattoo a Transformer on me celebrating my contribution to the property through my book, the Ark.

Of course I couldn’t let the opportunity to get a tattoo on national television pass me by. I went down to Hollywood for a screen test. By this time the Ark II had come out and I spoke on camera about the two books and the impact Transformers has made on my life. Apparently I did well because they were very excited to get me on the show. I immediately contacted my editor at IDW, Denton Tipton, and as always Denton was supportive and enthusiastic. He connected me to one of Hasbro’s lawyers and the release forms were drawn up. Unfortunately, the paperwork wasn't finished until about four days after the shooting schedule. I was heart broken. This would have been a great story to add to my repertoire.

Time passed.

Darkness crept back into the forests of the world. Rumor grew of a Shadow in the East... And a few months ago I get an email from LA Ink. They want to know if I would be on the show THIS season. And now there was plenty of time to get all our rubber duckies in a row. So after countless phone calls and a little scheduling issue the day had come and I rode my bike down to Hollywood. On a side note; if the opportunity arises to ride a motorcycle through Hollywood …don’t!

I decided to get the cover of the second Ark book inked on me. The Victory Leo Nick Roche drew and Josh Burcham colored had captured my eye. So much in fact that I have a huge poster of it framed and hanging over my bed. I spoke to Nick and Josh at Botcon a few weeks prior and they both thought the idea of tattooing their artwork on me was way cool. Nick lives in Ireland so I rarely get a chance to talk to him face to face. Nick put it best when he said, “That’s awesome!...Crazy, but awesome!”

The crew of the show had me sign some papers and then in true Los Angeles style, drove me the two blocks to the tattoo shop. Actually it wasn’t the shop but rather a house behind the shop. And it isn’t called LA Ink, it’s called High Voltage Tattoo. There I was fitted with a microphone and interviewed. I was a little nervous answering all their Transformer questions. Hopeful I got all my facts right. I was sure to say: Hasbro, Jim Sorenson, Nick Roche, Josh Burcham and IDW as many times as possible.

Then filming began. They had me wait behind a corner and filmed me walking into the shop to meet the artist. Dan Smith introduced himself and immediately won me over with his enthusiasm for the project. We spoke on camera about tape cassettes and how incredible Nick’s artwork was. We were asked by the producer to refrain from discussing Transformers when the cameras weren’t on so that we’d have something to discuss during filming. This lasted about four seconds. Dan was reminiscing about his childhood and how Soundwave captivated him. He regretted not getting a Soundwave tattoo he was considering a few years back. He suggested that perhaps to better balance out the tattoo I was getting by getting Grimlock on the opposite side. …I’m considering it.

It went like a normal tattoo session except occasionally a camera was in front of me and I would have to watch my language. Which if you know me is virtually impossible. Despite taking forever to film the episode segment Dan was relatively quick. Which was nice because it became very uncomfortable. The area around my sternum and neck hurt like the hammers of hell.

When we were finished they filmed us parting ways and I left the shop. The cameras turned off and I walked back in to get all my stuff. I presented Dan with a copy of both the Ark books and left for the second time. Once again, I was driven two blocks to my motorcycle. I packed up my stuff. Put my helmet on and…realized I forgot my keys at the shop. Damn it!! Now I have to walk two whole blocks back!

I don’t know when the show will air, but I will let you all know when it do.

-Up the Irons!


JD said...


Jimtron said...

If it makes you feel any better, I think that's probably lymph oozing out of the open wound that is a fresh tattoo, not sweat.

Bill Forster said...

It's also antibacterial cream. I can send you a dry pic if you prefer. Also, I'm very white, it helps if you lower the brightness of your monitor.

...and if you think the manboob is bad, wait until I post the Wheelie tat on my ass.

Colin said...

Bill, that's a terrific story! Though I for one am grateful the tattoo was on your chest as oppose to other areas...