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Tattoos in Mainstream Cartoons Comic & Books


     Most tattoo artists are drawn (pun intended) to this career because of the lifestyle. To get more specific, tattoo artists usually enjoy things like comic books, anime, graphic novels and other media that incorporates drawing to some extent. While these things are not exclusively liked by tattoo artists, it’s worth noting that a huge portion of them are big fans. If you want proof, just check out your tattoo artist’s station. It’ll no doubt have at least one anime or comic book figure along with some of the same characters drawn and displayed throughout. 

     This got me thinking about what shows or comic books I liked as a kid and started to do a little research into which characters have tattoos. Here are a few that I found interesting: 


Tattoos in Mainstream Cartoons Comic & BooksMumm-Ra from the popular 80s TV cartoon show – Thundercats. He has a double-headed serpent tattooed on his chest. This tattoo is clearly seen whenever he turns into Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living. He can only achieve this by reciting the incantation: "Ancient Spirits of Evil, transform this decayed form to Mumm-Ra, the Ever-Living!". I’ll have to give that a try whenever I start to feel ancient. 


Tattoos in Mainstream Cartoons Comic & BooksAnother well-known tattoo-bearer is Popeye The Sailor Man; better known as simply – Popeye. While his pieces are very much a part of him, they're often overlooked because of that same reason. During some of his TV cartoon show episodes, the anchors shapeshift into other forms, and he's even shown to have some more ink on his back in some occasions, but for the most part, the anchors are his signature ink.  


Tattoos in Mainstream Cartoons Comic & BooksSnake Jailbird is a beloved Simpson character who is often used as comedic relief in the show. Although I have mixed feelings about portraying the local hoodlum as a tattoo sporting, earring wearing low life, The Simpsons will always have a special place in my memory. I used to look forward to watching their animated shorts when I was enjoying an episode of The Tracy Ulman Show, back in the 80’s. While his tattoo looks like something my friend drew on me when I was 15 years old, Snake is still a very likeable character with a heart of gold. 


Tattoos in Mainstream Cartoons Comic & BooksEven Disney’s Pocahontas is portrayed as having a tattoo. While the meaning of the red tribal design is not specifically noted in the movie, but Disney knew well enough that tattoos were and are a typical body adornment worn by native people. In my book, there isn’t a more bad ass Disney Princess than Pocahontas.

Tattoos in Mainstream Cartoons Comic & Books