Sharing Day, Tattoo Edition

While perusing this "50 Awesomely Nerdy Tattoos" article, I got to wondering what you all would want if you were forced at gunpoint to get a tattoo (or even just asked nicely!) revolving around something nerdy or geeky.

I don't personally have any tats, as I am too fat, too hairy, and too old to have it make sense. Although I have considered getting hair tattooed on my head, that might work. Not, like, long hair, but stubble, you know, so it would look like I had just shaved my head and it was growing back stubbly, only all over instead of just in the horseshoe shape.

But I digress.

Because I like to get to know you folks better, I like to have these "Sharing Days" every now and then where I ask a question and you answer in comments. This time around, it's:

If you had to get a tattoo on a geeky or nerdy theme, what would you get and where would you put it?

In return, if you wish you can ask me whatever you like and I'll try my best to give an answer. Note that by no means are you required to ask me something in order to answer the question at hand, but that if you do want to ask me something, you have to have answered the question. I'm exhausted just typing that.

I look forward to hearing your replies!

Oh! And my favorite one from that site is probably this, because I could totally see typing away and then catching a glimpse of it out of the corner of my eye and instantly being all WHOOOSOSOOSH and I AM YOUR FATHER and FEEL THE POWER! Anything that increases the entropy of the universe is AOK in my book (clearly).

Edited to Add: Geez, I forgot to answer the question myself! I would probably get a medium-sized Superman insignia on my right deltoid (such as it is). Although that light saber tat on the finger is pretty rockin' ... Only I'd get one on the outside of each index finger so I could finger-fight myself.

62 Responses to Sharing Day, Tattoo Edition

  1. Danny Beaty says:

    If it were possible I would like to have a tan tattooed on my body because I’m so damn white. If I were any whiter I’d be transparent.

  2. Mark says:

    Actually, I’ve always wanted this, but my wife says no (She’s very geek-tolerant, but there are limits). On the inside of my right wrist, I would have a tattoo of the servos and pistons in Luke Skywalker’s replacement hand, as seen at the end of ESB.

  3. Jadebrain says:

    If I were to get a tattoo, I’d actually get multiple tattoos, one for each of my roleplaying characters:

    Will of the Liu Clan (Elf Soldier, WHFRP),
    “This IS my name” (Ogre Paladin, DnD 3.5 Iron Kingdoms), Avenging Bull (Minotaur Monk, GURPS),
    Guy (Human Fighter, DnD 4e, based on Guy from FF2),
    Mindartis Threskaal (Eladrin Wizard, DnD 4e),
    Bovill Achsteir (Minotaur Warden, DnD 4e),
    Soarin’ Gore (Minotaur Fighter, DnD 4e),
    Aaron Irving (Human Rogue, DnD 4e),
    Akhemeph (Human Fighter, DnD 4e)
    Rudolph Weischel (Human Psion, DnD 4e),
    Reida (Human Fighter, DnD 4e),
    Ferasek Koorich (Human Evoker, DnD 4e), and finally,
    Hector Rodriguez (Dragonborn Hexblade)…

    My question: As you very well know, I am not good at drawing shoulders on guys who are meant to be thin. I’m used to drawing big, muscular guys, and when I draw thin guys, I try to draw the shoulders like they would look on a thin guy, but it ends up looking too feminine or childish, and I keep drawing them broader and broader to compensate until the arms look like they are barely attached to the torso. So, as an amateur artist, I must ask you: How should I go about drawing shoulders on thin guys?

  4. Susie Q says:

    Wow! I have never seriously considered a tattoo before today. I loved the light saber finger– if only I could get my husband a brother to get them, too… we could have epic battles. But my favorite is the Logan’s Run palm tattoo. Ultimately, though, I would probably design my own image and put it someplace only my husband and would see it.

  5. Vampyrist says:

    If I was forced to get a tattoo, I’d probably get a Tardis tattooed onto my right upper arm. Doctor Who is probably my favorite sci-fi show, so I’d get a tat from the Whoniverse. An alternate would be the sonic screwdriver (from Tennant) on my finger like that light saber.

    Also after looking at that article, that Gallifreyan symbol does look appealing. I’d probably put it on my upper arm as well.

    No question for now.

  6. Jeff Hebert says:

    Mark (2): That would be cool! I say, defy your wife and get it anyway, on account of I don’t have to live there.

    Jadebrain (3): Wow, that would be a lot of ink. I’m too much of a pain wimp to do that much.

    As for shoulders on thin guys, I’d say, use Google Images to find photos of thin guys and draw those, until you start to see the basic patterns of how all the bits fit together, in which proportions. This article has a couple of nice graphics as a starting point.

    I think the key thing to keep in mind is to not get bogged down in a specific body part, but to keep in mind the relationship of one part to another. The sort of classic American comic-book male body is very broad shoulders, tapering down to a narrower waist. Sort of an inverted triangle shape. Someone with narrower shoulder might be based more on a rectangle, where the width of the shoulders is the same as the width of the hips. But regardless, the deltoids have to be in the right place, the biceps have to join under the arm the same way, the pecs lay over the arm the same way. They’re just slimmer and at a different angle/position as they join the body.

    Looking at the wizard you posted a while back, it seems like the issue mainly is that you’re extending the tops of the shoulders way out, but then coming straight down from there with the upper arm, leaving that big gap between the inside of the arm and the outside of the torso. But arms don’t join shoulders that way, they basically tuck into the torso directly.

    I put together a quick visual of what I mean, hope it helps …

    Also, you can have a lithe or athletic build and still be toned, which might help them look less child-like.

  7. Watson Bradshaw says:

    I do have one tattoo of a bat on my right shoulder but I have always wanted a tat of a Tesla coil on my arm with the energy discharges running off my chest and up my neck…just don’t know when I would get it. If not that then a TARDIS appearing somewhere on my body would be wicked.

  8. ams says:

    I had this done for the GREEN LANTERN movie.

    I’ve got to stop working out! Look at those abs!!

  9. ajw says:

    I’m not sure but I would probably either get spiderman’s chest spider, or an non green lantern ring, like yellow or range.

  10. Hammerknight says:

    I don’t know about the “Tardis” because everyone would be asking if it was bigger on the inside.
    But I have always wanted the Batman symbol on my upper right arm and Superman’s on my upper left arm. I have two now and would either want them to be covered by the two new ones or have the new ones above them. Something I have always told people if you do plan on getting a tat have it where your shirt can cover it(for job interviews) and have it where you can see it, because you don’t buy a painting to put it in the closet so you can’t see and enjoy the art. Plus don’t drink and tat you can get into a wreck. Make sure you see the clean new needles and that it is done in a nice clean shop not in a place that has a prison look to it. Talk to you artist first find out some stuff about them, a tat is not worth dieing for. I have designed some tats and have found that the people enjoy them more if it is not an off the rack design. Drawing tats have help me learn to draw better.

  11. ajw says:

    i meant orange(greed) yellow(fear)

  12. Danny Beaty says:

    @Jeff: Are we still having Open Critique Friday?

  13. Jeff Hebert says:

    Danny (12): No, alternate Sharing Day with OCD. Last week was OCD, this week’s Sharing Day.

  14. haz says:

    If I were going geeky, I’d have some sort of artistic rendering of the Fibonacci sequence. As it is, I’ve got plans for other, non-geeky tattoos in my future (a fleur-de-lys inside a hurricane symbol, a Union Jack, a goldfish on fire, and a robotic goldfish).

    I can very much see the appeal of the TARDIS. I probably wouldn’t go with it, but I’d have to think about it for a very long time.

  15. X-stacy says:

    I would get one of these aperture lemon grenades, because even though I’ve never played Portal 2, I just love Cave Johnson’s lemon rant. It would probably go on my shoulder.

    So, I know you wanted to get the hell out of Texas because of the heat…but what led you to southwest Colorado?

  16. TOOL says:

    Most of the people I know have several tattoos already but I don’t have any. I always said that if I got something it would be unique and meaningful. It is going to be on my body till I’m old and the tattoo is faded and God forbid sagging. My brother always said he wants to be there for my first tattoo and we don’t see each other often so I guess I havde used that as an excuse. Anyways I have thought about getting my family crest ( ) on my right upper arm, or wings on my back one angel and one demon but thats not as meaningful. I thought it would been funny to have a devil on one shoulder looking up at me and on the other a patch of grass with a sign that that said out to lunch with a halo on the corner but my wife hates the idea LOL. I don’t know if I will ever get one but I would have to say my family crest or maybe make up my own family crest ( ) for my arm would be my choice. So Jeff what is your vision for the future of HM? Is there a HM4, upgrade to 3 or something else coming or are we going to keep growing like we have been just adding new items? Whats your thoughts…

  17. Jeff Hebert says:

    X-stacy, the easy answer is “my wife” 🙂

    Basically though we were looking for low-humidity, cold-weather locations with cities that were medium sized, had a college of some size there, and that had interesting places to go and things to do. Colorado and Oregon both fit the bill, so we visited both and liked them. We almost ended up in Oregon instead, but the offer fell through at the last minute — we had two weeks to figure out Plan B. Which was, renting in the Durango area, which we had loved when we visited.

  18. Hammerknight says:

    This is a HM3 version of the tattoo I designed and had place on my arm 22 years ago. The fire pit, smoke and eagle were not in the tattoo,sadly.

  19. cavalier says:

    Something related to Fallout, preferably emblematic of the series. Leaning towards the Nuka-Cola logo, since it’s found throughout the main games.

  20. Dan says:

    I also never went the tattoo route, but if I had, I always thought the cover of Ghost Rider 15 would have been an awesome one.
    A couple of my friends had talked about getting tatto’s also, my friend Danny who’s a ex-military guy wanted Captain America 454
    and my friend Mike wanted New Warriors 17

    Jeff, have you ever tried to get work with any comic company, and if you did, would you give up doing heromachine?

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    A Fallout tat would be pretty cool. I’d have to get an ActionBoy one, though I am not sure doing exactly what.

    Dan, I have not ever tried getting work with a comics company. Frankly I don’t think I have the layout or general scene drafting skills to pull it off.

  22. Jeff Hebert says:

    The immediate future of HM is to just keep cranking on HM3. After that, I honestly don’t know. And with the purchase of UGO by IGN, I don’t think anyone yet has a clear vision of what’s on the longer term agenda.

  23. Malfar says:

    Well, if it counts, I would make a tattoo on the face, which will resemble the tattoo (or maybe facepaint, I don’t know) of the wrestler Umaga:
    Sometimes I watch wrestling, you know. But if it’s only about comics/videogames/movies, then I would prefer Star gate or Stargate logo on the shoulder, or maybe one of the Goa’Uld symbols on the forehead. Like this, for example:

  24. remy says:

    I’m not a fan of tattoos (I’d be too indecisive. Plus, how would that thing look when I’m 89 and wrinkly?). If I did get a geeky tattoo, it would probably be Iron Fist’s dragon scar/tattoo on my chest.

    Jeff, which came first: your interest in comics, or your interest in drawing, and did your interest in one lead to the other?

  25. Me, Myself & I says:

    I’ve never really been into tatoo’s myself.If I were to get a tatoo ist would probably be a band of Celtic knotwork around my bicep. Not really geeky I know but it is what it is.

  26. Bael says:

    If I thought for an instant that tattoo ink could actually match the colors, I’d get this Billy Tan piece on my forearm where I could see it. Barring that, a nice tasteful
    Cobra symbol would be the way to go.

    As for a question, what’s your (short version) take on the big DC reboot?

  27. Joel says:

    Personally, I am way too much of wimp to ever get a tattoo, plus I think that (as far as I am concerned) that a tattoo would be a terrible waste of money (think of all the video games/ yugioh/magic cards I could by with that kind of cash). However, if I had to get a tattoo, I would probably either get the five pronged seal or curse mark from Naruto.

    As for my question, I was just wondering if you preferred the old spandex with underwear on the outside superhero look, or the more popular modern remakes (Heavy armor, leather etc.)

  28. Myro says:

    Well, I’m too much of a chicken to go through getting a tattoo of anything, but I do keep saying, if I was forced, I’d probably get the Imperial insignia on my right bicep with TK421 in Aurebesh underneath it. (Sorry, no Aurebesh)

    Or! Or, the other idea, to really rock out my geekness, and do something unique, maybe I should get the HeroMachine logo tattooed on my arm. I’m only half kidding on that one.

    So, I asked before, and you never said anything, but what’s your opinion on DC’s new reboot (or, as they want to call it, a “revitalization.”) Also, did you hear, Peter Falk died? I know you’ve said you’re a Columbo fan.

  29. Joshua says:

    Probably get a tattoo of the Blue Lantern Corp symbol.

  30. One guy I knew has the Jedi Order tattooed between his shoulder blades. Another has Ira from “Where the Wild Things Are” tattooed on his ankle. One girl I know has that Gallifreyan symbol tattooed on the inside of her right wrist. Seen more silouhettes from “The Crow” than I care to count. Most logos I would rather buy as a shirt rather than a tattoo.

    I was considering getting my favorite poem “The Kraken” by Alfred Lord Tennyson tattooed on my back.

    It would have been way too expensive. Not to mention most tattoo artists don’t like inking more than 10 words for a single piece. On the off-chance that they screw up.

  31. Alex says:

    I have 2 tattoos already and it is very likely that I will get this done ,so to explain my favorite Marvel mutant is Angel and I always loved his appearance as Archangel ,the blue skin and especially the organic metal wings.I plan on getting the metal wings on my back sometime this year.All this is probably because I always wanted to be able to fly when I was little….so there you have it….Wonder GeeK Powers Activate!!!

  32. Visage says:

    I have two.

    The beginning of a sci-fi piece that will cover my left leg below the knee, eventually. Hoping to get more work done on it soon.

  33. Jeff Hebert says:

    remy (24) asked:

    Jeff, which came first: your interest in comics, or your interest in drawing, and did your interest in one lead to the other?

    That’s a very hard question to answer, because they were pretty much simultaneous as far as I can remember. We always had comics growing up (one of the few cool things my dad did for us), and since my brothers liked to draw I always had a pencil in my hand, I guess to be like them.

    I don’t think they can be separated, but were it not for comics I doubt I’d have been so intensely interested in drawing at a young enough age to make a difference.

  34. Jeff Hebert says:

    Bael (26) asked:

    As for a question, what’s your (short version) take on the big DC reboot?

    I haven’t read any of the issues, so I hesitate to pass judgment, but … oh, who am I kidding, we’re GEEKS, we pass judgment on EVERYTHING!

    It looks kind of silly, and I don’t care for pretty much any of the costume designs I’ve seen so far, but they have to do something — the comics business is really on decline. I don’t know if this reboot make a difference or not, but my gut says they’re doomed. If they were smart they’d be doing a whole set of books as webcomics instead of marrying themselves to dead trees, or digital versions of dead trees.

    You know, it’s like when I was a kid, and they’d make animated movies out of actual comic book panels. As in, they’d just move from panel to panel of an actual printed comic book, sometimes deigning to cut out one of the figures and move him slightly. It was lame, because TV isn’t print. Trying to jam print onto the tube was doomed, and I feel like they’re trying to jam their print industry onto the web now.

    But that’s the business side. As to the actual content, I mean, they’ve done this so many times already and people seem to go along with it, so whatever. It just seems really pointless to me, and I don’t have plans to buy any of the books.

  35. Jeff Hebert says:

    Is that really yours, Visage (32)? That’s cool! Thanks so much for sharing the photo.

  36. Visage says:

    Yeah, it is. Thanks. No problem.

  37. ajw says:

    Alex, angel is in my top 5 favorite mutants, with beast, nightcrawler, and gambit.

  38. Ray says:

    This is a tattoo I have, on my left arm, Excalibur the sword in the stone, my son’s name Tristan, after Tristram, runs the length of the blade and his birthdate, 7/7/98 is under the tat. One interesting note the movie King Arthur with Clive Owen was released in 2004 on July 7th a wednesday release not the normal friday release. Hmmmm 😉

  39. Myro says:

    Jeff, got something to ask. Since Bael already asked my question (although I didn’t realize it at the time, sice Bael’s comment was under moderation when i posted mine), I was wondering if I could ask womething else: namely, how much do you check out the Ugo forums lately?

    Also, it seems, in addition to bypassing my comment, you also missed Joel (27) one entry earlier than me. You know, just fulfilling my role as demanding and unforgiving taskmaster. 😉

    Or, you could just tell me to fuck off. 😛

  40. The Imp says:

    I’m a tattooed fool; I’ve got eight. I don’t know if they’re considered geeky or not (probably), but I have two Egyptian-mythology-themed tats, since I’m pretty into that sort o’ stuff.

    If I was to full-on geek out, I’d probably get two or three of the House sigils from Martin’s ASOIAF. Definitely the Stark direwolf, maybe the Florent foxhead and roses, maybe the Greyjoy kraken. I’ve come really close to doing it on more than one occasion.

    Yes, I am that big of a George RR Martin geek.

  41. Jeff Hebert says:

    Joel () asked:

    As for my question, I was just wondering if you preferred the old spandex with underwear on the outside superhero look, or the more popular modern remakes (Heavy armor, leather etc.)

    Hm, good question … I’d say it depends on the title. Like, for “The Ultimates”, I much prefer that modern look. The spandex just wouldn’t work. But in the regular Avengers line, or in their own books in continuity, I prefer the classic outfit.

    The other day I was thinking about the whole underwear on the outside thing (I know, my life is pathetic that I was thinking about this), and I decided it’s because the original Superman uniform was kind of modeled on circus acrobats, who would wear tights but with a onesie kind of thing over it. The top part and the “underwear” part would be the same piece, with tights underneath. How they went from that to coloring the underwear separately, I don’t know, but that is my best guess as to how the whole convention got started.

  42. Jeff Hebert says:

    Myro (28): I just heard earlier today about Peter Falk, and I admit it made me very sad. He was really a wonderful actor and very creative guy. I just did my once-a-decade rewatch of the entire Columbo series a few weeks back, so he was on my mind. Someone really needs to figure out this whole dying thing so we can put a stop to it.

  43. logosgal says:

    I’d probably end up going with some version of an IPA chart. Though I’d be seriously tempted to do something with Doctor Who or Firefly or some such.

  44. Jeff Hebert says:

    Myro (40): Just hadn’t gotten to those yet — I skipped ahead to Visage’s just because I saw the photo while I was approving the comment.

    As far as the UGO Forums, I check them at least once a day, but just to see if any of the moderators need me to ban a user or delete a spam thread, that sort of thing. In terms of reading them, honestly I only ever check the HM3 Custom Items thread (rarely) and the Hero Archives (probably … I dunno, once a week maybe?).

  45. Jeff Hebert says:

    Thanks for the photos and descriptions of your tats, everyone, those are awesome!

    Science write Carl Zimmer put together a selection of Science Tattoos coming out soon (read about it here) that you all might find interesting. It’s called “Science Ink”. He started casually noting some neat tats he’d found talking with his interviewees on his blog, and it kind of snowballed into this whole big thing. I was a follower of his writing when it started, so it’s cool to see it turn into a book.

  46. X-stacy says:

    Bael, either your link is broken, or you’re a very big fan of fortune city web hosting. (Or, you know, it could be my computer.)

  47. haz says:

    logosgal (44): That’s brilliant! I hadn’t thought of that. I can totally see getting a word written in IPA the way people do with elven (elvish?). And if you got the somewhere you could easily see it, it would be the ultimate cheat sheet, assuming a linguistics-based career. Which I’d assume someone getting the IPA as a tattoo would be in.

  48. McKnight57 says:

    If I were to go all out with a tat, I’d get both the Green Lantern symbol and the GL Oath tattooed on my right ring finger and upper back, respectively.

    My question is, what was the first comic you read that fully grabbed and retained your interest and which series has held your interest for the longest? They might have the same answer, but that’s my 2-part question. If you’d like, I can give you my answer as well.

  49. logosgal says:

    haz (48) Thanks! Actually I keep meaning to embroider an IPA chart onto my favorite pair of jeans. Same principle with the cheat sheet. 😉 The problem with doing a word instead of a whole chart is then I’d have to choose a word… (And yes, a linguistics career is indeed a distinct possibility for me after college.)

  50. remy says:

    Jeff, this is kind of off topic, but I know you’re a Culumbo fan…you hear about Peter Falk?

  51. logosgal says:

    Ok, Jeff, my question may have been asked before, but what defines a “geek” to you?

  52. Jeff Hebert says:

    McKnight57 (49) asked:

    My question is, what was the first comic you read that fully grabbed and retained your interest and which series has held your interest for the longest?

    My brothers had lots of Conan comics (which my mom threw out) but those didn’t really do it for me. I can’t say for sure which specific issue drew me in the first time, but one that stands out in early memory featured Superman and Green Lantern fighting some alien in another dimension. Superman just ends up pounding right through GL’s ring (which the alien had captured) like it was tissue paper, shocking the hell out of GL. I thought that was kind of neat.

    As to which SERIES held my interest the longest … geez, I guess that would be from my youth, and the Legion of Super-Heroes.

  53. Jeff Hebert says:

    And McKnight57 yes, I’d love to hear your answer too!

    Remy (51): Yes, unfortunately — I mentioned that up-thread a bit.

    logosgal (52) asked:

    Ok, Jeff, my question may have been asked before, but what defines a “geek” to you?

    My buddy John did a great speech once about the difference between a nerd and a geek, but for me, a geek is anyone who is wildly enthusiastic about a given subject, almost to the point of obsessiveness. There can be comics geeks, Star Trek geeks, science geeks, baseball geeks, whatever. It’s the wild-eyed enthusiasm that I love the most — just being around people who are so totally INTO whatever it is they’re into that they don’t give a crap what anyone else thinks about it is so refreshing.

  54. McKnight57 says:

    Jeff (54): My very first comic that I remember buying (I was probably 10 at the time) was a Green Lantern/Flash team-up (Kyle and Wally). Can’t find a cover or anything. As a result, these two (in almost every incarnation) have been the 2 that I’ve always been a fan of. Even went to WonderCon this year and got a poster of GL (an Ivan Reis cover print from Darkest Night) and was GIVEN (as in a gift) a print of the Barry Allen version of Flash by Dennis Calero just for discussing the two characters with him.

    The one comic that has held a place in my heart for longest is (was) WildC.A.T.s by Jim Lee. I have 2 volumes of it as it’s own standalone series (James Robinson and Alan Moore compendiums) plus a graphic of WildC.A.T.s/Spawn. That being said, the 4 (or 7/8 technically) reboots I’m looking forward to are Grifter, Voodoo, Green Lantern (all the individual series’ including the Red Lanterns) and Flash. I just wish they had completely rebooted WildC.A.T.s.

  55. Bael says:

    X-stacy (47)
    It’s not your computer. I don’t know what happened. I previewed the post and tested the link and everything. Lets try that again.

  56. Schuyler says:

    While the immediate thoughts on inking my skin involve arachnids, gargoyles, or comments on my military time, the fantasy/geek image that I’d get if I had the money and inclination would be the cover art from Horseclans’ “Champion of the Last Battle” – Bili the Axe duking it out with a werewolf!

  57. alphaalpharomeo says:

    I would get a full body tattoo of myself only slightly taller…..Just kidding

    I actually have three tattoos( A lion, a cross, and a celtic knot) but there are a lot more that I want, such as the indigo lantern symbol, flames the pirate key from pirates of the carribean 2, a phoenix, and much more

  58. Myro says:

    alphaalpharomeo said:

    I would get a full body tattoo of myself only slightly taller…..Just kidding

    Nice Stephen Wright reference.

  59. mecoolerest001 says:

    I actually have 3. On my right shoulder is the Alliance Starbird, on my left shoulder is the Imperial Crest, and on my leg in reference to Dr. Manhattan is a hydrogen atom.

  60. Bud says:

    I think it would be awesome to get the Assassin’s Creed logo on my wrist, like where the hidden blade would come out.h

  61. nakiato says:

    i already have one nerd tatoon but i wont talk about that if i was to get another one I would want the ashakage hexagram tattoo on the proper location of course. (look it up) no question this time.