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Just for fun, I searched for tattoo studios near Merrimac, MA. Aside from one lacklustre offering in the next town over, the nearest destination for tattoo studios is the little border town of Seabrook, NH (pop. 8,500) — which has six of them.

I was surprised, and then I wasn't. Seabrook is a place that really hams up its New Hampshireness. The moment you cross state lines, it's LIQUOR! FIREWORKS! CIGARETTES! STRIP CLUBS! TATTOOS! NO SALES TAX!! as far as the eye can see. The place relishes its skeeviness. So I didn't expect to find much more in these artists' portfolios than pin-up girls, skulls on fire, Irish-American pride kitsch, badly-shaded crosses wrapped in ribbons of text, and that same fucking picture of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster that everybody gets.

Color me surprised as hell. Now, the site's kind of clunky and abuses Javascript, and there's no zooming in so there's precious little detail to be seen. But what is available is enough to drool over. I'm strongly considering consulting this guy someday, when I finally decide which Kunstformen der Natur print to cover my back with and have the money to make it happen.
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September 2010

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