Our Bookseller Pirates share the stories behind their tattoos, inspired by Isaac Fitzgerald’s upcoming How to Be a Pirate!
We can’t wait to host The Internet’s favorite biker-bar employee turned picture book author, ISAAC FITZGERALD! Isaac will be here March 5th to read us his delightful tale of a girl who desperately wants to be a pirate and turns to her tattooed grandfather (because all tattooed people are pirates, didn’t you know?) to learn the pirate basics. Cece learns she must be independent, fun, brave, and quick! And of course, she can’t forget to LOVE. In How to Be a Pirate, Fitzgerald celebrates the power of storytelling, family bonds, and the encouragement and confidence we can give each other.
Inspired by Cece’s Grandpa, we asked our booksellers to share the stories behind their tattoos…
Uriel honored one of his all-time favorite books with some stellar artwork! He says, “If there’s one label I’m okay with, it’s this one: LOSER. I was inspired by the gang of misfits from Stephen King’s It, the self-proclaimed Losers Club, to get this bit of ink on me — because their strengths all come from the things that supposedly make them weak and weirdos. I think there’s a little loser in all of us.”
“I think there’s a little loser in all of us.”
Griffin has a work-in-progress tattoo on what he calls his “comics arm”. He pulls back his shirt sleeve to unveil Adam Strange, 50s sci-fi hero and the savior of Planet Rann. Griffin lives and breathes comics and always has a great book recommendation (or 10)! He’ll be adding more comics themed and Austin themed pieces to his arm, starting with Judge Dredd and some Austin bats.
MK wanted to show off their newest tat, an American Traditional-style Princess Leia. “I’ve wanted one since Carrie Fisher passed because Star Wars was such a huge part of my life as a kid, and Princess Leia was the first time I saw a princess as an action hero.” A few other colorful pieces include a large lime to support their friend with Chronic Lyme’s disease, a bouquet of plumbago flowers with the words “Sorry mom, sorry God” written above and below in honor of Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters; a shout to Whitman and Dead Poet’s Society with the iconic “O Captain! My Captain!” line, and a few more beyond that…
Collyn has a slew of tattoos to choose from as well, but today we focus on the bird on her arm, which was inspired by a Greek story her mom would tell her when she was a little girl.
“Princess Leia was the first time I saw a princess as an action hero.”
“My mom was an English teacher, so when we were growing up we were reading a lot of things that you probably shouldn’t be as a child. My mom used to tell me this story about these two Athenian princesses, Philomela and Procne…” This tale tells of rape, revenge, and eventually, transformation of the sisters into birds, a nightingale and a lark. To honor this story, Collyn and her mom got tattoos together. Collyn has a nightingale and her mother, a lark.
Chloe has a bunch of tattoos that were given to her by her uncle, who owns a studio in Fort Worth. One of her favorites is this female grackle inspired by her favorite One Direction song, “Girl Almighty.” “It’s a really stupid song,” she chuckles. “It sounds beautiful musically, but the lyrics are complete nonsense.” Chloe also has a Bobby Hill tattoo on her thigh. When asked to contribute to this story, she said, “Those are my stupidest tattoos; please feature them.”
Some tattoos have long, elaborate stories behind them, and some are just because! We love having fun, not taking ourselves too seriously, and celebrating our bodies with art that speaks to us.
Thank you to CeCe’s Grandpa for inspiring us to share our stories. We can’t wait to host Isaac Fitzgerald on March 5th. We hope you’ll join us at the event– and keep an eye out for more bookseller tattoo stories!