With the return of The Joker to DC Comics just around the corner in ‘Death of the Family’ it seems a good time to shine a spotlight on a Joker uberfan (and a personal friend of mine) David ‘ Mosh’ Butler of Berkshire, England, as his long and painful journey to get quite simply the greatest Joker tattoo ever created comes to an end.
With the work carried out by Kamil ‘Mocet’ Terczynski who is based at Kamil Studio in Archway, North London, the seven month long creation took appropriately 21 hours over 7 sessions and the final results as you can see are staggering.
Beginning with a canvas (namely Mosh’s back), that already featured a couple of existing tattoos, Kamil had to firstly incorporate a design that would work as a full back piece, cover Mosh’s existing designs all while deciding on a Joker image that would fit Mosh’s taste. Mosh’s love of The Joker was the start point , so I asked him what made him decide on this extremely permanent image?
“I’ve always loved the Brian Bolland picture from The Killing Joke graphic novel, where he first turns into Joker after falling into a vat of acid, ever since reading it in the late 80s. I discussed getting it done as a tattoo with Kamil and he was very enthusiastic about doing a Joker piece. When I went back to start the 1st session, Kamil suggested doing the Mike Deodato Jr pic instead, as it would make a better tattoo, and also better cover the 2 tat’s I already had on my back. We discussed still using the ‘HA HA HA’ graphics from the Killing Joke Pic and went from there. Kamil wanted to keep the graphic novel style artwork but adapted it to his own tattoo style”.
In the pictures you can see the exquisite line work coming together for the piece. The first session started with pen outlines, then going over the pen with faint ink and bloodlines. This followed with the 2nd session that was the first cover up on the existing shoulder tattoo, using the dark shadows of the Deodato image. The 3rd session was the cover up of the tribal ‘Tramp Stamp’ (Mosh referred to it as that – I’m not being mean) on his lower back. Over the next few sessions the striking image really begins to come to life as the colour begins to come in.
I asked Mosh why he wanted the Joker to follow him for the rest of his life and he answered:
“As a kid & teen growing up in the 70s and 80s, I used to read 2000AD, Battle Action and Spiderman comics, which were great but they were still comics for kids, nothing really nasty. It was only when I happened to pick up a copy of The Killing Joke that I saw a Joker that was completely different to the campy clown I used to watch from the 60s tv show. He was completely batshit crazy for starters! I loved the Bolland artwork, the original colouring and obviously the Moore writing. Ever since then, I’ve loved Mr J,and the idea that ‘all it takes is one bad day’, his insanity, his chaos, and how he always tries to break Batman. He’s the ultimate villain and for some reason that always resonated within me, being drawn to the darker side of life. Besides, he has a hot girlfriend and makes a pretty badass tattoo!”
So there you have it folks, with a bit of cash, a high threshold for pain and a great design in mind, you too could get a tattoo as good as this. For more on Kamil’s incredible work head over to www.kamiltattoos.com and to see some of his work in the flesh, he will be will be working at the upcoming London Tattoo Convention at the end of September 2012 www.thelondontattooconvention.com.
I think we can all agree when it comes to loving the Clown Prince of Crime, this tattoo is the ultimate fan celebration of the Joker.
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