Meet proud Toowoomba geeks with tattoos to prove it
RYAN Prince spends hours in the chair at Top of the Range Tattoo Studio in Toowoomba, while tattoo artist Ben Smith recreates his favourite anime characters on his arm.
But while he is excited about his latest additions, he is also scared of the needles that create them.
"One of the reasons I started getting tattoos was to get over my fear of needles," he said.
That plan didn't work though, as his fear didn't go away. But the diehard anime fan absolutely loves his tattoos and is planning more.
He has eight anime-themed tattoos and other personal one.
He picked his favourite anime characters, ones that he can relate to in one way or another, including Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Pokemon and Death Note.
"I'm a fan of the stories and the characters, they always have stories that you can relate back to yourself in some way," he said.
Toowoomba fly-in, fly out rig electrician Andrew Robertson is also passionate about his geeky tattoos.
He described himself as "not a typical comic book fan" and said most people were surprised when they saw his sleeve of tattoos, that features superheroes and villains (but not the ones you'd expect).
"I really wanted something by (comic book illustrator) Boris Vallejo, so I've got Bishop on the back of my forearm, The Flash on the front and I'm planning on getting the Green Goblin and Katana too," he said.
"I wanted something quite different from the norm."
Mr Smith, who did Mr Robertson and Mr Prince's tattoos, said more and more people were requesting geeky tattoos of comic book, anime and video game characters.
He said as long as there were great video games, movies and animes, people would continue to get tattoos celebrating "geek" culture.
"Everything comes and goes, but these are getting more and more popular," he said.
"Every now and then we'll get a diehard fan."
He said that popularity would continue, as long as the movies continued to develop as artwork becomes more detailed.
Mr Smith said in 18 years as a tattoo artist, the Japanese character tattoo was the one people kept coming back to.
"They're just as common now as they were in the 80s," he said.