Every now and then I manage to talk a small press author into showing us a little skin... tattooed skin, that is. I know there are websites and books out there that have been-there-done-that already, but I hadn't seen one with a specific focus on the authors and publishers of the small press community. Whether it's the influence for their book, influenced by their book, or completely unrelated to the book, we get to hear the story behind their indie ink....
Indie Ink Runs Deep . . .
Max Caspar of Dark Factory [and Kathe Koja]
Dark Factory is Kathe Koja’s new immersive novel project from Meerkat Press, online https://darkfactory.club/ and coming this year in print, ebook and audio. And the preorder swag package includes your own Dark Factory tattoo! https://darkfactory.club/kathe-koja-presents-dark-factory/
Max Caspar is the club’s resident philosopher, though he’d reject that title: But Max understands that the image of a thing sometimes is the thing itself, the same way a tattoo can be so much more than just a body decoration. Here’s Max’s interpretation of the Factory tattoos:
I knew Ari wanted to get a tattoo when he asked about mine—it’s an image of Tezcatlipoca, the roaring jaguar god who watches the world in his obsidian mirror, mine is, I mean. Ari said that sounded like a gamer, looking at the universe through a screen; I hadn’t conceptualized it that way before. Ari’s very good at that, turning the mirror around so you see yourself. Other people might see other things in my Tezcat tattoo.
Ari ended up getting a triskelion, three black whorls of the same size, on his wrist. I told him that that image occurs in a lot of different cultures, it represents creation destruction and resurrection, body mind and spirit, and so on. I don’t know what it means to him, except he and Felix—Felix is his partner—got one at the same time, Felix’s is of a minotaur, Ari says. Ari says Felix has other ones too, of flowers. Flowers have their own language, floriography.
Davide—he’s my work partner, a gamer, a games maker—doesn’t have any tattoos, though it seems like he should have plenty: Davide is hyper focused on symbols, and incorporating strong visual meaning into actual, physical life. Our other work partner, Clara, has a quote from Galileo on her arm: the English translation is, “It still moves,” his apocryphal answer to the Inquisition. It’s the motto of Clara’s business, Fantastic Fantoms, too.
Mila never had tattoos—Mila, she’s a, a friend—and Marfa doesn’t either. Marfa lets her t-shirts do the visual talking for her, all her shirts are neon bright and in your face. Marfa is a journalist, she believes in words, not symbols; but words are only symbols, too.
Max Caspar: Max Caspar is a reality artist, concentrated on site-dependant, durational installations. He holds an MFA from Kunstfarm. He also writes. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathe Koja: Kathe Koja writes novels and short fiction, and creates and produces immersive performances that cross and combine genres. Her work has won awards, and been optioned for film and performance. email@example.com