East Coast Colour: “Batman” by Judd Campbell
This tattoo might be very simple, and Dusty from i art ink would probably love to touch it up and add some skulls or something to it, but I think it’s perfect. For me, this is a perfect example of why I think people should get chopped. It’s all about the story, the tale of something that happened or something that was. I love the idea of tattoos being used to honour something or someone in the past, like a commemorative plaque places on a face-brick wall or a park bench.
My parents left when I was young, and my brother and I were shipped off to boarding school to fend for our selves against the Afrikaans kids (one of them hit me, but I didn’t cry).
It was Howick Senior boarding establishment, and I was 10 or 9. One morning I woke up to a very tight chest and went down to the sick bay, the very large matron (Afrikaans as well) panicked a bit and kept leaving the room to phone and then come back in look at me again. When the boarder master came in they both decided that someone would have to drive into town to get me an asthma pump, I was going blue at this stage. The boarder master (Afrikaans, very) asked me to lay down and put a comic in my hand, and like magic they both left me…
I’m very tough now but I was shit scared back then, not sure if I had a concept of death yet, but I knew something wasn’t right China, I can only remember taking very shallow breaths (think gold fish, not the band) and feeling very scared.
It took an hour for them to get back, with my first ever asthma pump and when they walked back in I was fine, sitting up, still a bit tight chested but almost hundred percent, reading the comic book. I think they both expected to find a dead English boy, but I was so engrossed in the pictures in the comic that I had relaxed completely, and thus my chest eased up. A few seconds later my dad burst through the door (he made the trip from Durban in the same time it took them to get the pump…my dad speaks English) and after seeing I was ok joked that perhaps Batman saved my life.
I’ve seen that giant rodent as my savior ever since, I collected Batman towels, mugs, pencil cases etc, I even phoned my Dad reverse charges from boarding school under the name Bruce Wayne for years and he always accepted the charges saying that he was Mr Wayne.
So when it came time for a tattoo, I got the caped crusader on my right shoulder to remind me that good will always triumph over the asthma and the Afrikaans kids.
I have practically lived at the Campbell’s house at times and can vouch for Judd’s sincere compulsion toward all things winged. It’s a beautiful thing.
If you’re thinking of getting your first or millionth tat, or just a touch up, Give Dusty or Nicole from i art ink a call. They’re doing insane work and inking most of Durban’s young “celebs”… gross, i hate that word. In fact, our ECC piece will feature Dusty’s work on City Bowl Mizer’s frontman Marty B. Boom!