Who Did Your Ink? is the Straight’s weekly feature, where we ask badass Vancouverites about the talented artists, indelible stories, and, at times, questionable antics behind their most treasured tattoos.
What’s your name? Michael Mann.
Who did your ink? I got it at Deus Ex Machina Tattoo & Piercing. It’s no longer there, but it was in Gastown across from the steam clock.
Why did you choose this artist to do your tattoo? I was working at a small magazine at the time that had an office just above the parlour. The magazine did a contra deal with them so they got an ad and I got a free tattoo. Also they seemed like super cool guys when we’d all be smoking out front of our respective offices.
Is there any meaning behind it? For the most part, I’m a fan of getting spontaneous tattoos when I’m hungover or on vacation. I think all my tattoos that I actually put a lot of thought into are idiotic in hindsight. This one is idiotic but still great.
My beloved tabby cat Eddie passed away. He was the best. We got him as a stray when I was really young and he got fat quickly. Like he was so fat, neighbours thought it was amusing when this obese cat wandered into their yard, so they’d feed him. And sometimes he’d break into houses with a cat door and eat whatever food he could find in there.
He was getting half a dozen meals a day. It got to the point where we had to put a tag that read, “Do Not Feed Me” on his collar. By the time he was in his teens, my parents started preparing me for his inevitable death as I loved him and he was a really fat fucking cat that was mistaken for a raccoon on more than one occasion.
But Eddie proved his body-shaming critics wrong. He went on to live for another decade. During this time, he was always the alpha cat of the neighbourhood—so basically the Kingpin from comic books, except he controlled all the organized crime among cats.
Anyhow, he eventually died in his early 20s and I was really bummed out. I was also really into cholo art at the time. So I got the artist to come up with memorial tattoo that a gang-banger in East L.A. would get for a fallen homie. Initially I was going to get it on my leg. But when it came time to get it, the artist convinced to get it over my heart.
Who’s your favourite local tattoo artist? He’s not here anymore, but I’m a big fan of Dan Climan, who I got to do a Symbionese Liberation Army hydra on my right arm.
What’s next on your ink list? I don’t know, but I think Instagram is making me want to get more. Case in point: I got two by Sean From Texas when I was in Los Angeles last fall. This is troublesome because I’m barely employable as is. And getting profanity and grim reapers tattooed all over my body probably isn’t helping.