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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Attention Seppuku Tattoo Ronin! 

We are proud to announce that our studio will be hosting a special guest from Kashihara, Nara, in Japan, our most honorable friend, sensei Horiten. She specializes in wabori, or traditional Japanese styled tattooing, although she is happy to work on yobori, typical Western style “one point” tattoos. Horiten will be in our studio from the 13th to the 15th of March. Anyone looking to make an appointment for some authentic irezumi can contact either our studio, or can reach out to the artist herself via the following links. Domo arigato gozaimasu!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Buona Natale!

My 2017 Christmas Card: Ghost of Christmas Present, 16” x 20”, oil on canvas. 

A few years ago, I stopped painting. The mood of everyone I encountered had become so toxic that I was unable to close up for the night, and then pick up a paint brush and channel the universe. Now, I’m no pussy, no fragile bubble wrapped trigger warning bleeding heart. I grew up in NYC in the 70’s when crime was at record highs, to sucker punching parents, and was regularly jumped just going to the deli or to school.

In tattooing, you get all types, from ex cons to junkies, and I’ve been in the business long enough to remember what it was like tattooing when it was still illegal to do so. Tattooing the extreme fringes is part of the fun and excitement. But damn, have people gone over to the dark side.

Guys calling the shop and asking for totenkomp and SS bolt tattoos. Clients explaining how good the days of slavery were for black folk. Men bragging about paying for their tattoos with their child support money. Juice heads finding it inconceivable that we can tattoo women without raping them. The insane opioid addictions. The balance of the average amount of assholes one must contend with became severely out of balance. It beat me down like I’d stumbled into a highway and was mowed down by a convoy of Mac trucks.

So, I stopped painting, and didn’t do my annual Christmas cards, a thing I’ve done since the mid 90’s. It felt hypocritical.

All that accomplished, though, was to let the career shitheads flourish. The pendulum wasn’t going to swing back by itself, apparently, not in this day and age where fucking everyone over is the cool and trendy thing to do. The masses of asses decided to anoint King Honey Boo Boo to the throne, and now we’re dealing with actual nazis again, something I thought we’d settled in mosh pits at hardcore shows back in the Reagan era.

A shocking eye opener was how many regular people jumped on that train. A sweet young client of mine, intelligent and poised, told me she voted for the rotten bag of orange circus peanuts, despite the fact that he’s a concentration of the exact opposite of everything she believes. When I asked why, all she had to say was, “I just wanted to see all the little snowflakes cry.” What? Really? This is where we are? The richest country on the planet, and a vast percentage of us have nothing better to do than make other people cry? What the unholy fuck is that?

Which brings us to the weird place where I am quoting the Bible, of all things,… specifically, King Solomon:

“It is the same for all. There is one fate for the righteous and for the wicked; for the good, for the clean and for the unclean; This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. The hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards they go to the dead.

For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything.” –– Ecclesiastes 9: 2-5

“We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.” ― Charles Bukowski

That’s right, Sol, and Chuck, we are all just worm food waiting to happen. I used to know that, I’ve been ducking the reaper’s scythe since I got clean back before grunge, but my visions been clouded by the tsunami of shade that this drunken date raping frat boy of a society has been blinding me with. Why everyone else has forgotten this, I have no fucking idea. 

A Christmas card isn’t a big deal, it’s nothing compared to a school shooting or other act of terrorism, but in this volatile environment, it strikes me that even a small kindness can be a hell of a thing. Trying to not let the bastards drag me down, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and hope that 2018 is the year that you step up, stomp the earth, and leave your mark for them to remember you by.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23rd, Seppuku Tattoo will proudly be hosting a very special guest artist, Jason Ajello. Jay started in 1993, and has tattooed cross country, in Europe, and in the Caribbean, and currently calls Colorado his home. He is a versatile artist with a broad range of styles, from new school to graffiti based images, but of late has adopted many of the aspects found in sacred geometry. Jay has worked with the Seppuku staff on and off since 2004, and has a true artist’s spirit that accompanies his wanderlust. He’s recently returned from the other side of the planet, as a guest of the 2017 Nepal Tattoo Convention in Kathmandu, and this will be his first guest spot at the Bloomingdale location. If you’d like to consult with Jay, or schedule some time while he’s here, don’t hesitate to contact him at Namaste!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Holy Shit! Profanity in Tattoo Shops!

A client was researching shops that would tackle a cover up over three failed tattooed attempts, and found us. He informed us that in his searches, he found a review of the shop that criticized us for our use of PROFANITY,... apparently he heard swearing in a tattoo studio! Yes, he did! I've seen this before, reviews of some of the most legendary tattoo studios in the country, being slammed for their filthy language. Philistines! Since I am such a civic minded person, and want to help people insulate themselves and disassociate from reality as much as humanly possible, I've compiled a list of other pursuits and endeavors that reviewer may want to avoid at all costs as to not tarnished his tender, virginal earbuds.

THE HOLY BIBLE: The,... wait, what? Oh yes! The Bible contains plenty of dirty language,... whore, bastard, Hell, piss, shit,... yes, you have to read it in the original language, something not one single American voting for Trump has ever done, but if you do, you have lovely word choices, like ben 'ayah mardwth, (son of a bitch), shagel, (fucking) and skubala (shit).
     But forget about the individual words, the Bible is filled cover to cover with such vile descriptions of sex, rape, incest, blood letting, war, genocide, and other profane acts, it's amazing it's the not the #1 selection of the Brownshirts who think the Banned Book List is too short. Here's a quick checklist, read it at your leisure:
* Curses, translating to "Go to Hell!" or "Damn you!", James 3:10, 2 Peter 2:4
* Comparing a husband's cock to ivory elephant tusks: Song of Solomon 5:14
* Donkey sized cocks, horse size ejaculate: Ezekiel 23:20
* Getting dad drunk, screwing him, and getting pregnant: Genesis 19:34
* Chopping 200 foreskins as trophies, trading them for a wife: 1 Samuel 18:27
* Spoiling sperm, smearing shit on faces: Malachi 2:3
* Baby killing as an anti-depressant: Pslam 137:9
* Amputated hands for grabbing ball sacks: Deuteronomy 25:11
* Gang rape my virgin daughter!: Judges 19:22-27
* Bloody tampons: Isaiah 64:6, Leviticus 20:18
* Hemorrhoid plagues: 1 Samuel 6:4-5
* Cannibal families: 2 Kings 6:26-29, Jeremiah 19:9, Deuteronomy 28:53, Ezekiel 5:9-10
* Dinah, raped, entire city circumcised and slaughtered: Genesis 34:1-31
* 42 boys mauled by a bear for making fun of bald people: 2 Kings 2:23
* Crushed testicles are bad: Deuteronomy 23:1
* Infanticide, theft, and a side of rape: Isaiah 13:16
* Don't rape these angels, take my daughters instead!: Genesis 19:8
* TITTIES!: Song of Solomon 4:5
* Cooking with shit: Ezekiel 4:15
* Pay cash to keep your rape victim: Deuteronomy 22:28-29
* Keep the virgins, kill the rest: Numbers 31:17-18
* Cuckolding: 2 Samuel 12:11
* Death for withdrawal: Genesis 38: 8-10
* Parents, kill your children: Zechariah 13:3
* Slavery A-OK!: Leviticus 25: 44-46, Exodus 21:7, 1 Peter 2:18
* Excrement,... holy shit!: Deuteronomy 23: 12-14
* Burning prostitutes: Leviticus 21:9
* Flogging, scourging for fun: Proverbs 20:30
* Wife not a virgin on your wedding night? KILL HER!: Deuteronomy 22:20-21
* More semen: Leviticus 15:16

God, the Bible is so rapey! Keep that shit out of our friendly neighborhood tattoo shop!

BROADWAY! : Love a good show tune? How about a little Cole Porter?

You're the top!
You're Miss Pinkham's tonic
You're the top!
You're a high colonic
You're the burning heat
Of a bridal suite in use
You're the breasts of Venus
You're King Kong's penis
You're self-abuse!
You're an arch
In the Rome collection
You're the starch
In a groom's erection
I'm a eunuch who
Has just been through an op
But if, baby, I'm the bottom
You're the top!

A little louder next time,... Broadway is rife with profanity, from 'A Chorus Line's' "Tits and Ass", to 'The Book of Mormon's' "Hasa Diga Eebowei", (the chorus of which is "Fuck You God In The Ass, Mouth, and Cunt"). Pippin, Hair, Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, Rent, Jersey Boys, Hamilton,... 
all award winning classics that helped define the medium itself. You thought you were out for a night of culture and song, instead, you're learning about how Joseph Smith fucked a frog to cure his AIDS.

THE BLUES: All that old timey spiritual music, certainly you can play the Blues over the sound system in my safe place bunker, right? Oh, hell no. The Blues is so dirty, it has it's own listing on Wikipedia:

And check out this gem from

"got nipples on my titties, big as the end of my thumb; I got somethin' between my legs'll make a dead man come.
You know it's a good song when the first two lines reference necrophilia and giant freak nipples."

CINEMA: You like movies, don't you? Well, here's a short list of directors who's films you should never expose yourself to, because, well, motherfucking snakes on a motherfucking plane: Scorcese, Coppola, Kubrick, DH Lawrence, Hughes, Spielberg, Tarantino, Anderson, Fincher, Hitchcock, Lynch, Allen, Cameron, Scott, Jackson, Stone, Lee, De Palma, Polanski, Veerhoven, Carpenter, Cronenberg, Zemeckis, Del Toro, Leone, Van Sant, Craven, Corman, Coen, Fellini, and just forget seeing anything by John Waters. Your tender sensibilities will spontaneously combust. 

LITERATURE: You can't go to the theatre, see a play, or watch pretty much any movie,... hey, you're not going to let all that profanity get in the way of expanding your mind. Well, stoke the bonfires, because if grown up talk isn't your thing, then there's entire of libraries that need to be razed to the ground. Forget all about - For Whom The Bell Tolls, by Hemingway, Gone With The Wind, by Mitchell, The Grapes of Wrath, by Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby, by Fitzgerald, Howl, by Ginsberg, Fahrenheit 451, by Bradbury, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Twain, In Cold Blood, by Capote, Leaves of Grass, by Whitman, Catcher In The Rye, by Salinger, Lord of the Flies, by Golding, Of Mice and Men, by Steinbeck, The Color Purple, by Walker, Ulysses, by Joyce, Catch-22, by Heller, Brave New World, by Huxley, As I Lay Dying, by Faulkner, Native Son, Wright, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, by Kesey, Slaughterhouse Five, by Vonnegut, Clockwork Orange, by Burgess, Naked Lunch, by Burroughs. 

All these books, all timeless classics, have been banned, solely on the basis of their WORDS. Bunch of foul mouthed deplorable criminals, these literate types, what with all their writing, and thoughts, and ideas. 

COMEDY: I guess it goes without saying, if you're offended by bad language, you'll have to never ever expose yourself from just about every and any stand up comedian since the invention of the microphone. Ironically, George Carlin's famous "Seven Words You Can't Say on Television" premiered in Nineteen Hundred and Seventy TWO. And as you can see, this ignorant country has the car in reverse, and we haven't come one single step forward since Jerry Ford was in office. 

Ironically, if you're looking for a classic stand up comic who refuses to work blue, you could always try that bastion of morality and family vales,... Bill Cosby. Oh,... oh wait a fucking minute,...

Hopefully, you're getting the idea. I could keep going all night. Mozart? A total pervert. Shakespeare? Fugghedaboutit. Just about every form of music imaginable, from reggae to punk. Anything on cable TV. The ENTIRE FUCKING INTERNET. Forget about riding the subway, going to any sporting event, or entering any town with a population outside of double digits. 

Seriously? We CURSE? It's a fucking tattoo shop, Sherlock! This one is named after SUICIDE! The owner has the words UGLY FUCK tattooed on his knuckles! We just finished making tattooing LEGAL in all fifty states just a few years ago. New Jersey is still illegal today, in many cities. The last century, tattooing has been purveyed by outlaws. Without those outlaws passing the torch, despite how many church groups and politicians fought to keep them underground like back alley abortionists, those same people, who leave one star reviews based on the swear words they heard, would not be caught dead in tattoo shops today. 

Do you complain about all the nudity at the strip club? All the drinking going on at the bar? All that pot smoking and dancing at the music festival? All the grinding on the dance floor? These are adult activities, and this is how the vast majority of adults behave. And if you don't like it, if our WORDS bother you so greatly, while we're at war with the wrong countries for two decades, and is rife with real time problems like homelessness and heroin overdoses, why, you, you sanctimonious self righteous scum sucking prick, we've got three words for you. 



Friday, April 15, 2016

Whole Foods Tattoos©

Oh, my friends know me so well. So they think. A few weeks ago, the media ran with a story about how Whole Foods was looking to open up tattoo parlors inside of their new chain of food stores for their free range organic hipster clients. Everyone thought it would be so funny to bury my social media under an avalanche of cross posts and links to all the articles, thinking, 'Oh ho! Let's watch Johnny blow a blood vessel, and tear these guys a new asshole,... tee hee!'

Well, that might have been the case in 2001, but we're in 2016, and I can't imagine there are any ways left to bend Tattooing over and find yet a new karma sutra position to fuck her in. Since I began down this inkstained path, I've seen our glorious industry turned out, whored, pimped, gang raped, drawn, quartered, her parts scattered to the four corners, and her defiled corpse set upon by every form of degenerate necrophiliac who'd find new ways to slice her open and make another new orifice to fuck.

Wikipedia lists a current roster of TWENTY FIVE tattoo television shows.

Forget Masterpiece Theater or National Geographic, what the world needs now is over two dozen reality shows about what's the best way to eulogize your dead cat. That's regularly scheduled seasons, not specials, documentaries, or event coverage either.

Not one of these shows are owned by a tattooist. They're all owned by the same people that own everything that you see, hear, read, or DON'T see, hear or read, depending on what they're either pushing or censoring, to make their stockholders happy. They own every TV station, radio station, movie company, book and magazine publishing company, news network, or other form of virtual media in the country. They're also owned or interlaced with megacorps like ExxonMobil or GE, corporations that profit off of our endless wars, or build things like the Fukishima nuclear reactor that's melting down and poisoning an entire ocean.

Megacorps are stealing a product they had no hand in creating, and use it to push their own revenues, all on the backs of the people that fought so had to make tattoo legal and safe. (Yes, kids, tattooing used to be illegal, and not that long ago. These shows are nothing more than Honey Boo Boo Tattoo, used to sell boner pills and mass produced piss beer. I can't imagine that the ratio between how much they make compared to how much they pay the artists isn't cataclysmic.

These are the people using their record breaking profits to saturate Washington with lobbyists, overturn every law we set up over the past century to prevent them from doing exactly what they're doing, monopolizing markets, owning everything, and making it legal for them to destroy our way of life. Why the fuck would any self conscious artist work for such vile scumbags? Tattooing is the American Dream incarnate, you own yourself, you travel the world, and you're paid like a shrink to doodle on people for your living. You're Horatio Alger's wet dream walking around on two legs! It's worth throwing that kind of independence and autonomy away for fifteen minutes of cable access fame? The days of Sailor Jerry Collins telling the people from Hawaii 5-0 to go fuck themselves are a distant memory.

I can't think of a single mainstream business that has not humped the leg of tattooing's idiosyncrasy. I've seen ads for mortgage companies where the contact is signed with a tattoo machine, auto companies with their new models of cars inside tattoo parlors getting tramp stamps, and an entire Google search of companies offering people who will get your ad tattooed on them. It's insane. This is the exact polar opposite of everything tattooing was supposed to stand for.

Tattooing ought to be a baseball bat to the face of the status quo, not sucking it's cock.

Was I the only fucking Bill Hicks fan on the planet? 

Or the Dead Kennedys?

Yet, tattoo professionals and the general public both love nothing more to reduce tattooing down to the same level as a Justin Bieber fan. They apply the same bullshit marketing tactics to this artform, that predates written language, that they do hemorrhoid creme. Tattoo websites clog their social media with click bait for cameltoe and MILFS that have nothing to do with tattooing whatsoever, becoming the Buzzfeed of the modified set. Magazines, that bragged in their premier issue about how none of their editorial staff had any tattoos, use the same Madison Avenue formula to piggy back their ad rags on the backs of artists who spend a lifetime mastering their craft. Artists take on sponsorships, hawking tattoo junk for people that never created a single tattoo, or contributed to the industry except to figure out how to use it for their own profits. And fuck, the shops with the $13 tattoos on Friday the 13th,... why go through the trouble of building a studio, when you're business strategy is pulled straight out of a flea market? Just go rent a booth between the guy selling stolen stereos and the fried butter stand.

It reminds me of all that cringe worthy Jesus junk you see when you travel through the Bible belt. Like the T shirts that read 'This blood's for you.' Really? 3500 years of theological discourse, and the best you can do is reduce a major world religion to a cheap imitation of a Budweiser ad campaign? Could there be a bigger discrepancy between the product and the sell? Yeah, there is, and it happens every time there's another season of catfighting TV stars.

I can't tell you how sick to death I am at the willingness to take this industry to the lowest common denominator. Aren't we supposed to be better than all of this? Are we artists, endowed with the power of creation to channel the universe into our canvas? Or are we just Mickey D employees throwing Happy Meals © out the drive thru window? Back in the late 80's, early 90's, Jonathan Shaw helmed the editorial run of International Tattoo Arts. He fought every issue to uphold the values and ethics of the industry, including a powerful stance against censorship, fighting to maintain the integrity of the artwork or the models who wore artwork across their bodies. But, apparently, none of those lofty ideals helped sell car insurance. Now our magazines are sanitized for our protection, breasts are pixelated and clothing Photoshopped back on, even on to the tattoos themselves. Shaw sold Fun City back in 2002, and moved on to authorship, but I can only imagine that he saw the writing on the wall, and wanted to escape the tidal wave of compromise and commercialization.

Sailor Jerry Collins was vehemently opposed the exploitation of the industry for precisely these reasons; because once it became marketable, any shill could come along and steal it from us, and rob of us of everything we've worked so hard to create. But instead of treasuring tattooing as something hard fought and won, tattooing gets left on a used car lot like a 75 Pinto hatchback.

Should anyone be surprised at all that Whole Foods wants to install tattoo studios next to their express aisles? They may be the only ones left in the entire country who hasn't had their dick inside tattooing. So, before you get so outraged that such an unthinkable prospect is now happening, stop and ask yourself how much you helped open that door.

In the meantime, Seppuku Tattoo will continue to tell every sleazy salesfuck where they can shove their Group On offers, or their tattoo gel sponsorships, or their TV audition invites, or whatever the next telemarketer is shoving down our throats. Although, if you drive by and see a big Whole Foods sign over the front door, that means we got tired of dancing the wrong way in the circle pit, and broke down for heath care and paid sick days.

This planet spins really fucking fast. Live hard, think for yourself, question everything, turn off your phone for five minutes, and be your own person.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Welcome to 2015!

Good God Almighty, how is half the year over already?

We have a host of announcements to make, some of which are way overdue, some have already come and gone. Per esempio, Johnny was a guest at Trilogy Tattoo in Virgina Beach in the month of May, working alongside industry legend Dave Lukeson.

• Last year, Johnny sat down with Keith Ciaramello of the Tattoo Mentor Podcast. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

• June 7th: Seppuku Tattoo welcomes guest artists Lu Tattoo from Lecce, Italy! Come by and say buon giorno, schedule an appointment for a tattoo, or swing by to give him a nickle tour of your city.

• June  17, 2015: This day will mark the fifth year being open at the Bloomingdale location, and the tenth anniversary of Seppuku Tattoo, which originally opened in Savannah on May 25, 2005. Plans are in the works for a commemorative T shirt give away, as well as a party, hopefully at a new joint scheduled to open directly around the corner from the studio, on the Hamburg Turnpike. More information will be announced as it happens!

• June 19-21: Seppuku Tattoo will be up in Canada at the Northern Ink Xposure Tattoo Convention. This is the convention's twenty fifth year, and it's an honor to be invited by Damian McGrath to participate. If you're planning on going, Johnny still has a few spots open, so feel free to contact him regarding appointments. The studio will be still be open, Jamison will be on hand with our staff of receptionists to help you with whatever you need.

• July 10 -12: Seppuku Tattoo will be attending the first annual Empire State Tattoo Expo at the NY Midtown Hilton in New York City. The United Ink people have assembled a hell of an all star line up of artists from every corner of the planet, as well as some of the greatest artists from New York City, and is going to be a hell of a show. Not to mention the location puts us three blocks south of Central park. Johnny hasn't tattooed in his hometown since the Roseland Ballroom in 2004, and is glad to be included such an impressive collection of his peers. If you're a long time collector of work from Seppuku Tattoo artists, this will be an excellent time to show off your work.

• August 14-16: The Wildwood Beach Bash in Wildwood, NJ. The studio is inquiring as to whether there are still open spots, but is interested in attending. A large number of Seppuku Ronin journeyed down in 2012, and brought back a lot of shiny things. We'll announce as soon as we are confirmed.

• Coming soon: This,...

After a thirty year long resume creating visual art in a number of different mediums and a host of career titles, Johny is adding one more to the list. Details T.B.A.

•September 20-27: Johnny will be out of the studio for the following event. Please schedule your appointments appropriately.

• The studio has been working to become more fully staffed, and currently has four artists on a rotating schedule, which means that we are welcoming walk ins at most times. Please contact the studio for more information. 

• We still have openings in the schedule and could fit in another part time artist, and are always open to guest spots from visiting artists. Let us know if you're interested. 

As always, domo arigato gozaimasu to all the Ronin for your loyalty and support of Seppuku Tattoo!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October Updates

Happy October Seppuku Ronin. We hope that you’re enjoying this amazing Indian Summer as much as we are, unless you try to go apple picking and sit in non stop traffic for hours at a time. Oh the joys of ‘country’ life,…! Serves me right for not just heading into Central Park. A few announcements about things happening at the studio,… 

• Halloween Tattoos
Yes, we will be revisiting our Halloween Tattoo Flash again this year. Same deal as last year, first come, first serve. Both Jamison and Johnny will be in the studio for the day.

• Guest Artist Jess Versus! October 21-22
The exceptionally versatile Brooklynite Jess Versus has established herself securely on the web, raking up numerous photo sessions published online. More importantly, she’s a seasoned tattoo artist, model and burlesque performer. Well known around her way, Jess has a killer personal style that is expressed in her tattoos, graphic design and illustrations. One need only visit one of her numerous online pages (including flickr & tumblr) to get an idea of what she’s about – but you can take it from us that she has a personality and style which reflect that fiery hair color.
Whether with tattoo machine or pen and paper, this talented young artist delivers. After completing her apprenticeship with Jon Clue, she developed her own style and approach to the tattoo art form. Her custom work is colorful and technical, whilst her range as an artist is impressively diverse. Everything from old school Americana to fantasy benefit from her unique approach at the Twelve 28 Tattoo where she works. When not working her booth at the Williamsburg tattoo shop, Jess can often be seen bombing around town on her purple Gran Royale ‘Lurker’. Chances are she’s either heading to work, on her way to a photo session or to a burlesque show, so don’t get in her way. If you want some personal time with this rising tattoo artist you’d best catch her during business hours to go over those design ideas.

• Randy Prause has been on the disabled list since mid August, when he sliced his fingers on broken glass and had to undergo reconstructive surgery. He has been in physical therapy and recovering as quickly as can be expected. Due to our busy schedule, he is taking appointments for his return and advises clients interested in getting the best dates to book early. Contact Randy directly for information on his timeline.

Domo arigato gozaimasu to all the dedicated ronin for your love and support. Ja mata!