Interview with the Tattooed Man
Hello there True Readers! Not everyday do you get a chance to speak to someone who quite literally gives of themselves completely for their passion. Luckily today I was fortunate enough to get this kind of opportunity. This man Jon Costanza of Arlington, MA is the type of individual of whom I speak. I am also very fortunate enough to call him my good friend. What follows is a variety of questions I asked him that I found very intriguing. I hope that you who read this will enjoy this look into a very special Comic Book fan as well…
Graphic Policy: How long have you collected or been into comics?
Jon Costanza: Off and on for approximately 15 years. My first comic book that I ever held in my hands was Ghost Rider. I was in the 4th grade. I remember the image of him and his flaming skull riding a horse seemed to pop off the cover page. I had no idea who or what he was. He certainly didn’t look like a hero that’s for sure, but all I knew was that the art was awesome. Even though I knew and loved Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man; I wasn’t aware of comic books as a medium. I only knew of superheros via movies, tv, and toys. So thank you to Ghost Rider for getting me into comic books.
JC: Superman. He embodies hope, strength, and always doing the right thing no matter what. He is the ultimate superhero. When all seems lost to the people in peril, Superman has always been a beacon of hope. Also, his powers are fucking awesome. No one is more powerful. His origin story is a timeless classic but adds in sci-fi, which I love.
GP: What gave you the inspiration for your tattoos?
Superman: See above, but here are some additional comments. When I got to the point when I knew for a fact that I wanted a tattoo, the first thought that came to my mind about what I wanted to get was “What have I been interested in the longest? What has been an important part of my life for the longest?” Then around that time, my mom showed me a picture of me from when I was probably 2 years old wearing my Superman pajama shirt with the cape attached running around with my arms out in front of me pretending like I was flying. Well, that made the decision extremely easy for me.
Batman: To me, the Bat is all about discipline, always being prepared, intelligence, and standing up and saying “something horrible happened to me and I’m going to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone ever again.”
Green Lantern: WILLPOWER! What else?! Lol. The ability that everyone has (even though they don’t know how to use it) to tap into something within them to withstand the seemingly impossible and never give up.
Clutch horse: It’s from the booklet from the Clutch album “From Beale St. to Oblivion”. The lyrics within the horse silhouette are from the song You Can’t Stop Progress and they are “Bona fide man of action.” And that’s what I am. Actions speak louder than words.
Clutch pig: It’s from the same booklet from the same Clutch album. The lyrics within the pig silhouette are from my favorite Clutch song One Eye Dollar and they are “1600, all the way. That’s right brother, all the way!!! 1600, today’s our day.” These lyrics are referring to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave (The White House), and the song is all about that secret society and Illuminati stuff. There was a time when I was super into the conspiracy theory scene. I’m not anymore but this connects to that. However, the real reason why I got this tattoo is because I love the image and the song.
GP: When did you get your first one?
JC: I got the Superman tattoo when I was 27-28.
GP: Which tattoo is your favorite?
JC: Hands down, Green Lantern. The image pops out of my arm. And I love that its very original. The image is from Wanted: Hal Jordan by Ivan Reis, but I had my artist tweak a few things, like adding the GL symbols flying around him.
GP: Do you go to different tattoo artists for each?
JC: No, I found my artist for life. Deidre Doyle is a very talented tattoo artist. I got the Superman and Batman tattoos when she worked at Pino Bros. Ink on Cambridge St. in Cambridge, MA. I got the Clutch and Green Lantern tattoos when she worked at Chameleon Tattoo in Harvard Square in Cambridge. She now works at Redemption Tattoo on Mass Ave in Cambridge, which is where I will go for my next one.
GP: How long do they take?
JC: It all depends. Supes and Bats took a few sessions, which probably equaled to about a month and a half or so. GL took the longest with 5-6 sessions. The Clutch tattoos were very quick and easy with one session.
GP: Do you have plans for any more?
JC: Yup! My next one will be The Flash. Most likely an image from The Dastardly Death of the Rogues or Road to Flashpoint by Francis Manapul. Other ideas for the future: Star Wars space battle scene, Aquaman, The Joker, Darkseid. And there are many others.
I want to take the time to thank Jon for answering all my questions. He has a great outlook and is just a down to Earth dude. Anyone who’d like to get to know him better don’t hesitate to follow his adventures on Twitter @thejonny_c. Thank you for reading and see you passing by in the Cosmos!