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Posted December 23, 2002
Many of you will know the name Bob Baxter from his role as Editor of the American tattoo magazine Skin & Ink. During the summer of 2001, Bob took a break from the mag for a couple of weeks and took to the road to gather material for this book. To many of us, a road trip, especially in the U.S., is the quintessential freedom experience. A road trip with the sole purpose of checking out the tattoo shops and artists along the way certainly isn't a bad way to spend a fortnight. The area that Bob chose for his book is the Pacific Northwest, basically covering the states of Oregon and Washington and dipping over the border to Canada, into British Columbia. This makes the book particularly interesting and pertinent for me, because this is one of my favorite parts of the world. I have been tattoed many times in Vancouver, B.C., and the very first article I ever had published in Skin Deep was an account of my own tattoo road trip through Canada. Tattoo Road Trip is a beautifully produced hardback book with the high production values we have come to expect from Schiffer. It is packed with luscious colour pictures showing the scenery, the characters and, most importantly, the tattoos that Bob came across along the way. The text is part travel journal and part interviews with tattooists famous and unknown. Names include well known artists such as Vyvyn Lazonga, Terry Tweed, Dave Shore, John the Dutchman, London Bellman and Dave Lum. Bob also interviews the world's most-tattooed woman, Krystyne Kolorful. Some people you may not be familiar with include Jennifer Billig, Aaron Bell, Teresa Johnson and many, many more. The book conveys the sense of adventure and the journey into the unknwon that accompanies a road trip. Bob Baxter's writing style, honed after many years as a journlaist, is clear and evocative with a wry touch of humor. The book touches on the tattoo history of the Pacific Northwest and the colourful characters of years gone by as well as giving a sense of the vibrant tattoo scene there today. Trouble is, reading it will have you itching to pack a bag, sling it in the back of the car and head on down the road. Hmmmmm, now that gives me an idea...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.