Friday, April 4, 2014

Tegan's Nipples Remind Me Of Grandpa -or- The Story Of My New Who Tattoo

For a while I have been wanting to get a traditional pin up tattoo to remind me of my grandfather. His were the first tattoos I saw, and being in the Navy during WW2, he had more than on pin up. A pin up may seem an odd tattoo for a gay man to get, but that literally doesn't matter. It makes perfect sense to me.

I found a picture of a pin up Geisha and for the longest time was going to get it. As time passed, though, I found myself drawn to a more neo-traditional style of Geisha. At the same time I was wondering what my second Doctor Who tattoo would be. I had no ideas of doing any character from the show, until I was in Google images and saw a picture of Tegan in her uniform. Almost instantly my mind hit upon the idea of creating more of a pin up version, effectively killing three birds with one stone because I also wanted a tattoo with purple in it. I call it parallel universe Tegan.

So you know the why of the style, but why Tegan? Of all the characters in the show, both old and new, why Tegan? Besides the fact that she and her uniform translate well to pin up style, it fit perfectly because quite simply she is my favorite classic Who companion.

They say you never forget your first Doctor, at least my t-shirt does. I have also never forgotten my first companions. My favorite thing is when The Doctor travels with an ensemble, and the ensemble who were with The Doctor when Tom Baker regenerated into Peter Davison were the best for me. The young girl who had lost her entire world. The stowaway from a different universe. And the accidental companion, Tegan Jovanka.

Tegan was strong, and vulnerable in ways she didn't see. She was also no nonsense, opinionated, had heart, and was fiercely loyal. Something about her journey just resonated with me. So much time spent trying to get back home at the right time, but time spent growing in character, spirit, and strong bonds. I think when she was left behind she became aware of the insignificance of so many things. She was right back in the next series, thankfully, ready to join back up with full knowledge of what she was getting into.

Tegan was no longer trying to get home. She was travelling space and time seeing the wonders and making a difference. As it does, however, it became too much. No tragic goodbye, just bittersweet. A door had opened leading back home which Tegan decided to go through, and break my heart. That's so Doctor Who. Breaking hearts for 51 years.

There would be no Tegan without Janet Fielding. She's just adorable for starters. No one else could have voiced this companion, in my opinion. Tegan was far from one dimensional, and the same can be said for Janet. Besides seeing her transform Tegan over time, we saw her happy, grumpy, scared, heartbroken, and even possessed. And at times a bit sassy. I will always love Tegan Jovanka, and subsequently Janet Fielding for bringing her to life. Oh, and I can't forget how Tegan's nipples will always remind me of grandpa. Love you, Monty.

In honor of my grandfather and Tegan Jovanka, I present my fresh, parallel universe pin up Tegan tattoo...

I had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Fielding at a convention in Atlanta many, many years ago. Charming at the panel, she was very gracious to those of us who stood in line for an autograph. That's when she said yes to my request for a picture. I will always be thankful to her and Mark Strickson for their kindness and patience with young fans. (ok ok I didn't say really young)

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