Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Tattoo and a Review, Featuring Nigel Bird

Bill dropped by Malefic Tattoos recently to continue his oriental tattoo. It's a huge custom piece by Fabien they've been working on since sometime last summer. While getting inked Bill enjoyed reading Nigel Bird's short fiction collection, With Love and Squalor.

Bill said that all the stories were completely engaging and got his interest right away.

"The second story, Fisher of Men, was my favourite," Bill says, "The ending was such a surprise, it caught me off guard. Like a complete u-turn in the story I didn't see coming."

Bill says he would give Nigel's book a big two thumbs up.

Bill is an average guy who's normally not a big fiction reader, but I like to think I've led him to the dark side with Nigel Bird's tales of noir. Bill wears a suit and tie nine to five and enjoys spending time with his family at the cottage on the weekends. And although he might look like a bad ass with all that ink, he's not a rootin' tootin' son of a bitchin'cold blooded killer, like The Schofield Kid in the movie Unforgiven. Neither is he Yakuza as he was recently accused of while on vacation in Jamaica.

Yeah, no kidding. I guess the first indication of that would be the fact that he's A WHITE GUY! Some people are just not the sharpest fish in the sky.

Bill's tattoo is in honour of his two sons who are half Chinese and born the year of the tiger and the year of the dragon. There's still a few hours of work to do on the dragon--some fire background and a bit more rendering on the scales.

Bill has so many hours into this tattoo that he'd rather not discuss it. He's still trying to figure out what he's going to do with his Thursday nights once the tattoo is finished. But, seeing as how he's got lots of skin left, I'm sure we can give him some ideas.

Unlike the artist in Nigel's powerful story Fisher of Men in With Love And Squalor, this art doesn't wash away in the rain. You'll have to read that story to know what I'm talking about. By the way, it's brilliant.

I love the way Nigel writes, there's a density in his stories that you can sink your teeth into. And I enjoy all those British expressions and profanities reminding me of my Irish roots; curses like "the wee shites" just give me a warm fuzzy like nothing else. One of my favourite stories in this collection is No Pain, No Gain. It has just the right amount of grit and raw intensity.

Be sure to visit Nigel Bird at his blog Sea Minor. He runs a cool interview series over there called Dancing With Myself.


  1. I'm reminded that this must be the most interesting review concept of them all. I'm grateful to you Julia, for setting this in front of Bill and I'm grateful for Bill's thumbs. Just a plug/reminder that this is the final day for voting in the Best Novella Award over at Spinetingler and that Smoke is among some very fine books indeed - http://www.spinetinglermag.com/2012/01/16/2012-spinetigler-award-best-novella/


    1. Bah, I forgot to mention that! Okay going to do a little edit to include that, thanks Nigel and all the best with Smoke!

  2. I love tattoo. but only on the hidden parts of my body. a few medium size tattoo for me is fine

  3. The tattoo design is really stylish and the background which is used in the design of tiger is providing the natural look to whole design. Tattoo artist done a very good job in both design.
    Tattoo Supply