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An exciting new book is on the verge of publication by Independent Music Press called ‘Tattoo Soup – A Compendium of the Globe’s Most Unique tattoos’.

Let’s start with the cover, an arm being tattooed with the letters ‘TATTOO SOUP’, grabs you from the onset. On the opening page, tattoo inks, the artists tools of the trade, then an introduction from the Tattooist Phil Kyle from Magnum Opus.
He’s straight to the point, Tattoos are proudly worn by folks every day, earned by people through the time it takes to get done….to wear FOREVER!! Well said Kyle.

Photo:'Rocketeer’ by Louis Molloy

It’s packed with colourful images (from page 4 – 126) of Tattoos, ranging from the largest landscape full body, back pieces, positioned in between are anything from hand tattoos to leg, arm and chest, feet down to small finger tattoos. A few musicians have donated their images such as The Prodigy and Flogging Molly. The tattoos don’t feature any person’s face, which makes them kind of anonymous, focusing on what counts in the long run - The Tattoo! There are so many amazing works of Art it was hard to choose but here the ones which stood out for me.

My top five tattoos from the book in no particular ranking:

Page 17: Alice Temple with a wonderful large back piece of a huge skull, truly amazing detailed work by Tattooist: Nikole Lowe

Page 73: VasiLiy – Russia – Tattooist: Dmitry Beliakov. An arm Tattoo of a roaring Tiger with such a high gloss realistic growl, it almost comes off the page.

Page 64: Rob from Manchester Tattooist: Louis Malloy – Middleton tattoo Studio with the famous full sleeve of ‘Rocketeer’ featuring comic strip cartoon imagery of Betty Page. Extremely original and colourful – ‘It’s rude to stare, but it’s just a tattoo’ - Love it!

Page 59: Menna Pritchard - Tattooist: Lester from Brighton. A large sidepiece featuring a portrait of an Art N…. lady. Delicate, pretty and artistic.

Page 47.Andrew - Melbourne, Australia - Tattoosit:Ran McLurkin - |Devils Ink A unique poem called Fly away tattooed onto the heart side of the chest, detailing the demise of the person, love the text ‘ When my heart can beat no more I hope I die for a principal or belief that I have lived for’. Brilliant sentiment and obviously means something to the wearer.

Finally on the back pages are the names of the artists who have inked the people in the book with their web site address.A must for any tattoo fan – go out and get your copy.


The books is officially published on Nov 6th if you wish to purchase a copy please contact or visit

If you know any Tattoo outlet/Music shop/Book store who would like to take some stock also contact Dave Hanley.


‘Tattoo Soup – A Compendium Of The Globe’s Most Unique tattoos’.

Priced at £9.99 - ISBN: 13: 978-1-9061-06-1.

Photo: Michael - Germany


An interview with Dave Hanley

Firstly Dave thanks for my copy and congratulations on such a unique idea for a Tattoo book, I loved browsing through it. I am pleased to announce to anyone reading I play a very small part in this unique little book on page 22.

Mel - Where did the initial idea about creating a book come from?
Dave - It came from a fascination of the tattoo world and the desire to do a book that was different from the normal tattoo titles.

Mel - How about the books title ‘Tattoo Soup’ where did this come from?

Dave - Soup in its most literal sense is a selection of prized ingredients put together in one place, a bowl. 'Tattoo Soup' is a selection of equally prized tattoos put together in one place, a book.

Mel - Who's been involved in the making of the book? Who were the panel of judges?

Dave - Myself and Martin were the most hands on in the collating of the tattoos and along the way we were helped-out by numerous tattoo artist. So it’s been a real team effort. A team in the I.M.P. office, with the addition of input from various experts throughout the duration of the project.

Mel - How did you come up with the final tattoos?

Dave - We received in excess of a 1000 tattoos and we spent many nights over 6 weeks eliminating all but the very best/unique tattoos.

Mel - The cover was someone having a real tattoo done, with words 'Tattoo Soup' really interesting. Could you tell us about it?

Dave - We gave the guys at Magnum Opus in Brighton a brief and this is what they put together. They produced a stencil of the title and then went through all of the stages of creating a tattoo excluding putting needle to skin.

Mel - Did you have any favourites from the photos sent in?

Dave - Yes, 220 and that’s what’s in the book.

Mel - Why did you decide not to feature any faces in the book?

Dave - Mainly for privacy reasons. But also not to detract from the artwork.

Mel - How many were rejected for the book, what were the reasons?

Dave - The best part of 1000 and there were various reasons, the quality, lack or uniqueness – this is not to say they were bad tattoos, they just didn’t meet our criteria.

Mel - Where can people buy the book?

Dave - Any good book or record store and on the internet at places like You can also get them direct from us at Independent Music Press -
Mel - Finally Do you have tattoos yourself (if not why not) and if so who did your tattoos and are they featured in the book? I have a few yes.

Dave - My most recent is by Louis Molloy. Martin hasn’t got any tattoos – yet!

Thanks Dave and good luck with your book.

Interview by Mel 17.10.08