Tattoo Magazines – An Overview of Skin Deep Magazine
If you are a Brit with a love for tattoos, you have probably paged through an issue or six of the tattoo designs gallery in Skin Deep Magazine, one of the premier British tattoo magazines. But there is a darker side to this publication, one that seems to have been going on for some time now. Underneath that sense of a magazine filled with beautiful tattoo designs gallery features and articles being put out by a group of like minded rebels, the story of a publication changed by corporate power comes to the surface. It isn’t a pretty story at all.
For many of us who read a wide variety of tattoo magazines, Skin Deep always seemed like such a great representation of British tattoo subculture. The tattoo designs gallery was always interesting and the interviews would fascinate anyone from across the pond, so to speak. From this distance, all looked to be a family of tattoo lovers putting out a great addition to the world of tattoo magazines.
But I guess appearances can be deceiving, for about a year ago word came out that Neil Dallywater and Erik Guest the editors of both Tattoo Master and Skin Deep Magazine have resigned their positions in the company over breaches of ethics. In fact, about four editors walked off the job in protest. From interviews given on a variety of tattoo websites, it appears that there has been a difference of opinion between the editorial staff (at the least, from the sounds of it) and the owners on decisions made for the publications. The interview with them on TattooTV can be read to see their side of it.
On the other side of the ring is Stuart Mears, a guy that has been part of the tattoo world for years, is still involved with Skin Deep and sounds like he is fighting to have the publication recognized as the gem that it is. Politics abound, fingers are pointed and stories have been circulating the web ever since the resignations. I find it telling that Alex Guest, the other editor who left with Neil has a guest blog where he states that after walking off the pub with Neil to form a new tattoo publication he was “let go” from the company he helped form. When combining this guest blog with the previous one about printers being left with huge printing bills. Well this just sounds wrong. You can read the whole story on Stuart’s blog here.
It is sad to see a publication like Skin Deep caught in this kind of a cat fight. It is a great publication that has always seemed to not only include some wonderful tats in their tattoo designs gallery sections but amongst the British tattoo magazines I always thought of them as a leading supporter of the culture. I don’t think this means the end of the tattoo magazines popularity, but it sure is hard to see happen. I don’t know if we will ever really know the truth.