Making a permanent impression since 1994

Latest issue

7 years ago:

True punk is back

All issues

Who we are


Tattoo blog

The Tattoo is always looking for talented teens!

X Trials | Katrina journals | Teen suicideTeen pregnancy |  School violence | Travel | Journals | Cartoons | Awards | Insider's Guide | Contact us


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

32 percent of Tattoo readers not in USA

During November, here's where some of our readers hailed from:
1. United States, 68 percent
2. Canada, 5 percent
3. Great Britain, 4 percent
4. Germany, 2 percent
5. Netherlands, 1 percent
6. Brazil, 1 percent
7. Australia, 1 percent
8. India, 1 percent
9. Singapore, 1 percent
10. Sweden, 1 percent

All in all, we had readers from 84 countries during November, including one person in the Cook Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Most read Tattoo pages in November 2005

In our second busiest month ever on The Tattoo's web site, here's what proved most popular:

1. Hurricane Journal
2. The Tattoo's home page
3. Teen Suicide page
4. When death strikes a boy of 16
5. The Tattoo Blog
6. Issues page
7. Daily Sketch cartoon on CAPT punishment
8. Children of the corn
9. Awards page
10. Picking the perfect senior prank
11. Fun and Games page
12. Green Day rocks the Mullins Center
13. Visiting the Mark Twain house
14. Teachers find rewards in El Salvador
15. My date with Michael Bubble

Damien Rice -- Sensitive Irish singer

Tattoo writer Marese Heffernan, who's Irish herself, says that singer Damien Rice "is, without a doubt, the most original and fresh singer in a long time. His husky voice sends chills down my spine, making me either want to smile or cry, both in a good way!"
Check out her review at

Post-Katrina stress

In the latest Hurricane Journal from Samantha Perez, she gives readers a glimpse into an all-too-common response to stress.
In telling detail, Perez tells how her Mom was "yelling, yelling at me for things I had no part in" -- just like hundreds of thousands of other moms and dads displaced by the hurricane were doing, too.
Anyone who's reading the stunning story Perez is telling knows how difficult life has been for her family. But the truly sad part is that there are so many in exactly the same situation. Perez has given them all a voice.
Do yourself a favor and read what she's writing. It's simply great.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I joined The Tattoo. ... Now what?

Good question!
Joining The Tattoo is free and pretty simple. We're always eager to have talented teens join our ranks. But once they have, then what?
Well, it's largely what they make of it.
We don't sit around at Tattoo Central thinking up assignments to hand out hither and yon. We sometimes throw an idea or two out there for eager Tattoo writers/photogs/cartoonists to snatch up. But mostly we wait to hear from our vast network of young journalists. After all, they know much, much more than we do about what's interesting in Michigan, Calcutta, Malta, Dublin and everywhere else than we do.
The best news stories -- and features, sports and more -- are pretty much in your own backyard or city block. What would interest your peers? What would make your teachers or principal take notice? What would your cousin in another state find fascinating?
If you're in The Tattoo, give it some serious thought, then pitch your idea to us. If it's dumb, we'll tell you, politely most times. And if it's good, we'll say, go for it!
You can always tackle something simpler: a movie review, an opinion column, whatever.
One great way to get good ideas is to go back and read what Tattoo writers did in the past. Their work can inspire you today. And keep up with all the terrific material The Tattoo is publishing RIGHT NOW. You can learn an awful lot about writing, for example, by reading Samantha Perez's Hurricane Journal or any of Zach Brokenrope's many columns. They are gifted young writers who leave us astounded all the time.
In short, joining The Tattoo is the easy part. Making something of it is up to every member of our farflung staff. Seize the opportunity if you have it. Don't just sit back and wait.

What's in a name?

To make it a little easier to find this silly blog, we now have a new domain name for it: The old address will still work, but we'll be using the new one from now on in case we get an itch to move the whole darn blog to another provider someday.
In any case, this name is simple enough to remember -- and if you ever forget, it doesn't much matter. There are links from The Tattoo's home page that will take you right to this blog.
But I suppose the addition of a real name for the blog is an indication that it's found a niche in our growing Tattoo Empire. But it's still a teensie weensie sideshow to the real deal, The Tattoo itself. That's where the real work is done, prizes won and sterling journalism showcased day in and day out. So get outta here already and go read The Tattoo at

More Fun and Games!

For our 22nd issue of the school year -- which breaks our record for a single year's production ... already! -- we've got yet another page devoted to reviewing board and card games. This time around, look for Katie Jordan's trashing of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul- The Game and a roundup that includes reviews of Squint, Ziggity, Whad'Ya Know? and more. There's also a fine cartoon from California's talented Michel Lee.
Don't miss it all -- and keep reading! Next week, if all goes according to plan, we'll have the fourth and final part of the Fun and Games package in print.
Also, coming this week online is another entry from Samantha Perez's stunning Hurricane Journal. Keep an eye out for it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Not your average American Thanksgiving?

By Michel Lee
The Tattoo
Thanksgiving is truly a unique experience in the Lee household.
In addition to the fact that all seven of us are extremely hearty eaters, we are all vegetarians (with the exception of my father). Now, normally, being vegetarian wouldn't be such a problem. But at Thanksgiving time, when families across the United States celebrate the quintessential American holiday, our family finds itself between Plymouth Rock and a hard place.

'Family Guy' movie tasteless, funny

Stefan Koski checked out the new "Family Guy" film and returned to let us know that, yes, it's a little on the tasteless side -- surprise! -- but it also delivers the laughs.
Check out his review at

Monday, November 21, 2005

Second Tattoo "Fun and Games" issue published

It's not even Thanksgiving yet and already we have matched the number of issues we had during the 2004-05 school year. We're on volume 12, number 21, having published at least one issue every week since the end of August (the 2005-06 school year). We've tossed in eight special editions as well, for good measure. Only the old-timers can truly appreciate how staggering a pace we're setting, though it won't keep up like this forever.

In any case, don't miss the second of our four Fun and Games issues, available online now at It's got reviews of "Boomtown" and "Apples to Apples," a news story about people who work for a leading games maker and another stellar Justin Skaradosky cartoon. You can't go wrong with all of that.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

The Tattoo makes the news

We find ourselves looking today at photographs of two Tattoo mainstays -- alum Amanda Lehmert and hurricane journalist Samantha Perez.
The December/January issue of Girls' Life magazine features a pretty long story about Perez -- in an "as-told-to" format that we'll just roll our eyes at -- as well as a full-page, color photo. There's a odd little link at the end to her incredible work for The Tattoo as well.
Lehmert is featured on the front of the "Main St. Main Points" Fall '05 newsletter. There's a picture that we took last summer and a nice write-up about what she's been doing since leaving Bristol.
Our only complaint? The Main Street Community Foundation misidentifies The Tattoo as "a training ground for young local writers sponsored by The Bristol Press."
We're not, of course, sponsored by the Press and anyone who reads it can tell that many of the writers are not from the Bristol area.
But in the end, it doesn't hurt to get publicity.
And we do like those pictures....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Another special edition - our 20th issue since Aug. 29th

The most recent trio of Samantha Perez's touching, enlightening journals about her odyssey as a Hurricane Katrina evacuee went to press today. That brings her story up to date in print as well as online. You can see the printed versions by looking at the PDFs online or tracking down page B-6 in today's Bristol Press.

The Tattoo has devoted eight special issues to Perez's journal, publishing more than 30,000 words so far of her stunning story. She's still writing and we have every expectation of bringing more of her work to the public in the weeks and months ahead.

Check it all out at

Saturday, November 12, 2005

FUN AND GAMES start Monday

Starting Monday, The Tattoo embarks on a four-issue special series that reviews many of today's hottest board games. Find out what's fun and what's not -- and just in time for Christmas, too!

You'll also get a glimpse into the world of creating games with Zach Brokenrope's news stories about Out of the Box Publishing, Inc., which is churning out some of the best games in the world today. Don't miss 'em.

Friday, November 11, 2005

To add The Tattoo Blog to your newsfeeder...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Living in a snow globe

When we last heard from 'Hurricane Journal' writer Samantha Perez, she recounted the unforgettable story of her first journey back to her flood-ravaged home in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. Now in three new entries, Perez, 17, brings readers up to date.
"Katrina has fallen from the news," Perez observes. "My story isn't finished, but the media thinks it is."
Cramped in a tiny trailer in a town that will never seem like home ... fighting with her parents ... missing her friends ... the riveting story continues, making painfully clear the lasting disruption of a monster hurricane.
Don't miss a single word in this amazing saga, available online at

Special issue on Nov. 10 features Katrina Journal

We've finally got the printed version of Samantha Perez's terrific "Hurricane Journal" up to date with the new issue that went to press Nov. 10th.
And even better for her readers: new entries in the journal will likely go online today or tomorrow.
For those who haven't seen the printed editions, here are links to all seven of the PDFs that show what we've printed from Samantha's stunning chronicle of her post-Katrina odyssey (you need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open these files):

Monday, November 07, 2005

Living in sin, or just living?

That darned Joe Killian, former Tattoo ace, is heating up the pages of the Greensboro News & Record. The latest is a column about why he moved in with his long-time girlfriend. Check it out here: Meeting the parents: minding your manners.
By the way, the headline is a classic example of some copy editor missing the point. (For those who don't it, writers almost never write the headlines on their stories or columns.)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

More than 30 teens published since Aug. 29

As our 11th straight weekly issue goes online, we counted up who's been published since the school year started. So far, more than 30 teens in seven countries have had a hand in The Tattoo this fall. They've hailed from Malta to Massachusetts and covered everything from Hurricane Katrina to Ramadan. The range is astonishing, the numbers incredible.
Do we need to say that we're unbelievably proud of the work these young writers, photographers and cartoonists are doing, week in and week out?
Yeah, we should. We're amazed and grateful here at Tattoo Central. We have the chance to work with, and get to know, some of the brightest, best kids in the world. We are truly privileged.

Dead at 16

Ready to have your heart ripped out?
Check out Zach Brokenrope's latest report from small-town Nebraska:

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Don't blink or you'll miss a lot in The Tattoo

In our next issue, which is nearly ready to roll, you'll have a chance to read Zach Brokenrope's stunning chronicle about the unexpected death of a 16-year-old, small-town Nebraska boy. It's gripping and sad, a nearly perfect piece about a perfectly awful event.
We'll also have a story from Nikita Modi, our bureau in India, who tells everyone about the Hindu celebration of Diwali that ended Nov. 3. There's also a news story about Hurricane Wilma by Eric Simmons that's already been online for awhile, but hasn't seen print until now.
But let's not stop there.
Louisiana diarist Samantha Perez has several new entries that will be online in a matter of days. They'll bring readers up to date ... but make sure there's some Kleenex nearby before taking a look at them.
We won't tell what's next after that, but it's a multi-week package, a fun project that Tattoo writers have been working on for months.
This teen-written newspaper has so much going on that we can hardly contain our excitement at all the different strands we're pursuing. We have every reason to think that The Tattoo is only going to keep on growing and getting better.
We were there at the dawn of the Internet age and we're still on the cutting edge.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Boss in Bridgeport

Cleaning up some Tattoo files today, we realized that Zach Brokenrope's review of the July 20,2005 Bruce Springsteen concert in Bridgeport, Connecticut never made it online. Now it has.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A Canadian crooner in Singapore

Find out why our reviewer in Singapore, Geraldine Soon, swooned over Vancouver singer Michael Buble during a recent gig. Is he the next Frank Sinatra or just a pale imitation of the one and only?

WebSTAT - Free Web Statistics