Past Stories

Icons Turn 20

On February 24, there was no party. There was no cake. There wasn’t even a set of high-fives or handshakes. In fact, from all we’ve gathered, February 24 just ran past the members of Voodoo Glow Skulls like any othe...


Live As a Champion, Die As One

On the 19th floor of the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Columbus, still hazy from a morning radio interview, a night of bad sleep and the adjustment to East Coast time, Temecula’s Dan Henderson and a small entourage of tra...


Bold Philanthropy

As soon as the whole underground rock scene of the late ‘80s lay in the gutter—a suitable destiny for a scene originally built on punk’s DIY ethic and system-bucking ideals—the local music scene in River...



Comic Genius

You’ve heard it said, even sung: Every picture tells a story. Nowhere is that statement truer than in comics. And no comic illustrator tells deeper, more meaningful, more entertaining, more eye-pleasing stories than Chris...


(A Reporter’s) Notes on a Scandal

This story, if those mentioned in it are to be believed, is the product of a long list of good intentions—one well-meaning act after another leading, if not to hell, then to a form of journalistic purgatory.  It bega...


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Show Us Your Guns!

There may have been sweltering summertime temperatures outside, but it was an all-around cool place last weekend at Fairplex for the Pomona Body Art Expo. Some 25,000 ink addicts (and 300 tattoo artists from around the United ...



TRUE TAT TALES: TIM STEWART

For many, video games are a fun—if not childish—pastime. For Tim “Ninja Timmy” Stewart, they’re a part of his being. What could be more appropriate to permanently etch onto his skin than what&rsquo...


TRUE TAT TALES: ELIZABETH RAWSON

Elizabeth Rawson, 26, was at the wrong place—a tattoo parlor—at the wrong time: in the middle of her brief and only fling with fanatic religion. Growing up, she had always wanted a tattoo. As her 18th birthday appro...


TRUE TAT TALES: MIKE PARSHALL

Meet Mike Parshall—mild-mannered special education teacher by day, bad-ass guitar breaking punk rocker by night (he’s the bass guitarist from the IE’s own Conspiracy of Thought). Not since Clark Kent stumbled ...



TRAVIS THOMPSON

Twenty-one-year-old Travis Thompson’s age belies his level of experience: at 17, he began tattooing out of his garage, during the summer before his senior year of high school. By the time he was 18, he was apprenticing wi...


Six Feet Under Sideshow

Jack Rudy’s eyes glazed over. The iconic tattoo artist, the gruff old guy behind much of the best black and grey fine-line, single-needle tattooing of the last three decades, didn’t utter a word. As I entertained hi...


MIKE COLE

Mike Cole sees things—images that dance before his eyes, in his head, before their compulsive pull drives him to commit the memory to canvas. Foresight, he says, can be both a blessing and a curse. Foresight, if not contr...



AARON MASON

When looking in the mirror in the morning, you’re most likely to notice your unclean pores and slightly-darker-than-yesterday bags under your eyes. But when Aaron Mason looks at you, he sees your skin as a canvas, one he&...


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Not On the Face!

If you want to get inked by Chris MacCharles—a tattoo artist with Inland Empire Tattoo Studios in Riverside—take a number and get comfortable. “I’m booked for the next six weeks,” he says. MacCharles has been working ...


Life After the Parlor

The artist that more and more people are beginning to know as “Lola” went to school in Riverside. She sold her first painting here and last June had her second successful solo show at M Modern gallery in Palm Spring...



Ink Addiction

Rhonda Elliott loves her children so much she’s having them burned into her flesh. When her son, a sailor in the U.S. Navy, announced he was headed overseas for a one-year tour in Japan, the forty-something Jurupa residen...


AARON FUNK

Before talking to Aaron Funk, the idea of anything revolutionary happening at a tattoo shop seems like either a cheesy marketing ploy (think Hot Topic taking over the punk aesthetic) or something self-aggrandizing in the worst ...


MIKE FERGUSON

Mike Ferguson, owner and operator of 1st Amendment Tattoo in Temecula, learned to question authority the hard way. He was in his early 20s, living in Boston, when he discovered his love of tattoos. Then, only months after he pi...



The Dewey Way

He is the prototype of a tough guy, or maybe a cross between Ray Bradbury’s Illustrated Man and the Bionic Man. Sitting across from his wheelchair, my attention is immediately drawn to his septum nose ring, sleeve tattoos...


MIKE DEVRIES

Fixated on her prey, Catwoman gleams in a shiny latex mask and ruby lips, ready to pounce. Next to her, a contemplative Sherlock Holmes wears a crisp tweed hat and puffs on an antique pipe, while a gorilla with piercing brown&...


Sex Shops

The Boy Scout motto has always a very simple one: Be Prepared. Such sage advice is transcendent—it’s not merely meant to help you plan for outdoor adventures but also to ready yourself for any illicit endeavors. Sto...



The Slash Phenomena

On my first viewing of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace I hardly thought that I was on the verge of opening up a new erotic world. Sure, Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan was fodder for fantasy, and the duel…


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They Must Be Dicking Around

A lot of people have a problem with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. They argue that when you stick a pin through rock & roll and place it behind glass, a roaring flood of emotion that was originally…


Sharin’ the Love

Sometime in 2001, I attended a party at the five-star, luxury Hotel Bel Air. It was me, my friend Tara, about 200 other ladies including some chick who had been a star on Beverly Hills, 90210 in its final years,…



Masturbation as Truth Serum


Lazarus Long, a character of sci-fi maestro Robert A. Heinlein, once remarked that masturbation is great, except for one problem—it’s lonely. Mr. Long, despite his prodigious age, had obviously never experienced the...


Happy Beginnings

The connotations of the word massage vary widely. For some, images of weekends in Palm Springs or Vegas, or cabanas and Jacuzzis, or professional masseuses delivering rubdowns that can make you forget you’re house has dro...


Animal Crackers

A dark tuft of back-hair protruding from his shirt collar, his beer belly jutting over the taut waistband of his jeans, bushy unkempt facial hair, and a deep gravelly voice . . . this is the epitome of sexually desirable…



No Means No

“Hey,” I call to the people on the bed, “Did you know that naked people die of hypothermia at 55 degrees? Can we maybe turn the heat up a little?” On the floor next to the bed, I’m fucking a…