When it came to aviation, development of aircraft during World War II allowed many technological advancements to “take flight” for the first time, so to say. Futuristic innovations like the jet engine, rockets, RADAR, remote piloted drones, atomic technology and even more mundane advancements like pressurized aircraft and more powerful piston engines for larger aircraft helped springboard the nation and world into a new era of futuristic thinking after the war ended. And to help spur the imagination of that era was the popularization of the graphic novel, or as we like to call them… comic books!
Using the “good versus bad” stories adapted from wartime heroism and featuring colorful renditions of both the new technology of the time as well as the familiar mechanical “heroes” of the war like the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, and North American P-51 Mustang, comic books became the standard reading material for teenage boys (and sometimes girls) of the 1950’s. Their popularity helped bring forth a resurgence in comic books from large publishers like Marvel and DC Comics into the 1960’s and 1970’s and helped to give birth to some of the most memorable superheroes in popular culture like Spiderman, Iron Man, the X-Men, Batman, and Captain America.
This comic book renaissance didn’t just feed the minds of teenagers in America with fantastic stories and characters, the detailed artwork that continued to evolve inside of each issue helped to inspire whole new generations of aspiring young artists wanting to make their mark on the industry. Many tried to make it big and in some cases succeeded, but others found different paths for their artwork. Such is the story of the artist of our featured tattoo today, Cecil Porter of Cecil Porter Tattoos in Murrieta, CA.
Graduating from high school at the age of 16, Cecil tried to break into the comic book industry right after graduation. Working for an independent comic publisher at the time, he wasn’t making much money from his comic book craft and had to find part-time work to make ends meet. After being approached by a friend about applying his artistic talent into tattooing as a way to make a living, Cecil set about learning the craft of tattooing on his own. He said in an interview with Skin Deep Magazine that the early days were bumpy and admits that he would have picked up the craft a lot faster if he formally apprenticed under a master tattoo artist… but as it was 1996, apprenticeships were hard to come by.
Sixteen years later, Cecil Porter has become one of the best tattoo artists in the world and is well-known for his vibrant color tattoos, many of which are human portraits of famous characters and people. In the outstanding full arm sleeve tattoo that we feature today on Tattoos In Flight, you can clearly see the influence of Cecil Porter’s pop art and comic book art foundations in this montage of famous World War II imagery and aircraft like the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, North American P-51 Mustang and Vought F4U Corsair. This is the third featured tattoo on the site from tattoo artist Cecil Porter of Cecil Porter Tattoos in Murrieta, CA and I am sure it won’t be the last!
Click on the image below for a larger view.