Home Interview PopCultHQ Feature Interview: Chris 51 and Josh Bodwell from A&E’s Epic Ink

PopCultHQ Feature Interview: Chris 51 and Josh Bodwell from A&E’s Epic Ink

by Manny Popoca
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Two of the coolest pop culture fanatics that we met at this years Chicago Wizard World Kick-Off Party were Josh Bodwell and Chris 51, who come to us from A&E’s popular Epic Ink  TV show. At the time of meeting, I hadn’t actually seen the Epic Ink TV show at all, so I wanted to find out a whole lot more of what these dudes with crazy cool tattoos all over their bodies were all about. It didn’t take long for all of us to find out we LOVED talking about tattoos, pop culture and everything else these crazy guys love to do. Check out our interview and tattoo gallery we have provided of these fine gentlemen’s works.

Josh BodwellJosh Bodwell is world-renowned for his strikingly vivid Star Wars facial tattoos and has been getting a whole lot of buzz (and work) lately with the much-anticipated release of The Force Awakens that is now only a week away. But Star Wars is not where the talented tattooist excels, for he can uncannily recreate any desired pop icon onto your body. The stunning work that Josh creates are life-like portraits that will last and be talked about for a long time in and out of the tattoo world.



imageChris 51 is a cool cat from another world that’s been stuck in our universe and he loves it. But seriously the out of this galaxy tattoo artist is a force in the tattoo world that can be classified as a master Jedi who watches over his padawan clan. Chis 51’s love for tattoos, his crew and pop culture are unbound and clearly driven by passion of his loves. Chris creates the most eye-popping and memorable tattoos of anything they could ever image from the pop culture world and make it come to life on your body. The time, effort and passion put into all of his works, create time-lasting pieces of pop-art forever etched in ink on his customers for the world to appreciate and admire.


I for one cannot wait to see these guys again and get myself some new pop culture ink!


Epic Ink Interview:

PopCultHQ: Hey guys, thanks for doing this interview even though, I have made it aware I have seen plenty of other tattoo TV shows, I had not even seen or heard of Epic Ink. That’s weird how this show has passed me but I really must know more and our fans at PopCultHQ would also love to hear more about your guy’s work. What we do at PopCultHQ is find the coolest hottest trends that are out in pop culture and spread the word to world about it.

Josh Bodwell: “Awesome!”


PopCultHQ: So for people who have NOT seen the show, how would you describe it?

Josh Bodwell: “Well, I’ll say that Epic Ink was about what we are about, it’s doing pop culture tattoos. It’s our essence and what we love to do. So that’s what we do here at Wizard World is doing tattoos live right on the floor, of the most geekiest pop culture images. I think there is something very special about that amount of fandom, where someone will commit to having their favorite character, their favorite video game or their favorite comic book”

PopCultHQ: “Lets put it this way guys….”

(I show the two the back of my right leg which has a Ghost Rider skull tattoo on it)

Chris 51: “Ghost Rider!”

PopCultHQ: I’m a BIG comic book fan and I’m a big fan of tattoos, along with many of my friends as well, but they’re all gnarly dudes, not like this stuff.


PopCultHQ: I had heard that you guys are working on a secret project but you can’t say too much about it?

Chris 51: “We are. We enjoy tattooing at Wizard World so much, we love the fans so much and have a good rapport with them, we decided why not do more with them. So we are beginning filming a new project that involves Wizard World, tattooing, our touring life, celebrities and all that stuff all wrapped up in one”

PopCultHQ: So you guys want to be tattooist to the stars?

Chris 51: “Oh no, everybody. as long as it’s a geeky tattoo I don’t care who it is”

PopCultHQ: I’m just playing, though It must be cool being able to do work on a Star I bet?

Josh Bodwell: “Once in a while we get to do something like that. But I find it more interesting tattooing the fans and the characters these actors portray, I find that there is something deeply rooted when there is a commitment that strong that you will portray them on you forever.”


PopCultHQ: Right, it does last on you body forever. Like our parents used to say, don’t get tattoos or else you’re going to regret it down the road. Well, I’m never going to regret my tattoos because of how I choose them.

Josh Bodwell: “That’s right the fandom runs deep. I’m never going to regret having my Star Wars tattoos, he’s (Chris) never going to regret having his Simpsons tattoos, it runs deep.”


PopCultHQ: You guys really are big into the geekdom! Pop culture and geek is what I love, it’s my thing.

Josh Bodwell: “If I could live on the Millennium Falcon I would, get me the contacts I wanna build a Millennium Falcon”


Chris 51: “I would live in the secret compartment, that would be my hidden base.”


PopCultHQ: Living with Chewie, Chewie can just be a great big pillow.

Chris 51: “Yeah! (Does a horrible Chewie impression)”

(All of us laughing)


PopCultHQ: You probably get asked a lot what is the craziest tattoo you’ve ever done? I hate to ask that question. I like to rather ask what is the most humbling tattoo you’ve ever done, the one you’re most proud of?

Josh Bodwell: “That’s a good question, I really appreciate the twist on that. Everybody is always asking about the craziest. A quick short answer to that is, I don’t find a lot of our stuff as crazy, because we get asked to a lot of stuff that a non-fan would think is crazy. We know how special it is going to be for that person, so we’re just excited. So it’s not so crazy to us.”


Chris 51: “Normal is crazy”


Josh Bodwell: “Right, doing normal stuff seems crazy to us”


Josh Bodwell: “But as far as humbling, we have such a deep affection with our clients, we’re doing something for them that they are going to wear for the rest of their lives and a lot of times you’re doing something that just means the world to them and that is not lost on us. We work on a lot of clients and sadly those clients pass away and so does the work with them.”

PopCultHQ: You know, I’ve never ever thought about the relationship that the tattoo artist has with his work and how that would affect them when that work is no longer on the Earth. That is some great insight.


PopCultHQ: Are their tattoo artist that you admire?

Josh Bodwell: “Oh yeah tons.”


Chris 51: “To be honest and not to make it sound like a pitch, but most of the ones I admire I bought on with us to this tour. We all love geeky tattoos but with all different styles of course.


Josh Bodwell: “Outside of Epic Ink we also brought along some of our friends to tattoo here at Wizard World, we got about 12 to up to 20 very talented artist with us and we all specialize in geeky and pop culture.”


PopCultHQ: There seems to be a great blend of tattoo world and comic book world and that’s pretty cool. I know many comic artist who are also tattooist and they love doing both. The guys that made PopCultHQ’s official logo (The Living Corpse Crew) are some very cool guys you should meet up with.

Josh Bodwell: “Absolutely!”

Josh Bodwell: “And swing by the table and check us out, watch some live tattooing and get a piece done yourself.”

PopCultHQ: Thanks so much for this interview gentlemen, it was a great pleasure to meet you both and I will be checking out your work from here on out. Great stuff guys.

This is just a tiny taste of what Josh Bodwell and Chris 51 can do. Please give them a follow and next time you want a geeky tattoo, find the guys from the Epic Ink TV show!

Chris 51 work portfolio:


Josh Bodwell work portfolio:

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