Spike TV is ready to premiere a three-part series that follows tattoo wild man Mark Walters as he searches the globe for the most extreme ink known to man. The series takes its name from the moniker of the man which is, wait for it, Permanent Mark. That’s a tough ink artist name to swallow, kind of like Michael Angelo from Dexter, but the dude does appear to be fearless in his search for exotic ink.
So who is Permanent Mark and why is he so eager to get inked up in all sorts of painful and dangerous ways? Well he was kind enough to explain that himself via the official page for the show:
I was born in Libya North Africa to a father in the SAS and a mother who could not be more opposite. She was an artist and occasionally a tarot card reader who would not accept money.
My earliest memories growing up next to the Sahara desert, was of my nanny called momma, who wore the full black caftan, and adoring full face and hand tattoos, all of which were applied by sharp thorns and a thick black paste. This image was etched into my brain and it scared the sh*t out of me, but it also intrigued me. Hand and face tattoos in North Africa are uncommon and not like your average wanker at the club in Hollywood. As crude as they looked, they have more symbolism and spiritual meaning, than your average tattoo in the modern world, which often means nothing more than “I got a tattoo, and I am a badas$.” Anyways, enough of the BS and lets get to the point.
I’ve been beating down doors for 7 years in Hollywood, way before the Miami ink and L.A ink and all the other shows about tattoos on TV. I was trying to get networks to film a show about how I would break into the subcultures of indigenous tattoos worldwide no matter what nasty sh!t I had to eat, what new fever I would catch, or what hole I had to crap in with a leaf too small to wipe my as$. All these things would get me respect in certain tribes and cultures because I never pretend to be tougher than I was, and my humility and stupidity showed them I was only human.
With this, I finally found myself in all my tattooed glory, sitting in a lot of network boardroom meetings. This is when producers at Spike TV, who had filthier mouths than me, said to me, “Do what you want, we don’t want to see the usual travel show. Get down and get f*cking dirty.” That was all I had to hear.
I wrote 13 ideas and countries down and we made the decision that the Borneo headhunters (episode 1), the Yakuza in Tokyo (episode 2), and the Sak Yant tattoos made by the monks in Thailand (episode 3) would make the most compelling stories.
I’m not going lie to you, I lived in Japan and had my tangles with the Japanese mob as well as going to Thailand to collect tattoos by a dear friend who happens to be a monk, but I had never been to Borneo. Although everything I went through on the show was completely real, I never used my contacts in any country. It’s really important to me that I show you, the audience how over the last 30 years I was able to infiltrate and be accepted by different cultures, and not only that, but have had the honor of earning their mark, in a culture where money doesn’t mean a g.. damn thing, but your heart, your drinking abilities, killing the odd chicken or goat, and having the strength to eat the ceremonial sheep eye ball got me where I am today.
And here we are in the present in a very different world to the one I grew up in. And now all I need for my dreams to come true completely is for you f*ckers to tell Spike, “hey I like that bast*rd P.M. He is uglier than Ron Jeremy, funnier then Lisa Lampanelli and has the wit of Anthony Bourdain without his tribal armband. I’d let P.M spit in my face and then kiss me. Keep that c*nt on TV.”
I’ve got to give it to our guy Mark, he knows how to write up an introductory piece about himself. You never know how someone’s personality will come across on the little screen but Walters certainly has all the credentials to pull this show off. I doubt Kat Von D has had much trouble with the Japanese mob! Here’s a brief sneak peek of Mark suffering for his work at some of the isolated places he described above:
And here’s a video of Mark being interviewed while doing his work in which he provides even further information on his history and evolution as a tattoo artist. PM drops a few F bombs here and there so this may not be SFW:
The show premieres tonight on Spike TV at 11 PM EST.