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. Among the most visually powerful tattoos are those that can only be called "American Tattoos." Whether it's Old Glory in red white and blue spread across a bicep, or the Harley-Davidson bar and shield done in orange with a black outline, these images are among the most compelling ever seen. This book from Wolfgang Publications begins with a discussion of the things that define an American tattoo. There's the subject matter obviously, but also the overall design, the style, the bold colors. Author Doug Mitchel, (author or the best-selling "Advanced Tattoo Art" book) uses 144 pages of color photos to show a variety of patriotic designs and how each was created on a living canvas. Each step in the process is here, from the initial concept drawing to the last prick. The book also includes pictures of exceptional finished tattoos, as well as flash art of the highest quality.Ten chapters cover not just the American flag and the world's most famous logo, but also nautical themes, the American Bald Eagle, and military tattoos. The military tattoos are among the most poignant, as many are dedicated to comrades lost in battle. Where appropriate, the stories behind the tattoo are included as well.Tattoos seen today are significantly different, most would say better and more powerful, than those seen ten or twenty years ago. The techniques and tools have changed as well. Doug uses the last chapter to discuss exactly how the new techniques and equipment are used to create more modern, more colorful, tattoos. Persephone Smith is back... only this time, she's in middle school. Although she believes that the biggest change in the year chronicled in "Wicked Weird" will be that she gets to choose what she wears to school, she is severely mistaken. In middle school, the stakes are bigger, the consequences are more extreme, and her classmates are usually not her familiar Saint Bart's friends. What she doesn't realize is that she fits into middle school perfectly, as feeling weird is actually wicked normal during those years. Due to the events in the first book of the series, "Wicked Normal," Persephone often hesitates to use her natural powers in this second installment. Her trust in others and confidence in herself have been seriously shaken, but over time, she regains her inner strength and begins relying on others outside of her immediate family again. Her parents are still a constant positive force in her life, although she has a streak of independence that tests them more than she ever has before. She trusts in their unconditional love, even in her brattiest moments, and this year, she opens up enough to understand the added value in loving friends unconditionally, too. When Persephone isn't in school, she searches for unicorns, hangs out with her friends, sets out to prove that Santa Claus is real, and is involved in the school play. Her vocabulary changes a bit, with clear influence from her new-found friends. Her boy dramas, moments of poor decision-making, frequent sobfests, and overuse of the response, "Whatever," remind readers that she is very much a ten-year-old. Familiar peers Gabby, Coral, Charles, Seth, Jade, Freddie, Skye, Misty, and Katie return in this book with the new faces of: Harley, the textbook bad boy; Katrina, Persephone's dissection-obsessed lab partner; Jesse, the beautiful theatre guy; Lily, the fight-prone tough girl; and many more classmates, to form quite a selection of contemporaries for Persephone in middle school. "Wicked Weird" is the second book in a middle-grade and up, coming-of-age, realistic, paranormal, fantasy series by author Lauren Courcelle. Like "Wicked Normal," it also is intended for ages 9 and up, as the series follows Persephone Smith to middle school, high school, and college. The real-life Vermont setting, lovable characters, personal relationship dramas, and realistic sixth grade predicaments blend with the fantasy elements of unicorns, extraordinary powers, and magic to create an escape from reality for any readers who have, at one time or another, felt "wicked weird." This new book from Wolfgang Publications begins with a discussion of the things that define an American Tattoo. Author Doug Mitchel uses 144 pages of color photos to show a variety of patriotic designs and how each was created on a living canvas. Each step in the process is here, from the initial concept drawing to the last prick. The book also includes pictures of exceptional finished Tattoos, as well as flash art of the highest quality.