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Celia Chien’s “Marvel”ous tattoos

November 13, 2010 12:33 PM
Celia Chien competes on the Southern Section's 9.0 level team
Chien shows off some of her 13 Marvel comic book tattoos
By Matt Birch, special to USTA.com

-- Teamwork is a very important part of this weekend’s USTA Adult League Mixed National Championships, but Celia Chien has something that none of her teammates have: 13 tattoos featuring various characters from the popular Marvel comic book series.

Chien got her first tattoo when she was 22 years old of Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was a representation of two of her favorite things -- reptiles and comic book art.

She began working with reptiles while she was living in Northern California and currently works at a store in Louisiana that breeds and sells snakes and lizards.
Within three years of her first tattoo, Chien added many more of the Marvel comic book heroes, including all of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as well as Optimus Prime from the Transformers franchise, on her back.

Her left leg features Todd McFarlane’s Spiderman, Venom, Carnage and the Green Goblin, while her right leg sports Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the Avengers.
Chien explained that she has always appreciated comic book art but doesn’t really read comic books.
Additionally, she says that she does not really notice the tattoos anymore but often gets asked about them when she goes out in public. She also is very excited that many of these characters that she grew up with have regained their popularity on a very large scale in the past few years, with the Marvel heroes being featured in movies.
She has a tattoo of stars on her right hip, which is her one tattoo that does not feature a Marvel comic book hero and is also the one she says hurt the most when it was being drawn. All 14 of her total tattoos were done by the same person, a man known as "Micro," who works at a tattoo shop in Denim Springs, La., and is also a fan of the comic book characters.

Chien currently does not have plans to add more comic book characters tattoos, but she has put a little bit of thought into what could potentially be next.

"There are way too many comic books to choose from," she said. "I could do the X-Men, but I would want the lesser-known characters. I’m also running out of room on my body to put them."

Tennis is also very important to Chien. She has played for much of her life and is very passionate about the sport.

This weekend, Chien is competing with her Southern sectional 9.0 level team, which is comprised of players from Mandeville, Covington and New Orleans, La.


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