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Tattoo artist Todd Smithson

Tattoo artist Todd Smithson and storm trooper greeter at San Diego's Nothing Sacred Tattoos.

Comic-Con's King of the Nerd Tattoos Shows His Greatest Hits

July 23, 2013

Todd Smithson is not specifically a nerd tattoo artist. 51 weeks out of the year, his San Diego Gaslamp district shop "Nothing Sacred Tattoos" caters to all manner of humanity looking to permanently adorn their flesh.

One week each year, however, the theme changes. As the world's nerds descend on San Diego for Comic Con, many find themselves wanting to make it for keeps with their fanboy (or fangirl) obsessions and find their way to Smithson's shop.  Each year, he and his colleague Hector Moreno inking up obscure imperial insignia onto nerd forearms and Wonder Women onto various thighs.

Although some of the tough characters who inhabit the tattoo world might be annoyed by the influx of geekdom to their shops, fortunately for Smithson, nerdom is something of a second language. The back of the shop is adorned with his own collection of Star Wars collectibles, and out front, serving as a Bat Signal to the annual nerd community walking the streets, is Smithson's prize - a life-sized Imperial Storm trooper.

Click below to see some of the best nerd tattoos Smithson and company have dotted out over the years.