There are people who are into Marvel Comics. There are people who are obsessed with Marvel Comics. Then there’s Rick Scolamiero.
Scolamiero is basically a walking comic book. After he got inked with Spider-Man back in 2011, he went for a full sleeve, then two full sleeves, then…you can figure out the rest. While the lifelong Marvel fan kept coming back for more characters, the thought of a Guinness record never crossed his mind. He just loved his tattoo artist Tony Sklepic’s rendition of Spidey so much that he just wanted another to see what else from the Marvel Universe he and Sklepic, of Sanitarium Studios in Edmonton, Canada, could dream up, which led to him getting 31 of them.
While Scolamiero couldn’t afford every single piece of Marvel memorabilia in the universe growing up, his Marvel comics and trading cards were a source of power for him.
“They actually got me through some tough times,” he told Guinness World Records, “So having them on my body forever just really appealed to me.”
Anyone who is going to turn themselves into a human canvas better be ready to wield some super strength against the pain.
To complete the Marvel mural on his skin, Scolamiero had to endure several tattoo sessions that meant six hours of extreme patience—and sometimes pain. The seven-year endeavor during which he got tattooed once a month for a total of 350 hours in the chair. Though he admitted the Hulk on his inner right thigh and Black Cat on his inner left thigh were the most painful, he had something of a paranormal ability to be able to see past the agony and think of how awesome the finished art would look.
With all these Marvel tattoos, including Thanos, Ultron, Venom, Star Lord, Thor, Loki, Doc Octopus and a really sick Green Goblin, does Scolamiero have a favorite? He wouldn’t admit to one, but that really is Stan Lee’s autograph on his wrist. Lee was so impressed when he saw this literal body of work in the flesh that he signed Scolamiero’s wrist. Of course, that was promptly made permanent.
"It feels amazing and surreal, I still can’t believe it!” Scolamiero says of the Guinness Record he just scored. “I grew up collecting and reading Guinness World Records books and I never thought I’d ever be a part of it! I’m honoured and very proud of the accomplishment."