Tattooed Kingpin

More than 5,000 tattoo enthusiasts converged upon the Wyndham at Franklin Plaza in Philadelphia in February to attend the 2004 Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention and to roast Edward Funk, the man who made it all happen. Funk launched the convention — known as Crazy Philadelphia Eddie's Tattoo Arts Convention until this year — in 1997. He founded the National Tattoo Association in 1977.

To tattoo aficionados, Funk is an icon, says Troy Timpel, who now owns Funk's shop, Philadelphia Eddie's Tattoo Haven, as well as Tattooed Kingpin, a clothing and accessories shop. “He's a strong symbol not only in Philadelphia but around the world.”

The 2004 show was a farewell of sorts for Funk, who handed over the reins of running the convention to Timpel. It was also the group's largest meeting yet, with more than 5,000 attendees and 77 vendors and suppliers from around the world.

Planning for next year's show has already begun, says Timpel, who is not only a purveyor of tattoos, but a consumer as well, with more than 50 percent of his skin covered in body art. Timpel expects next year's show — which will again be held at the Wyndham — to be even bigger than this year's event.