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ECW Press Fall 2022 Trade

  • Sales Rights

    For sale with exclusive rights in: WORLD
  • Supply Detail

    Distributor: Jaguar Book Group Availability: Available Expected Ship Date: Sep 27, 2022 On Sale Date: Oct 18, 2022 Carton Quantity: 26 $22.95 CAD
  • Supply Detail

    Distributor: BTPS Availability: Available Expected Ship Date: Sep 27, 2022 On Sale Date: Oct 18, 2022 Carton Quantity: 26 $17.95 USD
  • Catalogues

The Things I Came Here With
A Memoir
By (author): Chris MacDonald
Chris MacDonald


ECW Press - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


General Trade
Oct 18, 2022
$22.95 CAD


8.75in x 5.75 x 0.6 in | 0.75 lb

Page Count:

264 pages


11 11 photographs, black and white
ECW Press
Body art and tattoos|Memoirs
Rural Ontario
  • Short Description
A beautifully written memoir that explores the life of a tattoo artist and what tattooing and art mean in our lives.

“Does it hurt?” When you’re a tattoo artist, that’s the most universal question. For Chris MacDonald, the answer is simple: hurts less than a broken heart. Those words are painted above the entrance to his shop, Under My Thumb Tattoos, as a reminder.

Chris and his brothers were as wild as the wind, in their house among the fields of Alliston, Ontario, when their parents divorced. Shell-shocked, they were uprooted and brought to Toronto by their dad. Their mother’s mental illness worsened in the aftermath, and she disappeared. As a teenager, Chris left home and found himself immersed in the city’s underbelly, a world where drugs, skateboarding, and punk rock reigned. Between the youth shelters, suicidal thoughts, and haunted apartments, a light shined: and it was art.

He eventually found himself following the path of his brother, Rob, and pursuing life as a tattooist. Then, at the height of a destructive summer, everything changed: he met Megan, the girl who would become his rock of ages.

This remarkable memoir examines what tattooing means to MacDonald and traces the connection his artistic motives have to both his family and childhood. The Things I Came Here With is about how crucial our past is to understanding our future, but it’s also a love letter to his daughter about the importance of expression, life’s uncertainty, and beauty.

Sales and Market Bullets

  • A DEEPLY PERSONAL ART: Devoted to the highly personal nature of tattoo art, Chris ruminates on the intimacy of permanent body art and its relevance in pop culture.

  • THE SHOP: Under My Thumb Tattoo Shop is one of Toronto’s best-kept secrets, offering high-quality tattooing for more than 15 years. It was featured in a Toronto Star article and has 7,600 Instagram followers.

  • AN UNSTOPPABLE TREND: Tattooing is the sixth fastest-growing American industry and, according to market research, it generates $1.6 billion in revenue a year. There are 21,000 tattoo parlors in the U.S. and 42% of U.S. citizens have at least one tattoo; 38% of Canadian citizens have at least one tattoo, and 35% of UK citizens aged 30–39 have at least one tattoo. Older millennials are the most likely to get a tattoo.
    • Countries where tattoos are popular: Italy, Sweden, USA, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Denmark, UK, and Canada


  • Members of the tattoo community — both tattoo artists and people with tattoos

  • People buying gifts for friends/family who are into tattoos

  • Readers interested in art

  • Readers who enjoy insider accounts of different industries

Chris MacDonald is a tattoo artist and the owner of Under My Thumb Tattoos, a respected tattoo studio in Toronto, Ontario. He is a songwriter and a guitarist with LeBarons. Chris lives with his wife and daughter by the lake. The Things I Came Here With is his first book.

“At its core, The Things I Came Here With is a story about family; it’s a story of art, of loss, of grief, and of passion. It is raw and heartbreaking and funny at times—often within the same paragraph. And it is especially a story about love and finding your way home.” — Urban Info Girl blog

“The way Chris tattoos is awe-inspiring — a truly beautiful expression of the craft. The work he does elegantly dances the line of art and technique, gentle and strong, just like him.” — India Amara, indiaamara.com

“I look at Chris as a real deal songwriter and lyricist. Am I surprised he’s now an author? Hell no, a talent like his would never go unnoticed. I’m proud to call Chris a friend, and I’m sure you’ll be as amazed by his writing as I’ve been over the years.” — Cone McCaslin, Sum 41

“This gorgeous picaresque story of home, loss, art, love, city, music, skateboards, and ink came to me via a friend’s goodwill PDF — ‘Do you think you can check this out? Tell me what you think of my buddy’s writing?’ — and, from the first few pages, I could sense the gift of Chris MacDonald’s voice, vision, and poetry. A beautiful debut.” — Dave Bidini

“It might seem unusual to be publishing a memoir in your mid-forties but when you’re an old soul with miles of experiential wisdom to impart, it works beautifully. This is a genuinely inspirational story of perseverance and resilience … I can only applaud Chris for his perseverance, and for using the talents he came here with.” — Ottawa Review of Books

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