Joe Cole

Paul Wellman

Joe Cole

The Illustrative Man

Military guys had them. Adventurers had them. But now everyone has them — tattoos, of course. Our cover image reminded Indy Publisher Joe Cole of his father, a U.S. Navy master chief who’d worn a lady in a bathing suit on his forearm through seven tours of duty overseas. It’s been 24 months of firsts since Cole joined The Santa Barbara Independent — his Charles Lloyd cover story, the paper’s all-color format,’s overhaul, new special publications, and a digital real estate search portal that led to our popular right-side-up Real Estate section (the rest of the paper has always been upside-down, though no one’s noticed) — but not the tattoo, really. If he ever got one, we think it’d look like this.

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