good pencils for comic strip drawing?
May 20, 2008 8:07 AM   Subscribe

Artisti: If you were going to buy a great pencil or pen or set thereof for someone who draws comic strips, which one would you get?
posted by pipti to Media & Arts (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Micron felt tip pens are a magical thing. They come in a great variety of widths (this set here comes with .005 to .08 cm), and their ink is supremely opaque. They have a really nice feel when drawing with them, and at $16 for this set (at our school art supply store a few years ago they were twice that), you can't go wrong.

You can also get different colors if need be.
posted by self at 8:17 AM on May 20, 2008

Does this person already draw the strip(s) regularly? While new supplies can be fun, someone who is drawing in ink, especially, may already be well settled into one favored style of pen—and whether that is nib-and-inkwell vs. felt-tip may be a pretty important question here. Do you know anything about their current preferences?
posted by cortex at 8:22 AM on May 20, 2008

Cortex: I don't know anything about current preferences. I guess I could root through his desk. This is something he does as a hobby now and only sporadically; he used to draw the strip regularly.
posted by pipti at 8:26 AM on May 20, 2008

How much do you want to spend? My dad has had a set of refillable Rapidograph pens for about 25 years now, and they are still going strong. They are freaking amazing.

I personally am a fan of the Microns, but those aren't nearly as long-lasting. I go through probably 8-12 of the 03 Microns a year. They are less messy and a cheaper initial outlay, though.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:43 AM on May 20, 2008

Fiercecupcake: Probably not more than 20-30 bucks. It's a small gift for a new sweetheart.
posted by pipti at 8:52 AM on May 20, 2008

If he doesn't have them, a couple of these and an assortment of leads, and one of these. These are also fun.

And thirding the Micron love, those things are awesome, especially if you write small.
posted by zengargoyle at 9:05 AM on May 20, 2008

I don't know what that leadholder description zengargoyle is talking about with leads not breaking under pressure--I've broken thousands of leads under normal use, especially the softer ones. If you go that route and get a selection of leads, make sure they're fairly spaced out on the hardness scale, like a 4H, a 2H, an HB and a 2B. Too much softer than 2B isn't terribly useful; nor is harder than 4H. If you'd rather not do the leadholder thing, Staedtler also makes pencils with different lead grades, and also has packages with 10 or more pencils of different grades in one box. Or you can just get them separately. They can be found in just about any art store.
posted by LionIndex at 9:34 AM on May 20, 2008

Maybe he would enjoy a Pentel Pocket Brush Pen? It's relatively expensive, but it's a great, portable way to get expressive brush lines without worrying about cleanup. It would also be a good idea to get a pack of refill cartridges, as it's really easy to use them up.
posted by Nedroid at 10:01 AM on May 20, 2008

A box of Blackwing 602 pencils, if you can find one.
posted by caddis at 10:52 AM on May 20, 2008

Microns are great. I also received a .3mm mechanical pencil that I fell in love with, which is amazing for detail work.

Also, to deviate a bit from your question, you might consider this. It is my absolute favorite paper to work on. Its surface is incredibly smooth and pencil lead glides over it. It gives a flat, graphic look since the paper lends absolutely no texture whatsoever.
posted by reebear at 1:07 PM on May 20, 2008

I haven't tried the Pentel brush pen, but Sakura Micron also has one of those. I'm not sure how they compare, though. I usually just use Sakura Microns of various widths, and I'm happy with those.

If we're deviating a bit (as reebear did), does the gentleman have a nice T-square already?
posted by Greg Nog at 1:15 PM on May 20, 2008

Micron and Faber-Castell Pitt brush pens are great, and pretty cheap (usually two bucks or less apiece). The Pentel brush pen has a nylon-fiber brush tip as opposed to the felt tips of the Micron and Pitt, so it handles more like an actual brush (and you can splay the ends and get some nice dry-brush effects, for example).
posted by Nedroid at 2:25 PM on May 20, 2008

I'm not a comic artist, but my preferred pencil for illustrations is the Rotring 500. I got one years ago and now using anything else seems strange. They are kind of expensive, but they last forever.
posted by quin at 3:59 PM on May 20, 2008

Eek, I don't know what a T-Square is. And I don't know what else he has either, unless I root though his office while he showers--which may cause its own set of problems if he catches me (or if I find something weird). I think I'll go with the Micron pens plus a CD of a band he likes (it's a birthday gift; we've been dating a few months), and keep this page available for Christmas gifts--should the relationship go on that long. Thanks all!
posted by pipti at 8:11 AM on May 21, 2008

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