What are the best pens for comic inking?
Comics and cartooning have been discovered since the 12th-13th century in the Japanese culture and were popularized in America when the comic book ‘Spider-Man’ gained its success in the year 1938 which marked the beginning of Golden Age of Comic Books.
In the early 19th century, the word manga (referring to Japanese comic books) was then given by Japanese artist, Hokusai.
During the rise of comic and manga drawings, artists usually used nib pens to draw cartoons which were commonly accompanied by India ink; also called Chinese ink. India ink is widely used even in today’s time such as in Faber Castells’ fiber tipped point. It is a high-quality ink that many artists prefer due to its immobile character. And who knows? Maybe this ink is also present in the brand of the pen that we are holding.
As the manga book gains success and is continuously patronized by people, especially the young ones, who are addicted to anime and cartoons, many artists become even more passionate about developing this field of art yet with a lot struggle when it comes to the pen they will use. This problem is commonly encountered by beginners, not sure of the best pen to use that will give them the satisfaction they want for their picture.
The comic is just like any other art, it requires an idea, imagination, patience, and most of all artistic expression. Therefore, it is best to choose which pen to use to deliver the idea and meaning better.
Quality is the most important thing to consider when looking for pens because it will not just affect the picture, it will also reflect the meaning of the work. It is more comfortable to use an ink that does not smear on the entire paper, free from worrying that it might ruin the pages.
There are inks that can easily fade and since pictures are comic’s main source of an idea, it might as well disappear through time. Well, it depends on the creator’s choice because some artists purposely use such ink in accordance with their work.
As much as possible use water-proof inking pens for it will not leak that easy and can stand even a little moisture. Having pens that vary in nib sizes is also important. It can help to emphasize what is needed and gradually gives more auras to the audience.
Most artists do not want to add other colors to their comic book because they are contented with black and white ink only but, it is proven that colors give life to any piece of artwork, furthermore, it makes the piece more touching and ideal.
To have an even greater idea about which pens to use, here is the list of some of the best pens for comic inking.
Sakura 50201 6-Piece Pigma Manga Comic Pro
The Sakura 50201 Pigma Manga Comic Pro was developed by Sakura in 1982 and is considered as the most reliable in the market today. Many artists, illustrators, and cartoonists choose this kind of pen due to its versatility.
This pen is water-resistant, chemically stable (not hazardous), and fade resistant. Its archival quality is for the acid-free environment and is the first disposable technical pen using archival pigmented ink. In addition, this high quality pigmented ink is permanent, without smearing the entire paper, losing the effort of the artist, and dries in pH neutral level.
The pigment molecules of Pigma micron ink pen are 100 times more chemically complex than dye molecules. Due to the pen’s complex molecules, it becomes longer lasting making it less susceptible to UV rays, chemical degradation, and pollution from contact with oils.
However, this micron ink pen is only best for fine-point technical and artistic applications as well as in outlining. It also varies in sizes and types like Pigma micron 005, 03, 08, graphics with 1mm, the brush which is all black, and a fixed sleeve mechanical pencil.
This Prismacolor Premier has been in the industry for more than 75 years and becomes the standard for other art products. It has fine tips which will make sure of the right direction in the drawing. Not like any other pens, you will not worry about the right mark to stroke because it is highly consistent.
It is also acid-free, waterproof, water-resistant, permanent, and fade resistant. However, it is only smear-resistant when dry. Extra care may be needed until the ink completely dries.
It has three tips; fine tip, chisel tip, and brush tip. The fine tip creates the most complicated details including the simple dots, the eyes, nose, and such. Chisel tip is for broad coverage like the big branches of a tree, buildings, windows, etc.
Actually, the chisel tip is used by experienced artists to create thick and thin lines with ease. The brush tip is flexible, it is highly recommended to use in smooth layers and in an even broader picture such as the sky and the ocean.
The pen is suitable for skilled and even beginner artists and is perfect for crisp details, multiple lines, and technical applications.
Zebra Pen is actually the pen that is highly recommended for beginners. Despite the low price, it gives the quality that any artist wants. It only consists of fine points and is made up of Carbon ink (aqueous pigment) and resin.
However, experienced artists may also want to try this one because they will surely enjoy the fine ballpoint which is great to use in outlining.
Pilot G2 Pen
Unlike the Zebra pen, the Pilot G2 Pen which is a premium gell roller pen is highly considered for those with higher budgets considering that it is only a single pen but it is surely worth it. It has the quality that most artists love and considering that comic requires high-quality inking pens, it is one of the best.
Copic Multiliner SP
The Copic Multiliner SP is probably one of the best pens for comic inking for beginners and experienced artist. It is rich in dark inks which make it smooth in any kind of paper be it in the nicest or worst paper. It is also highly resistant in water, therefore, it does not smudge even to the thinnest paper.
The pens under this inking pen are all capable to use in different angles and situations. However, the tip and the nib of the pens are actually sensitive because it breaks whenever it fell on the ground without its cover.
It is known for its high performance in which the copic mixes on the surface to deliver the rich blends. Anyone can have it refillable or disposable (depending on the way it is wanted). Anyway, it is not a problem because the artist can have it both with the same prize.
The weight of the pen is also a lot heavier than any other pen but it is better because it enables the hand to find the best stroke. And lastly, this wonderful pen lasts in a number of years just like the pens of an artist who opened his pens after 4 years and it still has the best ink, best stroke, and best quality.
Rotring Rapidograph is well-known for its refillable cartridge system. It uses Rotring’s capillary cartridge in which the pressure-equalization system, including ink helix, is part of the system and every time the cartridge is needed for change, the helix is still clean. However, the kohinors of the pen may leak if when it is purposely tilted to get the ink.
Uni Pin Fineliner
The Uni Pin Fineliner waterproof comic inking pen is very similar to Sakura in terms o its characteristics and the way it fits the hand of the user. These pens are best for sketching and since it is waterproof, it can also be combined in watercolors. The tip is made of high plastic and is almost similar to Micron pen when it comes to color.
The Faber Castell is probably the most used pen among artists, especially of the beginners. Aside from the gives quality it is known for. These pens are acid-free and are best to use in cartoons and fine line drawing. It is also waterproof and is actually made up of India ink.
Pitt Artist Pens (which is in line with Faber Castell) are famous for combining a modern brush nib design with the traditional medium of India ink.
Aside from the given characteristic, these pens are also odorless, permanent, and highly pigmented which is not only best in comic inking but also in other illustrations, fashion design, portraits, and other works of art that require the use of pens.
There are other pens out there that are good in drawing comics but the list given above is some of the BEST that is highly recommended and even suggested to the beginners and other experienced artists. However, the choice is completely up to the person who will use it. It depends on the budget and the style of the comic artist. Just remember that comic inking requires great quality.