Thursday, 4 January 2007

The text reads: "It's still the same." "No, I think they give them each a little box of fruit juice now..."

It's the last frame!

Much cussing has accompanied the inking of this comic (WARNING: some really nerdy ranting about drawing materials is about to follow...)

Art shops, at least where I live, are a fickle collection of enterprises. My favourite pen nib has started to show wear that I can't ignore. After 2 years of use it's more of a medium than a fine nib, and a broad medium too. I bought it on a whim, and after discovering how wonderful it was, I rushed back to the shop the very next day. But they didn't have any more. I took the nib to them, hoping they could order. Hmm, they'd never seen anything like that. Didn't know who had ordered it in the first place. Certainly couldn't get any more. However, if I wanted strawberry-scented glitter pens with ink that changed colour according to the temperature, yes, they could certainly help me.

Thankfully they're no longer my local art shop.

My new local art shop only had Hunt pens, so I tried a few of those. Not as wonderful, but pretty good. They do wear out quite fast, and when I went back to get more, surprise! they aren't getting any more in, don't know where they came from, but they do still have a whole box of holders sitting on the shelf. Might be tough to sell without the nibs, but they're trying.

So I'm back to buying any pen nibs I see anywhere, and trying them out. Luckily Hunt pens are readily available online, being 'America's favourite art pen', and there's also a small shop 3 hours' drive away in a small coastal town that has boxes and boxes of the things. I'm going there this weekend.

I tried out a few different nibs on this comic, trying to find the magic one. Hunt 107 is the winner, and Hunt 102 if I absolutely have to draw teeny tiny fine lines, but too flexible a nib just encourages fussiness.

My wonderful wonderful pen? An online search reveals that the 'Sir Josiah Mason 1002 Fine Point' that I bought brand new 2 years ago is a vintage pen nib known only to collectors of old pens and only to be had (possibly) for $5 apiece. Without shipping.

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