Comic book ink pens: A Quick Guide To The Best Brush Pens For Inking Comics

The Best Inking Pens for Drawing Comics & Manga

When it comes to drawing comics, there are some high quality pens on the market. A lot of the pens that are used are for anime and manga characters, but the nibs on these pens are ideal for those that enjoy making comics, as well.

When I was using a lower quality pen to draw up the comics I was doing, I was not able to get the most from the pens since it is not something that did the job. I decided that it was time to do something about the pens that I do use.

I went through and was able to come up with some of the best pens for drawing comics with, and though many of them are meant for some other types of drawings, they can be quite versatile when it comes to working with the right nib and ink.

Choose to go with the right pens for the occasion when it comes down to using pens for drawing comics, and choose one of the ones recommended on this list. They won’t let you down!



Sakura 50201 6-Piece Pigma Manga Comic Pro Drawing Kit

  • Perfect for drawing small, minute details like hair and lines
  • Work great with Prismacolor markers
  • Well-balanced set of pens, can cover a lot of techniques at once
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Bao Core Georgie® 6 Assorted Nib Sizes Pigma Manga Comic Professional Sketching Drawing and Inking Pens

  • Great for beginners and professional artists
  • Just as expected – high performance, good quality pens
  • Provides smooth, clean writing and drawing platform
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Bao Core / BXT 8 Assorted Tip Sizes Manga Comic Pro Drawing Pen

  • Extremely high quality pens, you can tell by the feel and performance that they are high-end
  • Great for fast strokes, small lines and even writing text-heavy things
  • Excellent variety of sizes, perfect for doing a lot of different types of comic drawing
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Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers

  • Great for drawing and coloring comics
  • Don’t bleed through most papers, even though ink is “juicy”
  • Emphasis on pastels, great variety of colors
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Sanford Prismacolor Premier Manga Illustration Marker Set

  • Reasonably priced, excellent quality and performance
  • Great for artists who are new to drawing comics and related arts
  • Doesn’t take long to get used to the feel of these
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What to Look for in the Best Pens for Drawing Comics

  • High quality ink: Through the use of high quality ink, you can ensure that it is not going to go through the paper, smudge or smear across the entire comic that you’re drawing. You’re able to have it set and dry fast, while easily drawing onto the next block.
  • Assorted sizes for the nibs: When you want to get depth and texture on the comics that you’re drawing, you have to consider the different sized nibs that you use for the drawing. With a set that provides you with a way to change the nibs, or the size of the marks you make, it can be the most ideal.
  • Waterproof and fade resistant: The ink in the pen should provide you with a way to keep drawing without having to worry about the work fading with time. You want something that is going to stay sharp, even years after you’ve drawn it. You also want to ensure that it can stand up to a little moisture and will not leak down the paper.
  • Comes in a set: When the pens come in a set, you generally get more nibs to choose from, but you also get more colors. Some do not like drawing with colors, but if you do then this could be ideal for your comics.

Sakura 50201 6-Piece Pigma Manga Comic Pro Drawing Kit

With the Sakura 50201 6-Piece Pigma Manga Comic Pro Drawing Kit, you’re able to get 6 different types of drawing utensils for the comics you’re putting together. 5 of them are ink pens, while one is a mechanical pencil so you can lay it out first.

The high quality ink is waterproof, and it provides a thick, clean line when you draw with it that will not fade with time, allowing you to keep your comic work for a while without having to worry about it being ruined.

One of the best things is that in the set, each of the 5 pens comes with a different sized nib, so you can choose something that works the best for the picture that you’re putting together.

Create the best looking pictures through the use of the set that provides it all.

What Users are Saying

  • Perfect for drawing small, minute details like hair and lines
  • Work great with Prismacolor markers
  • Well-balanced set of pens, can cover a lot of techniques at once
  • No leaks, very smooth movement and great overall ink performance

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Bao Core Georgie® 6 Assorted Nib Sizes Pigma Manga Comic Professional Sketching Drawing and Inking Pens

If you’re looking for something that provides a versatile approach to the comics that you draw, then going with the Bao Core Georgie® 6 Assorted Nib Sizes Pigma Manga Comic Professional Sketching Drawing and Inking Pens can be something that provides you with it all.

With many different sizes, and high quality ink and make ups, you will ensure that each picture is never smudged or leaks while you continue to draw.

Don’t let pens that run hold you back from completing the next chapter.

The pens are acid-free, light fast, long lasting, quick drying and waterproof. This provides you with everything that you need from a pen that has the highest quality ink on the market that can do the job, and do it right for each comic.

What Users are Saying

  • Great for beginners and professional artists
  • Just as expected – high performance, good quality pens
  • Provides smooth, clean writing and drawing platform
  • Affordable for how well they work

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Bao Core / BXT 8 Assorted Tip Sizes Manga Comic Pro Drawing Pen

If you’re looking for something a bit more professional, sleek and durable then the Bao Core / BXT 8 Assorted Tip Sizes Manga Comic Pro Drawing Pen can be the ideal pen you need for all of the comics that you draw.

The light fast, water resistant ink will ensure that nothing happens when you’re drawing or after you’re done drawing to ruin the pictures that you create.

Easily dry them as you go, and ensure that each line is just as smooth as the next.

The nibs are smoother, and provide many different sizes, allowing you to go through and do many different details, even the smallest of them using these high quality pens.

Built to last, and provide a professional appeal to those that want to have a professional looking book.

What Users are Saying

  • Extremely high quality pens, you can tell by the feel and performance that they are high-end
  • Great for fast strokes, small lines and even writing text-heavy things
  • Excellent variety of sizes, perfect for doing a lot of different types of comic drawing

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Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers

If you want to add a little color to your comics, then using the Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers can be in your best interests.

These pens are high quality and versatile, as well as coming in an assortment of many bright colors to choose from.

Enjoy all that comes from the fine nibs on the end, allowing you to choose the level of detail that you’d like to get into with each picture that you draw, or shade in specific areas with the side of the pen to make the area color in faster.

The nine colors are all waterproof and dry fast, and comes with a blender pen so you can create new colors or choose to fade out some of the other ones that you’re working with for just the right shade.

The brush tip does it all from fine, medium to bold strips and all you have to do is swipe the pen with your wrist, and you’re off.

What Users are Saying

  • Great for drawing and coloring comics
  • Don’t bleed through most papers, even though ink is “juicy”
  • Emphasis on pastels, great variety of colors
  • Very happy with the overall quality of the pens

Check The Price

Sanford Prismacolor Premier Manga Illustration Marker Set

Another great set for those that wish to add a bit of color into the comics that they create. The Sanford Prismacolor Premier Manga Illustration Marker Set provides the user with everything that they need to get out there and make the most of what is being provided.

Enjoy the water proof, fade resistant, brilliant colors that come out of the pens as you draw.

The feather nibs allow you to control the stroke and the level of line that you want to come out, whether it is fine, medium or bold.

They are artist quality, and provide a high level of standards for those that wish to use them and create some of the most beautiful pictures.

With popping colors, you can have comics that practically jump out of the page at you.

What Users are Saying

  • Use Prismacolor pencils and pens even after using lots of competing pens
  • Reasonably priced, excellent quality and performance
  • Great for artists who are new to drawing comics and related arts
  • Doesn’t take long to get used to the feel of these

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Do you have any recommendations for comic-drawing pens?

Let us know – we’re always welcome to reviewing new products that our visitors enjoy and recommend. You can view other reviews here:

Who makes the best markers for comics

When you open up a comic book, it’s normal to see vibrant colors jumping off the pages, incredible illustrations and well-written lettering. All of these things can be enhanced through the use of Chameleon pens. We believe that our pens are the best markers for comics due to their features and here’s why.

  • Permanent, fast-drying ink
  • Ink that can be layered
  • Guaranteed shading results with the innovative Mixing Chamber
  • Endless color opportunities

Permanent, fast-drying ink

An accidental smudge or wrong move could ruin your comic book. In the inking and coloring stage, you’re meant to be sharpening and improving your work – not potentially ruining it with a big smudge across the page. What a waste of time that would be considering the groundwork you’ll have put in in the previous stages.

Chameleon Pens are alcohol based markers so the ink is permanent and dries almost instantly.

Image by Dani Powers

Ink that can be layered

Sometimes, you may want to layer your pen ink to create new overlays to make your lettering or fine illustrations stand out. Water based markers aren’t ideal for this because they can tear the paper. However, alcohol based markers can be layered. In particular, Chameleon Pens are great for creating overlays.

Guaranteed shading results with the innovative Mixing Chamber

Shading can be added to your comic book to create more depth and impact. Especially if your main character is in bother. It can help your reader know how to feel at certain points in the narrative. Chameleon Pens are revolutionary because one pen can create many different tones.

Simply dilute the nib in the innovative Mixing Chamber and produce a world of wonderfully blended tones, all from one pen. This is particularly important in comic book art as you are encouraged to use different tones of the same color and also blend complementary colors together to make your work pop. It’s never been easier to get incredible results. And achieve them with just one pen.

Endless color opportunities

As we’ve mentioned, color is paramount in comic book art. With Chameleon Pens’ innovative markers, you can easily create hundreds of different tones with just 50 pens. Explore a whole world of vibrant and exciting colors that you like and you think might work. It’s completely up to you, but remember to keep it consistent yet not boring, as inconsistency can cheapen the perception of your work.

Image by Dani Powers



Color like no other with our ultimate guide

This blog should’ve taught you all about the perfect pens for illustrating and creating comic books with and there’s plenty more where that came from. Check out our ultimate guide to using Chameleon Pens below and learn how to get the best out of your pen set.

Title Image by Dani Powers

Creating Comic Books : White Ink & Pen on Your Comic Book

Caricature Drawing Course“In the first part of this course you’ll learn the core concepts of caricature. You’ll use concepts like exaggeration and abstraction to take a rough sketch to a fully developed caricature drawing. Part 2 of the course builds your caricature muscles.”

Drawing an Animal Portrait Course by Aaron Blaise“Aaron Blaise is a former Disney animator and professional artist who’s a true master when it comes to drawing and painting animals. In this Masterpiece Demo you’ll get the opportunity to shadow him in his studio and watch him draw a large lion portrait from scratch.”

Realistic Portrait Drawing Course by Stephen Bauman“Stephen Bauman is an award-winning figure artist and in this Masterpiece Demo, you’ll get to watch him create a masterpiece from scratch. You’ll see his entire process from start to finish. A 12+ hour real-time version. “

Portrait Painting in Oil Course by Aaron Westerberg“Aaron Westerberg is a renowned painter, who has a special talent and appreciation for color. In this Masterpiece Demo you get to be a fly on the wall in his studio. You get to watch as a professional artist creates a masterpiece from scratch.

Character Design Monster Lab Course by Scott Flanders“Learn how to design monsters from the ground up! This character concept course teaches you the process of going from a sheet of brainstormed ideas to a compelling piece of digital art. Along with learning the fundamentals of monster design I’ll also be focusing on teaching you my shapecarving technique.”

Portrait Sculpting from Life Course by Zoe Dufour“Zoe Dufour is a master sculptor with incredible skill for modeling form. In this Masterpiece Demo you’ll get to visit her studio and watch as she creates a longer sculpture from scratch.”

Portrait Painting in Oil using Sight Size Method Course by Cornelia Hernes“Cornelia Hernes is a renowned classical realist painter and teacher from the Florence Academy of Art. In this Masterpiece Demo you get to watch as a professional artist creates a masterpiece from scratch. Cornelia will explain her palette, give tips for mixing color, understanding paint characteristics, types of brushes, solvents, and staining a fresh canvas.


Classical Portraiture Techniques and Concepts Course by Stephen BaumanThis course will be taught in 3 Parts: Portrait Drawing, Grisaille Painting, and Full Palette Painting. Part 1 will have 3 demonstrations (each with a refined and real time version) which will be published once per week for the next 3 weeks. Parts 2 and 3 will be published in September and January. You can pre-purchase all 3 now to get a bulk discount. 

Inking and Lettering with Fountain Pens

I assure you guys, I have no intention of this blog becoming a fountain pen blog.  There are plenty enough of those.  I don’t even intend to do full reviews of the pens I’ve purchased, unless one is particularly standout, or one just outright fails.

I did, however, buy a few after visiting with Heidi and recording a video on the best fountain pens for sketching.  I was weak- playing around with dip nibs for Inktober made me fall in love with nib inking again- and I wanted to find the Pentel Pocket Brush equivilent of a fountain pen.   Something inexpensive, with expressive lines, that I could take anywhere.  Heidi’s reccs started me off on a strong foot- the TWSBI Eco and a JetPens Chibi for fun, but I quickly added a Noodlers Flex, a Pilot Varsity, and a Sailor Fude De Mannen.

You can check out our guide video AND the shownotes by clicking here.

Pens Purchased:

TWSBI Eco (piston type reservoir)
JetPens Chibi (and converter)
Noodler’s Flex (piston type reservoir)
Pilot Varsity (disposable, for general writing and maybe doodling)
Sailor Fude De Mannen (and converter)


Jetpens Chibi

Noodler’s Flex

Pilot Varsity

Sailor Fude De Mannen

Sailor’s Fude De Mannen have nibs with varying degrees.  The above pen (as well as mine) has a 55 degree angle.  I would be interested in trying the 40 degree Fude de Mannen as well.

I couldn’t play with my new toys until an appropriate ink was found and I quickly ordered Platinum’s Carbon Ink, also by Heidi’s recommendation.

Ink Purchased
Platinum Carbon Ink

Cleaning My New Toys:

Used the method demonstrated on Withoutink

Setting Up My Pens

After cleaning, all three pens were easy to use on the Rhodia blank pad I picked up at Paper and Ink Arts.  Instant ink startup, no skips, no catching on the paper.  I found that the Noodler’s Flex, although a bit stinky, handled the best for what I wanted, and was able to sketch and doodle without nipping the paper.  The Pentel Chibi also handled quite well, almost as well as the Flex, and the TWSBI offers a broader nib with a little less flex.  All three are great so far, and have been inked up with my Carbon Ink.

The TWSBI and Flex both have their own pistons for easy filling, but I purchased a little converter for my Pentel Chibi.

I think I’m going to add my Flex to my everyday art carry, but the Chibi and TWSBI ECO will probably live on my desk, at least until I ink the Chibi with something exciting (or order another).

Sailor Fude De Mannen

After I’d already cleaned out my Flex, TWSBI, and Chibi, my anticipated Fude de Mannen arrived from Amazon.

A fude style fountain pen is designed to facilitate Eastern style characters and replicate the stroke of a brush.  Instead of being more flexible than Western nibs, a fude style nib is bent at an angle (45 or 55) to facilitate this.

Drawing with Fountain Pens

Noodler’s Flex and Fude De Mannen

Drawn in a Rhodia Blank notebook.

Noodler’s Flex

Fude de Mannen

TWSBI Eco and Jetpens Chibi

Sketched on Rhodia blank paper.

Jetpens Chibi


Inked with the TWSBI Eco and the Noodler’s Flex

Sketched and inked on Strathmore 400 series Mixed Media paper with Platinum Carbon Ink using a TWSBI Eco and a Noodler’s Flex.

Daisies were inked with the Noodler’s flex, as it can deliver a fine line.  I noticed no paper tearing.

Outlines and major details were inked with a TWSBI Eco broad nib.

Finer details were inked with a combination of the TWSBI and the Noodler’s Flex.

Ink was allowed to dry for 24 hours, then erased, with no noticeable ghosting.

When sketching and inking, I find myself reaching for the Noodler’s Flex, especially after listening to Goulet Pens interview with Nathan Tardif.  It’s such an easy little pen to ink with- a good amount of flex, doesn’t nip up quality watercolor paper, easy to get started, doesn’t require much pressure to with.  Right now, if you’re interested in a fountain pen for inking your art, I definitely recommend it.

Pros of using a Fountain Pen to Ink

  • Can use a wide variety of inks and ink colors- from very watersoluble to waterfast, to inks with dichromatic properties
  • Inexpensive options like the Jetpens Chibi, Pilot Preppy, and the Pilot Petit1 can be purchased in quality and filled with a rainbow of colors, if you enjoy colored linework
  • Even without flex, with an italic nib, you can achieve a lot of lineweight by rotating the pen slightly.

Cons of Using a Fountain Pen

  • The most flexible nibs on an unmodded, stock pen will be on vintage pens, which tend to be expensive
  • If you want to carry a lot of ink, you may need to buy a converter or try an eyedropper conversion
  • Need to be careful about the papers you ink on- sketchbook paper is generally a no go, but tightly woven papers and coated papers should work decently
  • Unless you mod or buy a modded pen, no nib will deliver the flex of a flexible dip pen nib
  • Can’t use just any inks- need to use exclusively fountain pen inks, otherwise ink may clog/ruin pen

Comic Lettering with a Fountain Pen
Although I lettered alphabets with all four of my fountain pens, only the Fude De Mannen had a distinctive stroke.  This makes sense as it’s a pen designed to replicate stroke calligraphy.

This said, the TWSBI Eco is enjoyable for general writing, and I find myself reaching for it when I want to make notes.

Outside Resources:

Fountain Pen Network: Painting With Watercolors over a Fountain Pen
Jetpens Blog: Fountain Pens (section)
Parts of a Fountain Pen
Fountain Pen Terminology
Pen Maintenance
Filling Mechanisms
Fast Pen Flushing
How to Write with a Flex Nib
Fast Pen Flushing
How to Write with a Flex Nib

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Richmond Illustration Inc.

When I first got serious about cartooning for a career, one of the things I was most concerned about was inking. That seemed to me like a skill and art that would take a really long time to master, and worse yet there seemed to be no good sources of learning the art of inking out there. I found one book I still heartily recommend, called The Art of Comic Book Inking by Gary Martin, which is to date the best book on the subject. There used to be a great website on inking with input from many great inkers but I think it’s defunct. Anyway, long story short I had a lot of trouble finding any sources of learning how to ink.

Inking is scary because it seems so permanent. Pro-white or some other form of white paint can correct mistakes, but the pure black nature of ink is intimidating. I would often feel I ruined the quality of the drawings I had done in pencil, or at least diluted any energy or pop they had with my tentative and unconfident inks. I tried looking at the masters of cartoon inking to learn how they did what they did… artists like Wally Wood, Jack Davis, Will Eisner, Milton Caniff, Hal Foster, Mort Drucker… the list is long but what I discovered was that each of them used an approach that was basically an extension of their drawing style, and emulating their techniques just made my drawings look like Drucker or Wood drawings (okay, BAD Drucker or Wood drawings). It was plain to me that, while I could learn about things like using ink to create volume and form from studying other artist’s work, it would be just plain old practice and trial and error to learn how to ink with confidence and effectiveness.

Unfortunately I was too impatient to just practice my way to getting good with the ink, so I pestered other artists I knew into telling me tips, giving me advice and some instruction in the art of inking. Most of what they told me was to practice, but I did pick up a number of useful mechanical tips, tricks and techniques and was allowed to watch over a shoulder or two and see some masters at work. I also have discovered a number of things on my own, as the years and the pages slowly piled up. I have put together a little tutorial on inking that I will share with you here. Just by way of a disclaimer, I consider myself a “passable” inker at this point in my career. I don’t expect to ever win any awards for my inks, or to ever be confused with true masters like Wood and Eisner, but I no longer approach the pen and ink with fear and loathing, and even occasionally find myself at a point in a job when all cylinders are firing and I am actually having fun with the ink… that is until I catch the pen point on the paper and I skrrriiitcccch a big splatter all over the page. Then the cursing begins….

Let’s Start with the Pencils

Here’s the pencils of the piece I’ll be inking for the tutorial:

Click for closer look

It’s a poster job that will eventually be in color. This will make a bit of a difference in how I approach the inks. If it was going to be in black and white, I would be working a lot harder with the ink to create volume and form. At it is, much of the value work will be done at the color stage, but for the purpose of the tutorial I’ll be doing a bit more inking to show some different concepts and techniques. You’ll notice the pencils are not very tight, but somewhat sketchy and only suggest some of the line variations I’ll be using.

Here are the tools:

I’ll be using a combination of brush and pen to ink this piece. The pen nib is a Gillott 303. The brushes are a Winsor Newton Series 7 #2 and #6 (for any big black areas). The ink is Pelikan’s Drawing Ink A for the pen and Dr. Martin’s Black Star for the brush. I use Black Star for brush work as it is more dense and doesn’t gray out with eraser quite as easily as the Pelikan’s does. Brushed ink lines are thinner layers of ink and tend to get lighter than a pen line does when erasing. For paper I prefer Strathmore 500 Bristol in either 3 or 4 ply weights and a kid (rough) finish. I perfer the quirkiness of the textures surface as I think it creates some charm and warmth with the lines, as opposed to a plate (smooth) surface, which is a little too slick for me.

Brush vs. Pen

There are pros and cons to the use of each. Basically it comes down to the look you want to achieve, and your own preferences in inking. I like both and use both together, but primarily I use a pen because I like the rougher, more imperfect line of a pen as opposed to the very smooth line of a brush. I think a pen has more personality. I use the brush for big, sweeping curved lines that a pen would not be able to accomplish in one stroke. I also use a brush to lay in solid blacks and for use in certain circumstances like long hair and feathering I want to look smooth.

A brush uses much less ink, and the ink lays lightly on the surface of the paper. Therefore the ink dries very fast and you have less of the waiting for inks to dry before you can work that area again as you do with a pen. Like I mentioned before, a brush has very smooth lines, and will carry more ink while laying down less so long, tapered stokes are more attainable. Brushes also allow you greater line thickness variation, going from a hairline to a thick line, even in the same stroke. The bad things about brushes are they demand a great deal of concentration and attention… if I am tired or getting unfocused my inking will unhinge quite quickly. Also, you cannot change direction at right angles with a brush, so sharp corners and multidirectional lines are hard or impossible. Mostly, however, using a brush is very different from the actions you use when drawing with a pencil, so it just never feels like I am drawing with a brush. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love good brushwork in inking. There are cons to everything.

A pen allows me to use movements more like I do when I draw. The 303 does not catch on the paper like a crow quill would, so I can draw almost as naturally as I do with a pencil. I can change direction and even do squiggles or zig zags if I am careful. I can get a fair degree of line variation with a pen, and a good working 303 gives me a sharp, fine line when I want it. The bad things about pens: the nibs don’t always work the same. Sometimes I will draw two lines with a nib and then toss it and get another. Other times I’ll get a good one and go for hours. I am hard on nibs because I am heavy handed, and will probably go through two working ones on this job. Pens also lay down a lot of ink, especially for thick lines. It takes time for this ink to dry, and there is always a danger of smearing or tracking hand prints all over your board. It takes some time to get used to working on different sections at a time, and sometimes you just have to take a 10-15 minute break or so to let the wet ink dry sufficiently. Pens run out of ink a lot and you are constantly dipping them.

Each tools has it’s strengths and weaknesses. Both are effective and what an artist settles on is just what he decides he’s comfortable with. Interestingly enough, an artist’s style of inking can be as much a part of the limitations of his chosen tools as his artistic skill. Mort Drucker, for example, uses a lot of squiggles and curly lines, scribbles and other loose effects. His pen nib is a Gillott 1950, which is one of the few pen nibs that allows you to do that kind of movement. What would Mort’s inkwork look like if he had used a Hunt 107 instead, which only allows for straight or curved strokes, and cannot change direction like a 1950? Who knows. Maybe Mort found the 1950 and maybe the 1950 found Mort.

Getting Started

Watching several inkers at work demonstrated to me that a lot of what goes into good inking is confidence. You cannot be timid when inking, or you will lose any chance of spontaneity or energy in your final work. You have to have the confidence that your stroke is going where you want it to go. If you are too deliberate and slow, the final effect won’t have the bounce and pop a confident ink job will have. It’s a little like riding a bicycle… you can use training wheels (slow, timid ink lines) if you want to, and with them you’ll get where you want to go but it won’t be graceful or pretty. If you take off the training wheels you will fall down and skin your knees a few times, but eventually you’ll get the hang of it and you’ll be off! Don’t rush your inks, but don’t labor over them with slow, awkward strokes either. Try and establish a nice rhythm to your inking, and above all try to DRAW with the ink. If you just trace your lines you’ll end up with a tracing. Draw them again with the ink. Think about the form you are drawing and it’s place in the image as you work.

I always begin with whatever is the focal point of my drawing and work my way back to the less important elements. I find this naturally causes important elements to stand out and others to recede, which is what you want. Usually the objects you want to focus on will have the boldest and heaviest lines, and also have the greatest contrast and detail, whereas the less and less important an object is, the less bold and less involved the lines are. That isn’t always the case, as sometimes you can achieve focus on an object by causing it to be the lightest and simplest part in an area of darkness. In our case, in a scene outdoors in daylight, the former is our approach. The old lady in the foreground is obviously the focus of the image, followed by the two ladies behind her decking the big guys. The rest is just extra fodder, except the guy on the ground in the lower right is too much in the foreground to be ignored, so he’ll be part of the mid level focus.

The next thing we need to do is start thinking about the light source. It’s daytime outside, so the sun will be the light source and it will be above and slightly in front of the figures. One simple approach to this would be to make all the lines that define an edge away from the lightsource be thicker than those that are nearest to it… a reasonable and consistent approach. There are others. Some inkers prefer to create a heavy outline around the entire figure, using thinner lines in the interior areas. This creates a flatter and more stylized look, but is an effective approach. Personally I don’t try all that hard to follow the lightsource with my linework… I think it’s more important to establish depth in an image than making sure every away edge is thick and every close edge is thin. Sometimes you have to beef up a line to separate your object from another in the drawing, regardless of the light source. Still, I use light source considerations as a basis when I start.


As much as I have been preaching “just draw” with the inks, the reality is that we are working with tools that have limitations and mechanical considerations we have to respect and work within. Some of the things you just don’t learn from books on inking are the mechanics of actually doing the work, which is really what I am going to focus on here. Inking itself is, again, just an extension of an artist’s drawing, so it is not very helpful to someone trying to learn to ink to show them how I’d ink a drawing. It’s more productive to show them how to use the tools, suggest what I’d do with the inks on a particular drawing and then they’ll be able to make their own decisions when they start inking. As such, here are a number of tips I’ve learned from trial and error and from the advice and instruction of such accomplished artists as Sam Viviano, Joe Rubenstein, Tom Nguyen and Doug Mahnke, to name a few.

Holding the Pen/Brush

One thing I learned right away is to make sure you hold the pen or brush properly. It’s not good to grip it too far from the tip… that leads to instability where the slightest lean or bump will throw your line off. Grip it near the tip, for both a brush and pen.

This is more stable and allows better control. Interestingly enough the angle you have the pen at also makes a difference. You would think, with gravity being the main force that pulls the ink from your pen**, it would be better to have the pen at a steep angle to the paper, but it makes for better and more consistent ink flow to hold it as parallel as possible to the page. (** It was pointed out to me that it’s actually surface tension that pulls the ink from the pen, and at a shallower angle there is a greater surface area to the ink “droplet” that is created when the pen point is split. Makes perfect sense!)

Obviously your hand gets in the way, but keeping the end of the pen low makes the pen tip more responsive and less jumpy. Finally, work at as flat an angle with the paper as you can comfortably do. Pen ink especially will run down the line and bead up at the bottom if you draw a think line, and the flatter the surface the less that’s a problem.

I use a lap board and back up from my drawing table a bit to get a less angled surface.

Dipping the Pen/Brush

This is underrated as an issue with inking. It’s best to always start with a consistent level of ink on either a pen or a brush. If you start with a very wet pen, you’ll have beading or too heavy an ink flow at first. If it’s too dry, the tip with just split and leave you with an interrupted line. The brush is all a matter of feel, but with the pen you can control it precisely. I do this by taking my ink out of the bottle and putting it into an inkwell at a consistent level. Then I dip the pen until the tip hits the bottom, and I have the same ink level every time. I like a level that is just above the opening in the nib. I’ll add small amounts of ink as I go to keep it at the right level.

The Inking Motion

Most people have their greatest amount of control with a line when they work away and to the drawing side of their body. Meaning if you are right handed like me, you work best pulling up and to the right. Pulling down your arm bangs into your body if you pivot at the shoulder, and your wrist has to twist backward to keep your pen square if you work inward pivoting at the elbow. At least for big, sweeping lines try and work up and away from your body. This is especially the case with a brush… try and do a big, sweeping curve up and way from your body and then try one coming down toward your body… moving toward you is more awkward. The shorted lines matter less in this regard. I will often turn my paper every which way, even upside down, to get the lines to work in a comfortable direction, particularly early in the process.

Use Your Arm, not Your Wrist

Believe it or not it’s easier to get strong, consistent lines if you use your shoulder and elbow to ink, not your wrist. Once you get to doing the little details you can use that wrist all you want, but if your line is longer than an inch, try and use your shoulder or elbow as the pivot point. It’s just more stable and fluid.

Let’s Get Inking!

Okay, first off I’ll be doing some brush work. Again, I am starting with the old lady in the center. When I dip my brush, I soak the brush up to about 2/4 of the bristle length. Keep the ink from going high enough to touch the metal barrel, that ruins a brush quickly.

You can see I am rotating the paper to I mostly work up and to the right.

I am using my arm and shoulder to draw the lines, so I get nice smooth curves. I’m keeping the thickest lines to her right side (our left) and underneath, with respect to the light source. I’ll keep on with the brush here for a while and then switch to the pen to work in her interior details. The pen can transition well from the big brush strokes and take me to the thinnest of detail lines.

I am not moving slowly with the brush, but in smooth, even and somewhat quick stokes. It’s important to remember that mistakes can be corrected, so don’t sweat a bad line or three. Just keep pressing on.

Also, don’t worry about getting the perfect line thickness at this point. Try and vary the line thickness with respect to the lightsource at this point, but know what it’s easy and likely we will be going in to beef up lines here and there at the end… no line is an island and what looks bold right now may need a boost when the background is added. It may be ideal to create each line in one bold stroke but the reality is most inkers will go back and add to or beef up lines constantly. It was shocking for me to learn that Al Hirschfeld, the King of elegant and smooth line drawings, creates all his beautiful linear art with short little hairy strokes. Up close his lines are quite rough and imperfect… he creates the feeling of elegance by slowly building the lines one short stroke at a time.

This is getting long, we’ll have to wrap up the tutorial tomorrow! Stay tooned for part II.

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Comic Strip Tutorial, Best Inking Methods, Inking Tools, Pens, Brushes, Paper

The Best Inking Methods, Tools, Pens, Brushes, and Paper


So, How Do You Create These Cartoons?

Note: I used this method from 1993 to 1999. Check below for my new method.

First I capture my ideas down in a quick stick figure sketch on typing paper. Speed is the key here as a great idea can quickly fade. I’m concerned with blocking, rhythm, the joke itself, and especially language. A punchline or a headline succeeds or fails on the specific words themselves. Words mean something and they are not interchangeable. So if the comic is based on a clever turn of phrase or has specific language that drives the story I make sure to write it legibly so I can read it later. If I have multiple ideas for the words, I’ll write alternate takes on the margins and decide which version to keep later.

If you want to see how they ultimately came out you can go to ‘Cycle of Dependency“, “Politicians Week on Jeopardy“, “Sarge Says Drugs Are Dangerous“, and “Good Ole Farm Fresh Goodness“. They all stayed true to the original sketch but sometimes I’ll change the headlines or drop them entirely as in the case for “Drugs Are Dangerous”.

Once I’ve captured the essence in sketch form, the cartoon is essentially done as far as I’m concerned. Next comes the work – about four hours of penciling, inking, touch-ups, and stripping in the headline and bi-line.

First I grab a sheet of 11″ x 14″ Pentalic Paper for Pens and create a box 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ with a technical pencil (HB lead) and a T-Square. In my opinion, Pentalic Paper for Pens, while still the best inking paper I can find, is not as good as it once was. Back in the 1990’s it was thinner, a brighter white, and pencil didn’t smudge as easily. Unfortunately they’ve since changed their formula several times and I don’t think it’s as good but I have yet to find anything better.

So after I’ve created my 9 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ box, I make a 1/2″ strip along the top for the headline. Next I divide the remaining space into four equal sections.

I draw directly with pencil in the first panel and begin blocking out my basic characters, scenery, and dialog. Once it looks right I’ll make a tracing of the first panel on a piece of typing paper using my light table. This will be my template for the other three panels.

Using the light table I then move my template from panel to panel and loosely block in the scene. I know there will be changes in facial expressions and body language later so I focus mainly on proportions and continuity.

If each panel is different,  I skip this step as each panel will be blocked out from scratch. No need for templates and tracing.

Now it’s time for the details. I add the nuances and additional dialog. I leave little to chance, so my pencils are well fleshed out before I start inking. Personally, I want to make very few decisions during the inking process. The time for experimenting is during the sketching process.

Dialog is supremely important and the most difficult element to work with. Every additional word takes away from the available space for the drawing. It’s a constant battle, so I never leave an area for a word balloon and then figure out what I’m going to put their later. I need to know exactly what words will be going in each panel, where the line breaks are, and what the size of the letters will be. A bad line break can hamper the readability and even throw off the punchline. Cramped text will turn off your readers and break the flow. Comic strip dialog is much different than spoken words or text in books, for in comics, the words and the balloons that hold them, are also a graphical element that carry just as much importance as the drawings themselves. This is doubly true for sound effects and action lines. Don’t try to toss them in later.

After I’ve finished the words versus drawings battle, and the sketch looks solid, it’s time to start inking. I ink with a Reform Refograph by Alvin (nib size .70 – I know the photo shows a .50 body but the nib is .70) filled with Rapidograph Ultradraw ink. Unfortunately the Reform Refograph is no longer made and they’re very hard to find. I feel the Reform is far superior to the Rapidograph. Large areas are filled in with a cheap watercolor brush. After the ink is dry, I begin clean up with one of those kneaded putty erasers.

Last, I strip in my bi-line that I cut from a master sheet.

After all this I go to the copy store and make a copy at 80% to fit on a sheet of 8 1/2″ x 11″paper that already has my contact info copied on it (I make a big stack of sheets that only have contact info to use as my copy stock). Then I do any additional touch ups (paste up lines, drop outs etc.) before making copies for distribution from this new “master”.

New Method (2000 to Present)

My biggest influences on my inking were illustrators and cartoonists that were using a brush. I didn’t know this at the time, so I attempted to create a “brush look” by using an ink pen. This involved going over an ink line meticulously to create the thicks and thins that naturally occur with a single brushstroke. This was not only tedious but created an enormous load on my tendons.

Later on, I discovered that all these artists I admired used a brush! Wow, that certainly explained a lot. What a much simpler way to create the “brush” effect. The trouble was, I didn’t like brushes, I liked pens and pencils.

I had resigned myself to continued years of finger, hand, and tendon pain until Nina Paley turned me on to the Kuretake Japanese “brush pen”. It has soft nylon bristles and comes with a set of disposable ink cartridges. Don’t use them though. Ditch the cartridges and buy a Lamy refillable cartridge Model Z26 ( I also hear the Platinum Cartridge works great too). I fill it with the same Ultradraw ink that I used in my Reform Refograph. When you attach the Lamy cartridge it will feel like it doesn’t fit. Don’t force it. The neck is very shallow so just use a gentle push and it will be fine. Push too hard and you may crack the lip of the cartridge. Don’t worry, it feels like it will fall off but it won’t.

The Kuretake brush pen changed my life. I can now ink an entire cartoon in a fourth of the time, and without any pain.

Unfortunately, lettering my strip still took a long time and created a lot of hand pain because I was still using an ink pen to do the lettering. I tried the brush pen with it looked terrible. To speed up my lettering I scanned the best examples of my hand lettering and converted them to a font using Macromedia’s Fontographer (now Fontlab). I was now able to type in my lettering in Illustrator (using a template as a guide for placement) print it out, and paste it above the characters. That’s how I do my strip now and I have no intentions of ever going back. If you want, you can download my Sidewalk Bubblegum comic font collection. It’s free.

Cartoonist Nina Paley turned me on to this amazing Japanese “brush pen”. They cost about $35.00 but they’re priceless as far as I’m concerned.

Best Inking Pens Update (November 12th, 2010)

I had a crunch deadline for some poster and storyboard illustrations when my trusty Kuretake pen started crapping out on me. No matter what I did I couldn’t keep a smooth ink flow. The pen was very old and truth be told it’s had a lot of abuse as well as long periods of idle, so I wasn’t shocked.

So I run to the local art store and start looking for a substitute. I go through a bunch of brush markers and they are just awful. I mean truly awful – as in unusable. Just as I’m about to give up I notice the new Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. It looks like the Kuretake and it’s got a $15.99 price tag, which implies some kind of quality, so I buy it.

I must say I’m very impressed with this pen and the stock cartridges have decent ink in them. So I went back and bought another one. I’m leaving it unopened as an emergency backup.

File Under: Comic Strip Tutorial, Best Inking Methods for Comic Strips, Inking Tools for Comic Books, Pens, Brushes, Paper, Comic Book Lettering

Comic Strip Tutorial, Best Inking Methods, Inking Tools, Pens, Brushes, Paper

Penciling! – Making Comics

I will have a more formal content to post here including notes and tips on Penciling later, but for now I wanted to post at least this, a playlist of YouTube posts of my penciling, in both pencil and with pens as well.

The main point of “penciling” is to create a clean, preparatory drawing to ink over.

Some of the finest examples of clear clean refined “Pencil” art for inking in the classic western comics style are the first two pages in this gallery, by Goran Parlov. From a T3 comic I worked with him on. I had the pleasure of inking this work, you can see more of that posted here on my site.

Next are pages of pencils from my last book Dream Life, in this case a mix of techniques as is my usual habit. Some are in pencil, some in colour-erase pencils, but made B&W, some are done in ink, and a few I collaged together digitally out of scans of separate drawings on scrap paper. All of it gets scanned for editing before printing blues to ink it finally. Those first four examples, represent to my mind the heights to aspire too. when I can this is my ideal standard for the level of finish I work for before Inking when I can.

Some people, including myself, will pencil a lot looser than this when pressed for time. When pressed things get more pragmatic. I work looser, and often with things like ball point pens. The Dracula Son of the Dragon pages, and Ghostbusters work, both are representative of the kind of standards I keep while under the gun. When I’ve been working a lot, i’ll leave more of the final line finding, to the inks, but go for nailing down key things about the shots. I can get passable results this way but it results in a different version of whatever style i’m working on. One less well refined, edited.

Footnote: Schedule impacts style! If you want to work quickly, keep the art simpler, cleaner. If you try to do more realistic or detailed work fast, expect less consistent levels of refinement if time is finite.

The super crisp pencils of Goran Parlov, from a T3 comic I worked with him on. I had the pleasure of inking his lines.

The super crisp pencils of Goran Parlov, from a T3 comic I worked with him on. I had the pleasure of inking his lines.

These are my own pencils, I don’t actually always work in pencli, doing my pencils. But here I did, in blue I think, but converted here to B&W before making it print blues again.

Dream Life pencils, in pencil! Also some underdrawing in blue.

Dream Life pencils, done in blue and then here the darkest turned black for printing.

Dream Life pencils, done in ink!

Dream Life pencils, done in many stages, each colour represents a separate drawing, layered and composed like animation cells in photoshop. Use this to figure out the blocking of some pages.

Dream Life pencils, done in blue and then here the darkest turned black for printing.

Dream Life pencils.

Dream Life pencils. In color-erase pencils.

Ghostbusters Pencils, for IDW. I inked this myself, and was under deadline, so working a lot rougher here.

Ghostbusters Pencils, for IDW. I inked this myself, and was under deadline, so working a lot rougher here.

Ghostbusters Pencils, for IDW. I inked this myself, and was under deadline, so working a lot rougher here.

Loose pencils for a page in Dracula Son of the Dragon. They were done in colored pencils again, and tweaked to pull out my lines in Photoshop.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon. They were done in a mix of pencils, pens, and a bit of compositing in Photoshop, I added the dogs after drawing Vlad. Also pasted in some of the woodwork from refrence on the chair to save time, inked it in to get a nice unified effect.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon. They were with pens in this case.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon. They were with pens in this case.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon. In this instance I drew not just each panel, but almost everything on it’s own bit of scrap paper and scanned it in separately, adding them together in photoshop to experiment with the layout here. The colors come from the pencils and pens I used, slightly exaggerated so you can see the work.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon. They were with pens in this case.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon. They were with pens in this case.

“Pencils” for Dracula Son of the Dragon. They were with pens in this case.

Next I think, one of the best ways to learn is to watch. I’m bad with demo’s in class, but record a lot of my work! So here’s a playlist focusing on penciling. I’ll be adding new clips regularly, so if you have questions feel free to post them in the comments here! The first clip in the list comes with me giving some explanations at various points so I think it will be a good short lesson as well.

We can have messy thumbnails, and roughs in my opinion. I like to keep a loose line in general. But before doing the finishing, be it in ink or other mediums, it’s a good idea to mostly finalize and work out the structural kinks in the art. That’s what penciling is ultimately. An intermediary clean up and development stage of the comics page.

Remember to think about where you’re lettering is going to go as well, how the page will read with it, and if you letter directly on the art, to take a moment to rough in the text and draw your balloons! If you do letter on the art there’s no reason to spend a lot of time finishing the parts of the drawings where they will cover it, so block those in first! If you letter on layers in a program like I usually do, still it’s a good idea to plan out the balloons and text before you get too committed with the art. You may want to make some changes once you decide on your dialog!

Once we have completed the pencils, we can then scan the art, and make new clean blues to do the final inking/finishing over.

If you are working in Manga Studio or a program to draw, all the same is still true, and instead of scanning and printing, you’ll just be using layers to work over your rougher versions of the art.

90,000 Blood was tricked from legendary comic book author and used for autographs

Writer, screenwriter, emeritus chairman of Marvel Comics, creator of Spider-Man, Thor, X-Men and other superheroes 95-year-old Stan Lee has been the victim of an unusual scam.

According to the tabloid TMZ, in October 2017, Stan Lee’s former business partner (whose name was not disclosed in the publication) convinced a nurse to take a significant amount of blood from the creator of the comics under the guise of testing.Exactly how much blood the attacker managed to get is unknown. According to the newspaper, it was enough to make Stan Lee dizzy in the process of taking blood, – reports Medusa.

– Advertising –

TMZ writes that when this business partner ordered a batch of pens with blood instead of ink, Lee’s entourage began to suspect him of fraud. The customer of the pens was allegedly going to release them on sale, and Stan Lee’s representatives said they wanted to prevent this, and also intend to go to the police and to court.The publication says that the same former business partner is suspected of having withdrawn $ 300,000 from Lee’s account, and also bought an apartment worth $ 850,000 with his funds.

In March 2018, The Daily Beast reported that the elderly comic book writer was being “torn apart by vultures,” “Hollywood charlatans,” and “crooks” – and was in serious financial trouble. The publication also wrote about a fake bank check, thanks to which $ 300,000 was withdrawn from Lee’s account.

According to the publication, the check was issued to the charity Hands of Respect.It was created in 2016 by Stan Lee himself in partnership with a certain Jerry Olivares, a former florist who calls himself one of the most successful celebrity agents. According to Olivares, he collaborated not only with Stan Lee, but also with TV presenter Oprah Winfrey, musician Kid Rock and actor Cuba Gooding Jr. (there is no reliable confirmation of this). The Daily Beast also mentions the purchase of an apartment for 850 thousand dollars near Stan Lee’s house (although it does not directly associate it with Olivares’ name), as well as a “suspicious transfer” of almost one and a half million dollars from his account.

In 2017, Stan Lee’s wife died, and, according to journalists, due to the general confusion caused by this, Olivares controlled Lee’s affairs for some time. The Daily Beast writes that several checks were written in the name of Olivares for a “five-digit amount.”

Stan Lee’s daughter, who introduced Jerry Olivares to her father, said that he promised to “make their family rich”, but cooperation with him so far only brought losses and spoiled her relationship with her father. According to tech and pop culture site Gizmodo, Stan Lee is no longer affiliated with Hands of Respect (although he and his daughter are still listed as members of the team on its site).

On March 5, TMZ reported that the blood samples stolen from Stan Lee were not actually used to make souvenir pens. As the publication managed to find out, in the store at the interactive exhibition Marvel “The Avengers. The Secret Base “in Las Vegas sold editions of” Thor “and” Black Panther “, signed (via facsimile; Lee did not sign the comics himself) in ink based on their author’s blood. Each edition was accompanied by a signature certificate; in the certificate, the goods were identified as “hand-stamped with Stan Lee’s signature using ink with Stan Lee’s DNA dissolved in them”.The cost of publications with such a signature ranged from $ 250 to $ 500. The certificates have been issued by Hands of Respect.

Issue of the comic strip “Black Panther” with Stan Lee’s signature, supposedly inked with particles of blood stolen from him, and a certificate of authenticity for the signature. April 6, 2018 TMZ / MEGA / Scanpix / LETA

The io9 tech blog discovered that comic book fans reported buying similar titles back in December 2017, three months after a nurse took Stan Lee’s blood.

At the forum of the CGC company, which examines the quality of published comics, on March 8, 2018, an allegedly official statement of the organizers of the exhibition “The Avengers. Secret base “. It claims that Stan Lee himself, on behalf of the Hands of Respect organization, decided to donate his blood to good causes, as he was touched by the collection of blood from victims of the shooting at the country festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. The statement even indicated the names of the nurse and cardiologist under whose supervision the blood was allegedly taken, as well as the name of the ink manufacturer (an ink company with a similar name does exist, but it was indicated with an error).This is the only post by a user named Avengers. Secret Base “on the CGC forum.

Victory Hill Exhibitions (which owns the “Avengers. Secret Base” exhibition) told io9 that Lee’s signature comics were actually sold in the store at the exhibition, but after the fraud was reported, they were immediately removed from sale. Company representatives confirmed that they purchased these items from Hands of Respect as they appeared to be certified and authorized.

Hands of Respect, a purported ink manufacturer, and a cardiologist who was allegedly present when Stan Lee’s blood was drawn, did not respond to requests for comment.

Let us remind you that last year a comic strip about the exploits of “cyborgs” appeared in Ukraine.

90,000 Comic Review: Bucky. The ink of the golden octopus .: silly_owl_xiii – LiveJournal

“Confused by the sad vision,

I listen to you with amazement.

I don’t know what to tell you,

I don’t know what to ask you ”.

Pedro Calderón de la Barca

“Life is a dream”
(translated by D.K. Petrov)

Author’s comics, like auteur films, are a minefield. You start reading history and do not know what you will get in the end. Domestic drawn stories are not an exception, but rather a direct confirmation of this rule.

Disclaimer: Illustrations can not only offend your artistic taste, but also cause hysteria!
I warned! )))

“Bucky” is a comic strip originally from Orenburg.Publishing House “Golden Octopus” presents a truly author’s vision of the standards of drawn stories. The magazines, and there are already three of them, conceal a lot of unexpected and sometimes shocking moments inside. For example, a drawing. From the beginning, it seemed to me that this was done with ink with diligence and perseverance. No. Everything worked out on a computer. It is unclear why the detailing of the characters is incomplete and no attention is paid to the background at all. It must be said that the storyteller and artist is a tattoo artist and his work and they are very good.Why is Bucky so deprived of design? Perhaps minimalism is a feature of this comic? Who knows.

Meanwhile, there is minimalism in the plot. With the author’s obvious reading in “Bucky”, the story sags like overcooked pasta – everywhere. The pages feature nods to Sin City and The Lil Depressed boy, allusions to classic operetta villains, and absurd hits evoke Earthworm Jim. The lack of ideas on the pages of “Bucky” is compensated by pictures on the whole page (these panels, however, do not solve anything either).

If you dare to read Bucky, then get ready for plug-in stories with an open ending. This is tin outside the category. Look at the picture. Cool, but nothing more.

At this, perhaps, we can finish. Two issues of the comic have been read, and I do not yearn for a sequel. A thousand likes for the courage to express the author’s views on comics and the presentation of the story.

Still 2 out of 5. Good start, but failed to take off.

The comic was submitted for review by the “Turtle” store.
The illustrations in the material are used for non-commercial purposes.

VK page of the comic “Bucky” and its creator Nikita.

Comic “Bucky” in LiveJournal and Google+

“Fantastic Beasts 3”: retelling of the plot leaked to the network | Cinema

The other day, the alleged plot of the third part of the long-suffering franchise “Fantastic Beasts” was leaked to the network. The source is one of the viewers who attended the test screening.He gave a link to the retelling on Twitter, and then deleted everything (or, rather, he was asked about it).

We occasionally write about leaks, but this one attracted attention for two reasons at once. Firstly, the retelling turned out to be voluminous and detailed, with various amusing details (what if they are not fiction?). Secondly, the fate of the series depends on this film: it will either pull Fantastic Beasts to an acceptable level after the controversial sequel, or drown the series once and for all. It is doubly interesting how the creators will get out with Grindelwald’s recast – in the new film he is played by Mads Mikkelsen.

Spoiler alert!

Possible. The retelling may or may not be true.

At the beginning of the film, we see a train on which Dumbledore and Grindelwald are talking. They remember the past and the bloody pact concluded. Then Dumbledore reveals his feelings, Gellert does not reciprocate to the “old friend” and tells him to stay away.

In the next scene, Newt Scamander gives birth to the Qilin, a Chinese fantasy animal like a unicorn.Suddenly, the followers of Grindelwald appear, led by Credence, who want to take the newborn foal – the dark wizard needs it for some purpose. The female is seriously injured, the chase begins, and as a result the villains manage to kidnap the foal. Newt returns to the dying tsilin with nothing. It turns out that she had twins. The wounded female dies, Newt takes the newborn and flies away on a magic bird. Only after that there are the opening credits.

Credence delivers the kidnapped foal to Grindelwald.He cuts the throat of the animal and uses the blood to spy on other characters. He sees Newt and Theseus Scamanders come to Hogsmeade, visit Boar’s Head and meet Aberforth Dumbledore, not knowing whose brother he is.

Dumbledore finds a vessel with blood in a basement. It was she who was used in the conclusion of the bloody oath between him and Grindelwald, and now they cannot attack each other. At the thought of Dumbledore’s attack, the vessel is torn from his hands and begins to fly around the room, the wizard’s hands entwine the chains.With some difficulty, Dumbledore manages to stop the spell. If he continues to think about the battle, he will obviously die.

Dumbledore reveals that he has a plan to defeat Grindelwald, but for this the heroes must trust him. The kidnapped tsilin gives some strength, you need to be very careful.

Credence confesses to Queenie that he is not sure if he chose the right side. The heroine does not betray him to Grindelwald. Credence sees the inscription “Forgive me” on the mirror.

We are shown Jacob and his bakery going through hard times.Jacob imagines meeting Queenie. He notices a woman named Lali, who turns out to be a magician and Newt’s cousin. Lali carries Jacob to the train, where Newt, Theseus, Bunty and Kama are already gathered. Some objects are handed out to those present: a tie with a gold pin, a stick without a core, and others. Each item has a purpose. Bunty receives Newt’s suitcase and orders several copies from the master. At the same time, we learn that Tina Goldstein became the head of the American Aurorat.

Grindelwald sees Yusuf’s visit to the castle and tells him to prepare for his departure.A phoenix is ​​looking after Credence. Grindelwald suspects Credence has some task.

Newt and Theseus go to Berlin to elect the head of the International Confederation of Wizards and meet there with its current head Vogel, to whom Dumbledore’s message is passed on. Vogel is unhappy that Dumbledore is “hiding in Hogwarts” and announces to the crowd that Grindelwald will not be charged for lack of evidence. Theseus are kidnapped by the followers of Grindelwald, who mingle with the crowd. Newt, in search of his brother, comes to the German Ministry, where he notices one of the kidnappers.Apparently Grindelwald has people in the Ministry itself.

Grindelwald and Rosier drive through Berlin, their car surrounded by followers of Grindelwald, who carry him away. This is seen by Vogel, Liu and Santos (candidates for the election of a new chapter). Vogel says protests can lead to violence.

Newt, Lali and Jacob meet with Dumbledore. He asks Lali and Jacob to go to the candidates dinner tonight as he expects someone to be assassinated. He also tells Newt where his brother is being held.

Yusuf arrives at Grindelwald, as he predicted. He reveals that he works for Dumbledore and becomes a double agent. Grindelwald invites Yusuf to erase the bitter memories of his sister.

Credence watches Dumbledore in Berlin as they fight. Credence is defeated. Dumbledore says they are of the same blood, but not brothers.

Newt finds the prison where his brother is being held, and transfers his pets, Pickett and Teddy, for temporary detention. Newt says he will be back soon, but the guard is unsure.The guard gives Newt a flashlight and sends him to a dark prison corridor. Newt soon finds his brother and frees him.

Lali and Jacob arrive for a dinner hosted by the MKV. Grindelwald, Yusuf and Queenie also appear there. Jacob calls out to Queenie, who ignores him. At dinner, Grindelwald tells Queenie that he forgives her for having an affair with Jacob. Jacob drinks and walks up to Grindelwald, pulls out the previously given magic wand and pretends to attack. Santos, meanwhile, is brought a poisoned drink, but Lali manages to save him.Grindelwald says the Muggle wanted to kill him, so the wizards need to rally. Lali manages to be transported from the restaurant with Jacob.

A light is on in front of the prisoners’ cells. One of the lights goes out and the prisoner is dragged away by a giant spider. Newt and Theseus catch the spider’s attention, their lantern goes out, and they have to run away through the tunnels.

Pickett and Teddy escape. Teddy steals Theseus’ tie with a gold pin. The spider grabs Theseus and drags him into the pit. Newt jumps after them, and Teddy joins them with a tie.The tie turns out to be the port-key to the Hogwarts grounds, and everyone is saved.

Dumbledore and Jacob are in the Great Hall. Jacob shows off his wand and talks about a prank the Slytherins have been playing. Dumbledore says there will be a meeting tonight at the Hog’s Head.

Grindelwald revives the previously killed tsilin. In a vision of the dark magician, Dumbledore appears with another foal. Grindelwald asks Credence as he walks in if there was a second foal. He replies that he does not know, and Grindelwald pounces on him, declaring that he is now in great danger.

A message appears in the mirror of Aberforth: “Do you know what it means to be alone?”

We learn that a qilin can bow his head only to a person with a pure soul. Newt, from the conversation between Aberforth and Dumbledore, realizes that Credence is not Dumbledore’s brother, but a nephew – the fruit of Aberforth’s novel.

Another message in the mirror says, “I want to go home.” Dumbledore realizes that Credence was talking to him through the mirror, and regrets that he could not be with him. Dumbledore, looking at the portrait of Ariana, says that he has experience with what is inside Credence, and that he can no longer be saved, but he can save everyone.

Dumbledore reveals his plan. The elections will be held in an important place for magicians – in the Himalayas. Each of the conspirators must deliver one of the six copied suitcases there. One of them contains a tsilin. Dumbledore asks Newt if he knows which suitcase is the real one. He says no. Dumbledore is satisfied – otherwise the plan would not have worked. The conspirators are transported to the location through the portal.

Lali and Theseus attack the Aurors of Grindelwald. In response, the heroes release items that were in their suitcases – Quidditch balls, Jacob’s enchanted pastries.(Lali and Theseus leave.) Jacob finds Queenie again and asks her to return. She says it’s too late. Jacob is captured and taken away by Grindelwald’s men.

Qilin is checking candidates. The animal that appears in the scene is resurrected by Grindelwald. Qilin bows to Grindelwald. Under the fireworks, he was announced as the new head of the MKV. Grindelwald wants to show that nonmages are not allowed to defile magical bloodlines. To do this, he tortures Jacob with the Cruciatus, which Queenie watches with horror.

Credence suddenly appears and declares Grindelwald a liar by running a finger across his face, causing an ink line to appear. Credence claims the tsilin was killed, which Queenie confirms. Grindelwald states that this is a lie. The ink washes over the body of the tsilin and reveals his connection with Grindelwald. Bunty appears with a suitcase and shows another tsilin. The new tsilin bows to Dumbledore, but Dumbledore says there are other worthy candidates. Then the tsilin chooses Santos.

Grindelwald attacks Credence, but Albus and Aberforth block the spell.Dumbledore defended and Grindelwald attacked, but they didn’t think about each other, so the Blood Pact flask collapses. Immediately, a grandiose battle between two great magicians takes place.

The fight suddenly ends with the opponents stopping and placing their hands on each other’s hearts. Then they go their separate ways. Grindelwald says he was never their enemy. Then he disappears when the Aurors are about to attack him. Credence weakens and dies. Aberforth picks him up and says he will take him home.Phoenix follows. Dumbledore explains to Newt the reasons for the destruction of the vial. Jacob and Queenie hug. Phoenix flies off into the sunset.

The final scene shows Jacob and Queenie’s wedding at the bakery. Newt notices Dumbledore sitting alone on the bench and speaks to him, and he admits that he misses it. Newt says he can be contacted. Newt meets Tina and they return to the bakery. Dumbledore watches for a while and leaves alone.

* * *

This, if you believe, is the plot of the future film.Has it become more solid? Perhaps. More interesting? This is another question. In any case, you should wait for the exit and see for yourself.


Sergey Glezerov


December 10, 2021


Guest editor – “Librarian of the Year” Vladimir GOLOVACHEV.

In November, the National Library of Russia received guests from all over the country. The 9th All-Russian Forum of Public Libraries was held here, where the results of the Librarian of the Year competition were also summed up. Our interlocutor today, who has become the owner of this honorary title, is young. He is 35. And although he has been running the library for only five years, he is no stranger to his business. His library is named after the writer Vitaly Bianchi and is located in Moscow, so Vladimir Golovachev, a native of the Neva banks, has to live in two cities.

Vladimir Sergeevich, at the award ceremony you shared a story from your youth, how you were expelled from the library in disgrace …

– Yes, there was such a sad episode. But the more I remember him, the more I understand that if it weren’t for him, I probably would not have thought about what a library should be, and I myself would not have become a librarian.

Here is how it was. As a schoolboy, I was enrolled in the children’s library on Skobelevsky Avenue.And there was a rule dictated by the desire to increase the rates of book issuance: when returning a book, the reader certainly had to take a new one, or rather two. And it is obligatory!

I was already in the ninth grade, I considered myself almost an adult, and, naturally, I really didn’t like being commanded. And when they told me in an imperative tone: “You must take the book!” “All the same – take it!” – I heard in response.

Then I defiantly turned away from the rack and, reaching back, took the first book I came across and showed it to the librarian. And this, to my misfortune, turned out to be “Kolobok”, and even without text, only with pictures. My trick was perceived as an unheard-of insolence, a terrible insult. The library card was immediately torn apart, and I was kicked out …

Laughter laughter, but for me it was a serious psychological trauma. Today, as the director of the library, in no case do I allow and will not allow the institution entrusted to me to do this to a visitor.Even if he’s wrong. I remember very well my childish fear, when I went to the library with a heavy feeling: I was a day overdue for a book, now there will be a beating, unpleasant words will sound. I really didn’t want to go to such a library.

And you became a librarian so that this happens less often?

– Including for this. Of course, books are state property, and there is no escape from working with debtors.But we try to make the reader’s contact with us as convenient and informal as possible. The book can be extended by writing to an employee via social networks.

In general, I am sure that the library should be a territory of kindness, and not an institution that fulfills its indicators at any cost. After all, when a person comes here, he hopes that he will be surrounded with care, attention, that this is a pleasant, comfortable place. The library should be cozy, warm at home.

I am sad to talk about this: several children from disadvantaged families actually found their second home in our library.After school, they do not want to go home, they come to us and spend most of the day with us. Our employees work with them, play with them, even help them do their homework. This, of course, is not a library function at all, the point is different: the child must want to come to us.

We are not a school where there are many prohibitions, but at the same time, of course, not everything is allowed …

A natural question: how did you, a resident of St. Petersburg, turn out to be the head of a Moscow institution?

– Sometimes a chance and an amazing combination of circumstances decide a lot in our life.Before that, I worked as a teacher at an art school. What our students and I just didn’t do together: traveling exhibitions at the most unusual venues, projects and creative actions … And libraries have always been our faithful partners.

While preparing one of the projects, I came across an amazing story. After the war, there were no elephants in the Leningrad Zoo for a long time. The Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh learned about this and decided to present these animals to the Soviet Union as gratitude for military and technical assistance.The elephants were named Xiong and Kung. Translated from Vietnamese – “hero” and “feat”.

The gift was sent “on its own”. For more than a year, elephants with their drivers went to Leningrad. This amazing story was learned and sketched by the young artist Vladimir Shevchenko; he showed the illustrations to the famous children’s writer Vitaly Bianki. He instantly wrote a text to them. A wonderful book, Xiong and Kung, appeared and spread throughout the country.

60 years after this story, the guys and I contacted the daughter of Vladimir Gavrilovich – Galina Nikolskaya, who kept her father’s drawings, layouts of the book, correspondence with Bianki.The project “Xiong and Kung: Elephants of Friendship” was born. There were exhibitions, meetings, concerts. We even fulfilled Vitaly Valentinovich’s unfulfilled dream by reading in one of his letters: “How great it would be to publish this book in Vietnamese!”. Translated, from a distance, presented in the children’s library in Hanoi.

Later one summer I drove through Moscow to the opening of our exhibition at the Biysk Museum of Local Lore named after Bianki. And I decided to look into the capital’s library, which also bore the name of the writer.Very cozy, small, located next to Filevsky Park. Confusedly explained to the employees who I was and why I had appeared with them. The manager was not there, they called her, told that some strange young man had come, telling about Vietnamese elephants and Ho Chi Minh. And in response they heard: “Our man!”.

This is how our cooperation and great friendship began. For five years we did joint projects, they even jokingly called me “our freelance librarian.” And then one day, to my question about plans for the coming year, the head of the library, Irina Fedorovna Politsyna, sadly said: “That’s it, Volodya, I’m leaving.It’s time. I would have left earlier, but I wondered who would continue. Now I am leaving with peace of mind. ”

A month later, I bought a one-way ticket to Moscow. And for six years I cannot imagine myself without my beloved library and our friendly team.

So all the same: what have you been awarded for today?

– In fact, I am asking myself this question and even a little perplexed, since I had quite a lot of strong competitors.Apparently, the members of the jury commended me for an unconventional approach to librarianship, because, in fact, by my first education, I was a graphic artist. Therefore, I myself prepare posters of library events, layouts of booklets and flyers, and design our social networks. By the way, a recent creative experiment – the drawn online assistants Chitaika and Smartyk – became the kids’ favorites. And my pedagogical education comes to the rescue in the development of curricula for circles, writing project concepts…

The last two pandemic years for our library, oddly enough, turned out to be very successful, as we actively explored the online space. As a matter of fact, the measure was forced, but it led to the fact that we began to come up with new interesting forms of interaction. We started with simple, traditional ones: we read fairy tales to children online. Once a library cat accidentally appeared in the frame, it caused a lot of excitement, and we prepared a whole series – “Tales of the Scientist’s Cat”.

Then we went on. They began to develop online portals for large projects, which, due to the pandemic, were under the threat of cancellation. During self-isolation and lockdown, our all-Russian action “Draw Victory” turned out to be the largest children’s art competition in the country dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. We gathered more than half a million participants, and how many warm words of gratitude we received from the families who remained in their apartments and houses, but felt a sense of involvement in a big common cause!…

I had the feeling that I spoke on the phone with the whole country. In the last days of accepting work, he did not stop, day or night. I even calculated for myself that the whole country sleeps no more than three hours at the same time, then different time zones begin to “wake up”. I slept the same amount these days, answering calls and letters. But it was worth it!

In general, our library is ecological, or even more correct to say – eco-educational, profile.Together with our readers, we learn to separate waste collection, to save energy. Every spring on the windowsills, a “library garden” blooms, children with rulers and notepads watch the germination of seeds and flowering of plants …

Returning to the question of modern libraries. I am glad that most of them no longer look as archaic as they did ten or fifteen years ago, but at the same time they are frightened by the “omnivorousness” of some …

– On the one hand, I really want to keep the library in its classic form – as a repository of wisdom and knowledge.On the other hand, and this is especially true for children’s libraries, we have to compete with the entertainment industry that affects children. If a modern child is not interested, he simply will not come to us. Therefore, some new forms of popularizing books and reading – in the form of quests, online activities – are, in my opinion, permissible.

It is another matter that some colleagues, in pursuit of these new forms, seem to me to cross the line, and then books become no longer the main content of the library, but the background for holding mass events.This is already a disaster.

We must be honest and admit that everyone should do their own thing. The child will be taught to sculpt and draw at an art school, martial arts – in sports, playing the violin – in a music school. The library teaches to love and respect the book and should not duplicate the functions of other institutions.

I travel a lot around the country and, alas, quite often I see something that I do not like at all: in libraries they start making some art objects from books, do completely extraneous things, in fact, just renting out premises for entertainment.

Maybe this is because it seems to many that the book in its traditional, paper form is going away altogether?

– In fact, this is a very controversial issue. In my opinion, we have already passed the peak of confrontation between traditional and e-books. Five years ago, there was a strong belief that “paper” would soon disappear into oblivion. But this did not happen and, as it seems to me, it will not happen. This is especially true for children’s publications: a coloring book, a toy book, a primer will never be replaced by electronic counterparts.

But, what makes me especially happy, I see more and more books in the hands of young people. It has even become fashionable to take a selfie in the library with a book in hand, and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Of course, it will be great if a person reads this book as well, but the very fact that a certain “reader’s” fashion is emerging is already good.

Even traditional newspapers have a future, I’m sure. It seems to me that nothing can replace a real esthete with morning coffee with a newspaper. I regularly travel on high-speed trains between St. Petersburg and Moscow, and when a cart with newspapers is transported along the carriage, I notice that they are mostly taken by young people who have just had smartphones and tablets in their hands.But for some reason they reach for “archaic” newspapers and then leaf through them with pleasure …

Another important factor: given the current very high prices for books, the library is becoming a place where people come for new books. Modern libraries are now well equipped, we receive new items almost immediately after they leave the publishers.

Therefore, if even ten years ago, a mournful mood often reigned in libraries, sometimes it even seemed that the profession of a librarian was becoming a thing of the past, today there is a revival – both in large cities and in remote settlements.

What’s next?

– I conducted a creative experiment with our young visitors: I asked them to draw how they see the library. And you know, none of them portrayed a modern space like an entertainment center. Basically, they painted old rooms, with table lamps, ancient tomes … That is, children are drawn to something mysterious. You can scold the films about Harry Potter, but the fact that there are interiors with books clearly captivates children.

In general, it seems to me that a library should not strive to be super modern. Children, and adults too, are already so sophisticated with all kinds of gadgets that today you will not surprise anyone with a virtual “filling”. It has become commonplace. And the delight of children causes something completely different: an old gramophone, which recently appeared in our library. They are very interested when we show how to use the pen, and they learn to dip it in ink, like their great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers…

Yes, you have to keep up with the times, but you cannot lose some of the charm of libraries that we almost lost. At one time, they fought in every possible way with “library stereotypes”. Remember: the very word “library” in the minds of many people was then associated with the notorious grandmother with a bundle on her head, who gave out books. In fact, now many people just want to see such a grandmother – wise, well-read, intelligent. And you can hardly find them anymore.

When I am abroad, I always go to libraries.And I see that in countries where technological progress came earlier, a lot is starting to return to normal. And all this veil from electronic gadgets somehow dissolves …

Paradox: Vitaly Bianki is a Leningrad writer, but in our city there is no library named after him, but in Moscow there is.

– Indeed, and for me personally, this is a very sore point. Perhaps I would not even have moved to Moscow if there was a Bianchi library in St. Petersburg.

And now I am doing everything to make the institution entrusted to me one of the cultural bridges between the two capitals. For example, we have a project that we are conducting jointly with the St. Petersburg KGIOP – “The UNESCO Cultural Heritage of Two Capitals.” The guys draw monuments in the style of comics. It is easier for Petersburgers: we have the entire city center under the protection of UNESCO, and in Moscow there are only three objects – the Kremlin, Novodevichy Convent and Kolomenskoye.

We have resumed the online activities of the Bianchi Club, which once operated in Leningrad under the Russian Geographical Society.We have united the country’s “B-bank” institutions, we exchange experience, how they work with the writer’s legacy.

What else I certainly want to ask: how did you, a native Petersburger, survive the move to Moscow?

– You mean, do I feel the differences between the capitals? Curb or curb, pavement or panel, stall or tent? Usually it’s all at the level of humor. The taxi driver can say: “Now I will stop at the entrance …Oh, I’m sorry, you’re from St. Petersburg: at the front door. ”

A part of Moscow has always lived in me. My grandparents are from there, so since childhood I have heard stories about the Mother See from them. My grandmother worked with the famous breeder Leonid Kolesnikov, with whom they bred unique varieties of lilacs. Therefore, for me, Moscow was a city of childhood.

Of course, it becomes a little offensive for St. Petersburg when you see the pace at which the metro is being built here, how the territories are comprehensively landscaped, and the urban environment is being transformed.Take the same Novy Arbat: it would seem that in terms of architecture there is nothing particularly outstanding. But what a convenient, accessible, aesthetic it is! .. Indeed, Peter clearly lacks the Moscow rhythm of life.

But have I now become a Muscovite in my soul? Perhaps not. Actually, I didn’t say to myself: “That’s it, now from this day I am a Muscovite.” Every month I visit St. Petersburg, for me there was no break with the city, which still remains dear to me. And beyond my Moscow window I have the same old maples and almost the same quarter of the 1960s as in my native Udelnaya.

In general, the physical location of a person in the presence of modern technologies is somewhat arbitrary, and the pandemic with its remote work using the Internet has once again confirmed this. In fact, for people of creative professions, nothing changes from whether they are in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod or Rostov.

Therefore, I also had absolutely no need to abandon my favorite brainchild – the international ethnic festival “Land of Kalevala”, which turned 15 this year.I started it when I was a student. It all started with a trip of a student group to Karelia to the islands of the Sortavala archipelago of Lake Ladoga, then there was a small student exhibition of plein-air works, to the opening of which we invited musicians and creative teams …

Gradually, the ethnofestival from a student’s dream turned into the largest project dedicated to Karelia. We work closely with local librarians, museum workers, researchers. Every year we collect more than five thousand applications for participation in the competition of children’s creativity, photo competition, design competitions, vocals and choreography, tourism industry.

So creative people inevitably become globalists: we are cramped within the narrow framework of one city, region, even country. We follow new and interesting ideas. Nowadays so much happens online that, being in Moscow or St. Petersburg, you are engaged in projects that are being carried out in Karelia, Chuvashia or Kalmykia … In fact, where you connected your laptop to the Internet, there is your place of work for the next few hours or maybe even days.

And high-speed trains have radically changed the idea that Moscow and St. Petersburg are located far from each other.Now there is a feeling that you sit on the subway and just drive a little longer than usual from one station to another.

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