Archive for the 'Useful Information' Category

Lance Ward video

[Lance Ward]

Lance Ward “The Portal”
Interview with Conspirator Lance Ward about life, death and art by Ken Avidor. Photography and editing by David Steinlicht.

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Lutefisk Sushi Mini-Comic Production Notes by Kevin Cannon

Local hero Kevin Cannon has a great article on mini-comics production over at the Big Time Attic blog in anticipation of Lutefisk Sushi Volume D (deadline for participation June 15th). Click the image to go there.

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“The Submission Guidelines for Every Comic and Manga Publisher in the Universe”

Or so they claim… a pretty big list, regardless. Check it out here.

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Cream City Conversations

Here’s the link to my interview/conversation blog.

It’s a space I use to promote other independent work… be it music, literature, film… ESECIALLY COMIX. If you’d like to be included to the collection of ‘conversations’ on the site, simply drop me a line or copy’n’paste the questions from the blog with your answers and send them to me in an e-mail.

Also included on the blog are links to other artists, art supply sources, etc.



The Cartoonist Conspiracy on Snark Infested Waters

Dan Olson, Ryan Dow & other Conspirators were interviewed this weekend at MicroCon for the podcast Snark Infested Watersgo listen to it here.

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Rice Cartoonist Conspiracy Meeting Rescheduled to April 24th.

The Cartoonist Conspiracy will not be meeting tonight due to an attack of watery alien dandruff on the Central MN Area. I lied, it’s snow, but we’re still moving tonight’s meeting to the 24th.

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Great List of Resources for Cartoonists

Caleb Monroe has posted an amazingly huge list of resources for cartoonists here. It includes big lists of anthologies and publishers accepting admissions, among other things. He intends to update his list regularly.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

TABLE OF CONTENTS: (click to jump)
00) Comic Writer Services ***New!***
01) Featured Items
02) Submission Guidelines Introduction
03) Anthologies
04) Publishers Accepting Submissions
05) Talent Searches/Contests
06) Publishers Accepting Submissions, But Not From Writers
07) Publishers Not Currently Accepting Unsolicited Submissions
08) Self-Publishing
09) Publishing Grants
10) Miscellaneous Resources
11) ENGINE Archive ***New!***

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The Tradio: Pentel’s Fountain Pentel Replacement

I wrote the other week about my love of the Fountain Pentel, and how I was about to acquire a replacement for it from Wet Paint.

I have now purchased it and tried it out, and it is a wonderful thing!

The new Fountain Pentel actually isn’t called a Fountain Pentel… it is called a Tradio. The flexible tip is the same as the one on the Fountain Pentel (although it is black instead of white)… it gives you great versatility in the thickness of the line you are drawing depending on how much pressure you apply. This is what really sets it apart from other pens.

Other than that the Tradio is quite different… and quite an improvement over the previous model.

Unlike the Fountain Pentel, the Tradio is a refillable pen. Although I was hoping this might mean I could fill it with whatever ink I wanted to, this is not the case. The refillable cartridge is quite large and enclosed… and it includes a new nib. Essentially, the refills are the whole pen, minus the case. You could, if you were inclined, just buy the refills and use them as pens… not that I recommend it, as it wouldn’t be very comfortable to hold.

The refills aren’t terribly cheap, but they are very comparable to the price of a Fountain Pentel when they were still manufactured.

One of the major problems with the old Fountain Pentel was that it was essentially a felt tip, and the tips would often dry out and kill the pen. So far, that problem seems to have been eliminated with the Tradio… the ink, which is free-flowing liquid rather than ink soaked into a felt tip mass (as was the case with the Fountain Pentel), flows smoothly and easily.

The ink is also seems to be blacker than the ink in the Fountain Pentel… hopefully this means I won’t experience the fading issues I had with the ink in the Fountain Pentel, although I won’t know the answer to this for years.

All in all, the Tradio is a wonderful and relatively inexpensive pen… I can’t recommend it highly enough. You can order one from Wet Paint here (which I believe is currently the only North American distributor for these wonderful pens).

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Review of the ACKERMAN PENS’ "PUMP PEN" from Linda Medley

Linda Medley, the artist and creator of the comic book Castle Waiting has posted an interesting review of the Ackerman Pens’ Pump Pen (One Fussy and Messy Little Pen! Is It Worth It?). Linda gives a detailed review that should be great reading for any artist interested in different drawing tools , especially those interested in classic dip/nib pens. She illustrates the review with examples she created with the pen for her current in progress comic book.

She also includes a section Make your on DIY Pump Pen.

You can read it HERE.

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The Fountain Pentel, and why I love Wet Paint

I’ve been using the Fountain Pentel as my pen of choice for many years, and I love them… The Fountain Pentel has a unique plastic nib which bends to draw a different thickness of line depending on how much pressure you apply. They are fun to use, and like no other pen I’ve ever experienced.

I actually bought a gross of them in the 90’s as I was afraid they would stop making them, as they were always a hard to find pen. My supply of this unique pen is dwindling.

Looking recently for replacements, I discovered that, horror of horrors, my premonition was accurate and they are no longer sold in the US… in fact, I couldn’t even find an image of the Fountain Pentels I use online, they are so out of date. Here’s one for you I just scanned:

Fortunately, in St. Paul we have Wet Paint, the world’s greatest art supply store. I contacted Tim Jennen, the marketing manager and buyer for Wet Paint (who also happens to be a member of the Conspiracy) and let him know about my dilemma.

Tim has a passion for hunting down obscure art materials, and he just emailed me some good news shortly after my inquiry:

Hi, Steve—

I’m still hoping to bring in the regular Fountain Pentel at some point, but I have brought in a different version of this pen that I found—the Tradio Fountain Pentel, which is refillable. Here’s some info on it:

Tradio Fountain Pentel TRJ50

Tradio Fountain Pentel

A fountain pen with the perfect combination of style and performance. A flexible plastic nib creates a variety of line widths, from thick to thin, depending on the angle and pressure applied. The innovative, see-thru free-flowing system delivers a consistent ink flow for smooth, effortless writing from the first stroke to the last. The ergonomic barrel design provides added comfort and writing control. Black ink. Uses Pentel’s MLJ20 refill in black.


The pen is $10.00, but on sale during our Make Your Mark sale through the end of April at $8.50. The MLJ20 refill is $3.95.

The next time you’re in the store, check it out!


Tim Jennen, Marketing Manager/Buyer
Wet Paint: Artists’ Materials & Framing

Refillable! This is very exciting news to me, as my major gripe with the (disposable) Fountain Pentels I’ve used is that they fade with age… hopefully the ink in the cartridges is non-fading, or I can figure out a non-fading ink solution for this. I can’t wait to try one… I’m gonna try and make it over to Wet Paint this weekend, and I’ll give you a comparison to the disposable models once I try this out.

So now Wet Paint is apparently the only US supplier for two of the greatest cartooning tools ever created… the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen (which we’ve mentioned many times before) and the Fountain Pentel. I believe they are also the last place left that you can buy supplies for gocco screen printing machines, which are quite wonderful.

If you’re looking for a specific art supply and can’t find it anywhere, contacting Wet Paint is a good bet… they have an online store with their wares as well, so you don’t have to live in the Twin Cities to get a hold of these wonderful tools. Their prices are great too… we’re very lucky to have them in the Twin Cities.

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