Archive for the 'Cartooning Lessons' Category

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are no longer sold in the US… in fact, I couldn’t even find an image of the Fountain Pentels I use online, they are so out of date.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.

TRJ50A-A


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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How to Make Mini-Comics

We recently completed work on the first volume of the Cartoonist Conspiracy L’il Library (to be used at this weekend’s Mouth Off event at The Center For Book Arts)… How to Make Mini-Comics. Click on the image below to download the pdf… then print it out, cut it up, fold it, staple it and learn. Please note that this is a pretty big (4MB) file, so please help conserve our bandwidth and only download it if you intend to use it.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License. It may be printed and distributed freely. It is intended to be an educational tool, and it is our hope that it will be widely used as a “textbook” for teaching how to make a mini-comic.

Thanks to Adam Wirtzfeld, Bob Lipski, Maxeem, Bud Burgy, Zander Cannon, Kevin Cannon, Dank!, and Eric Lappegard for helping me (Steven Stwalley) put this together.

Note that any cartoonist who is interested can contribute a volume to the new Cartoonist Conspiracy Li’l Library. This is intended to become a downloadable pdf library of cartooning tips and techniques in mini-comics format, all using the above creative commons license. Let us know if you’re interested.

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How To Exhibit

For those of you unsure about how to go about getting a table to exhibit at a comic convention, New Mexico’s Over The Top Comics presents this instructional video:

The first video in their series, Drawin’ Comics Like We Do, is here.

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Tips and Tricks From Big Time Attic

The Big Time Attic blog has been posting all sorts of wonderful stuff lately, including some excellent “tips and tricks”

Tips and Tricks: Jam Comics
Tips and Tricks: Drawing Out in the Cold
Tips and Tricks: Computer Coloring
Tips and Tricks: The Brush Pen

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Interesting Articles From the Comics Reporter

I was just perusing Tom Spurgeon’s Comics Reporter website and ran across some articles there that I thought would be of interest to you all (check them out at the links below). While you’re there you may want to subscribe to The Comics Reporter blog as well (which is the main page of his site). Tom provides some of the best coverage of comics news on the internoodle.

Why Should I Make a Mini-Comic

Getting Published — Comic Books

Getting Your Daily Newspaper Strip Syndicated

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Places to look for Cartooning Gigs

There are enough cartooning gigs appearing online these days that I can no longer keep up with them, although I’ll keep trying… there is a list on the top of the site (and the left side of the home page) of things I’ve heard about and got around to adding, and we have a section of the message board here that anyone can post their opportunities to. Fortunately there are other places to check as well!

Conspirator Andrey Feldysteyn does an excellent job keeping up a list of cartooning opportunies, with a focus on international cartooning and gag comics competitions (among other things).

The Comics Journal message board has frequent opportunites that pop, particularly for the small-press cartoonist:

Here is another newer site called comicjobz.com focusing on various general cartooning gigs.

The Digital Webbing forum used to be a good place to look for more mainstream comic book industry gigs, although I don’t see much of that there these days glancing at it.

I’ll post more of them here as I run across them… please post others on the message board here if you know of them!

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Creative Commons Launches Tool to Reclaim Your Old Copyrights

There is an interesting post on Boing Boing today regarding the Creative Commons new “Termination of Transfer” tool for regaining old copyrights.

“Creative Commons has a new “Termination of Transfer” tool that could change the way that copyrights work in America forever. If you’re a creator who’s signed over your copyrights, the law lets you get them back from your publisher, label or studio 35 years later, no matter what your contract says. However, the process for reclaiming your rights is incredibly complicated, so practically no one can take advantage of it.”

This tool is intended to change that situation. Hopefully it will be used by many, many cartoonists who want to reprint old work, but who lost the rights for whatever reason. Read more about it at the link.

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Behind the Scenes of For Better or For Worse

For Better or For Worse by Lynn Johnston is easily one of the best done comics in the newspapers these days, and it has been for over 20 years now. Here’s a behind the scenes look at how a FBOFW strip is created, which is pretty interesting & has some good tips for cartoonists.

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Ivan Brunetti’s 22 Panels That Always Work

Here’s Ivan Brunetti’s 22 Panels That Always Work.

Note that the subject 2200 Panels That Always Workhas been added to the ongoing online jam section of the message board… add your own!

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Wally Wood’s 22 Panels That Always Work

You can download a huge scan here of the original of “Wally Wood’s 22 Panels That Always Work,” which is a widely used cartoonist “cheat sheet.”

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