I love these new tools.

I wanted to share some wonderful new tools I got recently from a site called JetPens (and as a bonus you get a sneak preview of an upcoming page!).

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been using the same old white Staedler eraser for most of my erasing needs ever since I learned that the pink erasers I used in grade school were ruining my paper. (I also use kneaded erasers, but for big areas the Staedler is the workhorse.) And beyond that, I never really gave my eraser much thought. It did the job pretty well, what more did I need? Well, some time ago I read a review of different erasers on Comic Tools (one of my favourite blogs). I looked around in my local art supply stores for the recommended erasers, but never found them. In the meantime, I’d spoken with other comic artists who waxed eloquent about their favourite pens that they’d bought from JetPens.com. So I went on that site and looked around, and found the Tombo eraser recommended by the Comic Tools site. I placed an order.

Let me tell you, the Tombo Mono Eraser is the best eraser I’ve ever used. It erases my pencil lines so cleanly, so effortlessly! I hardly need to use any pressure to get rid of the graphite. Who knew erasing could be so much better? I am totally in love with it, and will be placing an order for more soon (I can’t wait to try out some of the other sizes, like the one that comes in a pencil shape, for precision).

On a friend’s advice I also picked up a selection of Zebra brush pens. And again, I am amazed at how much better this tool is than the similar ones I get in my local supply stores. It’s no replacement for my Winsor Newton Series 7 brush, but it’s great for cons and I use it regularly now to ink my word balloons (including the ones on the most recent page). I know some comic artists use the Zebras almost exclusively for their inking. Bottom line, it’s an excellent pen for the price.

The strange font on this week’s page was done using the Pilot Parallel Calligraphy Pen, which I bought for my husband but decided to test out for myself. I found it to be really nice, especially for a cartridge pen. I’ve tried similar no-dip calligraphy pens in the past, but this one was lovely to use. We also bought it in a larger size. I’ll have to find more excuses to pull it out in future pages!

And finally, I bought one of these Kuru Toga mechanical pencils which I’d first read about more than a year ago– as you write the thing keeps turning the lead, so that, theoretically, the point is always sharp. I’ve been using it for several weeks now as my main pencil. While I’m not completely sold on the rotating lead idea (I can’t much tell the difference), I am addicted to the incredibly soft “Alpha Gel” grip. So nice to use! The same grip is available on non-rotating pencils, so I may get one of those in my next order, when I stock up on the Tombo erasers and Zebra pens.

Given my success with JetPens.com so far, I definitely plan to try out more of their line of products. I mean, if I could get such great results from something as mundane as a new eraser, who knows what else might be out there. :-)