Friday, May 03, 2013

Art Marker Showdown: Neopiko Markers Vs. Copic Sketch Markers

Edit: It's been two years since I first started doing alcohol based marker comparisons, and these are some of my most popular posts.  If you enjoyed this post, please consider checking out my other art supply reviews in my Reviews tab above.  If you would like to purchase a set of Neopiko markers for yourself or a friend, please consider supporting this blog financially by using my Amazon affiliate search link for Deleter's Neopiko markers below.

As this blog is completely unsponsored, and I receive no financial compensation from companies to write these reviews, nor do I receive donations, I really depend on the goodwill of my readers.  If you benefitted from this post, please consider contacting Copic or Deleter (makers of Neopiko products) with a link to this post and your thoughts.  I would also sincerely appreciate it if you sent me an email with your thoughts, questions, or thanks.

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As a teenager interested in creating her own manga, a few words stood out to me as the keys to the mangaka's kingdom: Copic. G-pen. Deleter Neopiko. Years later, when I went to Japan as a SCAD student, I kept my eye out for Deleter products, to see if they could hold their own against the mythos in my mind.

On this blog, I probaby missed an opportunity to connect with an audience that shared a similar formative comic creating experience by neglecting to focus on Deleter products. This review of Deleter's Neopiko 2 is not a lackluster attempt to atone for that, but a marker review in it's own right. I didn't select Neopiko 2 markers as an attempt to recapture my early days of comic craft, but as a marker option that members of my audience may not be familiar with, that I, myself, was not familiar with.

Neopiko 2 Vs. Copic Sketch Markers

Neopiko 2 markers aren't intended to be a direct competitor with Copic markers, although both brands are twin tipped markers with a brush option available.  Rather, Neopiko 2 markers are more like Prismcolor alcohol based markers- non refillable markers with non replaceable nibs--though Neopiko 2 is technically refillable if you can find the cartridges.  This places the Neopiko 2 markers in a lower price bracket than Copic markers, but may reduce their functionality within your studio, particularly if you render with art markers often.  These are still artist grade markers, and many professional mangaka list them within their supplies.

Background information on Neopiko and Deleter

Neopiko is the subsidiary of a larger parent company, Deleter, which makes a variety of comic tools ranging from pens  and papers to screentones  and software.  Neopiko 2 markers Deleter's alcohol based markers, and Neopiko 3 and Neopiko 4 markers are waterbased.  You may be familiar with Deleter's Manga Techniques books.

Neopiko 2 alcohol based markers VS. Copic Sketch alcohol based markers

Neopiko 2

Difficult to find markers openstock, you WILL have to shop around for a good price

Prices online (even on Amazon) vary as much as 3 for $15 to 12 for $44.  I got mine on eBay, but as always, my price is not guaranteed to be yours.

  • Available in 6 (Neopiko Petit), 12, 24, 36, 72 color sets
  • Made by Deleter
  • Refillable (I didn't know this until I thoroughly researched Neopiko markers.  If they're refillable, you'll probably be able to find nibs to replace the originals, even if they aren't Neopiko brand.)
  • Non replaceable nibs
  • Color range designed to correspond with Pantone system
  • Available on a variety of sites, including Deleter's site, and Amazon
  • Also available in waterbased markers (Neopiko 3)
  • Color coordinated cap and color families (though I'm not sure how the coding is broken down between families, or if it is at all)

Copic Sketch
  Price Per Marker: $7.29
  • Refillable
  • Replacable Nibs
  • Comfortable in hand
  • 358 available number of colors
  • Blend
  • Color Name and Family on Cap
  • Color Coded cap
  • Super Brush
  • Can mix own colors, blank markers available
  • Availability: limited availability at Michaels, many art supply stores, Dick Blick, Jerry's Artarama, Jetpens, Amazon
  • Available in individual and color themed sets
  • Alcohol based
  • React to rubbing alcohol and 'blender' fluid
  •   Can be blended
Neopiko caps are fairly true to the ink, although some swatching is still advisable.

Neopiko markers are slightly longer than Copic Sketch markers, but also sightly smaller in the hand.  Both feature a grey stripe to denote the brush end.

The Neopiko brush nib is slightly stiffer than the Copic sketch super brush, but there's good ink flow.

The Comparison

 This test is my standard for all alcohol based marker comparison tests, and you've already seen it with my Spectrum Noir, Prismacolor Premiers, ShinHan Twin Touch, FlexMarkers, and Pantone Letraset Tria tests. I test the marker's compatibility with a variety of technical pens (Sakura Micron, Copic Multiliner, Pitt Pen, the waterbased ink found in Akashiya brush pens, the gel ink in Pentel Technica rollerball pens), as well as it's ability to blend and layer (shown on the sphere) and it's ability to mix with the other marker (show in the boxed area). I also test blender compatibility with the Copic Colorless Blender.

My scanner did Neopiko markers NO favors- turning a light pink nearly white.  For your reference, I'll include a more color true example.

The Verdict

Neopiko 2 markers bend quite well amongst themselves, and play well with Copic markers.  The brush is comparabe to Copic Sketch's super brush, and the smell isn't too bad.

Unfortunately, the fact that Neopiko 2 markers aren't easily available, as well as the wide range in price and the fact that you may not be able to get the refill ink nor replacement nibs may mean that these markers are not your first choice.  I recommend that if you're looking to start a marker collection, and find an excellent deal on them, you go for it, although I do not recommend purchasing used Neopiko 2 markers off eBay, as they may be impossible to refurbish.

But Don't Take My Word For It!

Have another review.  And some video!

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