2018 Comic Artist Gift Guide

Comic friends!  You didn't think I just FORGOT you this holiday season, did you?!  Of course not!  This year I discovered a lot of new favorites I wanted to share with you guys, and since I know yall aren't good about buying for yourselves, you can send this list to anyone who asks what you'd like!  Since I'm a traditional comic artist myself, this is mostly geared towards traditional media comics, but there are a few digital goodies on here as well!

Previous Comic Artist Gift Guides:

Holiday Gift Guide:  Buying for Adult Artists

Gift Guide for Intermediate and Student Artists
Comic Artist Starter Pack

2018 Comic Artist Gift Guide:

Traditional Media:


Show in this image: Blick Studio Sketch (bottom), Canson XL watercolor (middle), Strathmore Visual Journal (top)

I recommend an inexpensive sketchbook for actually sketching and layouts, and mixed media or watercolor sketchbooks for ink, marker, or watercolor experimentation.

Canson XL watercolor
7"x10", $9.99 on Amazon

Blick Studio Sketch
9"x12", $4.78 on Blick

Strathmore Mixed Media Visual Arts Journal
9"x12", $7.99 on Blick


Included in this image: Pilot Color Eno Pencils, Tombow Mono Eraser, Moo eraser, Pentel graphite leads, Dr Grip pencil, Pentel Icy pencil, Tombow Knock eraser


Color Eno Colored Leads
8 color sampler, including mechanical pencils, $9.60 on Amazon
Just the leads: $14.75 on Amazon

Pentel Hi Polymer
B-$5.07 on Amazon
HB-$15.30 on Amazon


I wanted to focus on recommending mechanical pencils that are easier on artist hands, and less likely to cause issues like arthritis.  I've selected affordable plastic pencils that have slight give with nice cushy grips- it's better to break your pencil than ruin your hand.

Sumo Grip mechanical Pencil
$8.05 on Amazon

Uni Kuru Toga (rotates lead, always a sharp point)
$5.71 on Amazon

Pentel ICY
$6.19 on Amazon

Dr Grip
$9.09 on Amazon


All erasers selected for inclusion in this gift guide are soft, fairly smear resistant, and will not cause ghosting with inks.

White Stroke white erasers
Set of 3, $3.29 on Jerry's Artarama

Moo Erasers
$6.72 on Amazon

Mono Block Eraser
Set of 10, $7.10 on Amazon

These smaller, knock type or pencil type erasers are perfect for erasing small areas or correcting fine details.

Pentel Clic Erase
Set of 3, $3.97 on Amazon

Mono Knock Eraser
3.8 mm, $2.51 on Amazon

Mono Zero, Pen Style Erasers
Set of 2 (round and rectangular) plus refills, $9.90 on Amazon

Easy Inking:

In this image, top to bottom: Sakura of America Pigma FB, MB, and BB, Pentel Pigment brushpens and refill
I've mentioned and reviewed dozens of brushpens over the past eight years, this year's gift guide distills that experience into a curated few that really deliver.

I've selected pens that are waterproof, easy to use, and deliver expressive lineweights.  We have two basic types- a brushpen with individual nylon bristles and brushpens with solid foam nibs.

Pentel Pigment brushpens
Fine- $11.05 on Amazon
Broad: $4.82 on Amazon

Sakura Pigma FB, MB, BB
Set of 3, $7.11 on Amazon

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brushpen:
Set of 3, $8.40 on Amazon

Intermediate Inking

In this image:  Deleter Neopiko Line White, Deleter White 2, Black Star HiCarb, Kuretake 60, Kaimei Sol K, Dinky Dips 

This year, I want to reiterate one favorite, introduce you to three great inks, and hopefully introduce you to a couple new favorites.

Inking and Corrections:

Dinky Dips
Various sizes and prices on Paper and Ink Arts

Black Star Hi Carb Ink- waterproof India Ink
$6.65 on DickBlick

Kaimei Sol K- alcohol marker proof ink
$11.00 on Jetpens

Kuretake 60- sumi ink popular with mangaka
$5.48 on Amazon

Deleter White Ink 2
$4.59 through the Deleter Mangashop

Deleter White Line
$5.52 through B4 Comic

PH Martin's Bleedproof White
$8.09 on DickBlick

Inking Brushes:

For more information about selecting brushes for artists, please check out the following:
Lets Get Inky with Brushes: An Inktober Series
Robust Inking Toolkit Guide for Professional Artists
Guest Post: Heidi Black and Brush Selection

Kuretake and Boku Undo Menso Brushes:

In this image: Top: Kuretake Menso Brush, bottom Boku Undo Menso Brush

Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Kolinsky Hair Menso Brush Extra Fine
$13.35 on Amazon

Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Horse and Goat Hair Menso Brush Fine:
$4.78 on Amazon

Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Horse and Goat Menso Brush Medium:
$8.99 on Amazon

Set of all three:
$45.00 on Amazon

Generally, Western Inking Brushes are rounds, sized 0-4, depending on the brand and your preferences.  Most are made from Kolinsky sable, but some artists prefer synthetic fibers.  If you prefer to ink with synthetic brushes, please write in and let me know about your favorites!

You want good spring, good snap, the ability to hold a lot of ink, and the ability to come to a sharp point when wet.

Winsor and Newton Series 7
Size 2, $23.99 on DickBlick

Creative Mark Rhapsody
Size 2, $7.99 on Jerry's Artarama

Princeton 7050
Size 2, $11.98 on DickBlick

Escoda Reserva
Size 2, $20.28 on Blick


Show here: Tachikawa nib holder, Tachikawa G nibs

For more information about inking with a nib, please check out:
Let's Get Inky with Nibs: An Inktober Series

Tachikawa Nib Holders
$8.95 on Paper and Ink Arts

Tachikawa G Nibs
$1.20 each on Paper and Ink Arts

Caged Tachikawa G Nibs

Tachikawa Tank Nibs
Set of 5, $13.00 on Jetpens

Kuretake Spoon Nibs
Pack of 3, $6.50 on Jetpens

Brause Rose
$2.60 on Paper and Ink Arts

Note:  Paper and Ink Arts sells individual nibs openstock, allowing you to mix and match.

Great for Borders:

In this image: Sakura Calligrapher 3.0, Sakura Graphic, Sakura Graphic 2, Sakura Graphic, Sakura Graphic, Sakura Calligrapher 1.0, Sakura Calligrapher 2.0

I really prefer the Graphic pens to the Calligrapher pens, as the 3.0 tends to be a bit wider with their Graphic line (great for borders), but the Graphic pens are sometimes harder to find.  All pens are waterproof.

Sakura Calligrapher Pens
1mm $4.93 on Amazon
2mm $5.08 on Amazon
3mm $6.26 on Amazon

Sakura Pigma Graphic Calligraphy Pens
Set of 3, $9.89 on Amazon

Papers to Work On:

Strathmore Sequential Art Paper: 500 Series Bristol
Plate-Good for Nibs and Fude Pens
$28.79 on Blick
Vellum-Good for brushes
$25.05 on Blick

Strathmore Vellum Bristol Visual Art Journal
9"x12", $9.73 on DickBlick: https://www.dickblick.com/items/13327-2023/

Strathmore Smooth  Bristol Visual Art Journal
9"x12", $9.73 on DickBlick:https://www.dickblick.com/items/13327-1023/

Fabriano Studio Watercolor Paper(great for brush inking)
12 sheets, 140lb, 11"x14", $8.58 on DickBlick

Alcohol Marker:
Strathmore 500 Series Plate Bristol
$28.79 on Blick

Strathmore 500 Series Semi Smooth
$29.69 on DickBlick

Strathmore Mixed Media Toned Paper
various sizes and colors, starting at $2.89 on DickBlick

For comics:
The papers listed below will run through a printer for bluelines, and take ink well

Cellulose Papers:

Source                                                      Source

Canson Montval
(my paper of choice for 7" Kara comic pages)
10"x15", 12 sheets, $8.45 on DickBlick

Fabriano Studio
(for single layer watercolor illustration)
11"x14", 20 Sheets, $8.58 on DickBlick

Blick Studio Watercolor
(affordable basic)
11"x15", 15 Sheets $7.63 on DickBlick

These are affordable papers that may prove useful if you are working on a longform comic on a self employed budget.

Cottonrag Papers:

Stonehenge Aqua Watercolor Paper
Hotpress- 9"x12", 15 sheets $16.50 on Jerry's Artarama
Coldpress- 9"x12", 15 sheets $16.50 on Jerry's Artarama

Arches Coldpress
10"x14", 12 sheets, $15.68 on DickBlick

Adding Color:

This year, I wanted to keep my recommendations simple and affordable- stuff I love, stuff I know works well, stuff I use often.

Pentel Brushpens
Set of 18 colors, $99.90 on Amazon

Blick Studio Brush Markers
Available openstock and in sets, starting at $2.96 only through DickBlick

Now that Blick has refills available, there's no reason NOT to recommend the Blick Studio Brush colors.  Affordable, available open stock  or in sets, with an option for bulk pricing, Blick Studio Brush markers make a wonderful gift!

Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers
Various sets available, 24 set is $29.99 on Amazon

Qor Introductory Set
6 colors, 5ml tubes, $20.99 on DickBlick

More resources:

Alcohol Markers for the Aspiring Artist
More Gifts for Marker Artists
Intermediate Alcohol Marker Artist Gift Guide
Alcohol Marker Resource Guide

2018 Watercolor Gift Guide

Good Storage:

Pencil Cases: 

Large Pencil Case, High Carrying Capacity
$14.99 on Amazon

Medium Pencil Case
$10.89 on Amazon

Large Capacity Pencil Case
$9.99 on Amazon

Cat Pencil Case:
$9.98 on Amazon

Rose Patterned Pencil Case:
$10.99 on Amazon

Lihit Lab Pen Case
$9.99 on Amazon

Canvas Pencil Case
$9.95 on Amazon

Large Capacity Floral Pencil Case
$12.99 on Amazon

Lihit Lab Double Pen Case
$12.38 on Amazon

Hexo Space Three Compartment Pencil Case
$14.99 on Amazon

Homecube Large Capacity Pencil Bag:
$12.99 on Amazon

Wristlet Style Easthill Large Capacit Pencil Case
$8.39 on Amazon

Large Double Zippered Pencil Case
$9.99 on Amazon

Lihit Lab Standing Pencil Case
$9.87 on Amazon

Larger Cases and Bags

Lihit Belt Bag (attaches to belt)
$9.87 on Amazon

Large Capacity Planner Case
$8.99 on Amazon

Desktop Pen Organizer
$6.96 on Amazon

Loew-Cornell Multi Brush Organizer
$10.15 on Amazon

Artist Odds and Ends:

I'm sharing some old favorites (drafting brushes), some rekindled romances (washi tape and tracing paper) and a couple new favs in this year's guide!

In this Image:  Washi Tape, KUM sharpener, STAD Punyu grips, Muji clear acrylic ruler with inking edge, STAD clear acrylic ruler, tracing paper

Acrylic Rulers:
Westcott 18" Clear Acrylic Ruler
$5.79 on Amazon
Alvin 12" Clear Acrylic Ruler
$7.14 on Amazon

Drafting Brushes:
Alvin Drafting Brush
$6.51 on Amazon
Holbein Feather Drafting Brush
$14.99 on Jerry's Artarama

Tracing Paper
150 Pieces of Tracing Paper
$10.99 on Amazon

Washi Tape
21 Rolls of Metallic Washi Tape
$14.99 on Amazon
12 Rolls of Floral Washi Tape
$13.95 on Amazon

KUM 2 hole pencil sharpener
$1.79 on DickBlick

Soft Pencil Grips

If you struggle with arthritis, or if you want to ensure that you can draw for years to come, soft grips are a must!

STAD pencil grips
These are my absolute FAVORITE- I use them on my mechanical pencils and Surface Pro Stylus.  Very soft, great protection if you tend to be heavyhanded or grip too hard

Kutsuwa STAD Punyu Grip
Pack of 4, $11.96 on Amazon
Left Handed $13.98 on Amazon

Standard Foam Grips-12 Pack, $4.99 on Therapro

The Pencil Grip
$1.99 each on Autism Resources

Sonic Pencil Extender
$4.95 on Jetpens

In this image: Compression Gloves, ACE Sleeping Brace

Compression Gloves
Price varies by size, Medium is $12.99 on Amazon

Ace Night Wrist Sleep Support
$17.75 on Amazon

Digital Artists:

Huion Artist Glove for Tablet
$9.99 on Amazon

Clip Studio Paint Pro- 2018 Branding
$59.99 on Amazon

STAD pencil grips
These are my absolute FAVORITE- I use them on my mechanical pencils and Surface Pro Stylus.  Very soft, great protection if you tend to be heavyhanded or grip too hard

Kutsuwa STAD Punyu Grip
Pack of 4, $11.96 on Amazon
Left Handed $13.98 on Amazon

Inspiring Books and Recommended Reading:

Pen and Ink- $13.40 on Amazon
Jack Hamm-$12.23 on Amazon
How to Think When You Draw

More Recommended Reading:
How to Achieve Free (or Nearly) Art Education
Recommended Reading

Did I miss something?  Let me know all about it in an email!


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