Materials for Teaching Comics Classes

These are my preferred materials for teaching comic classes, and I think it serves as a great starting point for schools or libraries that want to offer comic programs.

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Per Student

  • Pencils- I prefer mechanical pencils as we can switch out the leads- two per student
  • Non photo blue lead (can be wooden pencils, Col-erase,clutch pencil leads, mechanical pencil leads)
  • Graphite Pencils- HB, B (same as above)

Communal Must Have

  • Bristol board (11x17) or inexpensive watercolor paper (like Canson XL Watercolor) (students generally use about 8 pages from a 15 page pack)
  • 2 reams of printer paper (useful for printing class handouts, class materials templates, thumbnails, and roughs)
  • 1 Bottle of sumi ink 
  • 1 per student- Fine Line Pens- .5 and .8
  • Brushpens-1 per student- I'm a fan of the Sakura Pigma Professional 3 packs
  • 1 Jar Dr PH Martin's Bleedproof White ink
  • White vinyl erasers
  • Rulers
  • Nibs- Crowquill, G-Nibs, Spoon nibs
  • Nib holders

Classroom Requirements:

  • Projector or large monitor for presentations and demonstrations
  • Tables for students to work at
  • Small cups for ink
  • Paper towels
  • Access to a white board or mounted drawing pad for demonstrations

Also Helpful:

Per Student

  • Sketchbooks (students can provide their own)
  • Pentel Pocketbrush brushpens or other nylon bristled brushpens
  • Microns/Multiliners
  • Brush pens

Communal Materials

  • Additional bone folders
  • Additional long arm stapler
  • Nibs for class use (I have enough for 10 students)
  • Nib holders for class use* (I have about 10 I can share)
  • Brushes for inking
  • Drafting Brush
  • Access to tube watercolors, markers, other materials to add color or inspiration
  • Blue tape
  • Scanner
  • Printer or access to a Copier
  • Computer with photo editing software
  • Graphics tablets

My Product Recommendations:

Feel free to mix and match from these categories to suit your classroom needs, or contact me for a curated list.

Note:  On products with Amazon listings, I see a small bounty per purchase.  This adds no additional cost to your order, but does allow me to continue producing posts like this.  Blick and DollarTree listings have no such bounty.



Blick Studio Sketchbook
Various sizes
100 sheets each
Various prices on Blick

Strathmore Spiral Bound Sketchpads, 200 series
Various sizes
100 Sheets
Various Prices on Blick

Other Types:

Amazon Basics Copy paper
8.5"x11", 500 sheets
$6.69 on Amazon

Pacon Tracing Paper
9"x12", 500 sheets
$26.28 on Amazon

Art Paper 

Strathmore Sequential Bristol Board, 200 series
11"x17", 24 sheets
$12.22 on Amazon
$12.66 on Blick

Strathmore Sequential Bristol Board, Vellum surface, 500 series
11"x17", 24 sheets
$27.87 on Amazon
$25.03 on Blick

Canson Comic Book Art Boards
Pre-printed with non-repo blue lines
11"x17", 24 sheets
$23.70 on Amazon

Canson XL Mixed Media Paper
12"x18", 100 sheets
$24.95 on Amazon

Canson XL Watercolor Paper
11"x15", 30 sheets
$14.96 on Amazon

Canson Montval
10"x15", 12 Sheets
$14.90 on Amazon


Colored Leads

Pilot Color Eno, Mechanical Pencil Lead
Soft Blue
3 Packs
$6.77 on Amazon

Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencil Lead Set
.7mm, 8 color set
$16.50 on Amazon

Papermate Clearpoint Color Lead Mechanical Pencils
6 count, 6 lead refills, 6 erasers
.7mm, assorted colors
$31.83 on Amazon

Prismacolor Col-Erase Erasable Colored Pencil
Light Blue
Set of 12
$15.29 on Amazon

$1.09 each on Blick, bulk pricing available

INC Colorpoint Pencils
$1 per pack of 4
Min order- case of 24 packs 
$24 for 24 packs on DollarTree:

Note:  Just select one of these, or mix mechanical pencils and wooden pencils to suit your class' needs

Graphite Pencils

Amazon Basics Pre Sharpened Wooden Pencils
#2 Lead
150 Pack
$10.90 on Amazon

Pilot G2 Mechanical Pencil with Contoured Rubber Grip
36 pieces
$39.99 on Amazon
*these can be filled with lead of any hardness or color, so long as it's .7mm lead

Dollar Tree INC Side Cliques Mechanical Pencils
$1 per pack

INC Soft Scripts
$1 for 6
Sold in a case of 36 packs
$36 on DollarTree

Bic Velocity Max
12 Count
$18.99 on Amazon

Bic Velocity
12 Count
$9.13 on Amazon


White Stroke, box of 18
$10.49 on Jerry's Artarama
White Stroke, Box of 3
$3.29 on Jerry's Artarama

Mono Plastic Erasers, 10 pieces
$7.50 on Amazon
3 piece set
$5.05 on Amazon

Pentel Hi-Polymer Block Eraser
Pack of 9
$9.97 on Amazon

Pentel Clic Erase
1 Eraser wtih 2 Refills
$8.98 on Amazon
Pack of 12
$13.11 on Amazon

Note:  Just select one of these, there's no need to buy all



C-Thru Graph Beveled Transparent Ruler
$5.99 on Amazon

Westcott 12" Junior T Square
$4.55 on Amazon

Class Packs:

Safe-T 12" Clear Ruler
Pack of 24
$18.88 on Amazon

Safe-T 12" Clear Ruler
Pack of 24
$12.60 on Amazon

Classmaster 15cm translucent ruler
metric, shatter resistant
pack of 10
$4.99 on Amazon


Safe-T Blue Compass, classroom set
Set of 12
$9.95 on Amazon

Safe-T Bullseye Compass, classroom set
Set of 30
$31.86 on Amazon

Mr Pen 15 Piece Compass Set
Swing Arm Protractor (6"), Geometry Set for Students, Geometry Set for School, Divider, Set Squares, Ruler, Protractor, Compass Math, Compass and Protractor, Eraser
$9.99 on Amazon

9 Piece Drawing Template Set
$14.59 on Amazon


Everything listed here is waterproof and alcohol marker safe

Class Sets:
Sakura Pigma Micron Fineline Pen Artist Set- 59 pieces:
Contains Pigma: Brush (9 pc); Graphic: 1mm (4 pc), 2mm (1 pc), 3mm (1 pc); Micron 005 (8 pc), 01 (9 pc), 02 (4 pc), 03 (4 pc), 05 (15 pc), 08 (4 pc)
$79.88 on Amazon
$85.98 on Blick

Sakura Micron 05 Felt Tip, Pack of 8
$16.80 on Amazon
Packs of 6, various sizes, also available on Blick

Individual Sets:

Sakura Pigma Sensei Manga Drawing Set:
Pigma ink pens (0.3 mm Ultra Fine Plastic Tip, 0.4 mm Plastic Tip, 0.6 mm Bullet Fiber Tip, and 1 mm Bold Fiber Tip), a plastic eraser, and an illustration guide.
$12.04 on Amazon
$11.94 on Blick

Sakura Manga Comic Pro Set
8 Piece set
1 each pigma micron 005, 01, 02, 03, 05, 08, 1 each graphic 1mm all black, 1 each 0.7mm fixed sleeve mechanical pencil
$15.07 on Amazon

Sakura Pigma Microns, Set of 8:
Contains eight Black pens in various sizes, including 005 (0.20 mm), 01 (0.25 mm), 02 (0.30 mm), 03 (0.35 mm), 05 (0.45 mm), 08 (0.50 mm), Pigma Brush, and 1.0 mm Pigma Graphic.
$15.98 on Amazon
$10.49 on Blick



Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pens:
3 size set- FB, MB, BB
$7.11 on Amazon
$10.19 on DickBlick

Individual Sizes
Set of 2 pens
Various prices on Amazon: $7.11 on Amazon
$3.43 on Blick, bulk pricing available

Pentel Pigment Brush Pen Extra Fine
$6.50 on Amazon
Medium Tip
$5.93 on Amazon

Pentel Arts Color Water Brush Box Set
Black, Grey, Sepia, and waterbrush
$17.88 on Amazon

Not Waterproof:

Pentel Arts Pocket Brush
1 pen, 2 refills
$8.19 on Amazon
$10.86 on Blick
3 sets, 6 refills
$29.90 on Amazon
Pocket Brush Refills
12 refills
$9.90 on Amazon

Kuretake Fudegokochi Brush Pen
Pack of 3
$8.35 on Amazon


Tachikawa G Nibs
$1.20 each on Paper and Ink Arts

Tachikawa Spoon Nibs
$1.79 on Amazon

Tachikawa Nib Holder
$7.98 on Amazon

Zebra Comic G Model Chrome Nib
10 Nibs
$7.94 on Amazon
20 nibs
$15.76 on Amazon
30 nibs
$23.18 on Amazon

Tachikawa Comic Pen Holder Set- 2 holders, pack of Zebra G Nibs
$18.99 on Amazon

Nikko Manga Nib Set
4 types
11 total pieces
$19.90 on Amazon

Deleter Manga Starter Kit
Nib holder, three nibs
$9.00 on Amazon

Speedball Nib Holder
$5.33 on Amazon

Standard Pen Holder
$.59 on Blick

Rubbing Alcohol
for cleaning nibs/removing oil from nibs

99% Isopropyl Alcohol
Pack of 2, 16FL oz
$9.99 on Amazon


India Ink
Note: India ink is not waterproof unless the bottle says waterproof.  India ink is not alcohol marker proof, regardless, as it is shellac based

Speedball India Ink
Quart Bottle
$12.66 on Amazon

Winsor and Newton India Ink
30ml, with dropper
$8.21 on Amazon

Sumi Ink
Generally not waterproof

Yasutomo Black Sumi Ink
12 oz
$14.26 on Amazon


Alcohol markers

Brush Tipped Markers:

Blick Studio Brush Markers
Individual markers:
$2.96 each on Blick
Set of 24:
$64.18 on Blick
Set of 96:
$199.16 on Blick

Copic Ciao Markers:
Individual Markers:
$3.59 on Blick
Set of 24:
$86.16 on Blick
Set of 72
$258.48 on Blick

Bullet tipped markers:

Arrtx Alcohol Markers
80 pieces
$59.99 on Amazon

Watercolor markers/watercolor brushpens

Arrtx Watercolor Markers
48 markers
$31.80 on Amazon

Arteza Real Brush Pens
96 colors
$69.98 on Amazon



MozArt Komorebi Watercolors
40 full watercolor pans
$24.99 on Amazon

Kuretake Gansai Tambi Set of 12
$12.63 on Amazon

Dainayw Watercolor Paint Set
42 colors, compact
comes with brush pen
$16.69 on Amazon

Sakura Koi
12 color set
$14.99 on Blick

Tube watercolors can be portioned out into palettes, and are often more economical for class groups.  Really, only need 12 basic colors, can mix the rest

Recommended Colors:

Quin Magenta or Alizarin Crimson
Pthalo or Prussian Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Transparent Yellow
Lemon Yellow Hue
Dioxine Violet
Yellow Ocre
Burnt Sienna
Sap Green
Carbon Black

Recommended Brands:
Grumbacher Academy

Winsor and Newton
Qor watercolor



Graphics Software:

Medibang Paint Pro (Windows, MacOS, iPad, Android)

Krita (Windows, Linux, MacOS)
Recommended for school/libraries! (Windows only)

Pixia (Windows)


Clip Studio Paint (iOS, Windows, iPad)
Two versions:
Pro- $59.99 on Amazon
Ex- $229 on Amazon

Paint Tool Sai (Windows only)

Affinity Photo (Windows/Mac/iOS)
$50 one time license fee

mdiapp+SE (Windows)
Good software, but primarily not in English

Layout Software:

Affinity Publisher (Windows/Mac/iOS)
$50 one time license

For more in depth reviews of the software mentioned above, I highly recommend you read through Kabocha's reviews:  Kabocha also has a list of free drawing software that may be useful for your students.


Wacom Intuos Drawing Tablet
Software included
$49.95 on Amazon

HUION 1060 Plus Graphic Drawing Tablet
$62.24 on Amazon


Brother MFC-J5330DW
A large format printer/scanner/fax that is ideal for printing bluelines and scanning full size comic pages.  This could be shared amongst teachers or kept in the library for common use.
$144.99 on Amazon

Please check out this post for my complete recommendations

Stand Alone Scanners

Large Format 
Epson Expression 11000XL (large format scanner- this is the one I've used for several years)
$3,514.24 on Amazon

Small Format
Canon CanoScan Lide 400 Slim Scanner:

$88.00 on Amazon


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