Every professional cartoonist gets asked two questions more than any other: "Where do you get your ideas?" and "What kind of pens do you use?" When creating your cartoon's lettering, choosing the right pens is a crucial decision. Most cartoonists use a specific pen to letter with, one that differs from the pen they draw with. When selecting your pens, base your choice both on personal preference and the type of results you're looking for.
The best place to start when selecting a pen is the local art supply store. Most stores carry a wide assortment of pens and even allow you to try them out before you buy them. Take advantage of this — scribble and doodle to get the feel for the right pen for you.
Look for pens that don't smear and dry quickly. Also look for pens that have a solid line quality and adhere well to the paper on the first application. You don't want to buy a pen that requires you to go over your lines many times to achieve a solid line.
The pen most cartoonists choose for lettering is capable of achieving the small detail work required for lettering. One of the most popular series of pens to come along in recent years is the Pigma Micron pens. The unmatched quality of Pigma Micron pens makes them the preferred choice of professional cartoonists and illustrators looking for precision. See Chapter 3 for more about the different types of pens used for cartooning in general.
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