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John P. has a PATREON. / King-Cat 81 is OUT.

Friday, August 31, 2012


Last time I wrote a bit about the basic materials I use to make my comics.  This time around I'll write a bit about the basic materials I use to make my comics.

My trusty X-Acto knife, #11 blade.  Same one I've had since the 80's.  With blade guard, natch.  I've also used this knife at times to perform Home Dentistry®.*

Pencil Nub Extender.  Got this weird thing I think at Dick Blick.  Allows you to use your pencils down to the stubs.

Cork-backed eighteen-inch metal ruler.  Again, same one I've had since the 80's.  Marked along its edge with various important lengths that I find the need to check repeatedly.

Last year my eyesight got warped enough that I had to resort to using a magnifying glass at times, especially for cleaning up tight mistakes.  Kind of hard to get used to, but it helps.

Plastic bottlecaps that I use for wetting brushes, or mixing ink.  I keep one for each general color I use.  (I forgot to take pictures, but on the very occasional times I add color to drawings, I oftentimes use Higgins inks.)

There's this new technology out there--  it's called "paste-up."  Rubber Cement still works pretty good, and if you use it you gotta get one of these rubber cement pick-ups for cleaning the excess.

I have rarely ruled lines in my comics.  In fact I can only think of one time ("Well Drawn Funnies #0", see page 89 of King-Cat Classix) and that was as a joke.  I will however pull out my triangle occasionally to confirm that things are indeed slanted and messy.

This big cuddly brush is used exclusively for sweeping eraser residue from my pages before inking.

All good cartoonists should have their very own Ames Lettering Guide, preferably still in the unopened package.

Cleaning solution???  Never opened.  But when I finally break out those new Rapidographs, I PROMISE I'll use it, okay?  Jeez.

Double-sided tape, good for sticking down coverups etc where rubber cement isn't required.

When I'm drawing or inking I'll use a junk sheet of paper like this to lay my hand on to keep from sweating up the page (most usually in the summer, obvs).  Handy also for breaking in a new nib or fantasizing about having a dependable income.

YES.  The long-reach stapler, of which no low-budget cartoonist can be without.  This one was a birthday present from over 20 years ago!

These are the gloves I wear when drawing in the winter.  Last year it got so cold in my apartment that when my bare hands touched the drawing table it felt like they were burning.

And lastly, every working artist should have an adorable mascot on their desk, to cheer them up when the going gets rough and inspire them when creativity ebbs.  This statue has been passed down to me through many generations of Porcellinos, and I proudly display it where I work.


*Not medical advice, ed.

1 comment:

  1. I have the same stapler, but have you seen the ones that are like a V upside down, more like a saddle stitch?


    They let us use one at Kinko's a few years ago, but they hide it behind the counter cos people steal it.


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