My Kingdom for a Zebra G–nib (or The Secret Life of a Mangaka)
<obsessive nerdy comics tool rant>
So I caught the manga bug this past year and have now reached a tool dilemma because of it. Let me explain…
Part of my new approach to my work was trying out “traditional” cartooning materials, many of which I’d dabbled with over the years (especially in high school) in an attempt to come closer to my original love of the medium somehow hoping to fuel my creative process and make me a happy, productive comics making machine like I was many, many years ago.
It worked, too. Months of struggling with real ink, brushes and nibs later I’m completely happy and overwhelmingly enthused with the materials and process I’ve come to for producing my comics. It’s a special kind of love and it’s been YEARS since I’ve felt this way, really.
I’ve especially fallen in love with a certain japanese nib called the G nib (or G-pen). Particularly the nib made by a company called Zebra. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find anyone that sells them online or nearby. This is a dilemma. I’m not quite sure how I got the first one I had, I’ve since been stuck using the Deleter G nibs which are made by Nikko. They’re alright, but the Zebra is the Excalibur of nibs and I really, really want to get some more. I’m pretty sure I tried the Tachikawa G nib and wasn’t too thrilled with them, but I may be mistaken.
If anyone out there knows how to get a hold of some Zebra G nibs (you’ll know the difference because the Zebra has an embossed “G” on it rather than an etched one) you would be my friend forever.
</end obsessive nerdy comics tool rant>
This coming Tuesday marks the beginning of the straight black and white version of Year of the Rat II: The Place Between Seconds. I’m now using Manga Studio to finish the pages and doing all the ink work by hand (lettering, borders, some hatching… like ropehatching!!, etc.) I’m really excited about the work and have begun putting it together in book form for a release sometime after the current story ends February 2010. The book should be available for next convention season for sure probably debuting at MoCCA 2010.