(current projects–doodling as i think about bluejean & trials of the moonfish. and i just started jonathan lethem’s the ecstacy of influence–i have never heard of him, though i gather from how he refers to himself that he is pretty famous. i am enjoying his writing style…but i have only read the preface.)
& back onto topic:
i use rapidograph pens. which i love, but i have heard them compared to keeping a pet in terms of upkeep required. if you don’t use them frequently, they dry up. then they are a bitch to clean.
but i love them. i love my high maintenance pens.
i got a full set of them back in the old century. when i lived in lexington, kentucky. i had just moved out of the house of my first husband. we had been married a month. i had known him for about two months. ha! another theory tested. another failed experiment in life. i decided to write a zine. i was going to call it “twat.” then i started working on the comic that would be featured in it. confusion perfume. a girl, her dog, and her neurotic dealings with life & relationships. the zine was forgotten, and i fell in love with writing & drawing comics.
backtrack to 1990. i decided i wanted to go into comics. i went to a local iowa city, iowa comic book store called “daydreams” to ask about comic writing and was directed to one of their employees, paul tobin. then a struggling comic writer. now a more successful comic writer. we became friends. but my comics were not taken seriously by me nor by him and were filed away. but i learned the comic process. pencilling , inking, lettering. & the tools. rapidograph pens & illustration board.
(as a side note, in 1992 i ended up dating a comic book artist named tim bradstreet, but he left me for this nasty girl who was apparently the love of his life. whatever. he also failed to take me seriously as a future comic powerhouse. however, i also was unimpressed with his comic art–though he was extremely impressed with himself.)
then, as mentioned, in 1998, i began my first real comic endeavor, confusion perfume. i used illustration board and a full set of rapidograph pens. my most used size–the red one–broke at one point when i lived in athens, georgia…what year was that? 2000? 2001? anyhoo. i bought a new red rapidograph with the birthday money from my grandma. and i sent her a gracious thank you note. i have continued to use that pen–reviving it when it dried up–up until yesterday when i said, “fuck it,” and put it in the pen holder with the rest of the set that i no longer use.
i had to buy new rapidographs as i started working on moses jones because i started working on smaller pages–watercolor paper instead of illustration board–therefore, in a smaller format. the smaller pens from my original set where too clogged & too tenacious in their death to be revived. so i bought new pens to work in my smaller format. my red pen just wasn’t getting the time. if i need bigger spaces inked now, i use my brush. a changing of the guards, perhaps.
rest in peace, red rapidograph.
ps. sometimes i wonder if i should revive…reissue? my comic confusion perfume. with packing to move, i still have all of those illustration boards. i’m thinking i should somehow mat & frame them & sell them. maybe i need to make a name for myself first? or i could just decorate my new place with them….
but! should i put them out there like on tapastic or something? maybe i’ll do that….who wants to read confusion perfume? speak now.
also, here’s a doodle from an idea that has just begun swimming around in my head.
2 thoughts on “history of the death of a pen”
hmm I’ll have to try rapidograph pens. I’m not sure what kind I use, just the mainstream crap ones from the art store that run out of ink after using them three times. I actually can’t thrown them away so I have like 15 of them that are so dried up, but I use them to fill in eyeballs and things like that… miss your comics, hope your movie is going/went well!
PS- Did you grow up in Iowa? My boyfriend is from Waterloo.
thanks for reminding me that i need to get my pens out & exercise them! we are crashing (the 6 of us!!) in a two bedroom with my cohort’s sister & her boyfriend. new material to make comics about! i haven’t had a chance to draw because i have been packing, moving, cleaning, & generally freaking out. soon….
i grew up in illinois, but moved to iowa city as soon as i graduated high school. iowa is cool.