Comic: Time to find a new hobby!

YB_05_17 japan comic comics cartoon texan in tokyo pen out of ink

Just kidding.

I’m still going to keep drawing comics.

For the last year, I’ve been using a specific type of pen from a specific art store in Ueno. I absolutely adore how it handles, what the lines look like, and how quickly it dispenses ink.

Right before we moved out to the countryside, I bought another 11 pens (all they had in stock at the time), assuming that I wouldn’t be coming into Tokyo as often (and therefore, I should stock up). Each pen lasts for roughly 10 – 15 full comics.

I was down to my last three pens when I sent Ryosuke to Ueno to pick up more (since he had an appointment in that side of Tokyo anyways). They were all out.

He asked a staff member and they said that company has discontinued the line. Apparently I had bought some of the last of their pens, back in February. And, of course, I contacted the company directly in the UK and they said they don’t make that style anymore (but they could ship me pens from a similar line, for like $60 in shipping for 10 pens). Since I don’t know that line, I decided to pass.

I’ve gone through all three pens since then (of course) and picked up another three types from a nearby art store. Two of them are a no-go (they hurt my hand/I don’t like the way they handle)… but this one is okay.

I don’t LOVE it, but I can get used to it.

So from here on out, my comics might look a little different – since the line thickness has changed.

/end rant

Seriously, though, the tools of the trade matter. I never realized how important pens are untill I started actually using them full-time.


Like these comics? Check out my comic books (on Amazon):

My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book


My Japanese Husband (still) Thinks I’m Crazy


Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

39 Comments on Comic: Time to find a new hobby!

  1. Suzanne in Illionois // 3 March, 2016 at 4:43 am //

    Grace, have followed your youtube channel forever- loved watching your kickstarter this time around! I thought the first time for the first comic was good– this is at almost at like 1700 backers so far and little less than 2 days left! :) found a good deal for the edding151f at ebay of all places- like a 10 pk black for around eleven US plus shipping. don’t know if it will let me put a link here, but i’m sure you can find it, if not, contact me, i’ll shoot you a link.

  2. I googled Edding 151f and came up with quite a few hits. There is one company that has 8 assorted packs in stock

  3. When you run out again, maybe it is time to get yourself back to Ueno to try out their new pens. Maybe that art store is selling edding’s replacement product for the one you’re used to, and it might be good.

  4. Art supplies and stationary are so important! Once you get used to a certain product it can be so difficult to find a replacement. I hate it when companies change a line that didn’t need to be changed! I also hate having to spend money on pens that don’t work out during the search for a new one. I hope that you get used to the new pen and are satisfied with it ^^

  5. P J Ebbrell // 21 September, 2015 at 12:50 am //

    I only recently discovered the Pentel Brush pens, which are superb.

    But you can never have too many pens, Grace. I am always buying more, just in case, I might run out before getting to a shop.

  6. I can’t wait till I get to read your books your blogs and comics are great. Keep being awesome!

  7. I always look forward to your comics every week. They are so awesome sauce^-^

  8. Hey, I live in Austria and you can buy eddings in like every store, including grocery stores. I might be able to find you some leftover pens. Which type were you using?

  9. Keep on keeping on, Grace!

  10. I know how you feel Grace > < I recently had the same problem with finding a nice 01 thin line drawing pen… Have you tried Copic drawing pen? Copic and Kuretake pens are good and they both are Japanese brands.

  11. Or to enter the modern world of pen tablets! I love my new tablet but I cannot draw in bed anymore XD

  12. lakerzombie // 19 September, 2015 at 7:31 am //

    It always feels like a personal attack when a product you like is discontinued. I bet most won’t notice the difference and besides funny is funny regardless of line girth lol

  13. if you wanted to share the name and info about it maybe some of us could look around the net and see if we can find a place for you to get them :)

  14. Oh yes! They certainly do matter! I’m an artist myself and I know how difficult it is to find a tool you’re comfortable with. Like, just a couple of hours ago, I was doodling and I decided to just use one of the pencils I had around, but it surely wasn’t a good idea. It kinda scratches the page. So, I settled with only using it for writing, from time to time. xD (Poor papers getting tortured.)

  15. My husband is obsessive about his pens and art supplies – for a long time I wasn’t allowed to use ANY of his supplies for craft/art projects of my own. He now trusts me and I am allowed free access to his art supplies as long as I am very careful and don’t smoosh the tips of his pens, lol.

  16. I’d be so sad. I wouldn’t stop and I’m sure I’d find another usable tool, but those things do make me sad. It feels like a betrayal when a line (of anything) you’re loyal to suddenly shuts down.
    But hey, we still have your comics to give us a smile, so yay!

  17. Still has the same ol’ Grace style, so no worries if it looks a bit different. Comics are meant to change and evolve over time anyway.

  18. Yeah. Every artist I know has a story like this—a pen or a nib or a brand of ink that is their “magic feather” that the manufacturer discontinues, so they must re-learn how to “fly.” I’ve had my pen of choice discontinued on three different occasions. It’s maddening!

    My best advice is to keep experimenting with other pens while you use the “it’ll do” pen in the meanwhile. Sometimes it takes a while, but you might still find another “I LOVE it” pen out there somewhere. And when you DO find that pen … buy a box of them!

    • I just did that, actually. I spent all day at an art store trying to find a new replacement pen. I finally found one I liked… took it home to test it on a couple comics, then went back and bought 12 of them! That should last for a while…

  19. Artist world problems. ? I feel your pain.

  20. What kind of pen was it?

  21. Consider trying to draw digitally, it will save you a lot of pens in the future. Adobe also now has a free download of Photoshop CS2 available on their site so you could invest in a cheap or used wacom tablet and save a lot of money on comics in the future. additionally you could improve the quality/style of your comics as well without being limited to pen and paper (・∀・)

  22. I’m fond of the Kuretake sign pens. My fav ran out of ink, and I was like nooooo. Must scour Sekaido next month…

  23. Idk how the pen you have works or if this will work at all but a last glimmer of hope could be finding a way to refill the ink? You’ve probably already thought of that or it can’t open up or whatever it’s just an idea

  24. Ayla Cottrell // 18 September, 2015 at 10:48 pm //

    What kind were you using Grace? My friend uses prismacolor or micron to do his comics. He swears by them.

  25. Try Pental sign pen or if that fails I know of one more that is really good but I don’t have one at the minute and I can’t remember the name…. hang on.

  26. oh that feeling, I had the same problem years ago but fortunately I’ve found a new tipe that I like even more, and it’s also cheaper :D

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