Comic Book / Comics

What Type of Pens Do Comic Book Artists Use?

Comic book artists rely heavily on pens to bring their illustrations to life. The choice of pen is crucial for achieving the desired effect, be it bold lines, delicate details, or smooth shading. In this article, we will explore the different types of pens that comic book artists commonly use and why they are preferred.

1. Pencil and Ink

Before diving into the world of pens, it’s important to mention that comic book artists often start with a pencil sketch as a foundation for their artwork. They then use various pens to ink over these pencil lines, creating the final artwork.

1.1 Technical Pens

Technical pens are popular among comic book artists due to their consistent line widths and precision. These pens typically come in various sizes, ranging from 0.05mm to 1mm or more. The smaller sizes are ideal for intricate details and fine lines, while larger sizes work well for bold outlines or filling in larger areas.2 Brush Pens

Brush pens offer a unique advantage by allowing artists to mimic the look of brush strokes without the hassle of using traditional brushes and ink. These pens have flexible tips that resemble brush bristles, providing control over line thickness and producing dynamic strokes.

2. Markers

In addition to technical and brush pens, comic book artists often rely on markers to add color and depth to their illustrations.

2.1 Alcohol-Based Markers

Alcohol-based markers are favored by many comic book artists due to their vibrant colors and ability to blend seamlessly on paper. These markers have a dual-tip design with a broad chisel tip for covering larger areas and a fine tip for adding intricate details.2 Water-Based Markers

Water-based markers are another popular choice amongst comic book artists, especially those who prefer a more traditional look. These markers can be easily blended with water to create smooth gradients and effects. They also offer a wide range of colors and are available in various tip sizes.

3. Fineliners

Fineliners play a crucial role in comic book art as they provide precise lines and details. These pens have a fine, needle-like tip that allows artists to create intricate linework and crosshatching.

4. Gel Pens

Gel pens are often used by comic book artists to add special effects or highlights to their artwork. These pens contain gel ink that flows smoothly onto the paper, creating a vibrant and glossy finish.

5. Ballpoint Pens

While not as commonly used as the previously mentioned pens, ballpoint pens still have their place in comic book art. Artists may use them for rough sketches or quick drafts before finalizing their artwork with other pens.


The choice of pen for comic book artists ultimately depends on their personal style and preferences. Technical pens, brush pens, markers, fineliners, gel pens, and even ballpoint pens all serve different purposes in achieving specific artistic effects. By experimenting with various types of pens, comic book artists can discover their own unique style and create captivating illustrations.