Author's Choice: Ink Review
When approaching the idea of writing his first novel, Stardust, author Neil Gaiman decided to purchase a fountain pen and leather journal, to elicit the feeling of writing a novel as if it had been written in the 1920s. Since then, the initial drafts of his works have been written by hand, with various fountain pens including the Pilot Custom 823 and the Lamy 2000 (both of which are filled by a piston refill mechanism, a sort of built-in reservoir - perfect for writers and notetakers alike due to its large ink capacity).
His work, across the fields of comics and graphic novels, fiction, radio, and film and television, has often emphasised the art and ritual of storytelling as much as the story itself. Indeed, what better way to explore this idea than to use a pen and ink, taking the time to write each sentence, fully realising your characters and plot?
Well, don’t take it from us - hear it from the man himself. Neil has kindly reviewed some of our best inks, here below:
The Sailor Studio 370 is grassy, also earthy. Again modest and unassuming. I don’t think I’d write with it as a preference. I tend to like inks that cough loudly and announce their presence on the page. This one is more sinewy and tends to shuffle off into oblivion.
The Kyo-No-Oto Yamabukiiro No. 04 is a lovely gentle earthy and unassuming brown. It's a nice ink. I think I prefer my sepias a little richer but these felt very natural... Like natural colours you could see in things like tree bark, branches and soil... in that colour range in beautiful little bottles.
I was looking forward to the Noodler's Q-Eternity because it’s marketed as rapid-drying which, when you’re signing a lot of pieces of paper, is a huge advantage. I like the colour. It reminded me of the Quink blue-black ink of my childhood in my school days. But the ink had a tendency to spread and feather in the writing which disappointed me.
The Pilot Iro Shizuku Yama-Budo is a glorious aubergine-coloured ink in a beautiful bottle. A very definite ink and a delight to write with. It’s more purple than I would normally choose as an ink colour but I really liked it and it reminds me of the now discontinued Mont Blanc Bordeaux, which I loved.
The Rohrer & Klingner Schreibtinte Isatis tinctoria is a really nice colour. I’m not, generally speaking, a fan of blue inks because it’s the default everywhere and I tend to head off to something different. But it’s a nice colour blue - one I can imagine myself writing a novel in.