Hack that pen.
The thing about materials for drawing cartoons is that they cost a lot more in the UK than they do in the US. The translation is usually along the lines of - well, let's take the Sakura Pigma Micron pen as an example. The Micron costs $1.50 in the US, which is around 75p. However, in the UK the pen costs £1.75 at least, which is about $3.50. It's fairly typical as Britain is one of the most highly-taxed countries in the developed world.
As I was scouting about looking for Micron Pigma pens over here I discovered two things, you are much more likely to get them in craft shops here, as most art shops don't stock them, and you can pay up to £3.75 per pen. Now that translates to about $7.50, so if you bought in bulk and bought 100 Microns in the US they would cost you about $150 or about £75. If, on the other hand, you bought 100 Micron Pigma pens here in the UK, from that particular craft shop, the same 100 pens would cost you $750 or about £375 - that is 5 times as expensive. It is the same story here with ink.
There is a similar difference in the cost of the Faber Castell-Pitt artists pen, with a brush tip; which we cartoonists tend to like because it's easier to handle than a brush, and smoother than a pen or nib. So given that there is a squeeze on, and that ink and plastic will undoubtedly cost more money as the months go by - I'll show you how to make the Faber pens last twice as long. You'll need the following tools:
(I can't believe I forgot my Pental Brush pens, so I've added them)
A bottle of FW Acrylic ink (must be Acrylic ink).
Your Faber pens - hope you haven't thrown them away.
A pack of handy wipes.
Optional extras: Your Pental Brush Pen, Koh-I-Noor or Rotring pens, Prismacolor Markers and a syringe from a home inkjet-filling kit.
1. Okay, make sure your work surface is clean and tidy and that your paper and pads that may be lying around are in plastic pouches (okay mine is messy so do as I say, don't do as I do), and get your pens ready and have your tweezers available.
2. I think someone went as far as to make a Youtube movie about this, but I'm not going to patronise you, take the tip in your tweezers and yank it out of there. Now look at the nice pointed tip that was hidden inside. Lovely isn't it? Okay, pick it up and stick the old blunt end back in the pen, so that you have a nice new tip.
3. Grab a handy wipe and get the dirty, filthy, ink of your little fingers.
4. Now that you have renewed your nib, put the pen lid on and move your attention to the other end of the pen. Take your pliers and remove the top - a quick yank and it comes out.
5. Now open your FW Acrylic ink, take your dropper and drop 3 or 4 (no more), drops of ink into the top of the pen, and then put the top back in place.
Rotate the pen once or twice, stand it on its head for about 10 minutes, and it should be good to go.
The Optional Extras:
6. I was actually sitting at the drawing table, well I was hoovering it, when I remembered I'd forgotten my Pentals, that's because I filled them already. Anyway, same deal as the Rotring or Koh-I-Noor. Fill the empty Pental Brush pen reservoir with FW Acrylic ink using the syringe from an inkjet refill pack. It takes surprisingly little ink and never clogs and flows real sweet.
7. Take that old Prismacolor marker and pull the chisel tip nib out with your pliers. Do just as you did when filling the Faber pen and drip 3 or 4 drops of ink into the thing. You won't be swapping the tip round this time, but your old dry pen will be working like a new young 'un again.
8. When your Koh-I-Noor or Rotring is empty, take it into the kitchen and do this in a metal sink or in a plastic basin. Clean the plastic reservoir by rinsing it clean. Fill the syringe with about an inch of FW Acrylic ink, and put the needle in the reservoir and slowly fill. Squirt the left over ink back in the bottle.
That little bottle of FW Acrylic ink will fill 100 Fabers, your Pental, Koh-I-Noor and your Rotring and a dozen Prismacolours and it will make up all your washes and you'll still have ink left to do solid blacks on pages and pages of drawings. It goes a long way, and I have never, in the past 2 years, had a blockage in any of these pens.
(Does anyone else notice how weirdly fetishistic this all looks, and how much it all resembles drug paraphernalia?)