Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Turkey Prince

I've been meaning to put my "classic" tale of the Turkey Prince online for Thanksgiving for years. I wrote it in my 20's and my style has really evolved since then though I still consider this one of my best and favorite works. Here it is finally... I re-wrote the captions because, believe it or not, my handwriting has gotten much much better since then. So, Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Visit To The Pen Doctor

Back in the late 60's and early 70's when I was in Art School (SVA!) and I was drawing cartoons and trying different drawing implements I started out using a Rapidograph.
It was favored by a lot of art students back then. I used it for several years trying the different points... but I was never crazy about it, though I liked the barrel and the fountain pen aspects.
Then... I found the pen supreme! The pen I had been searching for. The pen of pens! It was the PERFECT pen for my drawing style!

So, for several years...all was well. Then, in the late 70's, the pen was discontinued by the manufacturer!!! I managed to stockpile several extra pens and points partly thanks to an art
store Rowland Art Studio, in Concord, NH, whose owner saved them for me! (Can't remember his name he sold and moved in the early 80's, but thank you if you are out there somewhere!). I called Koh-i-noor and was told they didn't have ANY parts or pens anymore. Was there no hope? I babied the pens over the years...but things happen. Points get split. Ink doesn't flow right.
I was down to just a couple of working pens...
even after Friend of Friends Steve bought me a couple for my birthday (!) on ebay! I have written about my search for other equally good pens but none lived up to the flexible lines I needed.
Last year John and I went to the Ohio State Cartooning Conference and we were on the shuttle when I saw that Bill Griffith, creator of Zippy, was sitting across from me. He had beautiful pen lines. I asked him what he used.
(Bill Griffith does not really look like his case you were wondering)
He said he had had a special pen made for him by a man named Richard Binder who lived in, of all places, New Hampshire! He also repaired pens. He was called the Pen Doctor. So, I immediately contacted him to see about having a pen made. He replied right away and asked to see my drawings. I e-mailed some samples. Once he analyzed them he let me know he could make a pen for me but it might be too expensive (because of the Flexible nib I needed) and to see if I could find an old pen that worked or could be repaired. A friend who is an auctioneer gave me a beautiful pen not long afterwards.

The pen had a flexible point but corroded insides. I took all my non-working pens and spread them out.

It was time to act. I contacted Richard Binder and told him I was sending him all my pens and points for his expert diagnosis and hopefully repair. He was most gracious and said it would take about 16 weeks (!) to fix them all, if he could, and that he would let me know the cost before he did anything. It sounded good to me... so I labeled all the pens:

And packed them up:
I will send them off tomorrow. Tune in in 16 weeks!