Tools & Materials

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Here are some basic tools that I use in my comics classroom:

Flair Felt-Tip Pens

These provide a controlled, variable line with good solid black coverage.  They dry quickly, and they’re washable, too. Especially for younger artists, these pens (and the markers below) are MUCH easier to use than brushes and nib pens. We can just pick them up and start inking right away!
(Standard price = ~$1.50 each / order from >>… )
(Remember, we use only the BLACK pens in our workshops!)
SUGGESTED MINIMUM:  2 dozen for every 2-3 classrooms

Dick Blick Water-Based Markers
These have an excellent chisel-tip, which enables young artists to both fill areas and start exploring line weight with a very controlled instrument. They also dry quickly and wash easily.  WE USE ONLY THE BLACK MARKERS, but they do come in other colors….
(Standard price = ~$0.40 each / Order from >>)
SUGGESTED MINIMUM:  2 dozen for every 2-3 classrooms

Pencils and erasers — Aw, heck, you know what they are and how to get some!
SUGGESTED MINIMUM:  1 per student

Rulers — Any sturdy ruler will do! They help mark off panel borders and draw straight lines.
SUGGESTED MINIMUM:  2 dozen per every 3 classes

Paper — We use regular copy paper. It’s cheap, and easy to find, and it holds the ink. (Just be gentle while erasing.)
SUGGESTED MINIMUM:  10+ pages per student

Folders — Each artist needs a folder to organize artwork and tools. Two-pocket folders work well; paper is cheap (& more pleasant & biodegradable), but the plastic ones last MUCH longer.
SUGGESTED MINIMUM:  1 per student

Long Arm Stapler
— Good investment!
SUGGESTED MINIMUM:  Not necessary, but every comics-making school can use one!


Consumable tools & materials (pens, pencils, rulers, paper, etc.):~$3 per student*
* For larger groups, we’ll require fewer than 1 marker & pen per student.  For example, 3-4 dozen pens (~$70 total) and markers (~$15 total) can be shared among 80-120 students during the residency…
RECOMMENDED: 2-pocket folder for each student (useful for programs longer than 1 class):~$0.50 per student
OPTIONAL: Photocopies (in booklet form, assembled by students) of work by each student: ~$0.10-$3 per student
OPTIONAL: Sample comics [i.e. Breakfast at Mimi’s or Hour 72! or Slovakia … Often summer programs include a book in each student’s materials fee, while school & library programs opt to have books for sale at the culminating event]: $0-10 per student

$3-13 per student.

Facilities/Materials Suggested:


  • digital projector
  • extension cords / power strips
  • blank projection surface (wall, screen, whiteboard, etc.)
  • display paper + easel


  • digital projector + cart (for easy transport between classrooms)
  • blank copier paper
  • basic comics tools (either for the school, or for individual artists to take home after the workshop)

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