Added 1 new A* page:Today's page features a new white ink! And uh hopefully you can't tell the difference. ;) There's definitely a big difference when using it, though! It's Deleter White #2, which you can get from Deleter's "Manga Shop" right here. An honest to goodness waterproof white ink! Man! Now instead of getting a muddled mess when trying to go in with black back over white, the ink just...stays on the page where I put it. :) For instance, in this page I went back and forth over Selenis' left shoulder a few times, and did a wash over some white ink running down the edge of her face, and they both stayed crisp. This is AWESOME okay? :D|
Deleter is a Japanese company and they have some curious ways about them; for instance, on the shipping label, which spent several days in US Customs, they claimed the contents were "comic goode" (which is pretty accurate, actually), "for educational use":
Hm. Is A* educational? Have you learned anything from it? Well gosh, maybe they're right, and didn't just put that there to get some kind of easier/cheaper shipping. What do I know? I'm just an educator, apparently. :P (Dad will be so proud!)
Deleter definitely carries comic goods, though; aside from black and white ink for brush work (I also ordered two of their waterproof black inks, #3 (matte) and #4 (extra dark); I'll have to get my big black pigment ink review done some time soon...eh after that black pigment *pen* review I keep promising...), they also sell their own brand of dip pen nibs, several lines of alcohol and water-based markers (the NeoPiko-2 line in particular seems to be going after the same many-colored comic coloring clientele as the perhaps better known Copic markers), several types of comic paper, and a vast library of stick-on screen tones for adding pizazz to manga-style black-and-white comics. They even threw some small samples of a handful of those in with my order, along with a ton of little catalogues and brochures:
Jeez, the freebies there dwarf the three little 30 ml (~1 ounce) plastic jars of ink that I actually ordered. I imagine the tone sheets are at least somewhat similar to the "Zip-A-Tone" or whatever is/was sold in the West to achieve similar shading effects in black and white print comics--but these Deleter sheets are the only tone sheets I've ever actually seen in person; they're patterns of black dots, in all kinds of configurations from simple solid grays to pretty ornate things like flames or whatnot that could pretty much make a comic page all on their own. The included guide on how to draw manga shows that what you do with them is lay them over the thing you want to gray-up, cut them to shape slightly larger than needed--with a "box cutter" :o--then remove the adhesive backing, stick them onto the page, and cut away the over-sized edges you left; the guide warns not to cut into the paper while you're doing all that razor work on your page, but...I dunno, that sounds easier said than done. The guide also says to use their dip pen nibs for drawing lines and such though, and metal nibs like that (I haven't used theirs) chew up paper pretty good on their own, so maybe actual razor cuts in addition aren't considered a big deal, I dunno.
So anyway, that white ink. It has a smooth, mellow consistency and pretty darn good opacity--at least as good as the non-waterproof Dr. Ph. Martin's "Bleed Proof White" that I've been using. But the Bleed Proof White would dry into this crusty stuff (particularly inside the jar, which is particularly aggravating) that left little white grains flaking over everything (I always had to edit a few out from my scanned pages in Photoshop--they're tiny and get EVERYWHERE); the Deleter White #2, on the other hand, dries a little quicker when laid down thickly, and solidifies into sort of a latexy rubbery state that doesn't flake at all. Nice.
The only down side I've noticed from the Deleter White #2 so far is that it has a distinct, fume-laden odor, something like strong Elmer's glue; I actually got slightly dizzy after I'd been using it for a while with the jar pretty nearly under my nose, and no ventilation going to speak of. Sooo yeah, from now on I'm gonna have the windows open and the jar away from my face when using the stuff. 8P (I suppose glue-sniffing types might consider this all a bonus but I never picked up a taste for it.) HOPEFULLY that will keep the fume effects to a minimum, but I guess I'll wait for a few more days of using it before I make it the official replacement for the Bleed Proof White and order it in bulk--did I mention it's nearly half the price of the Bleed Proof White? Sure, shipping is a little pricey, but that's why you order a bunch of it at once, I suppose.
One final quirk I'll allude to about this order: the invoice features some prominent spelling errors, with one in particular standing out: above the shipping address, instead of "SHIP TO:," it...well, let's just say they used one different letter in "SHIP," inadvertently (one hopes) transforming it into a four-letter word you don't usually find on an art supply invoice!
One thing I should have mentioned about the Deleter White #2 is that, since it dries to a kind of plasticky latexy state, painting back over it it slightly tricky since the ink (in my case) may not adhere to the dried White #2 as easily as it does to the paper around it; for instance, although I did a light wash down the area just to the left of Selenis' cheek in this page, if you look closely you'll see there's still some whiter area there on the outer cheek edge--that's where I had put down some Deleter White #2, and the subsequent ink wash just sort of washed right over without settling on it. Pure ink seemed to stay a lot better, and there were various places around the page where I went back over the dried White #2 with full black ink and it stayed with no problem at all; the one exception was in some heavily built-up ridges of white (me being sloppy :p) on her left shoulder, where I had to go over the highest peaks a second time to get the ink to cover them evenly.
Ooh also you can't just let this stuff dry on your brush in a clump and expect to wash it off easily like I used to do with the Bleed Proof White. :o Guess I'll have to get an actual rinse jar for it and stop treating my white brush (which is a bit of a beater--white ink being so thick and all) like such a second-class citizen. :p