(This is a guest post by Bryan Gushikawa.)
Tachikawa is a well-known company in Japan that specializes in supplies for comic artists. Their dip pen nibs are legendary in quality and the top names in manga are known to use Tachikawa products. But dip pens are not practical for portable use so Tachikawa released the Linemarker A.T. to give artists a coffee shop/school/outside-the-studio alternative that really works and still gives excellent performance.
The body is a simple plastic barrel with windows to see ink level. The Tachikawa ink cartridges are about the size of a standard fountain pen cartridge, but thicker to hold more ink. The pen barrel can hold two cartridges, so you’ll always have a spare ready. The clip is metal, but anchored into plastic, so it’s not super rugged, but it’s serviceable. The nib itself is the star of this pen and it’s classic Tachikawa quality: smooth, precise and very consistent in line width. How they managed to make a stiff, fine (writes about a 0.45~0.6mm line) nib so smooth is really a testament to their expertise and even though the nib is tiny compared to the rest of the pen body, it will serve you well.
The grip section is simple, finely-ridged plastic and it’s OK for a drawing session, but it’s not really comfortable for extended periods. Likewise, the rather narrow body of the pen can be taxing on larger hands over an extended period of time. However, this pen CAN function as a good daily writer or find use in day planners. The ink is of note because the pen is specifically designed for it and it is very nice, indeed. It has a good, dark black appearance without the shininess of some other permanent black inks and it is waterproof and fade-proof art ink, so that is a HUGE bonus for a daily writer.
If you’re an artist with a sketchbook and a favorite coffee shop, chances are that you already have this pen and are nodding your head in agreement when I say that it’s a very good value for the money. But, if you’re looking for a slim pen that works well, works reliably and comes with durable ink and a smooth action, you can’t allow yourself to pass this one up! Give it a try and you might bring out your inner artist!!!