Cartooning is deceptive. People look at a cartoon, one that you have spent some time creating, and they think it all comes easily. But cartoons, which, as you know, combine writing and art, are not simple. "It's not the ink, it's the THINK," said Bob Montana.
But, conversely, an artist is only as good as his or her tools.And half of the fun of getting into a hobby is the gear. So let's talk about what you needed in 1966 and compare that to now.
From 1966 booklet THE EASY WAY TO DRAW CARTOONS ("How to draw funny faces ... men ... women ... hands ... feet ... action ... comics ... perspective ... pen and ink"), here are some "Materials of you will need for cartooning."
"Cartooning probably requires less material and material of lower cost than any other highly paid art. Many excellent spot or gag cartoons are rendered on a small piece of bristol board with Higgins American Waterproof India Ink and a pen nib and staff. A sheet of two-ply bristol board may be secured for 40 cents or less. The size is 22" x 28" and 1/4 of this size or a piece of 11" x 14" is generally ample for a spot cartoon. Only a few drops of drawing ink are required from a bottle of Higgins American India Ink purchased for 55 cents. The pen nib and staff may be purchased for 25 cents and, of course, may be used many times."
First up: paper!
No surprises here. Most people use paper. Paper is way cheaper and doesn't crash like a touchpad.
2 or 3 ply bristol.
Above: some of the classic tools' The pencils of different hardness, charcoal, pen nibs & holder, and a felt tip pen (with permanent ink in it).
Brushes are superior to any drawing tool. Able to go from thick to thin, and hold more ink than a nib, they are versatile and, frankly, very tough to master.
Nice to know that erasers have not changed since 1966.
Above: the white paint is to paint over your mistakes.Wite Out fluid was only in the beginnings of its development in 1966, with the product market rollout by 1971.
The Higgins Ink bottle has not changed as well. Well, the shape is the same but it went from glass to plastic some years ago. Since some of this book is written by Tracy Higgins, President of Higgins Ink, that's the reason the name Higgins is on there you bet!
The pins are to tack the paper to your drawing board.
Let's talk about your cartooning studio.
It's up to you. In the end, the best gear is great to have, but, like Mr. Montana says, it comes down to what you can produce with your mind. Thousands of dollars of great gear can't mask a bad idea, of course.
A big tip of the hat to Tony M. for sharing some scans from this hard to find book.