Best drawing paper for creating gag panel cartoons

Best drawing paper for creating cartoons  doesn’t really matter anymore.

When first starting out and looking at various cartoonist’s work whobest drawing paper I liked, I would find their contact information via the editors of magazines who published their cartoons.

I’d write them letters asking their preferred types of pens they use, how long it takes to create a cartoon and so on.

The main question always got around to paper and what their preference was for creating their single panel gag cartoons.

At that time, back in the early to mid nineteen seventies, most of them, around 99% had always said it was cotton bond typing paper.

Why cotton bond? Mostly because of the pens and the ink. Which I realized took the ink well and it dried fast on the various types of weight that made up most of the cotton bond typing paper of that time.

Paper that cartoons are drawn on, require specific pens

Also taken into consideration were the pens themselves that were in use. Many were dip pens or Speedball brand. Various sizes of tips were favored by different cartoonists.

I tried a brand of cotton bond paper called Strathmore bond typing paper, which was around 20 lb. in weight.

I was already experimenting and drawing with Speedball brand dip pens, using Higgins waterproof India ink.

Copy paper is ideal for cartooning

It took the pencil sketching well and ultimately the ink also. When cartoons were mailed out, that brand of paper held up well through the rigors of mail handling.

As of the current date, I can officially say the the best drawing paper is no longer a concern. Digital cartooning tablets and Wacom tablets illustrators and cartoonists like to use, now are common place.

I still prefer drawing on paper and illustrated the cartoon sample for this article on standard photocopier paper.

I used a Sharpie marker. For a lot of my assigned illustration work, I’ll draw with waterproof Rapidograph ink and use a Koh-I-Noor technical drawing pen.

Since every cartoonist will have a different cartooning or drawing style, the paper they draw on will also vary.

My advice is to experiment. Use high quality cotton bond typing paper to see if that is what you like. Try bristol board….it may work in conjunction with your pen and ink you use very well.

Try cheap copy paper you can buy by the crate load and start experimenting. Sooner than later you’ll find that niche where you feel comfortable drawing all of your cartoons!