I think one of the most daunting things about walking into an art store is the 4,000 types of paper and 800 types of pencils lining the walls. If you have someone in your life who loves comic books or is looking to start drawing, I’ve gone uber-hard finding some cool gift ideas for them. I’ll keep it short because this post is SUPER long.
*This post was updated for 2021. Also, when you’re done, be sure to check out all our 2022 curated gift guides here.
Gifts For Comic Book Lovers
1. Drawing Pencils
1. Castle Art Pencils Set: So this set is awesome for someone getting into sketching OR someone who’s working on getting a good kit together. It comes with a ton of stuff including kneaded and rubber erasers, sharpeners, paper stumps, and graphite pencils and sticks.
2. Platinum Mechanical Pencil: Some people prefer mechanical pencils. I know there’s a heated debate on what thickness of lead is the best…this one uses 0.3 mm.
3. MyLifeUNIT Mechanical Drafting Pencil: This pencil uses a thick lead (2.00 mm), which is nice for people just starting out with sketching. The pencil itself is also on the heavier side, which lends to a nice controlled feel. It comes with 2 pencils and two tubes of lead.
4. Kasimir Graphite Pencil Set: Not interested in the whole kit? Here’s a pencil set that spans from 12B to 6H.
2. Pen Sets
5. Copic Gasenfude Brush Pen: This is one of the pens I tried during my graphic novel classes in high school. I love brush pens because they let you control the flow of ink and the line weight as you draw. They take a decent amount of control and some getting used to though, so I would suggest these for someone intent on getting really good at inking. Sadly this one isn’t designed to be refilled, but after reading through the comments it can apparently be refilled as long as you’re careful.
6. Pentel Arts Pocket Brush Pen: This pen is great AND refillable (NOICE!). Same as the Copic brush pen above, this takes a bit to get used to. After learning how to control your hand though, it gives clean thick to thin lines.
7. Copic Multiliner Pen Set: Copic is pretty well-known for making killer inking pens and markers. These are also refillable and can be taken apart to replace the ink cartridge, as well as the pen nibs.
8. Sakura Pigma Micron Pen Set: A set of pens I’ve owned before. They give nice crisp lines that won’t smudge on most papers, and there are multiple tip sizes, which are great for inking.
9. Prismacolor Pen Set: I’ve also owned these and I think I prefer Prismacolor over Micron. What I really loved about this set was the felt tip brush and wedge cut pens.
3. Books & Boards
10. Reinventing Comics: This book is definitely for older comic artists interested in learning more about what makes a comic a comic: what the lifetime of the art of comics look like, how the business works, gender and race representation, and the future of digital production.
11. Understanding Comics: This is the big one. The one my graphic novel teacher had us read and study. Scott McCloud examines comics as art and looks into their history. He talks about techniques and the cultural impact comics have on our world. A super interesting read written in the style of a comic book.
12. Making Comics: This book focuses on the making of comics. He discusses how to craft facial expressions, framing, story-telling and more, all in the same style as the other two books.
13. Figure Drawing: Design and Invention: A figure drawing book with a more tame cover but the contents that are just as good. It goes from gesture drawings to muscle movement to full-figure sketching.
14. Figure Drawing for All It’s Worth: SO. I know there’s a naked lady on the cover, BUT this book is great for learning more about figure drawing. Definitely something for older kids interested in drawing (I got this in high school and used it throughout college for figure studies).
15. Strathmore Bristol Boards (Blue Lined): Bristol board is nice and smooth for inking, and this is cut 11”x17” with light blue lines to plan out measurements.
16. Canson Comic Book Boards (Blue Lined): To be honest, I can’t really tell the difference between Canson and Strathmore, BUT I wanted to give another option.
17. Blank Comic Book for Kids: A nice starter book for kids who have no patience for rulers, but are interested in making their own comics. A small warning though — this paper is not bristol board! If they’re using ink on these, it’s best to slide a sheet of paper in between to prevent bleed.
18. Krisp Blank Comic Book: This is similar to the book above, BUT the cover is totally blank so your kiddo can make their own comic book cover.
4. Drafting Tools & Color
19. Mr. Pen Triangular Ruler Set: These rulers are super helpful for drafting up comic boxes or throwing together perspective lines. They make the work quick and easy for squaring things off.
20. Mr. Pen Drafting Set: So this is super extra, BUT I did use the heck out of that eraser shield during my comic-making days. It gives you super-clean eraser lines and works as a ruler in a pinch.
21. Parblo Two-Finger Glove: Got an artist interested in digital artwork? Perhaps a lefty? Has problems with smudges? This glove has saved me from many a graphite smear and smudging up my drawing tablet. It also aids in letting your hand glide easier across a page or screen.
22. Creative Mark Leaning Bridge: Definitely something that I have depended on while inking pages in the past. I have shaky hands, and being able to rest my hand on something without fear of smudging up my work has been lovely.
23. Prismacolor Manga Color Set: These pencils have a soft core that allows the pigmentation to be more vibrant, while also lending to easier blending and shading.
24. Ohuhu Watercolor Brush Markers: These looked so cool and reminded me of the brush pens I suggested earlier for inking. They act like watercolor paints but in a brush pen form, which is a lot more manageable. They can be thinned with water as well.
25. Caliart Dual Tip Markers: If you’ve even glanced at Copic markers you probably know just how steep the prices can get. These markers are a much more affordable option for beginner artists and also have a colorless blender that works just like the way Copics do.
26. Artist Colored Pencils: Think of these like a step up from colored pencils. The color cores in these are softer than traditional Crayola pencils, which means more vibrant colors and easier glide.
5. Graphic Tees
27. Wilson Deadpool Tee: I was hunting down a Deadpool tee that would be a little less graphic (y’know how Deadpool is).
28. Squirrel Girl Tee: Does anyone else love tees with just white text on them? How about Squirrel Girl?
29. Star Lord Tee: Talk about a design that POPS.
30. The Invisible Man Tee: I love a bit of vintage, and this Invisible Man shirt is so good. Also…can we talk about cool character design?
31. Godzilla Tee: I can’t decide if I love the white tee with the black design or the black tee with the white design more. What I do know? I love Godzilla.
32. Asgard Thunder Tee: I had to throw one of these varsity team tees in here.
33. UFO’s Attack Tee: Another cute bit of vintage.
34. Wanda Vision Tee: Love this Wanda Vision tee. The color really stands out!
35. Assemble Tee: I like clean designs like this.
36. DC Cartoon Tee: While I was picking out tees I realized I had like a billion Marvel shirts and very few DC. Truly a crime. I found this one, and love it for its colors and layout.
37. Spiderverse Tee: I need something from my favorite Spiderman movie.
38. Spiderverse Comic Tee: Another Spiderverse Tee because I just had to.
6. More Comic Book Swag
39. Vintage Comic Keychains: I’m just gonna link to the whole page of up-cycled comic goodness because these keychains are one of a kind (literally). And there aren’t only DC and Marvel. I saw Max from Where the Wild Things Are, and Calvin and Hobbes.
40. POW! Chalkboard: The chalkboard says it all.
41. Posable Drawing Figure: Something I love having on my desk. I recently replaced this with some 3D modeling software, but this guy gets the job done just fine.
42. Comic Book Storage: These boxes are a super-cool way to store precious books. They don’t come with the covers in the front in the image, but your kiddo can put their favorite books in the front to display.
43. Amber Rechargeable Reading Light: This is a warm-toned light for reading that can be clipped to the cover of a book or a headboard. Because it’s a warmer color, it won’t prevent you from getting sleepy.
44. ZIPIT Monster Pencil Case: I feel like these pencil cases are pretty popular now, especially with all the different designs you can get. I kinda love that they can unzip all the way so they can be cleaned of pencil shavings.
45. Milk Pencil Cases: I wanted to find a funky pencil case I’ve never seen and instead found 3! These are very cute and can be folded up to store smaller if needed.
46. Ponyo: I really can’t say enough about Studio Ghibli movies. The goal behind movies like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle is so beautiful, and show little girls the courage and heroism hidden inside them (and no forced romances, thank you). Ponyo is another of the beautiful and fantastical stories Hayao Miyazaki has created.
47. Spirited Away: This story focuses on a young girl trying to save her parents from a witch in a strange city that seems to be populated by spirits. Amazing young girl protagonist alert.
48. Howl’s Moving Castle: This is the movie I fell in love with. If there is just one you pick up, maybe give this a chance (it’s based on a book if you’re interested).
49. My Neighbor Totoro: I have yet to watch this one (SOON!), but I’m so excited to see what the hype is about.
50. Kiki’s Delivery Service: An amazing movie about a young 13-year-old girl (who is a witch), who starts her life on her own in a new city. (One of Jeni’s favorites).
51. Tech Tools Hand Holder: Messy desks happen, and sometimes you just need a funky holder for your 200 pens and pencils. The bottom is also magnetic so you can stick notes and paper clips to it.
52. ZIPIT Lenny Pencil Case: This is a bright and fun pencil case covered in doodles that is also machine washable (yesssss).
Happy drafting, inking, reading, writing, and everything else you’re doing these coming holidays!
(Oh, hey! Need more gift ideas? We have a slew. Check out our gift ideas hub here, or go straight to Gifts For Kids, Gifts For Him and/or Gifts For Her.)
Your Resident Dungeon Master,
As the mother of a character and comic-making teen girl who is impossible to buy for….thumbs up
Thank you ! This is such a great gift guide! My son will be so happy to get some supplies of his own and I will be happy too since he won’t be swiping my stuff from my home based graphic design biz!
I don’t have any kids, but these are still some of my favorite gift guides to read – and buy from! Great work! Note: the images and text for #13 and #14 are swapped (only noticed it due to the naked lady, tbh).
Thank you so much for this guide! I’m shopping for my oldest son from this set of ideas!
This is the guide I needed when my kiddos were growing up! Really helpful descriptions to assist matching age and skills to the items. Love the curated gift guides that TME brainstorms!
Love this! My 10yo has gotten his younger siblings into comic book and graphic novel making so everyone has blank books here. I that those have blank covers too!
I know you all have lots of stuff in the works, but I would LOVE to see a post like this for writers! National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo– parents should ABSOLUTELY check out their Young Writers Program and resources for aspiring authors) is almost upon us, and we celebrate our becoming novelists for the month with nice stationary, new pens, spillproof mugs, etc. It is a bit of a niche nerd thing, but doesn’t everyone know someone who writes?
Fantastic post- much love for Ghibli in our house, too! Love that you explained use for some of these supplies.