“Man, this one broke EXACTLY like the last one!”

I use Staedtler Mars pigment liners for inking Schlock Mercenary, and they come in six sizes: 005,01,02,03,05, and 07. Most of my foreground characters are inked with the 03, but for the last couple of weeks I’ve been struggling with that pen. The nib is damaged, and I’ve been nursing it along in an effort to save some money.

Today I got fed up, and grabbed a new 03 from the box. Two panels’ worth of work later, I pick up my 03 to ink a foreground character, and realize that the nib is broken. Not only that, it’s broken EXACTLY like the 03 I replaced it with. Grrrr…

I looked down and figured I’d use the 02 instead, and there was another 03 in front of me. The new one.


When you’re going to throw away a marker because it doesn’t work right, you have to throw it ALL THE WAY AWAY, Howard. That’s why there’s a trash can in your office.


13 thoughts on ““Man, this one broke EXACTLY like the last one!””

  1. I know exactly the problem you’re talking about, I think – I threw an 03 away last night. Is it the thing where the nib kinda gets bent, and so the inkflow is off, and sometimes it draws almost like a brush but sometimes it skips? That’s been the cause of failure for every 03 I’ve thrown away so far… 03 being the main pen I use. And of course since I can only find the pens in the sets of four (01, 03, 05, 07), I’ve got multiple sets with the 03s missing now…

    1. In this case the nib was split, but yeah, sometimes it would skip, sometimes it would paint broadly, and sometimes, if I held it just right and used a very light touch, it gave me a consistent “03” line.

      I buy mine in bulk now. And I can never remember where I buy them. Usually I buy boxes of 10 of each size, though. I typically drop around $70 on pens once a year.


      1. Heh. I’ve probably got several 6 mm allen wrenches around if I bothered myself to collect all my tools, and those were all leftocvers from my biking days.

  2. Repeat offenders

    I’ve done this very thing while working on a lab for my coding class before.

    “Argh! This code keeps getting strange errors that I don’t understand! I’ll close it and go work on the older, working version.”

    “Argh! This gets the same errors!? But it was working half an hour ago!”

    *much panic ensues*

    “Oh…I reopened the new version…just gonna delete that now……”

    So yeah, *comfort* I feel your pain.

  3. Heh – how much money are you saving by nursing a busted pen along? I am sure they’re nice pens and all, but it seems like if you spend even a few minutes longer it’s costing you longer in time than the “savings” amounts to.

  4. When a blank tape jams in our VCR, I very carefully remove it and break the case open. Since there’s pretty much no way to do this without some degree of effort and loud cracks of splintering plastic, my wife assumes that I’m having a temper tantrum. No, I’m just making sure that we don’t mistake this for a good tape and try to use it again.

    Well, okay, it’s not ENTIRELY a temper-free exercise. But there is a good reason!

  5. Try finding a Koh-I-Noor refillable technical pen. They are about as hard to come by as Schlock eyes and more expensive. 😛

    The do superb lines and you just keep filling them with India ink.

    Oh, I found it


    I love these pens dearly, I just can’t what you do to the do do so well.

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