My favorite inking pen is the Deleter Neo-Piko 2. I use several different points, but all are hard to get in the USA. Few art supply resources carry them. Manga/anime suppliers always run low. I’d happily order from any reliable US store, but I have had them on backorder from Blue Line Pro since last November, and was only able to buy four pens from Akadot over two months ago. Still waiting on the rest of my order there, too.
Alex De Campi read my tale of woe on my FaceBook page and suggested I go direct to the Japanese Deleter website to order. I thought they wouldn’t fill international orders, and was skeptical about shipping charges and customs woes. But I had my first order in only a week.
If you order in quantity (I ordered 20 at first, then another 50+,) the shipping charges spread over the lot of pens makes it cheaper to order direct from Japan than to buy from a US supplier. Express shipping runs from $15-$20.
Since I ink EVERYTHING with these pens – acid free, permanent, glossy black – I feared my supply problem would force me to change my technique in the middle of a book. I was down to my last couple pens, I require a fresh sharp point to get the line I like, and I simply could not get anymore. I was frantic after Wondercon, where not a single dealer had art supplies for sale. I have almost always been able to find them at conventions, and came back with not enough pens to finish a crummy four pages.
So, thanks to Alex, and once again, we have proof that Facebook is a social networking tool for good!