Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tools of the Trade: Ink Review - Noodler's Old Manhattan Blackest Black

When I started writing long fiction seriously, I bought myself a Moleskine pocket notebook and filled every page with black ink. When every line on every page was full, I flipped back through that book and admired it. I admired it for not getting lost in the washing machine, not getting chewed up by my dog, and for holding all my words in tight (even the misfits). I admired it most of all for the work of art I saw in every filled page of steady black handwriting. I loved that book like a painting, and even though I chase after fun, interesting inks, I will always love best the romantic steadfastness of a good black ink.

I guess that's why I'm so picky.

I have more bottles of black ink than any other color, and I can tell them all apart on the page. (Yes, I know that's weird, but when you look at as many pages of your own handwriting as I do, you develop useless superpowers such as these. I am also impervious to papercuts.) I've been on a quest for years to find the blackest blackety black ink on the planet. I'm talking about an ink so dark that it would strike fear in the heart of this guy:

Pennywise the Clown from It
Noodler's Old Manhattan Blackest Black is the closest I've found so far. It's not particularly warm or cool hued and doesn't run much to gray even in thin spots. That's an ink I can get behind.

Not only is this ink the good, soul-shattering black I love, it also has some other special properties that bump it high on my list of favorites. This is one of Noodler's "bulletproof" series of inks, which means that it is waterproof, UV-proof, bleach-proof, and some other "proofs" (probably even evil-clown-proof). This means that if my inky black cat drools on my inky black ink (this has happened!), my writing will stay right where I put it. I guess that means it is cat-proof, too.

Noodler's has quite a few inks with these special properties, including several other blacks. I have tried most of them, but Old Manhattan Blackest Black has been the best combination of color, behavior, and properties out of the ones I've sampled so far. It even behaves extremely well on cheap paper, which is a plus for using at work.

One important thing to note: if you ever buy a Noodler's ink, ESPECIALLY one with "bulletproof" properties, do NOT open it on your favorite imported rug or while wearing your favorite imported pajamas or your fancy party gloves. The bottles are FULL. I mean to the very utmost there-is-a-meniscus-on-there-oh-crap-my-fancy-pajamas-are-ruined tippy-top. If you order a 3 oz. bottle of ink, you will GET a 3 oz. bottle of ink, even if the bottle itself is around 2.9 oz. That's a good amount of ink and should last a good while...unless you spill it, that is.

This ink is exclusive to the Fountain Pen Hospital, so if you're interested, you can purchase it there.

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