Review: Higgins Black Magic Fiber Tip Marker

I have fond memories of working with Higgins inks throughout my childhood. My high school kept large quantities of Black Magic on hand. When I went to college I bought jars of it. I used it with dip pens and even *GASP* Look away if you are faint of heart, put it into fountain pens. (Do not do this, it will ruin them over time, maybe put it in a Preppy.) It is a nice dark ink that is pretty good in an ink wash set up and doesn’t budge once dry. It’s not a straight up true India ink, but some sort of hybrid. It dries matte on most surfaces.

All that is to say that when I walked past the display of art supplies in my closest Staples I saw the little blister packed marker and was hit with a wave of nostalgia. So despite it being priced at a whopping $4.99 I bought it.

So you get a little fiber tipped marker that needs to be shaken REALLY well before you first use it. The sediment pools at the base of the marker with the shaker balls in the pigment. It took a lot of shaking and leaving the pen on its side overnight to get this shaken properly. If you use it without a good proper shake the ink will be watery and grey colored. It’ll seem pretty disappointing.

One you get it shaken and primed properly it’ll be a deep dark black that is matte on most paper and works pretty well with most paper. I did find that there was some pretty deep penetration on my surfaces- it bled through the crappy sketchbook I use at work. It looked great on my bright white cardstock but was deeply absorbed. It doesn’t lift much when I erase which is always nice.

On fibery and even some smooth papers this fiber tip is aggressive. I used a light hand and this tip lifted fibers every time. Even on smooth cardstock, I was surprised to see little trails of fibers as well as lifted and bunched fibers on the page when I was done drawing. I think if you mash the tip it’ll be softer, but who wants to purposefully do that?

Like many pump style fiber tipped pens, this one is likely pretty easily refillable. When I get to that point I’ll post a tutorial. If you know how to take apart a paint pen you will probably be able to use that same technique here.

This is a bold line, no fine lines at all here. The tip is at least 1 mm if not 2mm in diameter. You won’t be doing fine line work, but you can pretend you’re Aaron Draplin and doodle some THICC lines.

Given the cheapness of Higgins Black Magic ink it’s difficult to think about shelling out $5 for a single pen, when you can buy an entire 1 ounce (33ml) bottle from $3 to $5. If it is refillable, and easily so, then the $5 is not a bad price at all.

I picked this up with funds people slid to me via that Ko-Fi button on the sidebar. This lets me give you honest reviews. Though, one of the reasons I don’t get a lot of free stuff from companies is because I give honest reviews.