A few years ago, I made contact with some pencil bloggers in Japan. They have always generously shared their knowledge and enthusiasm.

It is a joy and relief to report that those linked to in the “From Japan” sidebar are all well.

An upcoming anniversary

pencil talk‘s fifth anniversary is less than two months away. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please leave a comment or send an email.

Approaching this milestone, I hope to feature some broader reviews of manufacturers and pencil categories, and perhaps see if we can determine just which pencil really is the best!

I’d also like to have a draw/giveaway or two. If you are a retailer, distributor, or manufacturer who might be interested in donating something interesting, please send me an email.

Other news

Today’s mail delivered two prototype Palomino Blackwing pencils. I think first-hand reports on these pencils started appearing online almost three weeks ago, so I am behind the curve, but no less keen to try them out. I’ll soon share some impressions.

And from another corner of the graphite writing world, the Sharpie Liquid Pencil has been making the news in a big way. Sharpie truly succeeded in getting PR for a writing implement launch. That is a story in itself. I hope to take a look at this product when it becomes available in my neck of the woods.

Charlie Brown’s pencil pal

Charlie Brown's pencil pal

Charlie Brown had a pencil pal. This pencil pal was originally a pen pal, but Charlie Brown had a lot of troubles with his fountain pen and started to use a pencil, occasionally making attempts to pick up the pen habit.

The story line appears over a decade or more. According to Peanuts Wiki, a return letter from the overseas pal has appeared in the strip: “In the letter, the Pen Pal revealed that he or she had read Charlie Brown’s latest letter to his/her class, and that they all agreed he must be a nice person and someone who is pleasant to know. In response to which, Charlie Brown uttered a vigorous “Ha!” to Lucy.”

Over four decades after their original publication, the craft and perception shown in these cartoons still amazes and delights.

Charlie Brown's pencil pal

Penmanship is a frequent theme in the cartoon, and the characters (and their off-panel teachers and parents) often communicate with one another via notes and letters.

Recommended reading: “Schulz and Peanuts” by David Michaelis.


Please take a look at Palimpsest, a blog with the the subtitle “On Writing Instruments”.

With many interesting posts on writers and literary subjects, pencils are a regular subject matter.