Neil Gaiman, author of American Gods, Norse Mythology, The Graveyard Book, and many other titles is a dedicated fountain pen user. He’s talked publicly about his love of fountain pens many times, so with some research it wasn’t too hard to figure out what he’s been using over the years. He famously handwrites the first draft of his books using a fountain pen and then later edits them.
Gaiman, in 2012, mentioned that he has had between 40 and 60 pens, so this list will not be in any way complete but we’ll cover the pens he has talked about publicly.
Pilot Custom 823
In 2015, on Twitter, Gaiman mentioned he was currently using a Pilot Custom 823 in amber. He has mentioned this pen numerous times, including that he has signed his name over 750,000 times with the same Custom 823. This is the pen most closely associated with Gaiman and the one has has talked about the most. Notes around the internet say he uses the pen in broad, which makes sense given that it’s his signing pen.
Gaiman has specifically mentioned the Custom 823 as a signing pen, but what about his novels? For those he has specifically mentioned the Lamy 2000 fountain pen as being “glorious“. This is a true workhorse fountain pen on that, like the Custom 823, has been known to last for years and have no problem getting through the tens of thousands of words in a typical novel. (The Lamy 2000 is pictured at the top.)
For a time, at least until he broke his, Gaiman owned a Twsbi fountain pen. He didn’t mention what model he had, but this was in 2012 and we know he broke the pen when removing the barrel. This is a higher end feature, found on pens like the Twsbi 580, but not on the Eco or Go. On his Tumblr blog Gaiman mentioned using a Twsbi 540, so we’re pretty sure that’s it.
On the Tim Ferriss podcast Gaiman talked for some time about the Custom 823, but also mentioned a flex nib pen from Namiki. This is, almost certainly, the Namiki Falcon. This is a popular flex writer with a reasonable price and a dedicated following.
Gaimain specifically mentioned the Lamy Safari as an great starter fountain pen, but doesn’t say that he himself uses one. Based on his ownership of a Lamy 2000 and his pen collection, it seems safe to assume that has at least one Lamy Safari fountain pen.
This oddly shaped pen was mentioned by Gaiman in 2012. It’s not a common one, but it’s a collector’s piece for sure. Despite the rarity and odd design, the pen had a relatively palatable price of $100 at retail.
Jean-Pierre Lepine Indigo Classic
Gaiman has also mentioned using the Lepine Indigo Classic. This is another unique looking pen, with a price of about $100. This is a small pen designed for journaling and diary work, and meant to be taken with the writer in all manner of circumstances. The pen is made of a handsome cellulose and it has a stainless steel nib.
Neil Gaiman actually responded to this very article and mentioned his use of the Aurora 88. This is a high-end pen from Aurora, starting near $500 at retail. The 88 is known for its refined styling, unique finishes, and wonderful textures. The pens are sold with a 14K or 18K gold nib (on specialty models), with some models in black and other with solid rose gold. This is a piston-filling pen with a reservoir window. This one of Aurora’s classic releases with a design rooted in the 1950s. The 88 is not very long, but it on the wide side.
Gaiman’s specific model of choice seems to be the Aurora 88 Black and Chrome Nikargenta.
A number of times Gaiman has mentioned that he uses a Visconti, but we’ve been unable to locate the model. The pen was a gift from his agent and that he gives them as gifts also. The one details we do know is that it has a “magnetic lid,” but this doesn’t narrow the list down too much. Assuming “lid” meant cap then it could be a Visconti Rembrant, but Visconti also uses a magnetic finial (the piece on top of the cap) on pens like the Visconti Mirage. This is known as the MyPen system and it’s a way to customize the pen with different embellishments.
What Paper Does Neil Gaiman Use?
Gaiman talks about his paper choices less than his fountain pens, but we know from a few mentions and tweets that a Leuchtturm 1917 is his notebook of choice. These aren’t the cheapest, but they are excellent at holding up to fountain pen ink.
Gaiman has mentioned that he used to be a Moleskine user, but has given up on those notebooks because of the company’s thin paper and poor support of fountain pen users.
What Fountain Pen Ink Does Neil Gaiman Use?
Gaiman talks about his ink less than his paper, but we know he is signing books at least some of the time. This means that drying time is critical. So when, in 2012, he noted that he was using Noodlers Blue Black as well as Private Reserve’s Copper Burst cartridges, it made some sense to us.
Can I See His Handwritten Novels?
Yes! A number of images of them have been made available over the years. More examples are available in his book “The Art of Neil Gaiman.”