Palomino has released their newest pencil in the Volumes series, dubbed the 10. It is named from the Nellie Bly New York World series "Ten Days In a Mad-House", a terrifying look at the Blackwell's Island Asylum in 1880s New York. Bly went undercover to get this exposé, and experienced the deplorable conditions first-hand. She was a pioneer in her field.
Here are my 10 Thoughts on the Blackwing 10:
1. The extra-firm core seems to be a bit more extra-firm than the Blackwing Natural released earlier this year, but still not quite as firm as the original 24. Are batch variations that much of a thing, or is my mind playing tricks on me?
2. The color and theme, though bland on its own, matches the topic and theme so well that I can't think of a better look. Not only does it resemble the colors of newspapers, with it being all black and gray, but it's neutral, like we kinda wish journalism would be again. I, for one, prefer the Old Gray Lady to Twitter hot-takes.
3. I love that cedar smell.
4. The dark gray eraser could've just as well have been black. The difference is barely noticable. It does look pretty good with the light gray erasers from this year's Natural release, too.
5. The matte light gray paint and dark gray imprint are perfect. More matte please. Less foil & gloss.
6. I've noticed some people have mentioned that their pencils showed up a little shotty, the paint maybe still a little tacky and not quite dry. Mine were fine. This may have been the best box of Blackwings I've gotten in a while.
7. I did have one ferrule that was misaligned. But it was fixed by a simple twist. They put these on by hand, don't they?
8. Thank god for silver ferrules. Black might have been nice too. After the folly of putting a gold ferrule on the natural pencil, I'm glad this choice was made. It couldn't have been that hard.
9. The No. 10 page says this is the "Investigative Journalism" pencil. The video title says the "Journalism Pencil" while the subhead says a "tribute to Nellie Bly and investigative journalists like her"...so which is it? It should just be the Nellie Bly pencil and that's how I'll always refer to it.
10. The Subscriber extra is dope AF, but why not print the whole series instead of just half? Read it all here.
Overall, this is a great one from Blackwing, and might crack into my top 5 list of Volumes releases.
Available from Blackwing, $27.95 for 12.