The discipline with which the Blackwing is perhaps most strongly associated is animation, about which Chuck Jones once said:

“…a flurry of drawings created by a Blackwing pencil; animation that dignifies itself as craft—a dying craft of aging men.”

Paul Carlson began his career at Disney working in the mailroom, but would eventually rise to the position of assistant director. He worked on such notable films as The Lady and the Tramp and Sleeping Beauty. He also worked on Mr. Magoo, and continues to animate today.

Hand-drawn animation, Eberhard Faber Blackwing 602 pencils, and “starting in the mailroom”— each artifacts of a bygone America.

Admittedly I know very little about the rich and storied history of animation in the United States, and in particular, the work of the artists at Disney. But as I read more about it I am struck by the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood found among animators, both young and old. And isn’t an exclusionary, “it’s-our-treehouse” sort of thing either—it appears to be very inclusive, with even the most stalwart of computer animators mantling a sense of stewardship for this “dying craft”. Of course, mine is the perception of an interloper who is likely just hoping this is the case. But, if you’re an animator and would be willing to share some of your thoughts, please leave a comment.