Monday, December 13, 2010

Ink Review: Noodler's Bad Green Gator

I have a confession: I love Noodler's Inks. So far, I haven't found one that I've been displeased with. Sure, I've tried other inks, but the permanence of Nathan's creations over at Noodler's are the most attractive features to me, while other inks offer special appearance under UV light or the ability to resist freezing in even in the coldest Chicago winters.  The ability of the written word to survive longer than the writer and potentially outlast the life of the very paper upon which it was written is one of the most attractive features of the fountain pen and these very special inks.  Personally, I was interested in getting a dark green colored ink that would be acceptable for turning in on papers for classes.

Bad Green Gator.... Bad Green Pine Tree just didn't sound as tough.
The Bad Green Gator is an ink that is part of the Warden Series of inks that were developed after a student at Yale cracked through Nathan's bulletproof inks.  Noodler's apparently has an offer to the public that if they can remove his bulletproof inks from an ordinary check that he will pay them $2000 as long as they show him how they did in person. Nathan then takes that method and develops an ink that is impervious to it. The Warden Series is the response to that Yale student's laser removal. Yes, lasers.  Now your fountain pen ink can be laser-proof!

Fantastic on Rhodia Paper!
The ink was a bit darker than I expected and less washed out than anticipated, and both points were immensely pleasing. I would compare this to a dark evergreen for those of you whose computers won't display colors adequately.  The ink flows well from the nib of my Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen (Review to follow soon, hopefully).  This ink is very susceptible to feathering on cheaper papers, but not too much more than Polar Blue or Black.  This ink arrived in the mail just in time to write Christmas letters, for which I feel the color is perfect. The letters that I used are made of paper that is conducive to feathering, but I couldn't afford anything more expensive, so I somewhat expected it.

Japanese practice went well.

On Rhodia paper, the ink didn't feather at all and was fantastic in helping me study for my Japanese quiz.  I have not yet tested this ink against water and various removal methods (including lasers) but I think that I can go without testing this one, especially since acquiring a laser could be quite costly.  Even though I don't write many checks, I still appreciate the idea that whatever I write is permanent in every way possible, made available at a very reasonable price.


  1. I've been looking for a solid green ink, and I think this might be the one. Nice work on the review, and good luck with finals.

  2. I wish I had a nice fountain pen back when I took Japanese. Using a pencil just didn't feel the same. :)

  3. I've never taken Japanese, but it would be pretty sweet to show up in class with a few brush pens. It might be pretentious, but at least the characters would look cool.

  4. @ThirdeYe: There really is nothing like using a fountain pen when learning Japanese, but for tests, anticipating mistakes, I make sure to bring a Kuru Toga, my favorite mechanical pencil, which is perfect for kanji.

    @EP: I've used a brush pen before. It was a cheapo from Chinatown Chicago, but it was fun. Unfortunately it proved to be too messy and was pretty much impossible to write between lines on ruled paper and thus not sensible for class use, BUT that is why the fountain pen is perfect. It is basically a cleaner and smaller tipped brush pen. For calligraphy, the brush pen can't be beat!

  5. One thing I might suggest in the way of a brush pen is one of the felt-tip ones, such as the Uni-Mitsubishi 2-way Brush Pen. I gave one to my friend who is continuing his studies of Japanese outside of college. It's more stuff than an actual brush, but allows nice line variation.

  6. I'm glad you had good luck with this ink, what nib are you using? I have found that it feathers on all paper including Rhodia, but I'm wondering if the nib may be a contributing factor.

  7. @Julie: I just did a pen review on the Noodler's Nib Creaper Fountain Pen and that was also the pen I have used this ink in. I don't have a ton of fountain pens, so my test group is small, but I didn't have any problems with it in this pen at all.

  8. Sorry, made a typo above. Should say "More stiff than an actual brush"