The following is a repeat from October 8th, coincidentally my birthday. I offer it again because first, it deals with important issues that I as a cartoonist face daily; second, because when you google-image search "Hunt Imperial nib" this post shows up first; and third, because I'm going outta town on Thursday and I'm scrambling and this is all I got. But I've updated it some with useful information.
Ooh, lookit that baby! The Hunt #101 Imperial nib, excellent for penmanship, copperplate calligraphy, ornamental work and funny cartoons. With its dual shoulder slits, fleur de lys vent hole, compass, and this thing in the stock that tells time, it's a cartoonist's best friend. Unless, of course, the tip is a little bit askew or there's something wrong with the tines, or it's got a little schmutz in the main slit, in which case it's an evil, twisted, deceitful little monster who'll screw up every drawing it puts its point to, dribble ink down the sheet and break your heart. And you know what the difference between a good nib and a bad one is? It's microscopic! You can't see it! But you'll know it the instant you put the nib to paper. And don't get me started on brushes.
Update: how to give yourself an inadvertant jailhouse tattoo. Here's my method. I draw something in pen & ink and screw it up somehow, and this makes me pointlessly mad. So I take the still ink-loaded nib pen in my right, or drawing, hand, and jam it into the papere towel I keep in my left, or non-drawing, hand. And I do it a little too hard, so that the still ink-loaded nib goes a good quarter inch into my left palm. This leaves a small permanent mark, which could be called an idiot's stigmata. I got mine about 17 years ago and it's still vivid, and whenever there's a lull in the conversation I'll show it off. I know at least two other cartoonists/illustrators who have something similar. Which only proves that cartoonist/illustrators are likely to get pointlessly mad at inanimate objects when they screw up a drawing.
And per a previous comment; I feel that "nib" is short for something, like "nibben" or "nibboleth". Discuss among yourselves. Winner as always will have his/her comment published in a popular blog of my choosing.