Ink Review: Colorverse Sunspot, Black Hole, Vortex Motion and Dark Energy

I’ve decided to dub this group of Colorverse inks the “goth collection”. When I started painting the names of the colors I realized that they all sounded like club nights or 90s goth clubs. I realize that’s totally dating me but what can I say? Out of context, Black Hole, Vortex Motion and Dark Energy all sound like the names of club nights — so does Sunspot now that I think about… Sunspot is definitely the trippy rave night though. “Bringing Ibiza to Inidianapolis… its Sunspot, every Wednesday night at Club Underground!” Black Hole is the goth night, Vortex Motion is the deep trance night and Dark Energy is the EBM night. C’mon, old timers, you know what I’m talking about…. now don’t you look at these ink colors in a totally different light?

(For full details about the Colorverse inks, check out my overview post.)

It totally makes sense now doesn’t it? Sunspot is the little black dress that goes to all the club nights. All purpose black. Works with everything. Black hole is epically, all-consuming, Morrissey level black. Dark Energy is tripped out, “did I take a bad tab of ectasy, is this ink black, green or red?” burgundy. And Vortex Motion is grey, no green, “no, don’t box me in, let me express myself!” free expression yet still art-school moody deep ink. It all makes sense now, doesn’t it?!

All of these Colorverse inks come with two bottles of matching inks, a 65ml bottle and a 15ml bottle of the same color. Sunspot is from Series One: Spaceward while the other three inks are from Series Two: Astrophysics.

In my writing samples, I used the same Jinhao Shark Pens for the three samples above. I did use an acrylic dip pen and switch to my Esterbrook dip pen at the bottom to see some line variation.

In writing samples, the inks remain clear to their intransitive natures… or black as their deepest depression, whatever the case may be.

When compared to other whackadoo green/black or sheening greens its really hard to get a clesr bead on exactly how odd Vortex Motion really is in a photo. I’d have to say that Sailor Jentle Miruai is probably closest but its more green and Vortex Motion reacts more greyish in some light.

Finding something comparable to Dark Energy was an act of futility. The closest I could find was actually J. Herbin Rouge Hematite if you can believe it? Sailor Jentle Rikyu-Cha was a close second (or vice versa) but honestly, this is another weirdo color that doesn’t really have a comparable comparison – at least not in my collection.

As for the blacks, Bookbinders Red-Belly Black is the closest to the all-consuming deep black of Black Hole. But Black Hole has an actual sheen to it like india ink that I’ve not seen in other water-soluble inks. Sunspot is a good middle ground black like Kaweco Pearl Black which is a third of the price. It was probably foolish to pay $36 for a bottle of black ink but I now have an excuse to go find some new playlists on Spotify while using Spotspot. Hello, Electronic Circus!

Overall, Dark Energy and Black Hole were the surprise hits for me. Black Hole is one of the coolest black inks I’ve seen. And Dark Energy is just so unusual as to be something you want to add to your collection. I wasn’t initially inclined to purchase another black after buying Sunspot originally. Vortex Motion is interesting but its so unusual and I already own all the Sailor Jentle oddball colors like Rikyu-Cha and Miruai and Epinard which I don’t tend to use a lot. If those dark, murky colors are your wheelhouse, than definitely consider Vortex Motion. Sunspot is a solid black but as someone who already owns a handful of other black inks, it was probably not entirely necessary other than being a completionist and buying the entirety of the first series.


DISCLAIMER: These items were sent to me by Vanness Pens and Pen Chalet for the purpose of review. Please see the About page for more details.




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7 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Ah, Ana… respect. What a great review and what a colorful way to express it. (no pun intended but I suppose it was unavoidable)

    Now I want to find those clubs… or start making up stories about all the fun we had there. Remember the time that Sticky and Dave got so….

    These inks have been on my radar for a while and your reviews always help. I’ll be in Little Rock in a few weeks and hope I can get a good look at them while visiting Vanness and decide which to buy.

    1. Wait! You knew Sticky and Dave too? Actually I had two friends named Dave in college and they self-identified and Fuzzy Dave and Slimy Dave so Sticky is not far from the mark. We can discuss in Little Rock! See you soon, Mark!

  2. Loved this review and brought back happy clubbing memories. And no, I’ll not look at these inks in the same light now 🙂

  3. I really, really appreciate your reviews, Ana! I’m so sucked in by the uniqueness of Colorverse that I’m trying hard to backpedal and not spend my whole tax refund on INK. So far I’ve held the line at four Colorverse (Black Hole, Vortex Motion, Photon/Gluon and Matter/Anti-Matter). But now the absurdly overpriced Voyager set is singing its siren call . . .

  4. Oh I had decided I didn’t need these colors but now they are going on my wishlist! And now I want to go clubbing with you!

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