I recently started learning to draw digitally and I have to say at first it’s really not that easy to handle the pen tablet 🙁 But luckily I could afford a pen tablet at all!
If you consider using your computer you’ll need good graphic processing software and a pen with pressure feature. I think most digital artists use Photoshop and some specialized in comics/manga use Manga Studio. As for pens, I suppose I’m on the safe side saying almost every professional uses Wacom pen tablets. At the beginning you can work with an average tablet without a screen but if you consider going pro you should really try to get your hands on a high-end tablet with a screen to draw on directly (although it’s not necessary once you get used to the different hand-eye coordination you get with conventional tablets).
Here’s an image of one of the characters I had to design for drawing classes, Harald – I didn’t choose the name ^^;
Harald profile draft
As you can see the line-art is really bad sometimes…Well that’s exactly the biggest problem most artists have (at least the ones I know). Line-art is very time-consuming and can give you a hard time. Manga Studio seems to be better than Photoshop for the work because of its line-correction feature (which can be a curse if not used correctly). Nevertheless, there are a lot of artists relying on Photoshop alone! I used Manga Studio to try out the toning but at the time I drew Harald I didn’t know I had a line-correction tool -_-