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Manga Cross-Stitch: Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework Hardcover – Print + CD, August 1, 2009


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Manga Cross-Stitch: Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework + Twisted Stitches: 30 Corrupt Cross Stitch and Embroidery Designs
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Har/Cdr edition (August 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740779656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740779657
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,087,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Helen McCarthy has written seven books and countless articles about Japanese animation and comics. She travels the world lecturing on anime and manga and is often seen on TV documentaries, at film festivals, and at fan conventions. She learned to cross-stitch when she was four years old.

More About the Author

Helen McCarthy (1951- ) has been researching and writing about Japanese popular culture since 1981. After a decade hearing that there was "no interest in that sort of thing" she founded a magazine, Anime UK, to disprove the claim. Her first book was published just over a year later, and she's been writing about anime, manga and Japan ever since. Her work has been translated into Chinese, French, Italian and Korean.

In 2010 she won a Harvey Award - the Oscars of the comics world - for her tenth book, 'The Art of Osamu Tezuka: God of Manga'. The book was also nominated for an Eisner Award. Helen's other awards include a Japan Foundation Award for furthering understanding of Japanese culture in the United Kingdom, and a Society of Authors/Sasakawa Foundation award.

She designs needlework, which led to the creation of "Manga Cross-Stitch", a book for those who want to use the energy of Japanese popular culture in their own embroidery. Combining a basic cross stitch course and a potted history of manga with a toolkit for designers and a wealth of fresh, enjoyable, easy-to-stitch charts, it has been welcomed by a host of stitchers.

She also writes poetry and tweets haiku and random nonsense daily. In her spare time, she studies and re-creates historic clothing and costume. She lives in London with an artist and a universe of toys.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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The instructions are clear and easy to follow.
Michael Kear
Manga maniacs who like to cross-stitch or are interested in learning will love this book.
Brian Hulett
I think "Manga Cross-Stitch" is a very unique idea for a craft book.
CJ-MO

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R. R. Delisle on October 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book brings together a very unlikely pair - the Japanese art styling of manga and the decorative stitching techniques of cross-stitch. I must admit, I chuckled out loud when I first saw this book, but, since I am a fan of anime and manga AND a stitcher, I just had to check it out. When I received the book and opened it up, I was pleasantly surprised to find it had met and even exceeded my expectations.

To begin with, the stitching instructions are clear and cover materials and techniques for a beginner, (although nothing can compare to taking a class from a live instructor, which I would recommend for anyone starting this hobby). There are 6 pages dedicated to fabrics and includes a nice example of a design stitched on 3 different thread count fabrics to illustrate the change in size of the finished pattern depending upon the fabric used. Another 8 pages are dedicated to stitching techniques and include 2 techniques for starting a row and how to bury your thread at the end of a row. 6 pages then cover more advanced stitches used in some of the patterns supplied in the book. Following this, there is one page on mounting a finished project and one page on choosing colors.

The next 60 pages cover a variety of manga styles from little animals to fighting schoolgirls, brooding Ronin to giant robots. Something for everybody! The next chapters cover patterns for filling in spaces or backgrounds, adding expression and action to your designs, and 10 pages of lettering and alphabets. The book ends with a bibliography, a glossary and a chart index. If the book ended there it would be just fine. But it doesn't!

Included with the book is a CD with cross-stitch pattern creation software (Windows AND Mac!) and all the patterns from the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kathy VINE VOICE on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm really impressed with this book. I'm interested in any new books having to do with crafts, so even though this type of art form is not something I'm familiar with I was interested in checking it out and I'm glad I did. I would say that while the subject matter seems to be for kids, the book is really serious in nature and would really appeal to someone who wants to create their own designs. There is a lot of information on choosing colors, and how to add texture and tone. There are very good photos of how to cross stitch and then it goes right into more complicated stitches, such as french knots, rhodes stitch and laid oriental stitch, all described very well and easy to understand. There are a variety of designs in the book, some that would be appropriate for young children and some that seem to be a little more violent in nature. Then, as a design element, there are charts for what the author calls "screentones", but to me they look just like blackwork designs and I'm really happy to have those because I'm interested in blackwork.

The CD that is included is worth the whole price of the book. All of the designs, including the screentones that I just mentioned are on the CD and can be printed out from the demo version. What really was a nice surprise for me is that there are about 10 designs that are completely different from this style of stitching included on the CD. There is a sampler, a couple Christmas designs, a victorian house and part of the Birth of Venus. I was really happy to see those included. The full version is $40.00 and I would imagine anyone who is interested in trying their hand at designing their own cross stitch would want to buy it. I looked around the program quite a bit and it looks like you can do anything you want with it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By PurpleKat VINE VOICE on October 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was torn about how many stars to give this book, and I'm still not sure if it deserves three or two.

On one hand, the book itself is quite good. It teaches basic stitches and technique clearly and covers proper mounting technique. The charts are more detailed than I expected -- they really do look like manga art, and even though I picked up this book to adapt the patterns to knitting, looking it over made me want to pick up cross stitch again.

The book itself puts focus on design. It gives you figures and encourages you to combine them in your own ways -- many of the charts in the book are not of completed projects, but rather of elements that can be combined into completed projects. That might not be for everyone, but I like the ability to put my own stamp on my work.

The included software, Stitch 2008, is quite good. It has options to stretch patterns for knitting (you input stitch and row counts) and even tunisian crochet.

So that's the good. Now the bad.

First of all, the software is a demo, and many of the features are disabled. You can load and print out the charts that they provide, but you can't make any alterations or work up your own designs unless you pay $60 for the full version, something that I don't think was made quite clear enough on the product page. The inability to alter the charts without buying the full version seems to defeat the purpose of the book, and I came away feeling as though the book was nothing more than an ad for the software. To make matters worse, you -need- to use the software; the charts in the book are far too small to work from.

The book advertises more than 100 charts, but that's not strictly true.
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