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Professional Manga: Digital Storytelling with Manga Studio EX Paperback – June 17, 2008

23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Horton and Ahn deliver great action, crazy technology, and hot girls, but that doesn't cause it to read like some manga fan-fiction. The plot thickens almost as quickly as the action moves, and leaves you with a cliffhanger I dare you to say no to." Tim Demeter, editor, Graphic Smash ( on Strongarm

About the Author

Steve Horton has years of experience writing for and about comics. He co-created the manga Strongarm with Dave Ahn for Image Comics, one of the biggest mainstream comics publishers in North America. He also co-created the long-running webmanga Grounded Angel with Vivi Erlanita at the invitation-only webcomics collective Steve also publishes downloadable PDF comic books as Smashout Comics ( on the free e-book site Wowio (
Yang's first recorded manga was created when he was 8 years old. He was one of the winners of Rising Stars of Manga Vol. 5 (Modus Vivendi; publisher: TokyoPop) - and has had the privilege of drawing part of TokyoPop's Star Trek: the Manga. His recent work includes his own manga (Dyoz; Publisher: TokyoPop), which is now being created as an online comic. Yang is also a traditional storyboard artist for commercials, music videos, and TV shows.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (June 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240810287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240810287
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.5 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,475,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By ArtRockets on August 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book does not really cover much about the program 'Manga Studio EX' it is more of an "over all" how to draw manga comics or better yet 'general things to pay attention to'. I think the book might good for the "just learning how to draw" person but for help with the Manga Studio application it really lacks. It cover 3 things in Manga Studio, line quality(brushes), tones and speed lines which amounts to about 8 pages in the book and it doesn't go into any depth on those topics other than you can adjust the options to your liking. And it does not cover anything specific to the 'EX' version of Manga Studio.

The rest of the book is filled with drawings.. the same drawings over and over again. It will show a line drawing of a character then a proper shaded(toned) version of the same drawing then the line drawing again then 2 examples of improper shading of the same line drawing and finally the proper shaded version again. That's 6 pages and 2 of those 6 are duplicates. It does this over and over again, I guess to "up" the page count. About the whole last half of the book are rough sketches for some homemade comic with no explanation or anything. I returned my copy. Also, I have to say I did not open the included disc so I may have missed the real meat.. but I doubt it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alison Hudson VINE VOICE on August 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
All in all, there's not much to recommend about this book. It has two sections, one dedicated to using the Manga Studio EX software, and the other giving general tips about creating Manga comics. Both sections are terribly light, with basic instructions but lacking the kind of depth or detail that other art books often offer. This is especially true of the section about creating comics, which is generic in its content--it really repeats basic comic advice that can be had in a dozen other books, without offering anything new.

The software itself (a trial comes with the book) seems an awful lot like Photoshop with a lot of preset custom brushes and such, but then lacking the versatility that PS offers to do more than Manga. Perhaps if the book had been dedicated solely to the program, and gone on from the basic-basics into highlighting tips, tricks, and tools more, I would see more value in it. As is, I couldn't recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Atomic Tofu VINE VOICE on July 29, 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
More a 3.5 than 4.0 :)

Looking at this book from a purely objective artistic viewpoint, this is a good book as an instructional guide to using Manga Studio 3.0/4.0. Aside from the tutorial on how to use Manga Studio to achieve certain affects, it also covers some basics of the concept of "Manga". Manga as the comic book form of east asian cultures, and more specifically, the black and white variant.

The book also covers some comic book pre-press basics as well as pitching your work to various comic book publications, which isn't something new to me, but what I consider more helpful and informative than the "how to manga" or "how to with Manga Studio" aspects.

This is not a "how to draw" book, but a how to create manga using Manga Studio book, and in this sense, it does a decent job. I tested this on the Manga Studio 3.0 EX Demo provided on disc with the book. I am not sure how much more indepth a guide to the software could be, but in my opinion Manga Studio (the version I tested) was not all that intuitive.

I have provided some examples of what Manga Studio does. I took the short route because I work full time (a blessing these days) and am only showing how Manga Studio "manga-nizes" an imported image. The image is something I did and painted digitally with a type of watercolor effect and then imported into Manga Studio. As noted, the book does come with a $100 off Manga Studio EX coupon, however, it seems to be only usable at Smith Micro's website and not here via Amazon.

As for the manga aspect of things, "manga" would allow the aspiring artist to publish their work in a more economical fashion, yet still not skimp on some of the visual impact all that much.

Just keep in mind, "manga" is a style but be original and genuine. The provided images are my work so I don't have to worry about copyrights. ;)
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a user of Manga Studio EX, I wish there were more books that would have tapped into the secrets of the software. But fortunately, Steve Horton and Jeong Mo Yang have written a book titled "Professional Manga: Digital Storytelling with Manga Studio EX".

The book is targeted for those who want to utilize the software with their manga creations. Whereas it shows you how they get sketches and prepare it for the software, the book comes with a CD that includes the high-res images for every piece of art featured in the book plus a 20-page story done in high-res plus a demo-version of Manga Studio EX.

"Professional Manga" was created not technically of doing how-to projects (ie. Adobe's educational books for their software) but the book does get into basics of sketches and how they can be brought into the software and one can start working on their designs but at the same time, learning of the pitfalls of various tones and suggestions for the artist using the software for the first time.

Here is a breakdown of chapters featured in the book:

* APPENDIX 1 & 2 and INDEX

For the most part, the book is good for beginners.
Read more ›
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