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Mangaka America: Manga by America's Hottest Artists Paperback – October 31, 2006
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About the Author
SteelRiver Studio is comprised of award-winning graphic designer and illustrator Will Staehle, and Tania del Rio, a professional American manga artist who has done work for TOKYOPOP, Marvel Comics, and Archie Comics. SteelRiver Studio is proud to showcase the work of these talented artists is and committed to helping quality American manga achieve the recognition and respect it deserves.
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Top customer reviews
- Each artist did a tutorial and on the tutorials involving digital coloring, digital inking, etc. it assumed I knew all the technology already when I didn't. So I skipped those parts.
-The foreword from Adam Warren seemed to drag on forever (plus the second commentary righ after from Tania Del Rio).
- AND NOT ENOUGH FEATURED ARTISTS HAHA I just wish their were more.. it just seemed kinda short to me.
***** Note: This is not a drawing tutorial
The book uses quality paper in presenting a number of artists that use the Japanese influence commonly referred to as manga in this book. I did enjoy the introduction by Adam Warren, and I did find some useful information with some of the artists. I actually went to find this book because some of the artists I've known online and one such artist mentioned being featured in this book on her Deviant Art account.
There is some dispute if the book is covering manga influenced artists, because some don't seem like their style is inspired by it, however, manga is a VERY broad term since I've seen many Japanese artists use different styles than the BESM (Big Eyes Small Mouth) formula many people attribute to manga.
What bothers me most about this book is the format. The interview questions are actually more fitting for a monthly webzine. Allow me to explain. In a book featuring artists, it's imperative to keep the interviews unique and fresh, and to make sure you ask questions relative to the artist you're interviewing. By having a stale format of the same questions you ask every artist you actually end up losing your readers. You take away a perspective that could make each artist shine and be unique. You may as well be reading a person's application. At a certain point I don't care if they like an Eva over a Gundam. You lost me. Formatted questions are best kept in monthly serials, that way the reader doesn't feel like they're being spoon fed redundancy.
The other problem with this book is that I felt it was more of a push for Tokyopop. Granted, TP is one of the few areas where artists were able to self publish with a larger distribution, however, Adam Warren mentioned there were other forms, such as web comics. A real benefit would have been adding some of those artists and asking how things changed with them.
Duc Tran/Locke should have been in this book in my opinion
Mal: Impromanga was an essential stepping stone for artists to learn how to storyboard.
Joshua Lesnick should have also been in this book. He helped change a lot of how webcomics were viewed including helping host a server for artists to use the internet to be a mangaka.
Having said this, there were still quite a few artists I found interesting to read about and some of the tutorials were interesting especially in their presentation. None of these tutorials aren't something you'll find online by the way, but as I said some of them are nicely presented.
Overall the book isn't horrible, and actually exceeded expectations in quality in printing and paper choice.
Also, it's kind of silly to note but people should be rating reviews on their helpfulness on whether or not to buy the book, not if they agree with the review due to their personal tastes. It seems lately people just vote negative to disagree. Even if you disagree does the review help a customer with a buying decision?
I expected a few tutorials, much like how I see online, for colouring bit by bit. The techniques, etc.
This book, much like those, takes you into the artist's perspective. And then some. They give you so many hints along the way, and explain things simply, so someone who knows only the very basics of painting programs [like me], could understand. And then comes the fun part:
Not all the tutorials were the expected 'Then you do this, and that...' screen-shot steps. Christy Lijewski takes an interesting approach to character design. Then you get Felipe Smith's hilarious 'comic-tut' on facial expression. Most artists got a tutorial in, which I was very pleased with.
There's interesting quiz-style biographies, with questions/points varying between artists, and it was very interesting reading responses.
I particularly liked two tutorials. Not because I already admired the artists, but because of the insights they gave me.
I doubt I saw two artists who had the same approach/style to art, whether it was more anime-like, or manga, and it was great seeing their works in print.
I recommend this book to both those who want to look at some beautiful artwork, and those who want an insight into how these achieve their means.