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Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley: 30 drawing lessons from the creator of Akiko Paperback – March 8, 2012
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"This is the book fans have been requesting for years." --Arts Book Mix
About the Author
Mark Crilley is the creator of several manga books, including the Akiko series, Miki Falls, the Billy Clikk novels and Brody's Ghost. Since being selected for Entertainment Weekly's "It List" in 1998, Crilley has published nearly twenty books across his many popular series and developed a massive internet following for his drawing demonstration videos earning him a spot as one of the top 25 Most Subscribed to Gurus on YouTube. His novels have been featured in USA Today, the New York Daily News and Disney Adventures magazine, as well as on CNN Headline News. Visit Mark online at MarkCrilley.com or YouTube.com/markcrilley
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The book is divided into three chapters: Heads and Faces, Proportions and Poses, and Setting the Scene. The bulk of the book is made up of step-by-step guides for drawing specific character types. Adults, teens, kids and toddlers are covered, as well as chibis. The written instructions give tips about showing the gender, age and personality of the characters. One thing that sets this book apart is that several pages are devoted to portraying fuller-figured characters, something that I haven't seen much in other manga how-to books.
There are also more advanced tutorials for kissing poses and drawing a martial arts scene, as well as thorough instruction for drawing folds and wrinkles in clothing. Some of the most useful content is towards the end. There's information about inking drawings, laying out panels and adding speech bubbles and sound effects. One of the most interesting parts is a page showing Mark Crilley's process in creating a manga page from start to finish.
Quite a few page spreads feature a large number of small drawings, for example 101 manga eyes or 50 ways to draw hands. These are good for reference and include some pointers, but there are some that would be worth expanding into a full step-by-step tutorial. I'd love a whole book based on the 20 classic poses! Perspective and backgrounds are covered in the third chapter, and this is another area that I wouldn't mind seeing expanded. The tutorials cover the technicalities of perspective, but they don't show much about how to work characters into these settings. I would also have liked to see more discussion of shading and color. Everything included in the book is great and it's absolutely packed with helpful information on every page, but I do think the author has even more to offer and I'd love it if this turned out to be the first part of a series.
One final note: There's no nudity in this book; all figures are drawn either fully clothed or wearing simple underclothes. Busty vixens and muscle men are notably absent. There's no gore, the content is very family-friendly. This book would be an appropriate gift for adolescents interested in drawing manga. However, the detailed level of instruction would probably be too difficult for young children.
The book is easy to follow and goes step by step. He shows you everything he does in each step and also gives you various tips and tricks as well. He shows you templates that you can use for every drawing you make and how to master drawing different people. He goes over the basic things you will need like pencils and such. He starts out with the basics and shows you how to make eyes. He them goes on to making faces and eventually he shows you how to draw the whole body. He gives you a fast and simple step by step drawing that you can then go on to add details and whatever else you want.
The book also covers various poses, how to add wrinkles to clothes, and even how to make your own manga. He shows you the layout for making drawings of various sized people from little girls all the way to heavier people. He also briefly shows you how to make scenery.
Overall this is a great book if you want to start drawing manga and I cant recommend it enough. Its really easy to follow and the drawings make it look so simple and you can draw them in no time. Also this is a good starting point if you want to learn how to draw realistic people since its the same principles really.
One star off because this is simply a look-and-copy type of workbook; it's won't teach you the basics of drawing in general. Not everyone has artistic talent, but I think most people could "fake it" by learning to draw in this cartoon style.
This book as a TON of useful information that other manga drawing series lack ranging from Art 101 topics like perspective and scale to basic anatomy. Even if you are not a complete newbie it serves as a nice refreasher course and reminder, all while keeping its manga slant. Beyond the educational values of the early lessons it also has great referance material ranging from various emotions, folds in clothing, hands, feet, and even various age groups/character archtypes.
It is a great educational resource and is presented in a very fun Japanese-inspired manner. I have a collection of maybe 20 'how to draw' books , including a 12 book series on how to draw in a manga style specifically. If I could only recommend one book it would have to be this one. Plus if this book is not enough for you be sure to check out Mark Crilley's YouTube channel for additional instruction.