The Manga Artist’s Workbook
What a clever format for a how-to book!
The Manga Artist’s Workbook is bound with a top spiral, and the content — repackaged from Christopher Hart’s Manga for the Beginner: Everything You Need to Start Drawing Right Away — is presented in such a way that the reader is encouraged to try the lessons immediately. The wrap-around cover keeps everything neat and together. The whole thing was designed by Melissa Chang, who deserves a lot of praise.
When the workbook is open, the lesson is on the top page, with room to draw on the bottom page. The reader is asked to copy or trace or embellish partially started images as a way of getting them drawing and putting the instruction into practice.
The material of the lessons focuses on creating stereotypical manga characters — teen girl head from various perspectives, for example, and several pages on big, sparkling eyes — and the reader isn’t going to learn to draw until they fill up a few more sketchbooks all on their own, although there are a few blank pages included here for more free-form exploration. But as a starting point, this is a really neat idea, having samples, tracing paper, and sketch paper all bound into one. (The publisher provided a review copy.)