Review: How to Pen & Ink: The Manga Start-Up Guide

Manga is an art and like any art form it requires practice and guidance. Although I am not someone who draws, I enjoy reading books about how to acquire the needed skills to become a comic artist. It’s always a topic that was in demand among the manga fans at my library, many of whom dreamed of becoming manga artists themselves.

Those who have worked their way through basic “how to draw” books and easier guides to creating comics are probably looking for a more in-depth instructional manual. Digital Manga’s How to Pen & Ink is certainly in-depth, though it narrows its focus almost exclusively onto the skills of inking a comic, so readers are expected to have a foundation of drawing skills, knowledge of basic art terms (perspective, etc.), and an understanding of how manga works. Readers that have that will find How to Pen & Ink a useful tool.

The book starts with a close up examination of how manga artists Oh!Great (Tenjo Tenge), Satoshi Shiki (Kami-Kaze), and Yasuhiro Nightow (Trigun) build a scene. In addition to photographic guides, the manual also interviews all three about the tools they use, their drawing process, how they get ideas, etc. Following that are three especially useful sections. The first talks about the process of moving from drawing doodles to creating characters to building scenes for those characters….

This review was originally posted at Good Comics for Kids. Please visit the original post to see the rest of the review.

How to Pen & Ink: The Manga Start-Up Guide
ISBN 9781569709177
Digital Manga, 2006

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