Tag Archives: manga

Review of Manga Art: Inspiration and Techniques from an Expert Illustrator, by Mark Crilley

I requested a copy of Mark Crilley‘s Manga Art from Blogging for Books.

Description from Goodreads:
The world of manga (Japanese comics) has captured the imagination of artists, both aspiring and professional alike. Now best-selling artist and art instructor Mark Crilley presents the most complete look yet at the variety of creative options available in the world of manga. Crilley fills each chapter with gorgeous, original artwork created with a variety of tools (pencils, colored pencils, digital art, pen and ink, and more) and in a variety of manga-inspired styles. He pairs each piece with information on the materials used and the inspiration that led to its creation. Manga Art provides readers a one-of-a-kind chance to hear from one of the leading artists in the field of manga instruction, as he reveals the unlimited possibilities of manga and the creative secrets behind over 100 pieces of original, never-before-seen artwork.

I got this for my 10-year-old daughter who is a budding artist and enjoyer of anime. (I’ve worked hard to instill in her my love of manga, but anime is as close as we’ve gotten so far. I’ll take it, baby steps.) I left the book with her for quite a long time before sitting her down and asking her opinion of it. I knew she liked it, since I’d seen her several times flipping through it, probably getting ideas. But wanted her words about whether she’d found it helpful in learning to recreate the pictures in it.

She informed me that it did not. And to be wholly fair, the book isn’t intended to be instructional. At least not in the way I’d assumed when I gave it to her. The book doesn’t do much to break down bodies or show the reader how to draw the pictures it contains. What it does instead is present examples of a variety of manga art style. Because there is a difference between common Shojo styles and Shonen styles, for example.

My daughter appreciated being able to see the differences, though she’s not quite old enough or experienced enough to have recognize all of them. It will be a handy reference guide going forward when she wants to create different feels in her drawing.

I can see this book doing well for artists looking for reference material, but I can also see it being a winner with manga/anime fans, especially those old enough to have a coffee table. It would make a pretty, conversation starting, coffee table book.


Review of Mi-Kyung Yun’s Bride of the Water God

Bride of the Water God, Volume 1 (Bride of the Water God #1)      by Mi-Kyung Yun

When Soahs impoverished village decides to sacrifice her to the Water God Habaek to end a long drought, they believe that drowning one beautiful girl will bring much-needed rain. Not only is Soah surprised to be rescued by the Water God, she never imagined she’d be a welcomed guest in Habaeks magical kingdom. Young adult. 

I’m a dedicated fan of Japanese manga, but even I have to admit the Koreans take the cake for beautiful graphic art. I always think that since the stories of manga/manhwa are static the drawing style is very important. This manhwa is delicately drawn and absolutely gorgeous. There is a certain openness to it, countered by the grand and detailed costumes and characters (they are divine after all).  It’s a good thing that this manwah has a quietness. It’s full of pregnant pauses, giving the reader the opportunity to stop and admire the pictures.

I don’t mean to suggest that beauty is all this story has going for it. Soah is a strong, if initially pitiable, girl who accepts her fate. Be it being sacrificed by her village, or being rescued by the Water God. The Gods, themselves, all have their own aloof characters. They’re almost immortal (if not immortal) and a definite sense of frustration and boredom seeps through. You can sense that the mores they abide by aren’t quite the same as on the mortal plane.

The story has love, drama, intrigue, and sacrifice. I’ve read up to volume 14 and am still enamored with the story. I’ll definitely be reading on. Highly recommended.