IMPACT Books, 2008. 978-1-58180-985-5
Synopsis: Want to draw manga or comics? It’s a pretty hot industry and everyone from writers, artists to publishers are looking to create the next big thing. Colleen Doran has worked with DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and IMPACT Books drawing and writing comics and her expertise is shared with other young aspiring artists/writers and mangaka (Japanese comic creators). With notes on everything you need to get started, from finding the right kind of paper and pencils to tips, techniques and exercises to help with tone, perspective, sketching, inking, storyboarding and finishing touches, this book offers a great start for young people looking to create and sell comics and graphic novels.
Why I picked it up: I love writing and I love graphic novels (but alas, am not much in the art department), and with so many books on the subject of creating and selling comics, I thought it prudent to see what it takes for an American to draw with an Eastern influence.
Why I finished it: Doran’s knowledge of the comics industry shows, and tips from a pro are invaluable for anyone looking to make a career in comics or in writing. The step-by-step instructions and drawings were helpful with illustrating concepts and the little exercises in each chapter help reinforce ideas and encourage the artist to work on the basics to develop their own style. What I liked the most was the publishing primer at the end of the book and the stories of Doran’s own experience breaking into the field, which can be applied to most anyone looking to go into publishing. She also offers some insights into the risks and benefits of self-publishing, reminding the reader to always stay positive and move forward despite criticisms and negativity.
Other related materials: Basic Figure Drawing Techniques by Greg Albert; Perspective for Comic Book Artists by David Chelsea; The DC Comics Guide to Coloring and Lettering Comics by Mark Chiarello and Todd Klein; Writing for Comics With Peter David by Peter David; Girl to Grrrl Manga by Colleen Doran; Comics and Sequential Art by Will Eisner; Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner; Draw Comics With Dick Giordano by Dick Giordano; The Art of the Storyboard: Storyboarding for Film, TV, and Animation by John Hart; Film Directing: Shot b Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen by Steven D. Katz; Making Comics by Scott McCloud; Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud; Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R. Norling; Color Mixing Recipes for Portraits by William F. Powell; Comic Artist’s Photo Reference: People and Poses by Buddy Scalera; Anatomy: A Complete Guide for Artists by Joseph Sheppard; Facial Expressions: A Visual Reference for Artists by Mark Simon; Dreamland Japan by Frederik Schodt; Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics by Frederik Schodt; Shojo Fashion Manga Art School: How to Draw Cool Looks and Characters by Irene Flores; Shoujo Manga Techniques: Writing Stories by Mako Itsuki; Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up by Jason Cheeseman-Meyer