Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mark Crilley's World: Manga Art

by Mark Crilley

As much as they enjoyed The Drawing Lesson, I knew my children would be anxious to see this new book by Mark Crilley.

This book is bursting with illustrations, often a large colored illustration with preliminary sketches on the facing page. Each one is accompanied by clear text that references "traditional" manga artistic styles or techniques and explains how this particular illustration expands or riffs on those ideas.

The chapters organize the work into broad categories: characters, Japan, science fiction, conceptual art, and styleplay. Interspersed with the illustrations are autobiographical sections that describe what Crilley has experienced as a professional artist. There are also challenges here and there for a reader to put the book down and pick up a sketchbook and pencil to experiment him- or herself.

I think this is a great book for anyone interested in cartoons or manga. My kids read through it quickly but have returned to it to examine pictures in more depth. I expected my ten-year-old daughter to be the most interested as she had found a few manga books at stores or libraries and read through them, and she probably spent more time with the book than any of the kids. But I was surprised at how much the eight-year-old was inspired. She spent days after the book arrived drawing page after page of manga style drawings.

Below is a little interview with my ten-year-old daughter after she read through the book.

What did the book inspire you to draw?
I drew lots of babies and cute little characters because it told me how to do that.
What did you learn about manga characters?
I learned that there are many different forms of manga art. Chibi is all about being silly.
What did you learn about art materials?
In the Introduction it said that you should start out with a pencil with a good eraser. The erasers at the back of the pencil are not that good. Then when you have a good drawing you can go over it with pen.
How do you feel about the author?
He seems like a nice guy. I liked the book.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review. The opinions above are my own. The links above are not affiliate links, but the book is also available at Amazon (affiliate link).

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