Regular readers of ABR will know of my allergy to pocket-size books. This is art, fer goodness sake, make it big so we can see it, will you! Small is NOT beautiful, it's hard to see and you have to force the pages back till your hands hurt in order to see them. The pages, not your hands, don't get smart with me when I'm having a rant, it makes me angry. However, just once in a while something comes along that doesn't just float my boat, it launches a whole navy, kersplash, all at once. And these little books are one of those things. No, they shouldn't work and, yes, at a fiver a pop, they are expensive, but what they do, really rather neatly, is offer you a single idea on a spread. Nothing so very unusual in that, I'll grant you, but this is minimalism taken to its absolute limit and it really is just one thing, not even a whole concept. I like that. I like that you can have just Men's Jeans or The Female Mouth just on their own. In fact, I'd recommend Manga Tips to anyone who wants to draw the human figure because it's full of basic ideas (like the more comprehensive and better value Mega Manga). The other one that comes at the same time is Mecha Manga, which is more specialised, concentrating on that I take to be robot figures you can't do without. Both books are arranged by category, so finding things is very easy, though flicking through and trusting to serendipity is a good approach too. Like I said, a fiver's a lot for a tiny book, but it's not a fiver wasted, I'd also say. And I don't say it often.-Artbookreview.net If, like this reviewer you enjoy reading manga and have fancied trying your hand at becoming a mangaka yourself, this wee book is just the job. Less than 5" it will fit into a bag or pocket (or a Christmas stocking or even hanging on a Christmas tree), and is surely ideal to take on vacation so you can practice your art in spare moments. Perhaps a spiral bound format might have been more user friendly, but I like the small design and can imagine taking it where other books could not easily be taken. It starts you off with setting up your workstation and buying a remarkably modest range of art materials that most people reading this review will not doubt already own - I'm applauding already! Then it is on with the drawing, and showing how to build up typical male and female characters (as well as cute chibi) and get into the typical manga style. There are ideas for poses and clothes, different textures and finishes and close-ups of tricky areas such as hands and feet, as well as getting those trademark manga eyes just right. Later sections include weaponry and vehicles, plus a few mecha figures as well to whet your appetite for the companion to this, Mecha Manga. All in all a delightful little book and hopefully the first in a whole series.-Myshelf.com These really handy sized little pocket books will be great as presents, and so useful to just take out with you to practice techniques when you're at a loose end. The world of manga seems to be a growing genre and this book is full of essential tips which are not difficult to learn. My 10 year old grandson has had great fun browsing the books and trying out the weapons section - typical boy. The essentials of drawing manga are highlighted and explained, and many examples are shown making it easy to recreate your own manga figures. All examples are drawn from different manga types, as someone new to this field I had no idea that there were so many variants. The essential differences between normalA" figures and manga figures are pointed out and these characteristics mean you will understand how to make your own figures. They remind me very much of fantasy art figures in the way they are slightly altered facially to give a somewhat mythical look. "Manga Tips" is the ideal pocket book to this exciting artform, will make an excellent reference for anyone who wants to get started in manga genre.-JeannieZelos.com The Mini Manga series are small books that are packed with information for people interested in the distinctive manga style of drawing. This series takes a detailed look at manga drawing covering mecha manga (manga robots and machines), tips for drawing manga, faces and hair, and hands and feet. Manga artist, Yishin Li, explains and demonstrates the essentials of different types of manga drawing. The small format of the books makes them extremely portable and ideal for carrying around. They are full of information and manga inspiration and represent good value for money. This series is ideal for beginners as well as more experienced manga artists.-Suite101.com
About the Author
Keith Sparrow has read and collected comics since he was a child. He has created hundreds of storyboards, including one for the animation movie Space Jam and illustrated several children's educational books for Channel 4 and the BBC. He became a fan of manga and anime after reading Akira. Among his current projects is a cartoon strip about a pug called Dave. Keith prefers to draw and ink by hand, but colours on computer. He is the author and illustrator of four previous "how to" books on manga.