Top critical review
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The book is good, but the style is not for me.
on 13 August 2012
Allow me to give a bit of background about myself (feel free to skip the first paragraph). Art, and in particular drawing, has been a hobby of mine all my life, and I have been watching anime ever since Pokémon first made its debut on our TV screens when I was a kid. Recently I've been getting into anime (and manga) much more and have dabbled in drawing some of my own and with the help of youtube (big shout out to Mark Crilley and his fantastic channel!). I decided to look for a book which could give me additional insights into the style of art and how to better approach it, so I ordered this book and here we are.
The book arrived earlier today, and I've spent a fair amount of time looking through it all. Clearly a lot of effort has gone into it, and it feels very well put together. There are a lot of really useful tips in here, and the conversational style of the author is very easy to get along with.
Unfortunately, however, the style of drawing in this book is not what I would call 'typical' of the Manga I am used to, and indeed, was expecting when I ordered this book. Ben Krefta has his own unique way of drawing manga, and where I feel I was let down was the front cover. I 'judged the book by its cover' before deciding to make the purchase, and feel as though the style of manga depicted inside the book is actually pretty different from the girl on the front cover, who is more 'typical' looking (in a manga sense).
I would say that his manga fits into the 'pseudo-manga' category he himself talks about in the introduction. It looks very western influenced. I especially think that the noses, jaws and chins (especially from a profile or slightly turned away view) are particularly different to what I would call 'the norm' of manga.
I hope this has informed your decision, and I am aware I dwelled on the negatives rather a lot, but really do be aware that he does give some really useful advice and tips in the book too. If you see a seller which is offering it for a cheap price I'd say it's worth the purchase just for last sections which give tips and advice on photoshop, colours etc.