Top critical review
4 people found this helpful
on 17 January 2015
With all due respect, this book wasn't entirely what I was hoping for (A fully comprehensive guide).
I own about between 30-40 odd manga/comic book comics in my collection. I enjoy reading them and find them useful for my own purposes as an artist with an interest in breaking in the manga / comic book industry.
A few points: Not all of this book is "useless" advice so I have given it three stars. What do I mean by useless? If you're someone who seriously wants to break in to the industry, and not draw as a hobby but as a career I would rate this book two stars (or even one star if you're confident) as most of the content is just not at the level required and if you followed this book by the letter most editors would ask you to revise over your own work. As a book, this is aimed for teenagers, children and those who are at the very beginning of their journey into illustration. You might learn some useful tips and tricks and improve some of your drawing abilities, but it simply isn't the "best" of what's out there...
It's not so bad if you intend this to be a gift for a young child or teenager as the content is fairly accessible and the exercises are not too challenging and I am sure a child can learn the principles and develop from there.
However, with no disrespect to Peter Gray his drawing style just isn't suited to producing authentic anime/manga. Like other American contemporaries (Christopher Hart comes to mind) the drawing themselves are somewhat over-saturated, disney-fied and too simplistic/static for my liking. I'm sure he is an artist who has done some great work in his career, but manga just isn't his strongest point.
If you are someone who wants to be a professional comic illustrator or looking to draw a specific style (i.e. Seinen). I would recommend the old school and out of print "How to Draw" manga books, Deleter range, books by Andrew Loomis, Sonia Leong and Mark Crilley. I'd also probably pick up Scott McLeod for theory and a few books on perspective. Truth is, alot of the best manga drawing books are printed in Japanese. While this book isn't terrible (there are far worse) it's not great either.