Monday, March 29, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: Manga

Dewey: 741.5

In a school library the number one, top circulating books are (almost) always...drawing books. They are the refuge of the struggling reader and a siren call to every student doodler.

In case you have not noticed, Japanese manga is a perpetual draw in junior high and high school kids. While subbing in a junior high library recently, I observed a young artist sketching a character. She drew the large, bright eyes, the delicate nose, the swooping hair and the ... fox ears peeking through the character's hair.

Walk in to any major chain book store and wander over to the manga aisle. You will see at least 3 young persons sitting there, cross-legged, reading intently, back to front.

One issue with usual manga and "how to draw manga" books for the elementary school library is the casual treatment of nudity and the ... d├ęcolletage ... shall we say, of the female characters.

The market has responded. These drawing books focus on chibis , fantasy characters and modestly clad humans. The all important eyes and action poses that are characteristic of manga are explained and broken down into easy to follow steps.

Xtreme Art Ultimate Book of Trace-and-Draw Manga by Christopher Hart, Watson-Guptill, 2009.

The Manga Artist's Workbook by Christopher Hart, Potter Style, 2009.

Manga for the Beginner -- Chibis: Everything you need to start drawing the super-cute characters of Japanese Comics by Christopher Hart, Watson-Guptill, 2010.

Drawing Manga: Animals, Chibis, other adorable creatures, by J. C. Amberlyn, Watson-Guptill, 2009.

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