30 drawing lessons from the creator of Akiko - Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley

ByMark Crilley

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jordan bowman
I've been watching Mark's videos for sometime
and I thought of buying the book since I have some art skills
All I want to say is it is well explained and really amazing book
it is a must to buy if you are starting to draw manga or people
maybe if you want to start your comic then you can know here too

All the best Mark
PS. finally I saw the face of the man behind all those videos !!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have been drawing manga/anime as a hobby for about 4 years now, and still buy as many How To Draw Manga/Anime books as I can. I have at least half a dozen, and must say, this one ranks as one of my top favs! It's helpful, enriched with fine details that many other books don't include, has great art, and covers a myriad of drawing styles and techniques. Some of the exclusive content this book contains is how to draw old people and overweight people, as well as babies! It truly covers much more than any other book with beautiful drawings and explanations that are sure to help anyone interested in drawing. ^_^ Overall, I RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jane green
There was a time not long ago that I did not know what a manga was. This book has what you need to draw your own Manga characters (by the way, a Manga is a cartoon character, of sorts). This book has some information that is useful to the budding artist. I love what Mark has done on you tube with help and advise on drawing.
Attack on Titan 1 :: How to Draw Original Characters from Simple Templates :: One-Punch Man, Vol. 1 :: Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Box Set :: My Hero Academia, Vol. 1
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have no drawing experience whatsoever - not counting Pictionary. The guidelines in this book are so well done that I managed a passable sketch within only a few tries. Mark included guides from the very simple - sketching a face - to the very complicated - positioning of boxes and speech bubbles, use of perspective and different poses. It includes reference pages on drawing eyes, hands, feet, clothing, hairstyles, actions... A very well-rounded book, regardless of your experience level, with lots of handy tips.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
this was a very nice book,
i figured id buy this one instead of the separate ones in hoping that this would cover everything thoroughly(because of the higher price in comparison to his other books )
its not that in depth when it comes to designing various characters or people wih different body types though.
was still a very good book, excellent for beginners, and id recommend it to any of my friends who want to get into manga drawing
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is really geared towards beginners with step by step instructions. It was easy to understand and follow. I started drawing the minute I opened the book! I think this is a really good start. It gives the basics and then some.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda waters
I bought this book about five days ago (kindle edition is beautiful ---- digital) and it really is improving my manga drawings. The simplicity of the instructions may be too simple for beginner drawers or very young children. Preferably, who ever reads this book should have an idea about manga characters, have practiced drawing such art, and understand how to 'read between the lines' ;) no pun intended. Overall I'm very pleased with the purchase and would recommend the kindle edition version since it saves space and this earth ;)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I bought this book for my son as a gift. Since he received it about a month ago he has been consistently drawing...and it's good! The way Mark Crilley has broken down the steps is extremely helpful in breaking it down for him to learn how to draw certain aspects. It goes through many different areas-faces, bodies, hands, hair, emotions, etc. I would definitely recommend it for anyone interested in learning how to draw Manga.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
From the manga/illustrator genius, Mark Crilley comes his first 'how to draw manga' book. Anyone who is a fan of Mark knows him from his YouTube videos will know of his excellent teachings. This is a great book that stands alone or as a companion to the videos on his site. Very helpful!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alan liddeke
This book is so much cooler than I expected! I originally bought it for my daughter who has recently become obsessed with drawing anime but when it arrived I couldn't wait for her to let me borrow it. It has great advice and explains what, why and how for everything it teaches. I would give this book 6 stars if I could. Well worth the price.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
anya ventura
I gave 4 stars, cause all images in this book as for me have resolution 320*200. When I tap on my IPad to enlarge certain image and look it in detail way, only what I see it is pixels. I understand if it was novel or book where images were in addition to plot. But in this guide (how to draw manga) images should be in high definition. We are living in 21 century and I think that it's possible to scan mister Crilley's drawings in HD resolution.
In all other aspects it is amazing and helpful book. It is great guidance for first steps. Thank you Mark!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I really like Mark Crilley's style, so I was looking forward to this book !! It's a book that covers almost everything, step by step. I was having trouble with the hair, but with this book I understand much better how I should draw it.. With the step by step tutorials, you are able to understand the logic of the drawing !!! When he is explaining the face and positions, you are able to understand better details like the hair. Really great book !! It's almost five stars to me !! I was really looking forward for an explanation of the hair only, and that's why it's not five stars.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dylan wong
I love Mark Crilley's art videos, so when I decided to start drawing anime his book my first choice. Definitely worth the price, and he even gives different amounts of anime looking characters. I really like it and plan on getting books 2 and 3 when I'm finished with this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lindsey kramer
This book has a lot of detailed information about supplies, proportions, style, perspective and comic creation. I got my book used and didn't notice until later that 3 pages were cut out near the end.
When you get your order, make sure all the pages are there! I liked this book enough to order it again for the missing pages.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This "how to draw Manga" volume is one of the best I've read. It provides a beginner through intermediate knowledge of most related topics. There isn't much to say that's negative here. My only small complaint is that I'd like to see more explanation of, and methods for, foreshortening. Aside from that, I'd recommend this book to most aspiring Manga-ka—those starting out and enthusiasts, alike. A solid text from this artist, which considering his work, comes as no surprise.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I bought this for my niece for Christmas. It looks very interesting and could be a lot of fun. She is very artistic and should enjoy this a lot. Be sure to buy a sketch pad and artists pens if you don't already have them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Love this book and his artwork in general. Mark Crilley is one of my favorite artist so I was thrilled about his mastering manga books. It's incredibly well written, put together and informative. I learned a lot and find myself going back to just touch up on some things, or simply look at all the art work, poses, etc included. Definitely grabbing the rest of the mastering manga books (and any more that may come out in the future).
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mattias brand
Good. My teen daughter likes that it has a lot of different poses, objects and characters. Could be more detailed.
Good breadth, depth needs a little improvement.

She has all 3 - same for each.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
matthew flowers
It's a fine book mark,
but i do find myself thinking , what do these shapes im drawing
actually amount to?
How will i draw this character again later with what i've learned?
how can i actually use this?
I am a fan though, I will look into Mastering Manga 2
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ash so
Mark Crilley is an amazing manga artist! He is very detailed about his work, and in this lessons book he does easy step by steps on the drawings. It ranges from drawing toddlers to drawing the elderly. There is also all kinds of expressions and hair styles. I personally started following the works of Mark Crilley on his youtube. Seeing his art inspired me to get out of the rut I was in. Thank you Mark Crilley for being the amazing artist you are!! :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I didn't buy this for myself however I got it for my best friend. The package arrived a day later then we though but she was so happy when she saw it. It covers everything she wanted to and she uses it every time she draws. She told me " I never use drawing books when I'm drawing until I got this book I LOVE IT!!" Its makes a perfect gift and its well worth more then the amount I paid I recommend this book to anyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ramiro rodriguez
This is the most extensive how to draw book i have seen. it has everything you need to get started on drawing anime and manga. I highly recommend this to anyone who is just starting out or is looking for some inspiration.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
paula wissmann
It gave me some reference material, but there's Google images and I feel his youtube videos give you far more information.
Maybe it's due to the internet age, but I never get much from tutorial books.

Still worth funding Mark Crilley though!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This helped a lot I don't use it much anymore as I am a genius in the manga arts (JK lol not that good progressing but this is a good starter book) I highly recommend this it won't help as much as I wished it would with bodies but it's quite helpful still use it occasionally
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stacy davidowitz
This book is incredible!! I already knew Mark crilley and followed him on youtube and deviantart but i was surprise at the amount of information that the book contains, not only that but usefull guides and examples to help you create your own art.
Just incredible! Definetly a must buy!! Im portugues and im not th only one who thinks this way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kelsey riley
I really liked his book, I would've given it 5 stars but... I feel like the art from the youtube videos are better... I don't know why?... But still the art is amazing! It explains perfectly! I really love it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is really really great. It feels so much more in-depth with the secrets of Mark's art than his YouTube videos, and thats saying something! If you enjoy his videos, you're going to love this book! My art has come leaps and bounds since getting it only a week ago, cant wait to see how far I'll go when I get to the end of the book! Thanks Mark!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenna gall
I've been his tuts on Youtube for a little while now, and decided to get this. Video tutorials are all well and good, but sometimes it's easier to follow along with a book. Besides, it's nice to have something to refer back to to refresh my memory. Definitely plan on getting the next two whend can.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
donna weaver
I have to say, I really like this book. The first couple of chapters are a little simple, but that can help with those that want to go right into drawing manga quickly. I personally like that later half of the book - when it starts talking about clothing and clothing folds. It gives you a pretty good handle on where to place the cloths and folds correctly. There's also four reference pages dedicated to girl's hair, boy's hair, feet, and hands - which really come in handy. For a beginner, I think this book does a pretty good job.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mike mclemore
this is a christmas present for my daughter who loves drawing these characters. i was very happy when it arrived in 2 days and saw that it was a pretty extensive book that was worth my money. i hope she likes it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brendan cheney
Got this for my sister. It is about A4 size or bigger. Which is not what i expected. But that is great. Means that there is more product. Sister doesnt seem very crazy about it. I guess it is cause its not really a step by step for amatures but is alright if u really are into drawing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kate leist
Great book for those wanting to get into learning how to draw Manga and also how to draw in general.
Mark Crilley is one who loves his craft and it shows in this book!

Will be updating this review in the coming months and hopes of documenting my growth in drawing Manga with this book as one of my tools.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah giovanniello
If you're into creating comics and like the manga approach, this is a perfect book to grab. Mark is well thought out, simple to follow and I love his art work. I've already purchased the Mastering Manga 2 &3 and pre-ordered Manga Art. Brody's Ghost is next! Thanks Mark.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Very well written for everyone no mater your drawing skill level.
Easy, with many example, covering everything from male/female kids-adults to scene panels and dialogs.
For this price this book is a must.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book has been extremely helpful in my drawing as it's really showed me how to do a lot of things I'm fairly weak at.
Crilley is such an inspiration for us newer artists and it's well worth the buy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mona bliss
I received my book a lot sooner than I expected and it was just what I expected. A very useful guide for hands and feet and manga styled characters. I'll be using it very often as a reference and a guide.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I ordered the kindle version for PC. Maybe it is better on an actual kindle device, but the quality of the kindle version is not great on PC. The drawings and descriptions land on wrong pages, making the description look like it is describing the wrong picture, causing you to constantly scroll up and back.

Also, some of the comic strip parts with mark 'talking' to you are not readable, or very hard to read. Even when i used a magnifier software, it just becomes distorted and you cant read it anyway.

That said, the content of the book is very good. I was especially happy how mark explains not just the height of characters bodies and parts, but widths as well, which most drawing books just leave you to wonder about.

Some of these pictures are directly from his videos, not a bad thing, you can zip over to youtube and get an in motion elaboration.

Im returning my kindle version and buying the paper. I have to wait a little longer but i think it will be worth it.

Edit: Buy the paper version, the book is gorgeous and well worth having in hand, much better flow and the book is large, colorful and very high quality. I upgraded this to 4 stars, the paper book itself is definitely worth it. I'm eagerly awaiting his second book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Instructions not clear. Drew bootleg looking anime girls instead of good looking ones.

I’m not giving it any lower stars cause there’s a chance it could’ve been my shaky hands or dry eyes acting up.

If this was a book on furries, it would be exactly my cup of tea.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
javid salehpour
I thought this product was helpful, the only thing I find bad about it is that it doesn't teach you how to for example, Create your own folds on the clothing of the manga characters. It doesn't teach you ways to improvise and create new hairstyles, heck, it doesn't teach you how to do hairstyles that well. Some people can literally Google Search Manga characters and try to learn to draw from that. What's great about this book? It teaches you proportion & it also helps if you're ONLY looking to draw manga cartoon characters. It lacks shading techqniques n stuff. Eh, for what it's worth, I like this book because when I bought it I learned a few things and I can honestly say its an alright book.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
julia grant
Just a really bad purchase. I love Mark Crilley but this book did not help me at all. The only good thing that this book teaches you is how to do fold and wrinkles in clothes, on evertything else it is not helpfull. It shows you how to do a body, but doesnt really explain it, its like " Hey here is how its suppose to be, now figure it out" , " here are various number os poses eyes and hairs, but you have to figure how to do it" " now you outline the hair". How am I suppose to do all those things if I dont know, how am I suppose to learn if you dont actually say to me how to do it? Its a really expensive figure book.
Doesnt help at all.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
marietheresa lilley
If there's one area where I think this book is lacking, it's in drawing the head and body. While the included step-by-step tutorials are easy to follow, the instruction basically boils down to "put these lines here, then put these lines here," and while that simplifies matters, it doesn't really give you the sense that you're drawing a three-dimensional form, which is important if you plan on drawing more complex angles and poses. There's no underlying theory as to why things are placed the way they are, or how elements move/change as you vary the angle/viewpoint. If you try to move beyond generic front and side view drawings, you might be stymied somewhat by this book, as beyond analyzing the reference drawings, there's not much here that you can apply.

In addition, while it's nice to see different facial/body types- I'm not a big fan of hypersexualized teenage females, either- the differences between them aren't always enough to justify their inclusion. For instance, in drawing a fuller-figured head, apparently the only major changes are the curve of the chin/jaw and the width of the neck. Is it really worth spending four additional pages just on those two differences, especially considering this book is leaner with regard to page count than most manga drawing books out there? Couldn't they have been merged with the other front and oblique view tutorials? I could say the same about drawing children's faces. Why not organize the tutorials by viewpoint/angle and put the different facial/body types side by side so you can immediately compare them? It would have been nice to see at least one step-by-step on high and low-angle viewpoints. Sometimes it feels as though the author is pushing his political views on how manga should (shouldn't?) be drawn, and in doing so misses the opportunity to go more in-depth. It's also worth mentioning that it's during these tutorials when the style seems the least authentic to actual manga (to me, anyway), but that might not bother you.

Another thing that irritates me is that the body section seems to focus more on drawing the outline of the clothed figure than on actual anatomy. This might appease people who are offended by nudity by default, but I can't say it'll really teach you how to draw the human form. These tutorials in particular also somehow seem the least authentic in terms of style- again, just my opinion. Overall, it's a shame that the sections on drawing the head and body seem the weakest, both because they're what budding artists will likely struggle with first and because these two topics take up half of the book.

Where the book excels is as a visual reference. There are numerous 2 and 4-page spreads with collections of hairstyles, eyes, hands, feet, emotions, poses, clothing folds/wrinkles, and so on. It's a lot of fun looking at the sheer variety and picking out something you'd like to incorporate into your own drawings, and you can certainly learn something from analyzing how the drawings are done. That said, I feel like one or two from each of these spreads should be pulled out and expanded into a tutorial or in-depth explanation. Also, it kind of irks me that even in these spreads, the mouth, ears, and nose are almost always drawn in the same exact way, which is disappointing after reading in the beginning of the book that there are many different ways to draw manga (which is true). Indeed, most of the drawings in this book seem very similar in style, which makes me wary of falling into the trap of copying that style rather than developing my own. That might just be me, though, and you can certainly supplement this book with others if you think it might be a problem.

The last section covers perspective and various manga construction topics like inking and paneling techniques. While your mileage may vary with these collections of tips (spanning only a fifth of the book), which seem about as perfunctory as many of the other tutorials, they do round out the package with valuable information and make it seem more complete.

In short, I can easily recommend this as a supplementary visual reference, but don't expect it to really teach you how to draw, or perhaps more importantly, develop your own style. That said, keep in mind the author also uploads various how-to-draw-manga videos to his Youtube channel which you may want to peruse and follow.

On a side note, don't be misled by other reviewers' comments saying this book is superior to most of what you can find nowadays. There are plenty of series out there with various strengths and weaknesses, and relying on this book alone (or any one book alone, for that matter) would be a grave mistake in my opinion. Here are some suggestions for further research and consideration, in no particular order:

-How to Draw Anime & Game Characters series (Tadashi Ozawa)
-More How to Draw Manga series (Go Office)
-How to Draw Manga: Ultimate Manga Lessons series (Graphic-Sha)
-Style School series (Various)
-How to Draw Manga (Girls Version) -- Manga no Kihon Design
-How to Draw Girls ~ Manga Class (Onnanoko no Kakikata - Manga no Kyoshitsu)
-Art of Otaku - How to Draw Anime (Download Edition)

4/14/2014 Update: I've added to my public profile a list of imported manga drawing books I've accumulated, which I'll try to update occasionally. Although they're in Japanese, I think you can learn a lot just from following along with the drawings, of which there are loads. I provide this list not to dissuade you from buying Mark Crilley's book, but to encourage supplementing it with additional references.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
s t s
Great book for the beginner.
I had practically no art background whatsoever, other than the average kid doodling away in class while the teacher talked, but after just my first lesson I showed improvement.
I haven't been using this book much lately, mostly because I don't have the time, but after practicing the second lesson just a few times I'm already showing huge improvement.
Mark Crilley actually takes the time to take you through his techniques step by step, giving you guidelines and instructions and shows you good examples, hints and tips.
This isn't just another "draw a circle here, another circle there, a triangle here and connect it all together to look like this next picture" book, but an actual step by step instruction book.
You have a kid who wants to get into drawing manga, or want to get into it yourself but have no drawing experience?
Then as someone like you, I recommend this book for you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
eleanor kauffman
This is a short read and I appreciate that the author has both given "how-to" guides and yet allowed, demonstrated and encouraged variety in their use. He has also covered quite an array of information is a really concise way, and while it is certainly not the whole theory of it, who really wants to just do cookie-cutter copies of established styles?

Here are some of the key things that are covered, albeit briefly (but effectively):

Characters and proportions, how to vary those for different angles, ages, gender, body type and style
Drawing in perspective
Text placement, including speech bubbles, text boxes and sound effects.
Stylized expressions and emotions
Depicting action
Draping and laying of cloths
dozens of examples of hair, eyes, hands, feet and faces
Layout and sequential story telling

He is also really encouraging and gives little helpful tips throughout.

All in all I think this book would be valuable to anyone who wanted to get started with Manga, draw fan art (of manga or in that style), etc. or for any younger person wanting to get into drawing at all.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
william brown
I have spent years looking for a book this clean cut, helpful, and inspiring. You know how so many anatomy books explain proportions but look like the artist went through a terribly blocky line stage? This author teaches in the style he draws and stacks one step at a time. What I REALLY love is that he fades out previous steps by lightening the lines so you can actually focus on each piece rather than layering one step on top of the other in equally dark lines. The way he does it, I actually understand the forward and backward process of each individual step. This book might be one of the best finds I have made in my entire drawing career and cannot recommend it enough. <3
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Mark Crilley is an excellent artist, no doubt. I've read a couple of his books, and they're great.
When I first got this book, I was a beginner in manga art, with a little knowledge from manga I had read. It's alright for beginners. This book does not do a good job of explaining anatomy, shading, or drawing characters. It shows you how to draw people with a very basic outline that if you don't follow exactly, you have a difficult time drawing proportionately accurate people. It shows some different expressions, eyes and hands, but it does not go into detail of /how/ to draw these things. If you were using this book to learn how to draw, you would have to use it as a reference picture rather than learning from it and being able to make your own. No action scenes or poses, and more shojo styled manga than shonen. It doesn't really help with poses at all.

Essentially, this book shows you a lot of pictures. It doesn't do a very good job of showing you how to draw the pictures it shows, nor does it show
you how to "master" manga. Not a lot of step by step.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
DISCLAIMER: This review is written by my daughter. I have read and approved of the content. -Educatomom

Having read a variety of how-to-draw books on manga, I can say this is one of the best out there. While most authors of drawing books expect you to conform to their style of manga, this author shows you how to draw different styles of manga (ranging from "Realistic" to "Extremely Cartoony"), then lets you run with it.

I especially liked that the author included separate sections on how to draw different aged people and different body types (e.g., adults, the elderly, fuller-figured body types and toddlers. Even babies get briefly covered!). In addition, the author has included reference drawings of different hand positions, body poses, different facial expressions, and even clothing wrinkles, all of which are very helpful. I also really appreciated that the author did not have much material that was inappropriately violent (there was one illustration of a karate scene and a couple of fighting) or romantic (a couple of pages of kissing poses), as is so common of the manga style in general.

Overall, this is a wonderful book on drawing manga that is easy for the beginner to follow, while still appealing and challenging to a manga expert. I highly recommend this book. Overall rating: 4 ½ stars
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
luis sim es pereira
Mastering Manga is an excellent how-to-draw manga, a perfect gift for the aspiring manga artist in the family and a superb resource for those with a bit more advanced skills on all things manga. With this book, Mark Crilley is able to deliver his easy-to-follow tutorials and provide a plethora of material for a quick reference. As such, this book is a terrific companion to his YouTube tutorials.

This book is divided into 3 Chapters, with some introductory and final sections:

What You Need
Making the Manga Eye
Character Design
Choosing your Style
Chapter 1: Head and Faces
Chapter 2: Proportion and Poses
Chapter 3: Setting the Scene

This book starts with an introduction "written with pictures", in a six panel spread. This is used sporadically, when a little of "verbosity" is required like in the Introduction, the Character Design section and the Conclusion.

For the most part, this is a how-to-draw manga book. All tutorials are at least seven steps long. The initial tutorials in chapter 1 may seem simple if you already have some experience drawing manga, with classics such as female front view and ¾, male front view and profile, and adult front view and ¾, a less conventional full-figure front view, and ¾, and a child front view and profile. However, these tutorials build up in skill and detail and towards the end of chapter 2 you are drawing two character scenes such as kissing or fighting.

In addition, you have plenty of reference material that you can quickly use as inspiration for your own manga. This is what interested me the most from this book at first. Between chapter 1 and chapter 2 you get 20 Female Hairstyles, 20 Male Hairstyles, 101 Manga Eyes, 12 Common Manga Facial Expressions, 20 Chibi Emotions, 50 Ways to Draw Hands, 50 Ways to Draw Feet, 30 Classic Poses, and plenty of tips about clothing such as Clothing Folds and Wrinkles, Dress Pants and Jeans, Skirts, T-Shirts, Sweaters and Coats.

In chapter 3, you start with some basic instructions about perspective, covering one-point, two-point and three-point perspectives, and building up scenes with each method in five-step tutorials. However, it gets more interesting with tips about inking, paneling, page layouts, word balloons and sound effects. This section is not very extensive so you get but a few examples of these subjects, but these are good enough for a quick reference.

Being only 128 pages long, this book may seem thin for some. However, if you already own a large collection of how-to-draw manga book, you would appreciate a reference book that you could easily flip through in search for you next of inspiration.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lorenza beacham
I am not the biggest fan of Mark Crilley's Manga style but I have to admit he is a great teacher and Artist. I have seen his video tutorials. They are thorough and full of helpful tips. If you need a how to draw book I couldn't recommend his Mastering Manga books enough. Yes I wish the art were prettier like Christopher Hart's books and Colleen Doran's out of print Girl to Grrrl Manga but the instruction in Mark Crilley's books are superior. I would recommend watching the videos and buying his books for more thorough instruction. Other How to Draw Manga books by Japanese authors were not beginner friendly and many of them are out of print. I'm sure there are some books by Japanese artists being published for aspiring manga artists but Mark Crilley is straight forward and a better guide in my opinion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a fabulous how to book on cartooning. Mark Crilley has incredible talent and does a great job sharing it. I love his easy going, easy to follow writing style and how he never says stuff like, "Drawing Manga is so easy that you'll be an expert in no time." Because that just isn't true; you've got to work at it and Mark Crilley lets you know that and then helps you along the way. His illustration methods are easy to follow and the reference pages (50 ways to draw hands, 50 ways to draw feet, 101 ways to draw eyes, ect.) are really useful.
Here's a chapter list
1: Heads and Faces
Which covers head shapes for male, female, child, teenager, "fuller-figured", and adult, hair styles, eyes, and expressions
2: Proportions and Poses
Which covers Body shapes and styles ( what they look like and how they change in different genres,how many heads tall, male, female, child, teenager, "fuller-figured", and adult), chibis, Hands, Feet, walking, kissing, fighting, classic poses, and clothing
3: Setting the Scene
Which covers perspective, inking, layouts, word balloons, and sound effect fonts
I've heard people say Mark Crilley's drawing style is too American. It isn't anything like Sailor Moon, that's for sure. It's still obviously manga, though. Basically, Mr. Crilley was a regular cartoonist, but he spent a lot of time in Japan and his wife is Japanese. Sort of because of this, his cartooning style changed dramatically. I suppose it is a bit Americanized, but if this were called a guide to American cartooning, that wouldn't sound right. I think it is aptly named.
In conclusion, a great drawing book that covers a wide range of general purpose topics but not too specifically. As a side note, Mark Crilley's youtube chanel is also a great resource. I love this book, especially because it's actual clean manga, and I completely recommend it to anyone interested in drawing cartoons, Japanese or otherwise.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
crystal vilkaitis
When I received this book, I had high expectations. I'd read several of Mark's graphic novels and seen numerous Youtube videos, enough to make me a solid fan; so, it was with confidence in the excellence of what I was about to read that I opened the glossy, richly-illustrated cover.

I was still unprepared for the awesome sight!

I started screaming for joy when I reached the page of hand reference drawings, and was struck dumb when I saw the clothing folds section. Mark outdid himself with the broad spectrum of delightful and dynamic poses, facial expressions, and more.

My favorite parts were probably:

The explanation of perspective for drawing backgrounds, including 1, 2, and 3 point perspective
The hair, hand, foot, and clothing fold studies
The couple kissing (Why is it there isn't ever romance in a clean drawing book?)
The full-figured characters (I am not full-figured at all, but I get sick of the stick-thin, unrealistic figures portrayed in Manga. Mark Crilley definitely does not follow that mold and I tip my hat to his including this realistic and respectful section)

This book is clean. It is not filled with full-figured women in provocative poses and little to no clothing. I would recommend it for people of all ages, from young children up to the oldest adult! Yay!!

As far as difficulty goes, I have been drawing manga for about five years, and have outgrown many drawing books. This book provides a challenge, but takes on a casual and encouraging air that would allow even the newest artist to easily learn the ropes of this art style.

In all, I was extraordinarily pleased with the book. Buy it! You won't be disappointed! And while you're at it, get his Miki Falls series (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter) and delve into Brody's Ghost; they're both great manga. Thank you Mark!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
As an artist we often do our best work when under duress and really put outside our comfort zone and that would be the central theme for my experience with this book.

Compared to most Manga aficionados, I would say that my knowledge on the subject is quite basic. While I do enjoy some of the animated manga series, I have never incorporated the style into my own artwork. So as a total manga noob, MASTERING MANGA with Mark Crilley was a good place to start.

First off, the book is written and illustrated by Mark Crilley whom is the creator behind the very successful and award winning AKIKO comic. Mark put himself in the book as a narrator of sorts and takes you through the process of drawing Manga in a linear and gradual way, from drawing faces to full body characters and then how to give those characters life. Mark even manages to squeeze in some two and three point perspective tutorials, which are beneficial for any artist to read.

I wish that the book had included more advanced examples of action poses or the kind of machine gun totting/sword wielding Manga that appeals to people like me. I also wish that there had been a section on Manga centric coloring (color palettes, techniques etc.)

As someone whom is deep into the genre, Mark does a great job of explaining the rules of drawing Manga and how as an established style it is very important to follow these important visual cues or else you run the risk of your manga looking half baked.

I think Mark deserves extra kudos for one particular aspect of the book and that is a section that includes how to draw plus sized men, women and children. Comic art and Manga often chooses to show people in a much idealized way that completely ignores that we live in world with people of all ages, shapes and sizes. Mark acknowledges this and goes on to show the reader how to depict a senior citizen or an overweight women or husky child.

All in all I found MASTERING MANGA with Mark Crilley to be a very useful technique sourcebook for someone like myself and I believe that it would be very beneficial for other artists that art getting into the genre or just want a nice Manga reference book to have on hand in their studio.

If you have any questions about this review or want to see more of my work, please visit my website at [...]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is a very useful reference for keeping proper manga proportions and learning how to make something actually look like real manga. I love the large, full-color illustrations. There are also useful techniques in this book that can be applied to any drawing style, like the way folds in clothing fall and the 1-2-3 point perspective section. Also useful tips for laying out a comic page. It's a lot of fun and I'm very pleased, but I would add that it isn't exactly a step by step teach you how to draw book, if that's what you're looking for. The examples are not line-by-line and not a whole lot of explanation is given (personally I don't mind this fact). You really have to just look at the examples and try to draw them yourself.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kaaren matthewson
I am 9 and 3 quarters. This is the first book that I have EVER asked my mom to write a review on. It's the perfect book for anime, chibi, and manga lovers (like me)! It gave me much more skill than I used to have. I highly recommend this. I read the whole thing page by page. It includes how to draw the setting, bodies and many more things! It is my favorite learn how to draw book! I learned how to draw super good manga in 25 minutes!!!!! I definetly think you should buy this... Its totally worth it. ???
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Styles switch too much, doesn't explain well HOW to draw it, it's like the tutorials you can find on Google for free. I liked his videos so I had high hopes for this. The style is way to cartoony and the styles keep switching to old shoujo manga style to those "make your own avatar" styles. Ending seems rushed and it shows tons of hands but not how to draw them or tips on them. I feel like I wasted my money on a book that's just sitting in my room for 3 months. Not to mention the ways of teaching it isnt very good, it's like teaching them to draw a car by just drawing the outlines, are you forgetting construction? No bases, just draw the outlines.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jack byrne
Great book. I haven’t drawn since I was a teen, (oh say 15 years ago) I wanted to draw a comic strip for a roll playing game I’m in and found my drawing to be terrible. I started working through this book and it’s great. It even has how to draw other body types than teen beautiful, which is great. Oh, I did buy this but ok used and not from the store.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
james sweeney
The book won my daughter's heart and she started to draw from the book right away! It's really amazing to see her create her own characters based on what she learns from this book. The only problem was it took over 12 days to arrive and the entire bottom right corner was damaged when it arrived. the store gave me $3 credit back. However, I would rather have it brand new undamaged for her after seeing her drawing!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dawn latessa banc
I purchased this book quite some time ago and have been thrilled with it. Not only does it cover all the basics of drawing Manga bodies and heads (both male and female), but it also includes drawing chibis, some clothing, perspective drawing, drawing objects, and how to lay out pages with panels, word balloons, etc. I have returned multiple times to this book when I'm stuck on how to draw certain poses. I also love the part with hands in different angles and poses.
I would recommend getting this book and would also recommend the second book in the series.
I think the best thing about this book is that it isn't for a certain age or skill level. While some of the sections may seem pretty basic, I find myself learning new things every time I open the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I found out about this guy when I found one of his graphic novels in my school library a while back. Later found him on YouTube. I have both Mastering Manga, and Mastering Manga 2, by this amazing guy. Which, actually, I bought at a Barnes and Noble around when they first came out.
They're great! Not only does this give demonstration but also inspiration. Also, I have found that this book has corrected many of my flaws when drawing. With proportions and such. Needless to say, I'm glad I've improved and learned because of this book, I recommend :3
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
My daughter is artist. We were at Barnes Noble she wanted this book badly. But it was cheaper on the store. She started drawing soon as it came in! She has decided she wants more if his drawing books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ben brasic
Got the bug to try something new and decided I wanted to learn how to draw. Always loved Manga so I figured that would be fun. Right out of the gate this book blew me away with its ability to instruct drawing. My family and friends were amazed at my drawings from the very first one (female face straight on)! The author breaks it down in manageable steps that are easy to follow with great verbals descriptions to accompany the pictures. I've made it about a third of the way through the book and the remaining topics should provide a great base to create a respectable variety of Manga art.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
After getting this book for Christmas, we immediately made a trip to the art supply store for my daughter to spend her Christmas money...

I did get her a sketchpad and a pencil set to go with it, but in the book it tells you that you need an 18" ruler, a kneaded eraser, a compass ("circle guide") and non-smudge pens. So to make it a complete gift, you might want to provide that stuff too :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I have been drawing manga for about a year or two. Since I was thirteen. I started off drawing my fave characters -ok fine, im still drawing fave characters - and i am starting on the final edit for a book i wrote for a school contest. our side challange was to provide artwork of our main characters . i had been watching anime since i was little - i was 14 at the time of writing the book- and decided to give manga a try. so i youtubed "how to draw manga" mark came up and taught me how to draw the basic anime girl. it kind of took off after i drew my characters and now my family wants me to pursue a career in illistrating. Thanks Mark for giving me a bright future!!!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
amanda c
It literally just tells you to trace all these poses he pre-drew. It also has this arbitrary guideline that shows you how to draw anatomy, the problem is that it's a broken, rudimentary version of the Loomis method that doesn't show you how to draw anything other than the front view.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
natalie senderowicz
Really great book! Been wanting to get back into drawing and this book is inspirational. Had me reaching for pencil and paper immediately lol. Great for beginners and not so beginners as well. Looking forward to checking out the other two volumes from Mark Crilley in his "mastering manga" series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amanda meares
It may not have everything, but I have looked at many other books and not one has the variety of this.
This book shows how to draw the body, face, hair, eyes , mouth, and a fairly wide variety of poses.
So I yoy want just one book to use for learning I would RECOMEND this, I am not saying that other books aren't helpful.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rameen altaf
Mark Crilley is sensational... I enjoy each second I spend drawing.

I would love be like him... He makes everything look so easy

He is adorable and the book is well done

Edna Munhao

P.S. I am using you book to be a better designer and I wan to use this opportunity to tell you about my book


I hope you enjoy reading it.

Edna Munhao
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I love this book. So helpful and the art is incredible. I would give it 50 stars if I could. This book really helped me and the steps are easy to follow. This book is good for any art-loving person. I recommend it to anyone. It is worth the money.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mark moran
This book is amazing! It has everything from kissing to fighting, easy step by step instructions to draw everything, even the basics like faces and body proportions. It has 101 I beleive different ways to draw eyes and pages filled with different hands and other various apendages (nothing innapropriate) AND if that wasn't enough, it even has chibi tutorials. This book is perfect for anyone looking for a manga tutorial book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
steven kilpatrick
I like many have followed Mark C. on youtube,

Browsing threw Kindle Fire Store came upon his Mastering Manga books.

Droped EVERYTHING and bought them all :D
For the price you get unbelivable amount of usefull information.
Very hands on with a upcoming artist ; this book alone WOW!

If your new to Manga drawing or struggling buy these books,seriously.

If you want to see how he helps your skills before buying search Mark Crilley on Youtube

Very happy to have these books on my KF

Thank You Mark !
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Expected much more from such a good drawer. I am personally fan of his series, but the book only barely touches the subject, not giving you much directions. Some good tips, but it is more for people that already know how to draw and wants to acquire the manga style.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book is absolutely amazing. Step by step it goes into detail and has nice tips and tricks for mastering the Art of manga making. If you want to make manga THIS IS THE BOOK FOR YOU and even if you just wanna be a better artist, this book is totally perfect. Love love love it?never seen anything like it
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
When I first got this book, I decided to jump right in. The first chapter was on drawing the head and face. I was really impressed and pleased, because not only did it give really detailed instruction on how to draw the head, it also showed different face types, including both genders, young, old, heavy set, and showed the head from all different sides. The examples were easy to follow, and I was pleased with the results.

The book started to go downhill for me during the second chapter. This next chapter was on drawing the body, and while it started with the same level of detail in the head, the bodies themselves were drawn with an outlined vision of the clothed figure. This pretty much goes against the way most artist I know of draw the body, but even if this is Mr. Crilley's own personal style, I think it's a poor choice to do this in a "how to" book. It does a good job of explaining proportion, not only of the full body, but of each of the limbs, and how they relate to the body. What the book doesn't show, however, is anything regarding the skeleton or musculature of the body. It also gives some examples of different poses for the hands and feet, but doesn't offer any instruction at all on how to actually construct either, which is odd, seeing as how they are some of the hardest parts of the body to draw.

Once again, the second chapter shows different body types and ages, and even shows how to draw chibi characters. But I feel that without a real understanding of the body's inner structure, these sections aren't as helpful as they could be. One thig that was helpful, was the section on character interactions (kissing, fighting, etc.). It's one thing to draw characters individually, but it helps to see his tips on how to draw them together. There's another section on poses, that shows several finished drawings, and I feel like this was a missed opportunity as well. The author could have had less finished drawings, and showed the steps he took to draw just a few of the poses. I feel this is something that would have been helpful to readers, and certainly something that's included in many other books of the like. Another thing I do appreciate from the second chapter, though, is the section on clothing. It shows how to draw the different folds and wrinkles of clothing, which helps had more detail to a character.

The last chapter deals with things like perspective and page lay out. This chapter is as helpful as the first. It does a very good job of covering various points of perspective, sequential story telling, shading and so on.

All in all, I thought this book was very good in some areas, but all in all, very lacking. For a book that claims to have EVERYTHING the author knows about Manga, I felt like there was a lot missing. This book should have either been longer, with more attention paid to certain areas; or broken into a series, with each book focusing on a specific thing. I do like that the book shows a range of body types, and not just the beautiful young girls that a lot of manga books focus on, but it it didn't do a good enough job of explaining anatomy. He really should do a "second edition" of this book, the address the problems of the first volume. If you get this, also pair it with an anatomy book. I recommend "Human Anatomy Made Amazingly Easily".
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
annmarie dipronio
I love the book when it comes to some of the tutorials on how to draw, but have noticed that for feet and hands, to name a few, have no tutorials on how to draw and that he just has multiple poses for you to try on your own. While I like the idea of trying on my own I just think that with a Manga How To Draw Book the author (or artist if we're being specific) should show how you could draw a few of the poses with the hands and feet. Overall it was an enjoyable book and learning experience I will admit. Hopefully the criticism helps others with knowing what areas the book may not help in.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathryn lindberg
Totally diggin' the book! It's really helped me out! I had to decide between this and the Shoujou one, but I bought this. I'll tell you why; this book not only includes characters, but how to draw setting and manga effects along with how to write out the boxes. Shoujou one doesn't have it. I hope I helped!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mary dawn
Title says it all; only reason I put 4 stars instead of 5... was that the book wasn't really set up to be digital. The pages split in the off in the middle of sentences, and you can't zoom by widening your fingers... but aside from that, it's a very useful book for anybody wanting to start drawing manga ^^
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Between this book and Mark's Youtube videos, I've produced realistic backgrounds and proportionate people to put in them. His sense of humor and easygoing attitude are the biggest draw for me to keep reading and watching. Highly recommend the book for beginners who need all the guidelines to get going, and his videos for mastering more advanced techniques.
Please Rate30 drawing lessons from the creator of Akiko - Mastering Manga with Mark Crilley
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