Saturday AM Presents How to Draw Diverse Manga
Design and Create Anime and Manga Characters with Diverse Identities of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
by Saturday AM
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Pub Date 12 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 26 May 2022
Quarto Publishing Group – Rockport Publishing, Rockport Publishers
Learn how to create diverse manga-style characters from the talented team of artists at Saturday AM magazine, the world’s leading showcase of diverse anime and manga stories and characters.
Saturday AM Presents How to Draw Diverse Manga features Saturday AM’s most popular artists, who themselves represent racial identities, ethnicities, and cultures from all over the world as well as diverse gender identities. The reader-friendly, step-by-step presentation, which is accessible even to beginning artists, shares drawing guidance for:
- Faces, features, and expressions
- Bodies, proportions, and body positivity
- Hair, including afros, braids, and waves
- Developing character design through the language of shape, silhouette, and color schemes
- Avoiding stereotypes and caricatures
Perfect for beginning to intermediate manga and anime artists, character designers, fantasy illustrators, animators, and cartoonists, Saturday AM Presents How to Draw Diverse Manga offers an insider’s point of view and expertise on how to design and draw authentic manga characters that reflect diverse identities and backgrounds.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 4 members
This is a great introduction to how to draw diverse manga characters. The book covers a range of areas from hair, body types, facial features, skin tone, and much more. What I particularly loved about this guide is not just how it avoids stereotypes and caricatures but the fact that there is specific advice for how to avoid them yourself.
I found the advice for drawing Black hair and how to do different skin tones particularly invaluable.
My only criticism is the use of 'ethnic' to denote non-white people as this perpetrates the idea of the 'white standard'.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and Saturday AM for giving me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Links will be updated the week of publication.
This book provides great advice on how to increase diversity in manga without (in)intentionally using caricatures. Presented as a book for beginner to intermediate manga artists, I would say that this book is best suited for beginning manga artists who are already comfortable with drawing and sketching. It isn’t a “how to” book for a manga fan who decides they now want to draw. The book is very thorough and does not only teach how to draw facial features and hairstyles that reflect a range of Black individuals. But, it also includes suggestions on how to colour images to highlight the beauty in all people. In several sections, they go in depth on how aspects of identity that aren’t limited to ethnicity. Drawing bodies that celebrate and normalize all shapes and sizes is also need in manga to combat unrealistic expectations or portrayals of females. I didn’t expect this and found it’s inclusion to be a pleasant surprise.
The introductory pages as to why this book is relevant is a worthwhile read for anyone who buys manga for themselves or for others even if you have no desire to ever draw. Many areas of publishing are seeking to be more representative, and I appreciate the acknowledgement that a traditionally Japanese style of drawing can authentically represent and honour people who are not Asian. This book seems to come from a genuine desire to make positive changes in a field they love without shaming or blaming the current industry titans for shortcomings in manga.
This is the perfect book to sit along side a manga book section.
With manga hitting a boom once again after the British Museum exhibition and the multiple lockdowns, so many people have started reading manga for the first time, especially a lot of younger readers.
The importance of seeing yourself represented in what you read is vital, slowly even the historically 'narrow' industries are starting to change and show better and wider representation.
"How To Draw Diverse Manga" is exactly what the genre is crying out for! Really great ranges of characters, along with small tips about how to improve and differentiate character features. I would say it's probably not for beginners but for sure it's still quite accessible.
My only complaint is the language is a little tricky here and there, well.. more old fashioned. Maybe a sensitivity reader might be of large benefit.
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