Drawing Comics and Manga
What is the Difference Between Comics and Manga Drawing?
Comics are a form of art that started in the late 19th century in the form of comic strips in newspapers. When we think of vintage comic books, what comes to mind are 1930s DC and Marvel heroes, which represent the mass production of comics.
Superheroes with dark backstories and brightly colored comics were extremely popular in the United States. However, a Japanese style of comics called manga started gaining popularity in Japan and all over the world.
● Comics and manga have a great number of genres and styles and can be literally about anything.
● Both styles focus on visual storytelling and are numerously adapted into TV shows (cartoons and anime) or movies (live-action or animated).
● While comics use bright colors in their design, manga is almost exclusively white and black, instead, the anime version is colored.
● While both are directed towards people of all ages, manga sometimes handles more mature subjects while using kids as the main characters.
● Comics and manga have different body and
Why Draw Comics or Manga?
Aside from the general beauty of this art form, you will find many reasons to draw comics or manga, such as:
● It is usually a collaborative form of art, where a writer will share the story with an illustrator and later on a colorist and a distributor. This means that it will give you a chance to share your creativity with a passionate group.
● This is a very famous art form where production companies get involved and famous movies and shows are made, which in return could mean fame for you too.
● It shows your dedication to your art. Not to say that other art forms do not show the same but making a comic or manga can take months or even years to come up with a finished product.
What do you Need to Get Started?
Before you start drawing your comic or manga you will need the following:
– The story: you can either write one yourself or work with a professional writer.
– The theme: you need to envision the general color scheme and theme of your comic or manga. Make a vision board to help you build the world or the atmosphere of your drawings.
– Character design: you need to first create a design of your characters, what they look like, what they wear, and finally, how do they look different when displaying different emotions. General knowledge in anatomy and body proportions is a great advantage here.
Comics and Manga Art Supplies
● Pencil: for sketching and fixing all your mistakes before making the final drawing.
● Eraser: for erasing your mistakes.
● Ruler: for drawing the comic panels, or the boxes which one page of comic or manga consists of.
● Black ink liners: you probably need a collection of black ink liners to use on your final drawing. These pens can have different types of tips with varying thickness to achieve varying widths of outlines.
● Colors if needed: you can use ink color or alcohol-based makers to color your drawings if you want to end up with a colored illustration.
– Tip: some artists choose to scan their drawing then color it digitally by using any photo editing software, which can result into precise colors every time.
General Tips for Drawing Comics or Manga
● Reading direction: English language readers usually read a comic starting on the top left corner and ending on the bottom right corner. The case is reversed if the manga is in Japanese and the reader is used to reading top right to bottom left.
● Panel groups: you can organize your panels or small boxes in the same page into groups by leaving a wider blank barrier between each group of panels and the other.
● Abstract layouts: you do not have to stick to traditional boxed organized in rows. You actually do not have to use boxes at all. You can separate different panels by having different backgrounds or patterns. You can also have your characters breaking the line of the panel in a more dynamic way.
● Different viewpoints: think of every panel as a cinematic shot, and imagine it from the viewpoint of the camera. As similar to any movie, the camera does stay in the same place all the time. That is how you should draw your comic or manga.
● Backgrounds and mood: matching the background to the mood of the story is always a nice and fun way to showcase character feelings.
● Creative speech bubbles: not all speech bubbles are the same. You can experiment in different ways to draw speech bubbles, with no actual need for adding tails -the part that sticks out of the bubble and points at the character.
Which is better manga or comics?
You cannot really say that one art is better than the other. Eventually each one has a different end result and purpose, and you should consider which one works better with your story.
Do manga or comics artists draw everything by hand?
Most artists still draw their comics or manga by hand, while many of them will scan the finished drawing and add color or screen tone to it by using photo editing software.
Can you make money by drawing manga?
Yes, you can make money by publishing your comic or manga with a publishing company or as a self-published artiest. Or you can sell your copyrights to a production company that will turn your manga or comic to and anime or cartoon.
Do comic books and manga artists work alone?
It is very rare to find a person that can do all that work alone. Manga and comics are usually made with a group effort of artists and writers that share the same passion for one project.
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