Switching gears ever so slightly, Anime Reporter takes a look at best-selling author Christopher Hart’s latest book, How to Get Published as a Manga Artist. That’s right! He’s back, and with a difference. The man who brought you such best-selling manga tutorial titles as Basic Anatomy for the Manga Artist, Manga for the Beginner (also available in Kawaii, Chibi, Midnight Monsters and Shoujo flavours) and the vibrant Manga Mania books has come out with something that aspiring manga artists of any genre will probably want to get their hands on.
Where this title differs from the majority of Christopher’s other books is that it isn’t offering tutorials or advice on drawing characters or designing comics. This book is all about what to do once you’ve got the skills and want to start making it as a professional manga artist.
The book covers a wide range of areas and gives pros and cons to many different aspects of the career path. Chapters include a focus on different types of educational institution for those who are still getting started and are looking for different areas to focus on. It then begins by outlining the types of opportunities available to aspiring manga artists outside of Japan. There’s a chapter devoted to the different types of publishing and which may best suit you as well as the pros and cons of agents, how to get one and what to expect once you do. These last pieces of advice seem to be applicable to many writers, not just people specialising in manga and the entire book is full of practical, detailed notes on the good and bad that you can expect.
Christopher sums it up well in some of his first lines: “Frankly, I’m not here to cheer you on. You’re not interested in hype. You want real answers. Specific suggestion. Practical ideas. A road map!” This is what he promises and what he provides. The book is not full of cheat codes on how to sneak into the forefront of the industry, though it does offer a lot of surprising tips and explanations of why they work. The book is a hard-earned testimony on the does and don’ts that will get your foot in the door by helping you to avoid the many pitfalls along the way. This includes how to present yourself and your portfolio, which things on your resumé aren’t doing you any favours and even some solid tips on what types of merchandising to use.
Christopher Hart is quick to remind us of his success and experience as an author, and rightly so. He conveys in simple, practical terms, what attracts publishers and agents, why you’ll probably need to attract them and many of the mistakes and misconceptions people have when they first get started. Hart’s wealth of experience is clearly paying dividends with books selling worldwide and his advice clearly comes from solid experience.
Some small aspects of Harts advice, particularly with regard to particular conventions, is aimed at aspiring artists within the US, but the vast majority of his book is applicable to an international audience.
How to Get Published as a Manga Artist is currently available and is just the latest in the wildly popular series of Christopher Hart’s books designed to help you on your way to becoming a fully fledged manga expert!
My usual scoring criteria won’t exactly fit with this manner of book, so I’ll simply round up by saying that How to Get Published as a Manga Artist is a realm of straightforward advice on how to succeed at the craft you love so much, including a lot of advice you probably didn’t realise you needed. If you’re eager to make it in manga, consider this a worthy investment.