Deals and Savings for Manga Artists

JE-dealsandsavings-green

Deals and Savings for Manga Artists (Updated 12/19/2016)

It’s hard getting cheap supplies for making your art. Besides the “Manga Pens” article I posted, some artists can check back here to find some deals I’ve found on the internet. (If you find any deals, let me know in the comments section or tweet me at [ at ] jeridel on Twitter.)

Pens

Supplies

 

jerrys-artarama-logo-new-2013

1219-eml-vip1-yule_02

Screentones

gekiyasu

Deleter has screentones for only $4.95 each. 

Check out my other post about where to find screentones!

Manga and Anime

mega-deals_02

akadottezuka

Other Stuff

Advertisements

Manga Pens for Manga Artists Outside of Japan

mangapens1

Japanese manga artists have it good. They can walk to the nearest bookstore and buy any line of pens all suited for creating manga. Artists outside of Japan, however, have a challenge in getting manga-purposed supplies, especially cheap inking pens.

Right now, pens by Too are cornering the inked market. They make Copic-brand supplies, from nibs to colored liners. In Japan, a set of 9 regular Copic multiliner pens are around 1795 yen or $18 while Western online shops sell them for more than $20. Copic drawing pens with nibs and Copic Ciao color brush pens are 250 yen or $2.50 each, half the cost of what Western stores sell.

So where do you get these pens and how much do they cost? Here’s a list of online stores selling pens for manga artists and ship internationally. (Prices may vary.)

Brand / Pen Type # of Pens DickBlick JetPens Jerry’s Artarama Chicago Airbrush Supply Blue Line Pro Comic Artist Supplies Akadot
Copic Multiliner Fine Nib Pens 1 $4.60 $2.99
Copic Multiliner Fine Nib Pens 4 $8.69
Copic Multiliner Fine Nib Pens 7 $16.75 $20.93
Copic Multiliner Assorted 9 $19.95 $26.91
Copic Multiliner SP 1 $7.96 $8.95 $7.55
Copic Multiliner SP Set 5 $44.75
Copic Multiliner SP Set 10 $89.50
Sakura Manga Sensei Series 1 $1.99 $2.00
Sakura Manga Sensei Series 6 $11.99
Sakura Manga Sensei Series 9 $11.62
Sakura Pigma Micropen 3 $6.72 $5.28
Sakura Pigma Micropen Set 6 $13.04 $10.56
Sakura Pigma Manga Comic Pro Set 6 $7.97 $18.00
Sakura Pigma All-Black Collection Cube 16 $39.99
Kuretake Manga Penholder 1
Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Pen 1 $2.15
Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Set 3
Deleter Neopiko Line 2 Pen 1 $3.99 $5.40
Tria Triple Nib Marker 1 $2.49 $5.99
Faber-Castell Extra Superfine Pitt Pen 1 $2.06 $2.10
Faber-Castell Pen Set 8 $13.97
Faber-Castell Extra Superfine Pitt Pen Set 10 $26.68
Prismacolor Illustration Markers 4 $7.32
Prismacolor Premier Fine Line Marker Sets 5 $9.93
Prismacolor Premier Fine Line Marker Sets 8 $15.87
Acruit Technical Drawing Pen 1 $1.00
Acruit Technical Drawing Pen Set 9 $8.99
Acruit Technical Drawing Pen Set 12 $9.99
Isoman Technoart Pen Nib 1 $1.99
Marvy Uchida LePen 12 $15.48
Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph Points 1 $16.35
Rapidograph Pens 1 $25.26 $24.83
Pentel Sign Pen 1 $1.23
E + M Artists Nib Holder 1 $9.50
Tachikawa Linemarker 1 $13.50
Tachikawa School-G Nib Pen 1 $6.75 $5.80 – $6.58
Zebra Comic Pen Nib Holder 1 $3.30
STABILO Fineliner Pen 1 $.75
STABILO Sensor Pen 1 $1.49

*All prices are not guaranteed, so please check with their websites.

Japanimation

This online anime store has two pen lines, the Deleter Neopiko Line 2 Pens ($47.19 for 10) and the Tachikawa New Nib School-G Pens ($10.39 for 1). They also have international shipping.

Manga University

This online manga university also sells manga tools, including Tachikawa All-in-One Manga Pen ($9.99 for 1) and the Ultimate Manga Pen Set ($24.99 for Tachikawa and Nikko nibs and nib holders). To calculate your country’s postage, enter your location after adding the item(s) to your cart.

For UK artists, there are 2 shops that will ship to you at a cheap rate.

Kuretake Shop

This is the UK-based shop of the brand, Kuretake. Their most-popular pens are the Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Pens ($1.94 for 1 or $4.36 for 3). The Kuretake Shop only ships to the UK and Europe.

Scribblers

What better way to find Japanese pens and pen holders than by going to a calligraphy specialty store. This shop has everything calligraphy related, including art pens. They carry Kuretake Zig Cartoonist Mangaka Pens (£1.55 for 1, £4.75 for 3), Kuretake Manga Pen Holders (£5.05 for 1), and Kurecolor Fine and Brush for Manga (£2.45 for 1), including the VAT at 20 percent. Scribblers has international shipping.

For even cheaper supplies, don’t forget to sign up for the shops’ club cards or mailing lists.

Dick Blick offers a 10 percent discount if you have a Dick Blick Preferred Card.

Jerry’s Artarama has various discounts when you’ve signed up for their Online Email Club.

Blue Line Pro has a yearly membership for their Club Blue Artist Discount Club that drops prices by 15 percent. This membership isn’t free—it costs $14.99 per year.

Akadot’s Retail Membership is $15 per year to get a 5 percent discount on your purchases. After $1000 of purchases, they’ll give you a $20 gift card.

Jade’s Recommendation

When I first started drawing manga, I used to buy the Sakura Pigma and Pigma Micron pens at Michael’s (they sell them at full retail price). I didn’t have a car or much money. It was when I started going to conventions that I saw there were many different pens out there, and I quickly realized that pens from Sakura Pigma and Faber-Castell were stealing my money. Both brands don’t give you enough ink (that’s why they’re so lightweight), the nibs break or split in half after a few uses, and the line quality is really bad. Right now, I’m using Copic, Tachikawa, and Mitsubishi pens. They give me a good amount of ink and the nib replacements are cheap and easy to find. They do cost more than Sakura Pigma and Faber-Castell pens, but they’re also higher quality.

Professional Artist Veronica Fish’s Reviews

Review of Marvy Uchida’s LePen Series

http://veronicahebs.blogspot.jp/2013/05/review-le-pen-le-plume-pen-sets.html

Review of Pentel, Zebra Comic, Tachikawa School-G, Deleter #5, and Lowe Cornell Pens and Brushes:

http://veronicahebs.blogspot.jp/2011/02/manga-pens-comic-art-supplies-review.html

Review of Pentel Brush Pens: http://veronicahebs.blogspot.jp/2010/01/japanese-brush-pens-review.html

If you’d like a printable version of this post to compare prices, you can download Manga Pens for Microsoft Word.

UPDATED (6/29/2015): Nibs are an alternative to using liners and pens. For a guide on nibs and nib holders, check out JetPens’ Guide to Nibs and Nib Holders.

Manga Assistant’s Dream Realized: The Princess of Tennis Review

Manga Assistant’s Dream Realized: The Princess of Tennis Review

When I was 13, I wanted to be a manga creator. Between college and Japan, I forgot that dream. After reading Jamie Lynn Lano’s The Princess of Tennis, that 15-year-old dream cried out and I realized why: Lano never forgot her dream and became a manga assistant for Takeshi Konomi’s The Prince of Tennis, or TeniPuri by some fans.

Lano’s journey starts with already living in Japan for 4 years as an English teacher before applying to Konomi’s call for manga assistants. Throughout the book, Lano not only talks about how manga is made (it’s less technical than I thought) but also the ups and downs of being a 6-foot-1 foreign woman in Japan.

The Princess of Tennis is an easy and fun read. Lano keeps the tone light and friendly, and when she turns to darker themes–the invisible red tape for foreigners, real Japanese customs, and women’s 1950’s role in Japanese culture–Lano always remembers that this true story is a happy one, minus the tinted glasses.

While Lano makes her book accessible for all readers, The Princess of Tennis best fits otaku and aspiring manga creators and editors. She uses Japanese words and emoticons that anyone can find in a manga. For readers outside of the manga-reading audience, this book comes off as a borderline Young Adult novel or fanfiction, especially when the grammatical errors are considered. Because Lano’s voice and amiable nature is consistent, readers can forgive the missing words, incorrect punctuation marks, and passive sentences.

As with many books about Japan, The Princess of Tennis uses many Japanese words. Some might find it charming, but I believe that if a book is for the English-reading community, it should stay in English. I wouldn’t say, “Konomi Teacher”. Even “Mr. Konomi” is passable. Still, I’d just omit the word. In the West, using someone’s last name is also a sign of respect. Untranslated Japanese words with simple English meanings–“ohayo” (“Good morning”), “hajimemashite” (“Nice to meet you”), and “ganbare” (“Good luck” or “Do your best”)–are still in the book. I think I removed every romanized word with corrector ink just to polish the text.

Aside from the mistakes, The Princess of Tennis was entertaining and inspirational for me. Remember my dream of becoming a manga creator? Maybe my TeniPuri call is waiting for me to answer.

Manga, Comic Book, and Graphic Novel Courses for Aspiring Creators

mangacoursebaner

Manga, Comic Book, and Graphic Novel Courses for Aspiring Creators

Updated: January 23, 2018

Finding a course can be hard, especially if you’re not Japanese. Here’s a few places to find manga and sequential, or comic book, art courses around the world.

Free Courses and Resources

Limited or Fee-based Courses

  • U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Exchange Fellowships are federal grants for artists to exchange culture and experiences with Japanese counterparts. Deadline to apply is February 1, 2018. To learn more about the program, visit http://www.jusfc.gov/creative-artists-programs.

  • Manga University, known for their How to Draw Manga book series, offers a home study course ($39.99 or $49.99). There are no instructors, only PDFs and a lot of words, but the information is great for beginners and people who’ve never taken a high school art class. Check it out at http://www.howtodrawmanga.com/pages/home-study-course. I did purchase this home study course to see how it fared against other courses. I wrote about my experience with the Manga University here.
  • Similar to Manga University, Cotty Kilbanks (cartoonist/artist for Rocko’s Modern Life and Iron Man) on Craftsy has a home study manga course called Drawing Anime Style through HD videos for a set price. This course is for people who consider themselves intermediate level in 2D drawing. For more information, please click here.
  • Comics Experience, which is attached to Stan Lee’s ComiKaze, has several comic book courses–from script writing to penciling techniques–and all taught through the net. To find out more details, go to http://www.comicsexperience.com/courses.html.
  • CG Master Academy is a specialty online art academy that offers classes for character designs, digital painting, figure drawing, and perspective drawing. Classes are offered all four seasons, and the prices for each one is usually $699. If you plan on doing mostly digital art, this academy is suited for you. Go to http://2d.cgmasteracademy.com/ for more information.
  • The Experiment in International Living has a high school summer abroad program for Japanese arts. It’s a 1-month stay for high schoolers in Vermont, USA. For the program details and price tag, look up http://www.experimentinternational.org/programs/find-a-program/japan/japanimationanime-and-manga/overview/.
  • SAW-Teen-manga-courseSAW, or the Sequential Artists Workshop, is a Florida community of artists trying to improve their abilities through classes and workshops. They offer year-long art programs, weekly workshops, and online classes at random times of the year. To check their calendar, visit  http://sequentialartistsworkshop.org/wordpress/. On Saturdays from January 12th to February 16th, 2016, SAW will offer a Teen Comics and Manga Class at their location in Gainesville, Florida (SE 5th Ave at Main St, behind Citizen’s Co-op).
  • Mad About Manga! is a manga course run by Malcolm Matheson. This course costs $97 to participate. For more information, please go to http://madaboutmanga.com/.
  • For those online and interested in traditional comic book creations, check out the Comics Workbook (http://comicsworkbook.tumblr.com/about). Not only do they offer lessons on sequential art, but they have a magazine as well.
  • Katonah Art Center in New York offers classes in manga at a cheaper rate than community college prices (usually around $378 to $420 for 10 weeks). Find more information at http://www.katonahartcenter.com/classes/visual-arts/ .
  • Activity Hero offers San Francisco kids and teens art classes, including manga classes such as this Wednesday Cartooning and Manga Class for $325 (January 20th – March 16th, 2016). To enroll, check it out here.
  • Manga Class at Appel Farm is New Jersey-based art class offered through McArt à la Carte geared towards enjoyment and learning. Visit http://mcartshop.com/manga-class-appel-farm/ for more information.

University Courses Outside Japan

(English) Courses in Japan

Courses around the World

History of Manga Courses

If you’re looking for screentones, please try Screentones for Manga Artists Outside Japan page.

Screentones for Manga Artists Outside of Japan

screentones_header

Screentones for Manga Artists Outside of Japan

“Where do you get screen tones if you’re outside of Japan?” 

If you want to make manga the traditional way by cutting screentones and applying them directly to your drawings, you can find some online, but they’ll be a bit pricey. It’s better to go to a Japanese district if you’re near one and find a bookstore. Otherwise, you can go online and order them.

If you’re more of a digital artist, you can use a computer program to make the screentones. The most common programs are Manga Studio ($80) and Photoshop ($699). (If you go to an anime convention, you’ll always see a Manga Studio booth with discounted versions available. If you don’t have this program and you’re on a time crunch, just download the trial versions.) You can also download  free screentone packs from other artists like the Screentone Society on Deviant ArtAshura’s Screentone Depot, OrneryJen’s screentone page, Psychobob’s screentones (password: psychobob), Shounen Ai Go’s screentones (old), or Jason Tucker’s “Screentones” page. The only bad side to using purely digital screentones in manga is that sometimes the tone looks too digital, too clean. Some ways to get around that is to scan a few physical screentones and use them when the manga looks off after toning.

Here’s a video on how to do digital screentoning on Photoshop (new and old versions of Photoshop are applicable):

If you want the best of both worlds–the traditional way of making manga with the digital ease–you can print screentones on transparent paper and apply them to the physical manga (again, you can download some screentones from DeviantArt). You can also scan the physical screentone to your computer, define a block of it as a pattern in Photoshop, and use it (Edit>Fill>Pattern) after selecting the area you want toned.

If you’re skilled with a pen, you can also use carefully planned hatchbacking and pointillism, but it won’t look so professional (just more artsy).

Hope this helps with your manga dreams!

Also, please read former Prince of Tennis manga assistant Jamie Lynn Lano’s (http://www.jamieism.com) posts and theshazerin’s (http://theshazerin.deviantart.com/) post about manga supplies.

Need more inspiration? Check out these manga with Renta! that use many different screentones, but really pay attention to the softer tones!

Rentascreentones

Check out Renta! manga for screentone inspiration!

Bonus

If you don’t know how to apply traditional screentones to your manga, here’s a tutorial from Manga University.

mangapens1

If you’re looking for pens to ink your manga that will suit your budget, please read this post (Manga Pens for Manga Artists Outside Japan) comparing Japanese manga pens and their prices from online shops.

For Emerging Manga-ka: Technique Book Recommendation

One thing I like about living in Japan: I can read Japanese manga technique books for free. The book I picked up from the school library was Tokyo Institute of Animators’s 思いいどおりのキャラが描けるテクニックBOOK, or Character Technique Book (literally “techniques so that one can draw the expected character”).

Character Technique Book is a 単行本, or tankoubon, meaning “special volume” usually from a series of lectures.

This book’s best aspect: showing how to draw people, weapons, animals, and places from the preliminary sketches to the finished product. Even how to color pictures (digitally and traditionally) is outlined. For all emerging comic artists (and those who can read Japanese), I would recommend this book.

There are also other technique books like this such as Cool Male Characters Technique Book (loose translation of カッコいい男のキャラの描けるテクニックBOOK) and Cute Girl Characters Technique Book (loose translation of かわいい女のキャラの描けるBOOK).

Character Technique Book is available for 1050 yen on Japan’s Amazon website. You can also find this book as How to Draw Manga Character Background Technique Book on Amazon.com for $33.18.