After writing about some classes for aspiring manga creators (Manga Courses for Aspiring Manga Creators), I got some emails about communities for aspiring manga creators. Here are a few communities to explore.
Manga Raiders (http://www.mangaraiders.com/): This forum-based community gives manga artists and writers a positive atmosphere to share their work “without having to face unnecessarily rude and disrespectful criticism on their work”.
Manga Workshop (http://mangaworkshop.net/): This forum website is for amateur manga writers and artists. It provides a directory of artists and collaborations.
DeviantArt (http://www.deviantart.com): If you’re not already on DeviantArt with your work, get on it! This is one of the hottest spots to share your art, get feedback from fellow artists, and find resources.
Manga Writers and Artist Creators Facebook Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/mangawriters/): Here’s another social media-based group for manga writers and artists. Join for free and try it!
Skillshare (http://www.skillshare.com): Want to see what other artists are learning? Take an online class or watch tutorial videos to perfect your art.
We Make Manga (http://www.wemakemanga.com/home): Take manga classes offered through University of Southern California and add in the internet and a group of artists, and you’ve got yourself a community of manga creators! Read useful and relevant articles and interviews, and look at the original art by students.
If there are any online communities I have missed, please comment below!
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
- Drawing Boot Camp offers drawing and illustration classes for free for kids.
- Illustrator and manga creator, Mark Crilley, has his own free online manga course at https://www.keenjar.com/stack/167-how-draw-manga/. Just watch the videos on any aspect of manga and try them out yourself.
- How to Bam is aimed at people wanting to become manga creators from the West. So far, they’re just free videos and information.
- The World Manga Academy has free seminars and classes for those interested in learning or teaching the art of manga creation. Their interactive website keeps up with your classes and learning history the same way an online school does.
- One magazine, Imagine FX (http://beta.imaginefx.com/), has online tutorials on how to color sketches and understand anatomy.
They also have an issue called How to Draw and Paint Manga on Issuu.com (you can also find many free art magazines). You can read it for free at http://issuu.com/riky1988/docs/how_to_draw_and_paint_manga.
- The Center for Cartoon Studies, also known as Cartoon Studios, offers Vermont-based workshops and classes, but for their free how-to guide for doing comics, download it or read it on Issuu here. You can also earn a Masters of Fine Arts in Cartooning.
- If you’re looking for how to draw specific things like monsters and anime characters, check out Paradise Manga‘s How to Draw Manga Course at http://paradisemanga.com/ga/how-to-draw-manga/how-to-draw-manga-course/ .
- The Deleter Manga Shop has a webpage on manga techniques in English at http://www.deleter.jp/eng/deleterclub/mangatechnique/index.html . While you’re there, you can also purchase Deleter-brand manga supplies (which are cheaper in my personal opinion). Check out the “Deals and Savings for Manga Artists” post.
- CourseHorse, an online hub for various classes in Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, has several listings for manga and cartooning classes. The prices include more than one class most of the time, but each class fills up fast. Find listings in Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago.
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, 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
- Beppu University Junior College offers a manga course in their Department of World Languages and Cultures. Check out the information here: http://www.beppu-u.ac.jp/general/files/2015英語版.pdf.
- Kobe Design University has a whole department devoted to the production of manga, the Department of Manga Media. Similar to any vocational art school, the curriculum for this course follows 3 years. For more details, please go to http://english.kobe-du.ac.jp/school-of-arts-and-design/department-of-manga-media/.
- Kyoto Seika University also has a Manga Production department with 4-year program in all things manga related. They also have courses in becoming a manga editor, manga critic, and assistant manga creator. For details, visit https://www.kyoto-seika.ac.jp/eng/edu/manga/mangaproduction/.
- Kudan Institute of Japanese Language and Culture offers a 1-month and 3-month program for learning how to make manga as well as learning Japanese. The cost is really high (over $1500 for the 1-month program), but it has a very realistic setting for aspiring manga creators for its short term. To look at the prices and course offerings (don’t mind the broken English), please go to http://www.kudan-japanese-school.com/en/manga_course.php . This site is great if you need Japanese fonts as well, which are hard to find for free and that work with your Japanese language settings. Update 12/8/2015 http://www.best-language-schools.com/pdf/1414685115778.pdf
- If you ever drop by or live in Nakano, there is a small manga school that’s run by an artist named Chika. Though there may be a language barrier, as Chika isn’t fluent in English, many of her students say she’s a good teacher who works through the obstacle. 3 days costs 12,624 yen. Check it out at https://www.govoyagin.com/activities/learn-how-to-draw-japanese-manga/1375.
- Tokie, an artist who’s lived in Osaka most of her life, does 1-hour manga classes for English and Svenska speakers in Japan. She picks up students at the train station and takes them to a sharehouse for lessons. To book her drawing lessons, go to https://www.govoyagin.com/activities/japan-osaka-simple-manga-drawing-lesson-get-your-manga-portrait/2735.
- Another manga school in Nakano is the Manga School Nakano with Nao Yazawa’s How to Draw Manga Course in English. It is a free course for foreigners living in Nakano. See the schedule at http://www.nakanomangaschool.jp/english.html.
- WAHAHA Japanese Language School also offers 2-week manga courses at various times throughout the year. To get a quote or more information, go to http://wahahanihongo.com/en/culture#manga.
- The Yokohama Design College has a 1- to 2-year program for manga with the goal for students to become cartoonists, assistants, and character designers. See their information in English here: (for manga) http://www.ydcjpn.ac.jp/eng/pro/manga.
- The Center for Study Abroad has an Animated Cartoon Drawing and Conversation Course under Japanese Manga and Language in Tokyo. This course is offered throughout the year in either 1-month-long courses (around $1345) or 3-month-long courses (around $3545). The prices don’t include housing (around $250-$350 per week), but academic credit is available, so if you’re looking to fulfill your Study Abroad credits, this might help. Though 2015-2016 info: http://www.centerforstudyabroad.com/japanese-manga-language-tokyo/.
Courses around the World
History of Manga Courses
If you’re looking for screentones, please try Screentones for Manga Artists Outside Japan page.