Manga Mania Fantasy Worlds, 2003

This was my third assignment from Chris Hart, author of two previous books I contributed to, Mecha Mania and Manga Mania Villains. Again, it’s a how-to-draw book for “Japanese manga style,” which is a term just loaded with baggage. But I’ve already beat that drum enough.

By the time Chris offered me this project, I was back to full employment making TV cartoons (my first Spider-Man show, in fact) and didn’t have a whole lot of need for freelance work. So I asked for a smaller slice of the pie to keep it from becoming stressful. Chris asked me to cover one chapter with 11 environmental drawings of a fantasy castle. It sounded like an RPG illustration assignment, so I was comfortable with it.

They ended up being quite detailed and satisfying. I’d spent the previous year working on my first Grease Monkey graphic novel and was really happy with how my inking skills had advanced, so this was another opportunity to take them for a spin.

I had loads of grievances with my previous Chris Hart projects, and only one this time. But it was a big one; it was another how-to-draw book, but you couldn’t learn how to draw anything from the chapter I worked on. There was descriptive text for what you see in the drawings, but no information about how they were drawn. It would have been a perfect opportunity to talk about scene composition and camera angles, but…nothin’ about any of that. Here’s a picture. Good luck decoding it.

It ended up being the last time I contributed to a Chris Hart book. I was just too busy with the day job and wanted to protect my evenings and weekends for my own projects. So I connected him with some other artists and I’m pretty sure they picked up where I left off. It’s always a good day when I can help talented people find a roost.

Below are all my drawings for this project. I was quite happy with the color, which was credited to MADA Design, Inc. Good stuff.

The pieces above and below did not appear in the book.

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