How to Make A Manga Cover

By Michael Monet

Things Needed

  • Tracing paper
  • Sketch paper
  • Pencil
  • Coloring pens and pencils
  • Scanner
  • Drawing software
  • Printer
  • High-gloss paper
Manga is a popular Japanese comic style.

Manga is the Japanese word for "comics," but Manga comics exist in a genre of their own. The characters, landscapes and story lines of Manga comics are emotional, adventurous and highly stylized. To create your own professional looking Manga cover at home, all you need is a scanner, a computer and a printer. If you practice drawing Manga characters by tracing, you will be a natural at it in no time.

Study the technique of classic Manga artists, such as Osama Tezuka, who uses a variety of traditional and innovative drawing styles. Get used to creating the body shape and different emotions for Manga characters in professional comics. Lay a sheet of tracing paper over different characters and landscapes and spend a day practicing by tracing.

Layout the design for your Manga cover. Block the characters and landscape with a rough trace. Make sure everything you want to include on the cover will fit attractively within the available space.

Perform another tracing warm up before drawing your cover. Draw the outline of your characters first, then place the outline of the landscape around the characters.

Fill in details with a pencil. Draw the large, emotional eyes, the angular hair and the pronounced muscle and contour of the bodies. Draw the clothing details and the details of the landscape, such as the skyline and the details on the buildings and cars.

Shade your characters and landscapes in the Manga tradition. Study the lighting effects on a professional Manga. Shade with your pencil to make characters and objects appear three dimensional.

Color your cover with coloring pens and pencils. Use pens to produce a brighter coloring effect. Use pencils to define and blend.

Scan the image onto your computer. Lay the image face down on the scanner and press “Scan.” The picture will appear on your computer screen.

Manipulate the image using the drawing or photo software on your computer. Change the color and lighting effects using the options on the toolbar.

Save the image. If you dislike the way the image appears when printed, you will have the original saved on your computer and you will be able to change it again.

Print the image on regular computer paper to assess whether or not you like the colors. If you are satisfied, print the image on high-gloss paper.

Tip

Draw and print the pages to your own Manga comic in the same fashion. Bind the pages at a copy and print store or at home using a hole punch, and a needle and thread.

About the Author

Michael Monet has been writing professionally since 2006. At the San Francisco School of the Arts, he studied under writers Octavio Solis and Michelle Tea, performed his work in Bay Area theaters and was published in literary journals such as "Paradox," "Umlaut" and "Transfer." Monet also studied creative writing at Eugene Lang College in New York and Mills College in Oakland.