Manga Martial Arts by David Okum

(8.5/10)

If you have ever watched Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan kicking their way out of tricky situations, you might have wondered how they managed to do it. Similarly, those who like manga art and getting to grips with its finer points won't be expecting this book. Manga Martial Arts explores the differences between the martial arts techniques from around the world. It boasts of "over 50 basic lessons for drawing the world's most popular fighting styles," and keeps its promise. Expect to find all you need in here to learn how to draw action-packed sequential art that could have yours looking like it's been drawn by a pro at the end of course.

At the beginning, David mentions that the majority of martial arts manga looks as though it wouldn't have any place in real life as most use it along with some kind of magic, whereas the true fighting style gets forgotten. Take the popular series Naruto for example, if the creator had not taken the martial arts training of his character seriously, they would have only used their magical powers. This is, in his view how some manga lose their plot. If you think about it, a lot of fighting techniques have been taken from observing the fights of animals such as birds, apes and monkeys.

These 50 basic lessons are spread over a wide variety of chapters; starting with a beginners lesson on the stances you will be drawing throughout to book in one way or another. First up is Aikido, then Boxing, Capoeira, Judo, Karate, Kickboxing, Kung-fu, Ninjitsu, Tae Kwon Do and Wire Fu. Each chapter takes your through the basic stances, equipment and outfits, and the key moves you will all need to know if you are going to create any full length martial arts manga come to life. There is even a short chapter at the end of the book that shows you how to create your own martial arts manga novel panels.

David Okum has taken all the knowledge he has acquired over the years and put it into this book that teaches teens or adults manga art who want to enjoy the feeling of creating your own work.

Author and artist David Okum has had a varied career as a freelance artist and illustrator, starting in 1984, having his work published in a Ninja High School anthology by Antarctic Press. He has continued to work with them on two other anthologies as well as him writing and publishing six role-playing books by Guardians of Order. He has also had published Manga Madness, Superhero Madness, Manga Monsters Madness, and Manga Fantasy Madness by IMPACT/North Light Books. Other than this he has illustrated graphic novels for Scholastic and has a keen interest in all things martial arts with his family.

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