How to Be a Manga Artist

Balthazar Pagani, Asuka Ozumi, Silvia Vanni, Fumio Obata

The ultimate guide for aspiring artists with a love of manga.

Presented in the style of a manga, this book takes readers through the complete creative and professional process of making manga, from spark of inspiration to publication.

Following How to Draw a Graphic Novel, Balthazar Pagani returns, joined by manga expert Asuka Ozumi, to demystify the process of creating manga, from the initial idea that morphs into a story to what it’s like to work in a professional manga studio.

Featuring the work of Italian manga illustrator Silvia Vanni and told from the point of view of two young manga fans, How to Be a Manga Artist delivers a blend of professional advice and practical tips to guide aspiring creators, including how to construct a compelling narrative, develop characters your readers will fall in love with, and the basics of printing, digital-file setup, and self-promotion.

How to Be a Manga Artist also includes a specially commissioned chapter by renowned Japanese illustrator Fumio Obata, who encourages readers to look beyond the aesthetics of manga and put themselves into the story, to develop a style that is entirely original and true to them. It also features biographies of famous manga artists, definitions of key Japanese terms, and a list of must-read cult classics.


Balthazar Pagani


Balthazar Pagani is the founder of WeAreBeside based in Milan. He produced the Graphic Lives series of graphic novels and is the author of How to Draw a Graphic Novel.

Asuka Ozumi


Asuka Ozumi is a Japanese translator, editorial consultant, and an expert on manga, based in Italy. She is a lecturer at the University of Turin.

Silvia Vanni

Illustrated By

Silvia Vanni is a comic artist and illustrator based in Italy. She is one of the very few European illustrators commissioned to draw manga for Japanese publishers.

Fumio Obata

Contributions By

Fumio Obata is a Japanese graphic novelist and illustrator based in London. He is the author of Just So Happens.