Time for another edition of the PC Weenies Mailbag, where I answer the questions you ask. Think of it as a letter column, to use comic book parlance.
This week, I received a note from reader Matt Mesarch, who said:
Earlier this year you answered some basic questions I had regarding whether you’d recommend Manga Studio or Sketchbook Pro. Thank you again for answering my questions – I think I may get Manga Studio.
I was hoping you wouldn’t mind answering a few more questions:
- Can I use a traditional laptop mouse with Manga Studio? Or do I absolutely need to get a graphics tablet?
- Is there a graphics tablet you could recommend? I’m looking for something that is at a reasonable price but with good functionality/versatility. And something that would be easy for a beginner to use.
- Have you come across any good books on Manga Studio?
- I recently saw a book called The DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics that looked interesting. It seemed to focus on Photoshop, but I didn’t know if any of the techniques would parallel techniques used in Manga Studio. Is it worth reading if I plan to use Manga Studio?
- I also saw a book called Mastering Manga Studio 5 – have you ever read that one?
I appreciate any advice you can provide!
Great questions, Matt! Let’s tackle them one by one.
- If you are using any type of digital drawing software, I strongly recommend buying a tablet. Drawing with the mouse is possible, but incredibly frustrating – not to mention totally unnatural.
- A starter tablet like the Wacom Intuos is a good first choice (it retails for $99 for the small version and $199 for the medium version). Companies like Monoprice sell tablets that are affordable ($49) and work well. (See Ray Frenden’s review).
- I have not personally reviewed or read any Manga Studio books, but one should be coming in… see my answer to question 5.
- I have the DC Comics Guide to Digitally Drawing Comics. While the techniques covered in that book utilize Photoshop, the process can be adapted easily for Manga Studio. There’s much more to the book than Photoshop techniques, so it’s well worth it just to gain insight into the various pipelines (analog / digital) utilized by many artists today.
- I should be receiving a copy of Mastering Manga Studio 5 in the mail soon. I’ll share my thoughts once I’ve had some time to digest the material.
Hope that helps! Got a question for the mailbag? Let me have it!