Review by Rio
Manga University I-C Background Collection Workbook #3 is the last of a 3-part book series. The subject this time around moves from crowded city streets to more domestic areas such as homes, stores, and parks. Much like the two previous books, the first half consists of various backgrounds in line art and in toned format with the latter half of the book presenting instructions. The intent of the book is for you to use the backgrounds in your manga, for toning practice, reference and learning which tones to use on what backgrounds and situations.
At the very beginning of the book is the glossary for those who are unfamiliar with the toning terms. It also includes a small picture example and explanation to help you understand the terms used later in the book. The rest of the book has 17 pages of backgrounds with two renditions of a background on one side and a blank page behind it to make sure nothing peeks through when using the image for a manga or when you are tracing it. It finishes with 11 pages of toning tips and tricks.
Some of the backgrounds in the book are of various homes from the streets point of view from houses, apartments, motel-like homes while the remainder are of a birds-eye view of a neighborhood, neighborhood shops from bookstores to grocery stores, and a couple of parks and a river-side view. As I mentioned before, one is a line art while the other is the same background but toned. The book recommends you use the line art for practice and photocopying because they say that a photocopy of the toned version may not come out accurately. The toned version is for your reference if you are planning on learning how to tone backgrounds.
The book has a notice at the introduction saying that the illustrations within the book can only be used for private, non-commercial use. They encourage you to copy, trace or cut out the images. With the way the book is made with it’s extra, over-sized format, it would be easy for you to do any of the three without much hassle though whether you’ll do the last suggestion is up to you.
This background collection is a short read, nudity-free, and good for any age group or skill level. Depending on your skill level, you may find it’s use for different reasons but some include using the backgrounds for your manga, learning how to tone, reference and toning practice. I mentioned this with the other two background collection workbooks, but just as they are hard to find at the original $7.99 price, this too is in the same situation. It’s up to you whether to spend the extra coin to purchase one of these but you can definitely hold onto this book for awhile for one reason or another.
Manga University I-C Background Collection Workbook #3: Japanese Neighborhoods
by Manga University
Introduction – How to Use this Workbook
Residential Streets/ Close-Ups of Houses
Advanced Techniques – Nighttime Scenes
Close-Ups of Houses/ Condiminiums
Condiminiums/ Apartment Buildings
Advanced Techniques – Complex and Simple Tone Selection
Residential Area – Bird’s Eye View
Retail Area Close-Ups
Advanced Techniques – Incorporating Characters Into Backgrounds
Bookstores/ City Parks
City Parks/ Along the River