Regular readers of ABR will know of my allergy to pocket-size books. This is art, fer goodness sake, make it big so we can see it, will you! Small is NOT beautiful, it’s hard to see and you have to force the pages back till your hands hurt in order to see them. The pages, not your hands, don’t get smart with me when I’m having a rant, it makes me angry.
However, just once in a while something comes along that doesn’t just float my boat, it launches a whole navy, kersplash, all at once. And these little books are one of those things. No, they shouldn’t work and, yes, at a fiver a pop, they are expensive, but what they do, really rather neatly, is offer you a single idea on a spread. Nothing so very unusual in that, I’ll grant you, but this is minimalism taken to its absolute limit and it really is just one thing, not even a whole concept. I like that. I like that you can have just Men’s Jeans or The Female Mouth just on their own. In fact, I’d recommend Manga Tips to anyone who wants to draw the human figure because it’s full of basic ideas (like the more comprehensive and better value Mega Manga). The other one that comes at the same time is Mecha Manga, which is more specialised, concentrating on that I take to be robot figures you can’t do without. Both books are arranged by category, so finding things is very easy, though flicking through and trusting to serendipity is a good approach too.
Like I said, a fiver’s a lot for a tiny book, but it’s not a fiver wasted, I’d also say. And I don’t say it often.