book: manga cross-stitch

by kath_red on November 20, 2009

in Books, Features, Geek Crafts

Manga Cross-Stitch: Make Your Own Graphic Art Needlework by Helen McCarthy. Andrews McMeel Publishing; Har/Cdr edition (August 1, 2009).

‘Stitchers often get stereotyped as middle-aged ladies in cardigans, anime and manga fans as geeky teenage misfits. Both stereotypes are equally inaccurate – because both groups are just people who love beautiful things and want to create and enjoy beauty in their own way.’ Helen McCarthy

With a compelling voice, Helen McCarthy, reaches out to those with a curiosity for everything Manga and needlework. McCarthy is a well known writer and speaker on Japanese animation and comics and with her other love of historic and fantasy costume and embroidery designs – it wasn’t long before these two loves would meet in the middle.

She has done a fine job with this authentic manga design book – with short engaging passages that contextualize the manga aesthetic, along with instructions on how to use the included CD/DVD – where you can find all the customisable and printable charts – McCarthy also has included instructions on how to make your own cross-stitch charts based on your favourite character – using the included software found on the DVD.

(Needless to say this book is just as thorough in learning how to cross-stitch as how to design – with the basics covered – thread, materials, charts, there are also good close up photos of how to stitch.) But really this books main feature is its dedication to helping you design your own cross-stitch patterns – and the manga – its all about the manga really – who and what are these kawaii characters / cyber beings / heroes + villains / samurai + ronin / monsters … and more fantastic run down on these character types – how to add in text + special effects, change the texture and tone, and how to change the facial features to give different expressions – this is better than many ‘how to draw manga’ books that are so popular with kids these days.

The readership will not be confined to needle-workers or manga fans but to anyone who wishes to be creatively guided and engaged.

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