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VOYAManga Mania Bishoujo serves as a fine primer for anyone who does not quite "get" manga. Showing how to draw the pretty manga girls known as bishoujo, the book includes a fine explanation of how line is used to indicate emotion through body language and facial features. A kind of visual literacy is required to understand manga and looking at the format from a creationist perspective allows deconstruction as well, giving the casual reader a deeper understanding of the format and its genres. Although Bishoujo focuses exclusively on the female form, the illustrations are more flirtatiously captivating than provocatively sexy. In Drawing Cutting Edge: Fusion, Hart examines the new breed of American independent and traditional superhero comics that borrow from the manga style to create hybrid characters with the bigger eyes, fluid hair, angular faces, and active poses popularized in Japanese comics. Juxtaposed images demonstrate the subtle changes that improve composition of a scene or define a character or action to further the plot. Both books employ a "just three steps" drawing technique: First a basic and simple blueprint using geometric shapes and proportion; second, lines to connect and smooth; and third, details to finish the drawing. Hart gives general tips that the budding artist can apply to any type of figure drawing, then specifics for the genre. Bishoujo offers color suggestions, whereas Fusion has more full-color pages. Special attention is given to the eyes, mouth, and hair in Bishoujo, while hands and silhouettes are featured in Fusion, which also stresses anatomy and muscle movement, whereas angles and perspective are featured inBishoujo. Comic book archetypes such as the ingTnue (schoolgirl), villain, and seductress are highlighted. Fusion pays attention to aging characters, but neither book covers ethnicity or body types other than physically fit. Each volume concludes with a showcase on fantastic characters and special effects, and a one-page index. These are complementary volumes, sure to be popular with young artists. If a library's budget only allows for the purchase of one, keep in mind that manga accounts for more book sales than traditional comics, and Bishoujo will be the more popular choice in most libraries. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2005, Watson-Guptil, 144p.; Index. Illus., Trade pb. Ages 11 to 18.