How to make a manga: 10 steps (with pictures)

How to make a manga: 10 steps (with pictures)
How to make a manga: 10 steps (with pictures)

Manga are comics from Japan. Unlike Franco-Belgian comics or American comics, they have their own aesthetic codes, such as their typical large expressive eyes. But drawing or creating a manga is an art form that takes persistence and imagination.


Make Manga Step 1

Step 1. Observe and research manga

Learn about the different types, such as Shônen, Shôjo and what is the difference between the two. Understand the techniques used. Research the industry too to help you get published. However, this article will also give you some tips for getting published.

Make Manga Step 2

Step 2. Learn to draw

A manga tells a story via drawings and your story may be a bit limited if your characters are drawn with just a few sticks. Using your knowledge of the different styles of manga, develop a personal style instead of sticking to stereotypes of manga. If you can't draw, find an artist, but you have to be an excellent writer to have any chance of finding a good artist.

Make Manga Step 3

Step 3. Write a script

As with any story, you're going to have to plan things well. Know exactly what's going to happen in your story, visualize it in your head like it's a movie or a cartoon before you write it. If you are working with an artist, you will need to give them a vivid and precise description or a basic storyboard so that they can understand the script.

Make Manga Step 4

Step 4. Make the basics of the manga

While you were writing the script you had to know exactly what the manga was going to look like, but if not, draw boxes and sketches on the paper to represent the characters. If you are working with an artist, ask them if they want to do it or if they prefer you to do it. For now, since you haven't added the details, it doesn't matter if the artist doesn't quite understand the script yet and is wrong somewhere, since you can correct them or ask them to change a few. stuff without destroying all the work. Don't add speech bubbles yet.

Make Manga Step 5

Step 5. Complete with details

Bring the characters to life, transform your project into a work of art. If you are working with an artist, give them this part of the job. Still don't add the speech bubbles.

Make Manga Step 6

Step 6. Scan the pages

If something is wrong or you forgot to add something, then you got it wrong somewhere.

Make Manga Step 7

Step 7. Clean the line-art

Using image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or GIMP, clean up the line art and make sure it looks professional. Having a graphics tablet would be a great idea to do this step, as tablets allow you to edit anything with as much precision as a pencil. Again, leave that to the artist if he has some graphic design experience.

Make Manga Step 8

Step 8. Colorize and add shadows (optional)

If you're planning on doing a lot of manga every week, you probably won't feel like coloring them, but a one-shot or graphic novel would be good in color.

Make Manga Step 9

Step 9. Add text bubbles and effects using photo editing software

Make something neat and don't add unnecessary effects or colors to your speech bubbles. If you're working with an artist, you might want them to do more complicated effects, but anyone can do simple speech bubbles.

Make Manga Step 10

Step 10. Try to get published using one of the following methods

  • If you want to take the simpler route, use a site like and publish it as a free webcomic, but you will only be able to make money through donations or merchandising - not the best idea in the world though. you want to become a full time manga artist.
  • Find a publisher in your own country. If this is your first manga, this is definitely the way to go. You might think it wouldn't sell since it's not Japanese, but given the growing popularity of manga around the world, you might have some surprises.
  • If you're determined to get released in Japan, however, be prepared for persistence and disappointment. Becoming a mangaka in Japan is not an easy thing to do, especially if you are not Japanese, however, it is not impossible. Try to take part in contests offered in magazines. It's the easiest way to market yourself in the manga industry.


  • When selecting a storyline, always think about the different genres. First select an audience. For example, if you are writing for young boys, your story will need to have lots of action scenes and cool characters. If you're writing for young girls, you need something more serene and cute. Don't limit yourself with gender stereotypes, but be careful when you mix them up. Putting unrelated aliens in a love story is going to sound a bit strange, but if they are necessary for the story like in Kashimashi, don't hesitate.
  • Creating a character is fun and you should take a moment to figure out what kind of character it will be. Be creative and think carefully before creating the main character and supporting characters. Interweave the plot with the characters, but only add secondary characters if their presence is relevant to the story, such as the family of the main character.
  • Be aware of the limits. Don't make plots too long in each chapter, as they get boring (unless you add brawl scenes into the story). Don't add too much dialogue to the story either, as that tends to make things even more boring.
  • Try to post something in your own country. If you've never published anything at home, you run the risk of being refused by Japanese publishers.
  • You won't be able to just get a visa to work in Japan saying you want to be a mangaka, however, if you are between the ages of 18 and 27, you will be able to get a working holiday visa that will allow you to work in Japan for one year. If a publisher wants you, then you can apply for a real work visa. If you are too young or too old, you will need to build a contact list.
  • Try to strike a good balance between story and combat, as it will quickly get boring if you only focus on one or the other.


  • Avoid changing the script once you have started making the concrete images, especially if you are working with an artist.
  • The story is the most important. A manga that focuses on the graphics rather than the story will be a guaranteed failure.
  • If your work is rejected, it's not the end of the world. Ask what was wrong, fix the error, and try again.
  • Prepare to make very little money. Unless you post weekly, you might only get paid once or twice a year. If you have a family to take care of, only make manga in your spare time or after retirement unless your partner is up for a lot of work.

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