Where ever you are in your manga art journey, do not sleep on this gorgeous pair of illustration books from the manga series Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida. I have found them inspiring and they are a joy to look through.
These books came into my life as I, begrudgingly, opened up to the idea of creating digital art and, gasp, using a drawing tablet. I mention this because Sui Ishida suggested that he had started using a tablet at the beginning of Tokyo Ghoul, which became a beacon for me as I started my new journey. After warming up to drawing on a screen, I began experimented with painting techniques, these books became a great inspiration, guide and comfort. Before wading into sequential art I was a painter, the way these books showcase Sui Ishida's painting techniques delights me, and show his growth fantastically. Many of the illustrations are accompanied by dates, so we get to walk along the timeline as his illustrations go from fairly standard manga fare, to a unique and dynamic, illustrative but impressionistic and abstract style. I enjoyed getting a little insight into his thoughts and, especially at the beginning, the struggle to adapt to both the tablet and crushing deadlines of penning such a popular series. Thankfully for us, he persevered and we can watch these slightly abstract illustrations blossom in the second series, Tokyo Ghoul: Re.
What is this again?
Illustration Book 1 : Zakki
Illustration Book 2 : Re:Zakki
Should I get one though?
Ultimately if you must pick one, I would suggest Re: Zakki, it’s a beautiful book and spoke to me as both a painter and someone newly enticed (tricked?) into using a digital tablet. I could gush endlessly about this book, it cheered me up at the end of 2020 while in lockdown hell, so I may be biased.
It is, however, worth getting the first Zakki too if you can spare $25. Seeing san artists growth and development can be a suggestive guide on one's own path. Seeing art grow is always fun and the two books work well together.