The late '90s and early '00s were one of the largest booms of popularity for anime in the West, with shows like Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon and Sailor Moon becoming eternal icons for millions of young people. The standard anime and manga aesthetic become just as popular, too, with many budding artists of the era becoming inspired by the distinctive looks of these shows.
Jumping off of the medium's popularity was the How to Draw Manga art book from Scholastic in the early '00s. This art book taught a generation how to put pencil to paper like the best manga pros, and it still resonates with the children of the '90s. Recently, Twitter's #HowToDrawMangaRedraw challenge has not only inspired the same creativity as the original book but also drawn a few words out of the book's original artist.
the ultimate challenge redraw him in your art style pic.twitter.com/K9sFSZN6zy— TAHK0 ☕️ (@TAHK0) April 8, 2021
The challenge began almost two weeks ago on Twitter, with the original premise challenging artists to redraw the character from the cover of the original edition of How to Draw Manga in their own style. The idea was that the book was the beginning of many people's artistic journeys, putting them on the path to not only like anime and manga, but also become artists themselves. It quickly received several replies, many of which basked in the nostalgia that they felt for the original books. Others responded with takes on other characters from the book, and the hashtag for the challenge quickly rose to over 6,000 in a matter of hours.
It's very similar to the recent #SailorMoonRedraw challenge on the same platform, for which various artists recreated the many Sailor Scouts via their own particular style, too. This newest challenge's success on Twitter soon attracted none other than Katy Coope, the artist for the original Scholastic classic.
Me: Don’t do it don’t do it you’re rusty af and everyone is the tag is so good and they’ll find you rip you apart oh god— KT Coope 🐝🇪🇺 (@kilotango) April 11, 2021
Me: Yes, but, the sheer meme power though?
Hi #HowToDrawMangaRedraw. It's me. I'm late to this kinda overwhelming hashtag but while you're here, thread time: pic.twitter.com/eC4zMgd451
The book's original version was printed in 2002, with the artist attempting to train young draftsmen to be like Katy Coope. She was actually only 16-years-old at the time and had been publishing her own artwork online. Upon discovering the Twitter hashtag and supplying her own redrawn work, she gave a theretofore unknown backstory on how the book came to be. According to Coope, she was asked by a small publisher about creating a 'How To' book on manga drawing due to the fact that her art was relatively tame compared to some of the edgier-inspired anime works out there.
This helped the book release to a relatively quiet audience, especially in the U.K., but it's still held in a dear -- if sometimes infamous -- regard to many artists and manga fans. Coope would go on to produce another manga drawing book more recently, showing the evolution of her style from when she was still a child. With anime and manga more popular than ever now, books and art challenges like these will likely see a whole new generation of aspiring manga and comic creators coming into their own.