I've been watching Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun and I was surprised at the range of different things that were involved in the process of making a manga - like inking and cutting out sparkles to stick on the pages.

enter image description here

Nozaki-kun also has a load of different numbered pens on his desk. I presume at least one of them is a "G-Pen", which I have heard a lot of, but am not entirely sure what it is... and there are things that look like film canisters...

enter image description here

I was hoping A&M could help to explain the steps and tools that mangakas go through when making their manga and ideally, the order of those steps as well.

Note: I'm not asking for how I can do it myself, just the process that they go through on a high level.

  • 2
    Nozaki's process is probably a bit outdated, both to have more things for assistants to do and as a reflection of when the author herself was starting her career (about 10 years ago, give or take). Sep 10, 2014 at 22:26

2 Answers 2


Interesting question... I searched it up on different websites. This how I found out!

Choosing the theme

Before anything is done the theme or story is chosen. An idea is needed - What is the genre? What should the Manga tell the reader? etc.

All these things have to be done at first before the drawing is starting. If an existing anime is converted into a manga it will be easier - because this information is already there.

The Plot

If the general idea of the manga is decided on, it is time to think about the plot. At this step it is important to ensure that the manga does not run outside of the theme and the dimension is observed.

The main events and the story flow is created. The plot is written in a simple form like:

  • Little Red Riding Hood is visiting her grandmother who's living in another village
  • She's courted by a wolf along the way
  • The wolf ran and reached the grandma's house before Little Red Riding Hood
  • The wolf ate the old lady, he put on her dress and lying on the bed, waiting for Little Red Riding Hood's arrival
  • Little Red Riding Hood arrived and was being tricked by the wolf
  • Wolf is ready to eat Little Red Riding Hood, a woodcutter passed by and rushed in for rescue
  • The end

This is a very simple plot. A plot for a professional manga is a bit longer and contains much more information. But this is not everything - You would also write down some notes about where these events are happening. Also little side notes are made to remember everything.

Mostly mangakas also write a number at the left side of the plot and mark the page where this part is drawn.

Character Design

Yahoo~ This is the fun part! The story is finished and now we can concentrate on the character design.

Now you make some examples of your characters. Not only what they looks like - it is very important to write down the characteristics of you character also. Age, size, maybe favourite colour - everything is important information.

The clothing is also significant. One design is chosen, based on the character, and this design has to go through the whole manga.

(Although sometimes the characteristics and clothing of a character could change in the course of the story)


For this part you only use pencil and a eraser (and your head). Some like mechanical pencils and some like traditional pencils, it depends on the mangaka.


After that, you can start with the pages. What will they look like? At the beginning you just draw a rough sketch on a paper to get a idea of how it will look.

Then, you draw everything on the actual paper. First you draw the panels, mostly with a ruler. Then the panels get filled with the characters, speech bubbles and a background (place).


At this moment it is not important to draw clean or anything. The clean drawing is made later. The borderline is important also called the bleed (the small frame at the outside of the paper). It is need for the print you should not draw on it. It is also a little bit of a margin so the page looks better.

The sketch is also made with pencil and eraser. Sometimes also special rulers like a French curve are used.


This is a hard and sometimes irritating process. If you make a mistake you have to redraw the the page again from the sketch on.

At this part the sketch gets "redrawn" but with a clean line and with - mostly black - ink. The artist is drawing over the pencil line and at the end he erease the sketch. Also a little bit of shading is done.

The so called G-Pen is a sign spring. With it you are able to control the size of the line by pressing it harder or softer down on the paper. This is one of the most used sign spring for mangakas.


If you have a coloured manga you only draw the outline without the shadows and dark hair. Later you paint it with alcohol markers. One of the most well known markers are copic markers.

Here a little picture from a image that is drawn with such markers (Letraset markers).

Alcohol Markers

from deviantart drawn by Mistiqarts

A thing that for both is used is white out. It is used for highlights. This could be in a pen or in a bottle and you draw with a brush.

Computer Editing

After the page is inked it gets scanned and edited on a pc. The artist cleans it up with a Photo-editing program. This is mostly made with a tablet. Wacom is a good brand for such tablets.

When the page is clean, patterns are added. These patterns are added for shadows and explosions. The pattern could be crossed lines or dots or whatever.

The software that is used depends on what the mangaka like. There are many different ones. I would guess that Photoshop is one of the most used.

Keep in mind that today some mangas are only drawn on computers without the inking stage. But the pencil sketching is mostly still done.

If you only draw on a pc there is other software used like Manga Studio. With that you are able to design the whole page including the layout and panels. It also has awesome functions to be able to draw in a perspective.

This was the first page.


After you have finished all pages. The whole manga gets printed and published. I will stop here because the way of creating a manga is ending here.

Pictures and most information from mangakasjournal blog. More information from the Manga Workshop and HubPages.

  • so for inking you draw a completely new one? I thought that you just coloured the old sketch in Aug 27, 2014 at 22:05
  • 1
    @ToshinouKyouko No you draw over the pancil lines. Thats why the redrawn is under ". You do not really draw from new. I fix that! I also answerd what a G-Pen is under the inking seciton.
    – Gerret
    Aug 28, 2014 at 11:03
  • 1
    @ToshinouKyouko np and thx :3 To give you a hint about the other tools. The pens in there could be pens with ink in it in diffrent sizes. They do not have a sign spring. In the film canister is probably ink for these pens. The big bluish pen with the white cap is probably whiteout. I am not sure about this so I do not want to write that in the answer. I just provide it here for you.
    – Gerret
    Aug 28, 2014 at 11:22

Following are the standard steps that a Mangaka usually go throw to make a professional Manga.

  1. Storyboard
  2. Pencil Sketch
  3. Inking
  4. Computer Editing

At first plot or story is required to start.


Before anything gets written in stone, an idea must first exist. This is where the storyboard comes into play. A rough sketch of the story is sketched on the page. The page layout begins to take rough form. Speech bubbles, panels, and characters are added to the sketch. Panels are the divider lines between each picture. Paneling can prove to be a as challenging of an experience as the actual drawing. This step takes the longest because trying to come up with the poses and position of the page is very difficult.

Then drawing start. Here only pencil sketch are drawn.

Pencil Sketch

The pencil sketch is a vital step of any comic. The sketch is usually drawn using the type of pencil the artist is most comfortable with. The lead number or darkness doesn't matter because this will get erased later during the inking. If the pencil sketch is poor, then the final product will most likely be poor as well. The pencil sketch may be laid over the storyboard sketch or drawn out on a different piece of paper.

I would show a pencil sketch for the picture below.

enter image description here

Another step is inking. It is one of the essential part of manga.


Inking the comic is almost essential. The only exception would be if the artist chose to use a dark permanent lead pencil. Inking is basically tracing. The goal of inking is to get smooth, dark, “printer friendly” lines. The pencil drawing underneath is erased and only the ink will remain. If inking is sloppy, then the next step takes a lot longer to finish.


The last step is conducted using computer software like Photoshop and other picture editing tools to clean up line art and make sure it looks professional.

Computer Editing

After the inking, the picture is then scanned into the computer and edited with an editing program. The editing program is obviously up to the artist but some popular ones are Manga Studio and Photoshop. Photoshop is very powerful but has a bigger learning curve than Manga Studio. Before any effects are ever added, the artist touches up the artwork to get it as clean as possible. Once he/she is happy with the comic thus far, effects can be added. Effects can be added by using screen tones. Screen tones can be purchased as a physical product or can be added digitally. (If purchased as an actual product, adding them would occur in a step in between inking and computer editing).

After completion

So these are the basic steps. Source

This will help with a bit more information if you were interested to start from scratch.


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