Naoki Urasawa is a japanese manga artist and manga teacher known mostly for his long running comic books Monster and 20th Century Boys. I really love his style but what really draws me into his work is the incredible quality of the scripts. He has been translated into many languages and also adapted into anime, movies and what not. He is like a manga superstar now and every new work by him is always an important event.
Manben is an artbook showcasing his illustration work and also some of his comic book work. It was published in 2008 by Shogakukan. It is a pretty nice hardcover, 200+ pages book where we can find lots of stuff. Not only art, also photographs, interviews, and even a copy of a manga Urasawa did when he was young.
The book follows Urasawa career, from the very beginning right up to Pluto, so it covers a lot of ground. You will find art, illustrations, designs, sketches, enlarged panels, etc, from all his manga, including Yawara, Happy!, Master Keaton, etc. You can see a hint of Moebius here, some Otomo there, but always with that nice personality Urasawa imprints in all his works. Quality of the printing and paper is up to usual japanese standards, which is quite high.
Pictures of artist´s studios are always fascinating and here you have quite a lot of Urasawa´s workplace. You can easily spend a few hours just trying to find out what manga and books are filling his shelves.
I had no idea that this book existed so when I found it in Tokyo it was both a surprise and an instant purchase. It was 3000 yen, which is not bad at all, so if you like Urasawa I am sure you will do the right thing. The book is all in japanese, but there is not so much text. Also it has been published in France by Paninni, so you can get it from there too. Absolutely recommended.