Shaenon K. Garrity (shaenon) wrote,
Shaenon K. Garrity

New Smithson!

Woo hoo!

I forgot to mention this last week, but Kate Miniver of "Miniver's Minstrels," the DJ who precedes Scooter in the late-night lineup, will actually appear one of these days. Gotta have some Ren Faire folks in there.

In other news...what's this? A photo of an attractive man with a comic book?

You don't normally see that on LJ unless you've got Dean Haspiel on your friends list. Yes, it's my significant other, Andrew Farago, reading the new Marvel Holiday Special, featuring a four-pager written by the two of us and drawn by Ron Lim, Happiest Man in Comics. Available at finer comic-book retailers now! Also keep an eye out for the Marvel Holiday Special Digest, collecting stories from past Holiday Specials, including one from last year written by me and drawn by Roger Langridge.

In Narbonic news, eight panels of the final strip are now finished! Awesome!

Okay, on to this week's Overlooked Manga Festival!

How many times has this happened to you? You want to learn more about Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and CEO who was the second richest man in America before pledging earlier this year to give 85% of his wealth to charity. But you also want to read manga. What do you do? What do you do?


Yes, this is exactly what it looks like: a manga biography of Warren Buffett. It belongs to a genre not often published in English: business manga, designed as light reading for busy executives. It's the sort of thing you might buy to read on a flight to a business meeting, the manga answer to Who Moved My Cheese? The one example American readers may be familiar with is the Project X series, famous in hipster circles for its second volume, about the history of Cup Noodle. But I'm going to let you in on a secret: Warren Buffett manga beats Cup Noodle manga.


The manga story of Warren Buffett is a true Campbellian hero's journey, starting with a portentous birth:

Growing up as the son of a struggling stockbroker, Buffett develops an interest in investment. A passionate interest, if the manga is to be believed. I keep expecting Manga Buffett to break out into verse.

Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne:

Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold:
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;

Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
He stared at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise—
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.

I just love those screentone hearts. So. Excellent.

Soon, the eagle-eyed young investor is buying up stocks, cornering controlling shares, and becoming a major player in the world of finance.

Then comes the most terrifying moment in Buffett's career: an encounter with fan-favorite X-Men artist and human trainwreck John Byrne!

Just kidding; it's an entirely different John Byrne, of course. I don't have any more details because the X-Men John Byrne is the only one with a Wikipedia entry, which he keeps deleting.

Buffett survives the conflict and moves on to greater and greater achievements, until we reach today, an age when all Americans lionize Warren Buffett and look to him as their hero and spiritual guide.

Sadly, the manga was published in 2003, so it doesn't include Buffett's recent record-setting philanthropy. It's a real shame, because the only thing awesomer than Manga Warren Buffett would be Manga Warren Buffett meeting Manga Bill Gates and Manga Bono. I'm tearing up as I type this, thinking of what could have been.

Anyway. This book is clearly aimed at executive types, interspersing stories from Buffett's career with "Buffett's Rules for Success."

It's aimed at executives here in the US, too; the publisher is venerable nonfiction book publisher John Wiley & Sons, which positions this one-volume manga alongside its many other books about Warren Buffett. Unfortunately, it's pretty obvious from the clumsy FX touchup and extensive use of Comic Sans MS that John Wiley doesn't have much experience publishing manga. But, hey, it's readable, which is more than you can say for a lot of ADV Manga titles. (Oh, burn.)

Ayano Morio's artwork is crude and sometimes downright amateurish--even I draw better doorways than that--but strangely charming. I can't find any information on her online, but my good friend Jason Thompson thinks she may be a josei (women's) manga artist, and her work does have the stiff-but-appealing quality you see in a lot of josei. It's hard to get upset at her when she makes Manga Buffett look so cute and perky all the time.

So I'm recommending Warren Buffett, an exceptional business manga and a weird, weird read. We all need to learn more about investing, anyway.

Previous Overlooked Manga Festivities:
Please Save My Earth
From Eroica with Love
Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga
Dr. Slump
Your and My Secret
Wild Act
Knights of the Zodiac
The Drifting Classroom
OMF Special Event: Manga Editors Recommend Manga, Part 1
OMF Special Event: Manga Editors Recommend Manga, Part 2
OMF Special Event: Manga Editors Recommend Manga, Part 3
OMF Special Event: Great Moments in Manga Baking
Shout Out Loud
Tags: overlooked manga festival, smithson
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