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Shaenon K. Garrity
This is where I write stuff.
New Smithson! 
7th-Dec-2006 08:26 pm
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
7th-Dec-2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. I so want the Warren Buffett manga. Who's the publisher?

I've read all of his Berkshire annual letters. No, I really have. And I'll tell you another of Mr. Buffett's rules for business success: don't waste money on web page design. If it was good enough in 1997, it's good enough now....*GRIN*
26th-Jun-2010 02:20 am (UTC)
Oh man, thank you for writing this.
7th-Dec-2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
Oh man. If my dad wasn't dying I'd buy this up for him in a snap. I have a feeling he would laugh, read it, and then learn something.
26th-Jun-2010 03:01 am (UTC)
I am really interested in this topic.
8th-Dec-2006 12:00 am (UTC)
That's feckin' awesome. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!
8th-Dec-2006 12:04 am (UTC)
Hey, Shaenon--

I wanted to drop you a line because the job I'm starting is going to be pretty much as a reporter on different nifty ways to use RSS and I was hoping at some point I can highlight Web Comics Nation, since it's a bit niftier than the run-of-the-mill blogging site.

I'll get you more info once I start the job, but lemme know if it's something that would appeal to you; I bet we could come up with some kind of cool tie-in.
8th-Dec-2006 08:19 am (UTC)

Sure, go for it. Just let me know what you need from me.
8th-Dec-2006 09:14 am (UTC)
Okay, awesome!

Basically, we're creating a product that lets people mess around with RSS on their mobile phones and my job is going to be cataloguing different sites and products and widgets that support RSS, and there will eventually be spotlights on cool sites and things.

I am starting next week so once I am actually doing the job I will have a much better idea of what it entails and I'll drop you more info.
(Deleted comment)
8th-Dec-2006 03:30 am (UTC)
Amazon has it

8th-Dec-2006 03:45 am (UTC)
I dunno. This doesn't exactly seem like the Japan, Inc. of its time.
16th-Jul-2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
They take its Twilight Princess look, but it doesn't seem like they'll be much different. Heh, one of the things I liked to do in Melee was get a bomb ready, throw it straight in the air, then immediatly grab my opponent and throw him right into the bomb.
17th-Oct-2008 04:42 am (UTC)
Heh, one of the things I liked to do in Melee was get a bomb ready, throw it straight in the air, then immediatly grab my opponent and throw him right into the bomb.
8th-Dec-2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
Damn, I thought this was Jimmy Buffett manga...
17th-Jan-2007 09:37 pm (UTC) - Interesting book but nothing special
I read this as well. Please don't read it to get tips on investing because it doesn't really give you any serious information about investing. The Intelligent Investor is still in print if you want to learn the techniques that Buffett has employed. But believers in market efficiency believe that as an investor, Buffett has just been lucky (which seems crazy on the face of it, but remember hindsight bias means that we remember and lionize those investors who were successful like Buffett and Peter Lynch while forgetting the vast number of professional investors who failed to beat market returns).

I like the idea that such books exist in Japan, but don't attach much importance to them. They are the equivalent of a magazine feature in BusinessWeek. Somthing to be read while waiting for a plane in an airport, nothing more. I can't see this genre of comics taking off in the U.S.--after all, an issue of BusinessWeek is a lot cheaper than this book.
8th-Dec-2008 01:56 am (UTC) - Love it
Very clever presentation too. Thanks for bringing it to our attention...
4th-Jun-2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
interesting manga biography



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