Now, for those of you who hear “comic book” and can only think of grown men in spandex fighting crime for free, or whether Archie will choose Veronica or Betty (he went for the money,) then the idea of a comic book about business may seem ridiculous.
But if you’re like me, and you appreciate the medium of “graphic novels,” or, if you’re feeling highfalutin, “sequential art,” than the idea of a business book in graphic format makes a whole lot of sense…depending on the book.
Since most comics are story driven, business books that use story telling to illustrate (pun intended) a point will probably be a better match for this medium. I got to choose from a small number of titles, some which I had read (or listened to), some which were brand new to me. I decided to go with a title I hadn’t heard of before, John Eliot’s Overachievement: The REAL Story Behind What It Takes to be Exceptional.
Having never read the book book, it’s hard for me to review it after reading the comic. The message that Eliot constructs is that “overachievement” is something that’s attainable for just about anyone with the right mindset. Overachievers start with a “trusting mindset” that allows them to perform under pressure as if there was no pressure at all. The book separates “dreams” from “goals” and talks about the correlation between commitment and confidence. Playing in the present, pre-performance routines, and overachievers’ philosophies are all discussed.
One of my favorite sections of the book was how we often misinterpret the messages our body sends us in high-pressure situations. Eliot argues that the butterflies we feel in our stomach happen when our body is redirecting the remaining food in our system to our muscles, while that sweat on our brow is just a safety mechanism so we don’t overheat during “battle.”
That being said, I feel that there are probably more adaptable business books than Overachievement. While the comic uses visuals to backup the themes of the book, I’m not convinced that they are necessary. Here’s an example from the book:
Did that help to explain the concept? I’m not sure…what do you think?
As I said, this is not a complaint about the book or the format. I can imagine many recent business books that I’ve read as great options for comic adaption, including Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, or Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story. Hmmm…anyone sensing a trend here?
I also saw that The Art of War was coming to SmarterComics, the publisher of Overachievement. That could be very cool. (Hint, hint.)
If you’re like me, and you believe that the graphic novel is just another medium in which to tell a story, or make a point, than you may want to check out these new business book titles. If, however, you feel comics are for kids and guys who live above their mom’s garage, can I please recommend you pick up one of the following titles with an open mind:
- Maus: A Survivor’s Tale
- Usagi Yojimbo: The Dragon Bellow Conspiracy
- Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art