Daniel Pink, author of many well-regarded business books, wrote his first manga business book, Johnny Bunko
, after receiving a fellowship to live in Japan and study manga. Bunko is a quick, funny, and extremely, inspiringly sensible
book on career-planning that throws out all the traditional bullshit about getting a straight job to fall back on if your creative gig fails on you. Instead, Bunko makes a convincing case for pursuing your dreams, working to your strengths, throwing out the idea of planning, and persevering rather than relying on talent to make it.
I spent a lot of my life ignoring (with some difficulty), the advice of well-meaning people who wanted me to know that I'd never, ever be able to live on what I made from writing. Instead, I took on a series of careers in fields that hadn't even existed when I was a student, each one bringing me closer to my dream of being a full-time scribbler. If I'd listened to the software aptitude test my high-school guidance counsellor gave me, I'd be a "geriatric nutritionist" (cook in a senior's home) today.
Johnny Bunko is a miserable accounting drone who finds a bundle of magic chopsticks. Every time he separates a pair, a genie emerges to help him navigate his way to career freedom. It's a great little device, and the manga artwork -- from the award-winning Rob Ten Pas -- is simple and clean and often very funny.
Bunko is a refreshingly frank and optimistic (but clear-eyed) story about the perils of choosing a safe, lucrative and hateful job that you'll never be able to afford to leave, and the joys of failing in interesting ways, learning from your mistakes, and making more of yourself. I wish someone had given me a copy when I was 16 or so, and forced me to re-read it every year until I was in my mid-twenties.
See also: Johnny Bunko Book Trailer
Steve Dobbs grew up near the present-day site of Disneyland and was profoundly influenced by watching the park get built while he zipped by on his bike; today the reitred aerospace engineer has built a charming miniature Disney-inspired theme-park in his backyard in Fullerton, CA.
Elizabeth Warren is on fire in this speech at a New America Open Markets conference on monopolies this week in DC; Senator Warren is pitiless, lucid and laser focused on the way that corruption creates monopolies, and monopolies suborn corruption.
Thinkgeek’s $150 Bluetooth Communicators are based on 3D scans of a prop communicator; pair it with your phone and clip it to your belt: when you get a ring, the psychedelic hypno-disc in the middle will spin prettily, flick it open and start talking.
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