The Adventures of Johnny Bunko billed itself as “the last career guide you’ll ever need,” but textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge begs to differ with the publication of their Atlas Black graphic novel. Similar to Johnny Bunko, it follows the adventures of a titular protagonist as he navigates his way out of business school and into a successful career as an entrepreneur.
The 10 chapter story was split into two volumes, Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed and Atlas Black: Management Guru?, and the first chapter of each (chapter 1 and chapter 6) are available to read online. While they fulfill a need in taking a normally dense field and boiling it down for a beginner course, as comics they fall somewhat flat. The dialog and chemistry in the sample chapters is lacking, and the panel arrangement is stiff, as if they used a template instead of trying something original. It’s a shame, as the characters themselves are easy on the eye, even as they are presented on absolutely bland, non-descript backgrounds.
The first chapter also features a section on Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, and I feel it should be noted that Ashton Kutcher wasn’t in the crappy remake film of Cheaper by the Dozen, that was Tom Welling. I hope the business information is more accurate than the casual references (rule-of-thumb does not, in fact, refer to wife beating).
Regardless what appears to be a rather pedestrian presentation, Atlas Black still presents an interesting alternative to the usual business textbooks.