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Monday, March 11, 2013

And now...the graphic novel that can improve your career!

     I am always on the lookout for graphic novels that are helpful for high school teachers.  I never figured I would find one that could be used to teach business courses.  Turns out I am wrong about that.
     The Adventures of Johnny Bunko:  The Last Career Guide you will Ever Need by Daniel H. Pink (2008,  New York:  Penguin) is a wonderfully quirky graphic novel which is as much about figuring out what you really want to do with your life and how to enjoy your job as it is about selling yourself and learning to work well with others. Better still, it actually is built around a relatively interesting storyline.
     The main character, Johnny Bunko works for the Bogg's Corporation.  His job is uninteresting, yet stressful and he finds it utterly unfulfilling.  Working late one night, he gets take-out from a sushi shop and ends up with a bunch of magical chopsticks.  Each time he snaps two of them apart, a beautiful, brash, and somewhat bossy faerie appears and gives him career advice.  Johnny is a bit slow on the uptake, but once he begins listening to her, things start going better.
     The art is done in a mildly manga style with black and white drawings.  It works for the story (though I confess to preferring art with more backgrounds). 
     Really, though, the best part of the book is that, unlike a lot of business self-help books, it seems more focused on Johnny finding a job that allows him to be creative, useful, and part of a team, than about him advancing up the corporate ladder or necessarily making more money.  
     This book should be required reading for high school business classes, a required reference for high school guidance offices, and it would also be a nice addition to English classes that are looking for a way to connect with students who want practical reading.


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