Jeremy Short, author of Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed (Aug 2-Aug 9)

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Jeremy Short, author of Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed (Aug 2-Aug 9)

elokuu 3, 2010, 1:48 pm

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elokuu 3, 2010, 1:54 pm

I enjoyed the first installment of Atlas Black and am curious as to the motivation for it. Did an editor suggest a graphic novel approach to textbooks as a niche waiting to be filled? Did a specific classroom interaction or project inspire this approach? Are you a life-long comics maven waiting for your moment to leap into history?

elokuu 3, 2010, 1:56 pm

Atlas Black: Managing to Succeed by Jeremy Short

the touchstones are helpful.

So, tell us what inspired you to try a Graphic Novel as a teaching tool for Business Management?

elokuu 4, 2010, 10:32 am

The inspiration came from teaching management and entrepreneurship classes. Students generally found the subject matter interesting but textbooks to be beyond boring. I had a short stint as a Professor at Utah State University (I'm now at Texas Tech) and I mentioned to an MBA class that someone should consider doing a graphic novel text. I happened to have a student in class who knew Len Simon (Illustrator of the Altas Black series), and she suggested I contact him. Once we found a publisher the rest is history.

I'm told from my mother that when I was in elementary school I would rip of my shirt and run around the playground saying I was the Hulk, and in Sunday School one time someone asked if anyone has a song to share and my conribution was the theme from Spiderman.

But really, I wasn't a huge comics fan other than TV shows and movies. I did read a number of 'illustrated classics' (Moby Dick and the like) and I think remembering that was probably part of an inspiration. The other part was seeing how recent graphic novel works like Maus, V for Vendetta, Y: The Last Man, Fables, and others were written in a style targeting a much more adult audience (needed to reach the college audience).

Part of the problem, in my opinion, with textbooks is that the teach by introducing a number of unrelated examples, often with applications that are beyond the experiences of many students. So having a story about two college students, with very different personalities, work to start a business helps to directly apply concepts to a relevant example and provide a recurring storyline.

Thanks for asking!!

elokuu 4, 2010, 10:52 am

My next question, have you used it in any of your classes and if so what kind of reactions have you gotten?

(BTW) I've read both Atlas Black books and found them to be pretty good and can see how the right professor could really use them to help bring home important points.

elokuu 4, 2010, 12:04 pm

I've used the first book as the sole book in my undergraduate classes (I teach Strategic Management) and both books as a supplement to a traditional text in my Organizational Behavior MBA classes. Students loved the book and I had my highest teaching ratings since joining the faculty at Texas Tech. I was also pleased how much MBA students liked the books too. To me an 'aha!' moment was when I had several students ask 'what happens next' when the first book was out but not the second. Without a doubt I've never had students ask what comes next when using a traditional textbook. :)

Here's a story that was recently printed in the Lubbock paper - there is a nice quote from one MBA student who happens to be the Chair of Pathology for the Tech Medical School.

Thanks for asking!

elokuu 4, 2010, 2:25 pm

Go, Red Raiders!

Muokkaaja: elokuu 9, 2010, 11:26 pm

I've only read the first installment, but am compelled to ask: without resorting to spoilers, does the mysterious Black keep pretty much the same role throughout the series, or does he develop into something more ... after the fashion of comic books? Connect to something out of Atlas's past, for example, or evolve into a force driving the plot rather than as a timely commentator to events put in motion by Atlas himself?

My preference (as a reader) is that he'd remain a sideline character, but it seems to me it would be awfully tempting to change that role.