Steve Jobs manga portrays the man as a dreamy, drug-fueled genius that Japanese girls could love

It doesn't star Ashton Kutcher, and it isn't written by Aaron Sorkin, but it might be more interesting than both: it's the Japanese manga adaptation of Steve Jobs' life. You could be forgiven for thinking that the juice has been squeezed out of this particular story, following 2011's official biography by Walter Isaacson and a brace of upcoming movies — but if ever there were a medium that could put a new spin on an old tale, a manga series would be it. Today's publication of Mari Yamazaki's Steve Jobs, then, is a somewhat notable event. The first volume is now available in the May 2013 issue of girls' comic anthology Kiss, oddly enough, and it's quite unlike anything I've read before.
steve jobs manga

The manga is actually an adaptation of Isaacson's biography, and credits it as the source material on the bottom of the first page. Told from Isaacson's perspective, it begins with Jobs repeatedly nagging the biographer to write his story — a conversation that persists over the first fifteen pages before a call from Jobs' wife Laurene Powell finally breaks Isaacson's resolve. The first thing you'll notice in these opening pages is that Yamazaki has pulled off the artwork beautifully; far from the spiky-haired caricatures that may come to mind when you think of manga, Jobs has been brought to life in a semi-realistic monochrome style that is never off-putting, but stays true to the Japanese manga tradition.
Once Isaacson has been persuaded to write the biography, the manga jumps back to Jobs' early years. It's here where we start to see Yamazaki play to her perceived audience — Jobs is rendered as a cute, doe-eyed kid who worries about whether his adoptive parents love him. From then we see Jobs grow into the man who founded Apple with the realization that he is "special," a developed interest in engineering, and school pranks that establish a slightly bad-boy persona.
 
By Sam Byford
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