Review – Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work) In Words and Pictures

If ever a comic or graphic novel came out at the right time, Michael Goodwin‘s Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work) In Words and Pictures hit the shelves this year breaking down tough concepts for anyone to easily ingest. The graphic novel covers the history of economic theory in a thick (page wise not subject) and entertaining way. I consider myself having a basic understanding of the history of economics as well as the various theories, but this book dives into the subject doing the impossible – making the subject easy to understand and doing it a fun way.

Goodwin tackles the subject with little preaching. Instead, he focuses on the major areas of economic thought, what they are, when did they rise and the political and social history that was occurring at the time. The graphic novel spans history from the early 1800’s to modern times including the recent economic collapse.

And this graphic novel is ground breaking and important. Here’s just some reasons why. In it’s almost 300 pages, the graphic novel explains this history in a flowing narrative that makes learning fun. I remember reading numerous difficult to comprehend text books and through them all, I didn’t learn or retain as much as I did in this graphic novel.

The next reason that this should be on everyone’s reading list is right now we’re in the middle of an economic crisis on a global level. Post election the American economy, and a rumored Grand Budget Deal, will be debated with each side citing theories laid out and explained in this comic. To understand what’s going on and why what’s being thrown about does and doesn’t work, with actual historical facts to back that up, there’s no easier tome out there to dive in and start learning.

This graphic novel should be on every high school and college student’s “must read” list. You actually walk away understanding how we’re in the quagmire we’re in, the forces that lead to it and a bit of a sense of how to fix it. It doesn’t preach those solutions. Instead it leaves the reader to come up with those ideas themselves, but it does leave you with questions and ideas to ponder including our focus and priorities when it comes to our government spending and the role of corporations and consumers.

This graphic novel is a serious contender for graphic novel of the year and one of the most important of the decade. It shows that the comic medium can transcend people with funny powers and silly costumes and instead be used to educate, activate and motivate individuals to learn more about their world but also their role in it.

Story: Michael Goodwin Art: Dan E. Burr

Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.75 Recommendation: Buy