On The Zen of Steve Jobs 

You’ve read the best-selling Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson and even considered buying the action figure of the late Apple co-founder (although you probably would never admit it to any mortal being).

So, what’s next?

Well, there is a new publication about the legendary CEO, this time in the form of a graphic novel titled “The Zen of Steve Jobs.”

Written by Caleb Melby in cooperation with Forbes and Jess3, the book tells the story of Steve’s relationship with Kobun Chino Otogawa, a Buddhist priest who emigrated to the US from Japan in the early 1970s.

Melby describes Kobun as an innovator who lacked appreciation for rules and was passionate about art and design. Essentially, Kobun was to Buddhism as Jobs was to the computer business: a renegade and maverick.

“Steve, throughout his life, dabbled in numerous modes of self-improvement and self-actualization. He experimented with drugs and, for a time, he only ate fruit, believing that doing so would keep him from sweating (talk about devotion to perfection),” Melby explained.

“Zen Buddhism stuck with Steve the longest, and Kobun was Steve’s mentor, in both Buddhism and design. The Buddhist priest was so influential in Steve’s life during the mid-80s that Steve named him NeXT’s spiritual guru. But what really got me was the strong parallels in their worldviews – they are both rule-breakers and innovators. The idea of telling those stories in tandem really excited me.”

The Zen of Steve Jobs moves back and forward in time, from the 1970s to 2011, but inevitably focuses on the period after Jobs’ exile from Apple in 1985 when he took up intensive study with Kobun. 

Told using stripped down dialogue and bold calligraphic panels, The Zen of Steve Jobs explores how Jobs might have honed his design aesthetic by immersing himself in Eastern religion and philosophy.

The Zen of Steve Jobs is currently available on Amazon.com. $10.28 buys you the paperback edition, while the Kindle version sells for $8.99.