Lovers of Wisdom - And ACTION!
March 8, 2007 8:31 AM   Subscribe

From the award-winning comic series ACTION PHILOSOPHERS! comes these biographies of the titans of thought! Thrill to the killer koans of Bam-Bam Bodhidharma! Shudder before the noble savagery of Terrible Thomas Jefferson! And enjoy (Or pick apart) tales of Crusher Carl Jung, Nasty Niccolo Machiavelli, Rowdy Rene Descartes, uh, Terribler Thomas Aquinas, The Pre-Socratics, and Gentleman John Stewart Mill!(Scroll down)
posted by Alvy Ampersand (21 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Reads a lot like Gonick's excellent Cartoon History of the Universe series (volume IV just came out, btw!).
posted by DU at 8:36 AM on March 8, 2007

It's like 'rasslin', only with words!

Thanks for the link.
posted by nofundy at 8:47 AM on March 8, 2007

This book is unfortunately ending with issue 9, but it's been a fun run. I can't stress enough that the trades are dirt cheap, and you'll definitely get your money's worth.
posted by one.louder.ash! at 8:50 AM on March 8, 2007

yeah, second the love of this and the comparison to Gonick. Good stuff.
posted by lumpenprole at 9:00 AM on March 8, 2007

They didn't get to Michel "The Punisher" Foucault?
posted by YoBananaBoy at 9:04 AM on March 8, 2007

Action Philosophers is just so fucking rad I want to hug it.
posted by COBRA! at 9:05 AM on March 8, 2007

Excellent. I just read the Bodhidharma one and am now enlightened.

Of course, they misspell dhyana as "dhayma" at one point and raised my hackles with the word "mispronounced":
This was how Bodhidharma preached dhyana, which the Chinese mispronounced "chen"... and the Japanese appropriated as "zen".
And it's chan, not chen, anyway. But who's counting?

posted by languagehat at 9:10 AM on March 8, 2007

deja vu! (^_~)
posted by gomichild at 9:31 AM on March 8, 2007

posted by luftmensch at 9:31 AM on March 8, 2007

I've always had a liking for the pre-Socratics. Damn shame that Socrates had to come along and make everyone since post-.
posted by klue at 10:17 AM on March 8, 2007

damn....great idea. Hats off to the authors of this. Evil geniuses.

(uh, sorry, it's "John Stuart Mill".)
posted by metasonix at 10:54 AM on March 8, 2007

D'oh! Thanks, metasonix!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:56 AM on March 8, 2007

Action Philosophers has been a big hit in certain alternative comics scenes, but I wasn't very impressed. I think Gonick does a lot better job at synthesizing different pieces of information into a coherent storyline. In contrast, sometimes but not always Action Philosophers doesn't really read like comics, but like a series of unrelated pictures with wikipedia-like text overlaid on top; they're much more like those INTRODUCING [X] or A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO [X] books that you see in academic bookstores--like "INTRODUCTING QUANTUM PHYSICS" or "A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO DERRIDA." However, I think they're entertaining and I'm glad that they're online.
posted by kensanway at 11:08 AM on March 8, 2007

I know what you mean, kensanway, but I actually sort of flip those two; to me Action Philosophers reads more like comics, while Gonick's a little closer to (very) illustrated prose.

I love 'em both, though.
posted by COBRA! at 11:32 AM on March 8, 2007

Do you like your philosophy easter? Take a look at Tsai Chih Chung's brilliantly illustrated books. I can't find a good link to examples of the work right, now, so here's Amazon's search results for him. Check out the look inside for some of the books.
posted by boo_radley at 11:34 AM on March 8, 2007

I have an introduction to Kierkegaard done in a comic book style that is surprisingly good. Google and Amazon are failing me, or I would link.
posted by vronsky at 11:51 AM on March 8, 2007

Damn you, boo_radley, I was just about to post that. Stupid Bodhidharma comic...
posted by khaibit at 11:53 AM on March 8, 2007

Yes but are they PROFESSIONAL philosophers?
posted by davy at 12:58 PM on March 8, 2007

boo_radley beat me to it, but this reminded me of the delightful asian philosopies presented in Tsai Chih Chung's comics.

Take a look at his publisher's website - Asiapac books.

Plenty of others there along similar lines.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:24 PM on March 8, 2007

Asiapac's philosophy range.

(There should be more than this - Chuang Tzu & Lieh Tzu spring to mind. Perhaps they are out of print...?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:28 PM on March 8, 2007

I like this, too. It's an oldie but a goodie.
posted by Mental Wimp at 5:40 PM on March 8, 2007

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