The Long Tail Graphic Novel
Publisher: SmarterComics
Release Date: April 16, 2011
Price: $12.95
Creator(s): Chris Anderson (writer) and Shane Clester (artist)
Format: 80-pgs.; b&w; Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-16-10660-06-8
ICv2 Rating: 3 Stars out of 5

The Long Tail was a bestselling book by Chris Anderson which expanded on the term the author popularized in an article published in Wired magazine.  It refers to the idea that while we remain obsessed with bestsellers when it comes to movies, books and music the sales of these "hits" are down and continue to decline.  But there's an emerging retail strategy where a great number of small markets are worth as much (if not more than) a few large markets--The Long Tail.

The Long Tail from SmarterComics is a graphic novel adaptation of that book.

It must have been challenging finding a visual way of presented an economic theory but while cartoony, Shane Clester’s deceptively simple art manages to convey a lot of information in a limited amount of space.

Not having read Anderson's book I can’t compare it to the adaptation but I can say he does a remarkably good job of boiling down some fairly complicated ideas to bite size form.  He takes us step by step through The Long Tail in a friendly fashion, making each step easily understandable.  Thomas Carlyle once famously derided economics as being "the dismal science" but this graphic novel is a surprising amount of fun.

--Steve Bennett: Writer and retail services consultant.