Steve Jobs studied Buddhism and some of his beliefs translated to the aesthetics of Apple products. A documentary about this period in his life has inspired an 80 page graphic novel, The Zen of Steve Jobs, produced by Forbes and JESS3. Author Caleb Melby reimagines the story of Jobs’ relationship with Zen Buddhist priest Kobun Chino Otogawa.
Kobun was a Zen Buddhist priest who emigrated to the U.S. from Japan in the early 1970s. He was an innovator, lacked appreciation for rules and was passionate about art and design. Kobun was to Buddhism as Jobs was to the computer business: a renegade and maverick. It wasn’t long before the two became friends–a relationship that was not built to last.
This graphic book is a reimagining of that friendship. The story moves back and forward in time, from the 1970s to 2011, but centers on the period after Jobs’ exile from Apple in 1985 when he took up intensive study with Kobun. Their time together was integral to the big leaps that Apple took later on with its product design and business strategy.
Told using stripped down dialogue and bold calligraphic panels, The Zen of Steve Jobs explores how Jobs might have honed his design aesthetic via Eastern religion before choosing to identify only what he needs and leave the rest behind.
View a behind-the-scenes short on the graphic novel after the break.
Several pages from the graphic novel can be viewed on the JESS3 website.
(via Laughing Squid)