I Love Charts: The Book isn’t your average blog-turned-into-a-book kind of book. What sets this book apart is the amount of writing that accompanies the charts. Authors Jason Oberholtzer and Cody Westphal could have just slapped together roughly 200 pages worth of charts and called it a day, but they didn’t. Oberholtzer and Westphal instead pulled stories from their own lives, tied them into the charts that have been submitted to their blog for almost three years, and made the book truly their own. I laughed. I cried. I read the book multiple times just to make sure my subconscious didn’t make up some of the stories.
someone please explain the 'how it looked, what it was really like" picture, i just can't seem to figure it out.
I think the important distinction here is that it is “what it felt like” rather than “what it was really like.”
The point of a good chart (and to a degree, a good comic) is to deliver a message without having to waste a lot of words on it, and in that sense, this comic is one of my favorites. It is simple and accurate, which means that you can read into it in many different ways. Doing so explicitly may defeat the purpose, so speaking broadly, the chart reads to me as the difference between our perceived process of aging and how the process feels to the person aging. You see (especially when you are younger) people as their age archetype, and you often take that to mean they possess a certain amount of knowledge or control. As you get older, you realize that you don’t magically become “adult you,” get handed the pamphlet and know how to rules and the tricks, etc. It can feel like you are a fraud, the same kid just in an older body, pretending to fit in with all these other people who clearly know how to be adults. But your knowledge of these other adults is based solely again on your perception of them, which misses the probability that they too still feel like they are pretending to belong here. Nobody has quite as much knowledge or agency as they let on and certainly not as much as we imbue them with when we are younger. This is one really quick, sloppy read of the chart, but you can hopefully see where more interesting reads can be woven in, such as the Freudian inner child, or the presence (I would argue the absence) of one’s core nature. Anyway, isn’t the comic so much nicer than this ugly paragraph? I … like it. Here endith this horribly written paragraph. So say we all.
To ilovecharts: I just got my copy of your book. I’ve already learned more about charts than I ever did in sixth grade math. I’m going to bring it to the office so presenters can use it as an educational tool as to “how to not make people fall asleep during staff meetings.”
Thank you so much for the kind words and I’m really glad you are enjoying the book!