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Think and Grow RichWhen I was a kid my parents told me I read too many comic books. “You are wasting your time,” my father said. “You should read something with more substance.”

My father was probably right. My favorite comic as child was Richie Rich, which starred a kindhearted and astronomically wealthy child who lived a life of splendor and never had to worry about what the future brought. He had gold-lined swimming pools, backyard zoos with exotic animals, personal flying machines, and a toy room the size of a zeppelin hangar. He certainly wasn’t a realistic role model, but I didn’t care. I longed for Richie Rich’s lifestyle without an inkling of how to achieve it.

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I wish SmarterComics had been around when I was younger. These are comic book adaptations of popular business books, and are available in e-book format, which you can read on the web, on your smartphone, on a tablet, or as a printed book. Titles include the classic Think & Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, How to Master the Art of Selling, by Tom Hopkins, The Way to Wealth, by Tim E. Ogline, and The Law of Attraction, by D.J. Coffman.

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Why not simply read the original books that these comics are based on? Sure, you can do that. But in my experience, business books are usually about 50 pages of good information surrounded by 200 pages of filler material. SmarterComics’s titles don’t beat around the bush—they get right to the heart of the matter. What’s more, they make full use of the power of comic books, which combine words and images in a way that has a deep effect on the reader’s mind. (If you are interested in the unique ability of comics to convey a message, I highly recommend Scott McCloud’s book, Understanding Comics.) I still read a lot of comic books of all kinds (and believe it or not, I make money reviewing them—see, Dad?), and I consider myself quite a connoisseur of quality comic book art and writing. My verdict on SmarterComics? They do an excellent job of telling a story with effective illustrations.

A SmarterComics book costs $4.99 for computer and smartphone versions, $6.99 for tablet versions, and $12.95 as printed books. You can read brief excerpts of all their books for free, and download Sun Tzu’s The Art of War in its entirety for free.

The publisher promises additional titles soon. I hope they include more personal finance books in their lineup.

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Illustration by Joe Flood, from Think & Grow Rich by Napolean Hill

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