- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: AdHouse Books (June 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1935233025
- ISBN-13: 978-1935233022
- Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6.6 x 10.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,859,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Johnny Hiro Paperback – June 1, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
While I thought this was going to be a twist on the slice-of-life-young-couple-in-New York genre, by page three of the collection I knew it was going to be completely different. While Johnny and Mayumi are asleep in their small apartment, the wall suddenly burst in and Mayumi is grabbed by Gozadilla, a giant monster out for revenge. It seems that Mayumi's mother was once the arm in a Voltron-like giant robot called Super A-OK Robot who beat up on poor Gozadilla. I kept waiting for the familiar reveal that it was all a dream-sequence, but eventually you realize that this is real, and that this is the story, which makes it oh so good. Eventually Mayor Blomberg walks into save the day, but Johnny and Mayumi's problems are just beginning.
This collection contains the four issues of the "Johnny Hiro" comic series, and each issue has some goofy delima mixed in with the very real worries of a young-couple-in-New York. Paying the rent. Keeping the jobs. Fighting off an attack by 47ronin employees of a company put out of business by a friend's company's IPO. Hanging with Coolio and David Byrne (Mayumi's comment was classic "You look very handsome. Sit fit you nice.") Catching with a giant tuna with chef Masago off the shores of Shikoku. Mayumi having troubles at work because of her perceived English skills. The restuarant being short of Aji.Read more ›
The two leads are instantly relatable and likeable, and Chao generates as much humor from that as he does the pop culture-inspired action pieces. The human connections are tangible: between Hiro and Mayumi, as well as the friends and family of theirs that we meet here. And as befits a comic book by a single creator, all of these strengths are provided and supported as much by the clean, energetic artwork as the writing.
Fred Chao’s art is wonderful, thin linework with shading for depth and detail for verisimilitude. It’s active and has a great sense of motion, plus a strong sense of place, capturing the craziness of New York City. A lot of it is a love letter to the city and all that can happen there.
Another story in this volume features Johnny having to steal a lobster to get ahead at work. The chase scenes allow for lots of dynamite action leavened with philosophy, plus occasional commentary by a drawn Alton Brown, which tickled me immensely. Johnny and Mayumi also go to the opera, which is interrupted by a samurai attack in the men’s room, and then he’s sent to fix a messed-up order from the fishmonger. Finally, he and Mayumi go to court (only it’s Night Court run by Judge Judy) against their landlord.
Not only did I get amazing cartooning and fun, playful adventure, I even learned some things in terms of how to think about life. (Review originally posted at ComicsWorthReading.com.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Johnny Hiro is Great! The story is fun, has a lot of heart, and is very funny! I gave this book a chance because it sounded a bit zany but sweet and that is exactly what it is. Read morePublished 4 hours ago by benjamin kurz
Enjoyed the excerpt featured in Best American Comics of 2010, so I really wanted to buy the book. But after completing it, I was pretty disappointed. Read morePublished on September 10, 2011 by Srinivasan Shankar