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Johnny Hiro Paperback – June 1, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: AdHouse Books (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935233025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935233022
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.7 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: #2,402,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
I first read "Johnny Hiro" as a sample in The Best American Comics 2010, and it was the only selection in that anthology that impressed me enough to seek out the graphic novel. There was something infectiously happy about Johnny Hiro, his Japanese girlfriend Mayumi, and the hijinks as the sushi joint that made me want to read more.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Johnny Hiro is a busboy whose girlfriend Mayumi is kidnapped by Godzilla in the first story in this book. While racing to her rescue, Johnny’s mind flashes back to previous times he’d faced great injury. It’s that playful awareness that makes this more than just another slacker-starring action tale. Nothing happens as expected, but even in the weirdest event, there’s a sense of reality that stems from the core of the characters. Fighting giant monsters is punctuated with concern over getting back the apartment security deposit, for example.

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.)
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Format: Paperback
I really just wanted to write that review title...but this is really an exemplary piece of cartooning, and one that I enjoyed wholeheartedly.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. I am buying the second book in the series after I post this review.
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