- 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 (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,424,650 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 ›
Johnny Hiro does not, on the surface, appear to be a book that will change your life. It's not about a moment of epiphany in which Johnny realizes that with great power comes great responsibility. It's about the mundane activities that make up your world (except, of course, for the giant lizard) and how you just have to keep plugging and get through the hard parts. The narrator more than once detaches himself from the action to explain someone's motivations or to show how some small action can have unforeseen consequences or how someone who really does do his best in life can still fail so spectacularly.
One of my favorite characters in the book is Johnny's girlfriend Mayumi. At first, Mayumi seems like the typical damsel-in-distress that often populates comic books. We first see her snatched from her apartment by a giant lizard, screaming to Hiro for help. But then when Hiro does go to help her, Mayumi cheerfully tells him that she is fine and that perhaps he should get the camera and take a picture so that Mayumi's mom can see what a hero he is.Read more ›
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 6 months ago by benjamin kurz
This was an enjoyable read. I loved the artwork and whimsical story. The relationship between Johnny and his girlfriend was handled well and there was plenty of adventure and... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Paul A. Spangler
This book was recommended on Angry Asian Man and I'm really happy that I picked it up. The storylines throughout are really relateable despite their sometimes larger than life... Read morePublished on July 17, 2014 by Jon Solomon
Fred Chao's simple but imaginative storytelling works magic with a minimum of fuss. His characters, despite the incredible circumstances in which they find themselves, reveal how... Read morePublished on May 21, 2014 by Sl8ofHand
I thought this graphic novel was well done. The illustrations were excellent and the story was quite amusing. However, I had a couple problems with it. Read morePublished on April 7, 2014
I have to start by saying that I haven't read a comic book or a graphic Novel in years, but spent much of my childhood doing so. This book was great! I really enjoyed it. Read morePublished on July 27, 2012 by This Review Guy
Johnny Hiro (Half Asian, All Hero)
Tor, Jul 17 2012, $16.99
In Brooklyn, Johnny Hiro lives with his Pollyanna girlfriend... Read more
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
I love, love, love this book! The book combines the first three issues of Johnny Hiro with issues 4 and 5, as well as some bonuses here and there. Read morePublished on April 6, 2010 by Nathan D. Gibson