Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson

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An intimate, compelling drama of young men on the cusp of adulthood. Johnson explores his characters' relationships with natural ease; his unsentimental portrait of late adolescence is a mature depiction of immature lives.

R. Kikuo Johnson has created an intimate and compelling graphic novel-length drama of young men on the cusp of adulthood. First-rate prep school, S.U.V., and a dream house in the heights: This was the island paradise handed to Loren Foster when he moved to Hawaii with his father six years ago. Now, with the end of high school just around the corner, his best friend, Shane, has grown distant. The rumors say it's hard drugs, and Loren suspects that Shane has left him behind for a new group of friends. What sets Johnson's drama apart is the naturalistic ease with which he explores the relationships of his characters. It is at once an unsentimental portrait of that most awkward period between adolescence and young adulthood and that rarest of things: a mature depiction of immature lives. Visually, Johnson captures the languid tropical climate and strip mall tackiness of Hawaii in a rich chiaroscuro style reminiscent of Milton Caniff combined with the sensual ink work of Paul Pope or Jessica Abel.

2006 Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award Winner; 2006 Harvey Award Winner, Best New Talent. Black-and-white comics throughout
 

About R. Kikuo Johnson

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R. Kikuo Johnson grew up in Hawaii on the island of Maui. For generations, native Hawaiians have told tales of the shape-shifting shark god Kamohaoali'i; The Shark King is the artist's version of one such tale about the insatiable appetite of Kamohoali'i's son, Nanaue. Kikuo's 2005 graphic novel Night Fisher - also set in Hawaii - earned him both a Harvey Award and the Russ Manning Award for best new cartoonist. He spent his childhood exploring the rocky shore at low tide in front of his grandmother's house and diving with his older brother. Since moving to the mainland, Kikuo has discovered the joys of swimming in fresh water and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he enjoys cooking, playing his ukulele, and riding his bike all over the city.
 
Published November 17, 2005 by Fantagraphics. 144 pages
Genres: Comics & Graphic Novels, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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But a lot of the chances Johnson takes with the art pay off in spare, poetic moments, like Loren's long walk to school, which leads him past junky mainlander-friendly stops to a bustling farmer's market.

Nov 09 2005 | Read Full Review of Night Fisher

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