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.
About the Author
R. Kikuo Johnson was born in 1981 in Maui, Hawaii. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and is an illustrator, educator, and graphic novelist based in Brooklyn. His bold, graphic, comic-styled illustrations have appeared on multiple covers of The New Yorker, book covers, and the acclaimed children’s book, The Shark King (Toon Books, 2012).
Johnson's storytelling is clear and masterful, and his characters' body language says as much about them as their words. An exciting debut from a talent to watch.
— Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Johnson draws with a confident bravado that is particularly impressive in a young cartoonist, and his narrative skills are equally assured. His depiction of Hawaii, while creating a visceral sense of place, avoids the standard "tropical paradise" cliches. Much of the story unfolds at night, allowing Johnson to show off his skill at using solid black areas to shape powerful compositions. Seldom has an artist's initial graphic novel been this accomplished and rewarding.
Drawn with sweeping black brush strokes, [Night Fisher] is done completely in absence of color. This, however, helps to magnify the tone of the story and brings a subtle heaviness to the work. The artwork itself is excellent.... Johnson does a great job conveying character’s moods and emotions through angles, posture, and facial expressions. ...[I]f you enjoy these realistic and unapologetic looks at adolescence I recommend giving Night Fisher a read.
— A. Alba - Hawaii Book Blog
The gritty coming-of-age story also delivers strong plot and dialog like a fistful of poi.
— Book Collector
Night Fisher is bound to make waves.
The honest and relatable plot keeps the readers attention without needing to fall back on cliche storytelling techniques, all the while building you to anxiously await the next installment. Hopefully Johnson will do another graphic novel with this set of characters soon.
A compelling yet unsentimental coming of age story. It’s a portrait of awkward adolescence on the cusp of adulthood illustrated with the darker, more realistic tones of teenage life. Night Fisher is filled with bold artwork, psychological intricacies, and mature depictions of immature actions. ... R. Kikuo Johnson has proven himself as a masterful storyteller in his first graphic novel.
— Steve Ponzo - Multiversity Comics
A closely observed story—specific in its details but broadly recognizable from the lives of a million young men—in an expressive, inky style... an excellent naturalistic story of these young men in this closely examined place.
— Andrew Wheeler - The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
Johnson is a first-rate cartoonist in so many ways.... He's definitely a cartoonist to watch, and I look forward to reading his next book.
— Robert Stanley Martin - Pol Culture