Left Me in the Dark - A Review of Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson

Throwback Thursday! This review was first written for my Special Topics in Librarianship: The Graphic Novel class in November 2014.

Night Fisher
Title: Night Fisher
Author/Illustrator: R. Kikuo Johnson
Published: 2005 by Fantagraphics

Night Fisher was an ... interesting look into the life of a "hapa" (half Caucasian) teenage boy living on Maui at the cusp of adulthood. It captures the stress and uncertainty many high school seniors face and depicts how one choice (or a series of choices) can affect your life.

The art is very naturalistic and there are little elements interspersed like “artifacts” of the characters’ lives: a land deed, a map, knot diagrams, botany style plant sketches, etc. I also liked how Johnson dealt with “whispered” dialogue or dialogue that Loren can’t hear clearly from his POV (the text bubbles themselves have delicate, spindly, hard-to-read script).

However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the story itself … I could relate with Loren up to a point: academic pressures (though my parents weren’t that anal about my grades), uncertainty of the future, etc. but I guess I’m too “goody two shoes” --Though I could see how Loren could fall into drugs and such with Shane, I thought he was kind of … well, stupid. I can’t speak to the drug scene in Hawaii, though I remember the news and media saying it was there, I never hung around people involved myself (or at least, not to my knowledge). But having grown up there, I can definitely testify to the feeling of wanting to get off the island (and on the neighbor islands, there can be a feeling of it being more “boring” or “nothing to do” than on Oahu).

The ending is a bit ambiguous or feels incomplete, but Loren’s life is also unfinished (maybe the open field represents his life or freedom from lying or hiding since he was caught). Definitely a bit more conceptual than most comics I gravitate toward ...

Content: If it were a film, it'd probably be PG-13 alluding to drugs, language, sexual situations, etc.

Are there any books or comic books set in your home state that left you disappointed (or extremely satistified)?  Feel free to share titles in the comments and why!
Left Me in the Dark - A Review of Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson Left Me in the Dark - A Review of Night Fisher by R. Kikuo Johnson Reviewed by The Artist Librarian on 9/17/2015 11:57:00 PM Rating: 5

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