Graphic Novel Review: No One Else by R. Kikuo Johnson
Posted on January 13, 2022 at 6:30 am by Gene Ambaum
No One Else by R. Kikuo Johnson. Fantagraphics, 2021. 9781683964797. 104pp.
Charlene is working as a nurse and taking care of both her elderly father and her young son. Then her father has an accident and dies. She snaps, quits her job, stops picking up her house, and starts studying to apply to medical school. Her brother, a musician, shows up, and finds out their father died. He has little sympathy for his sister, and isn’t sure she’s okay. This is just the first few pages — the rest is all beautifully written family dynamics full of wonderful dialogue and the best blue-and-orange sequential art ever. My favorite character by far is Charlene’s son Brandon — we get to see the moments where he starts to take a bit of responsibility for himself, his confusion at what’s going on around him, and how upset he is by it all as he searches for his missing cat, Batman.
A revised edition of Johnson’s previous graphic novel for adults, The Night Fisher, was recently released as well. And if you haven’t read his book The Shark King from Toon Books, it’s also great. All three of his books are set in Hawaii.