R. Kikuo Johnson’s ‘No One Else’ wins the 2022 L.A Times Book Prize

The graphic novel about a family on Maui dealing with grief was published by Fantagraphics last fall.

The Los Angeles Times has awarded R. Kikuo Johnson’s No One Else its annual Book Prize for 2022 in the Graphic Novel/Comics category.

“I once believed that awards were given mostly on merit, but obviously luck and other factors have just as much to do with it, and that makes me even more grateful that the dice rolled my way this time,” Johnson said on Instagram. “The five other finalists made beautiful books that make me proud to be a cartoonist and so thankful to the generation of artists before us who built the doorways that we get to walk through.”

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LA Times Graphic Novel Shortlist

Works by Michael DeForge, Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, Hiromi Goto and Ann Xu, R. Kikuo Johnson, and Lee Lai made the shortlist.

The Los Angeles Times has announced the shortlists for its annual book prizes, and the finalists in the Graphic Novel category are

  • Heaven No Hell, by Michael DeForge (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • The Waiting, by Keum Suk Gendry-Kim, translated by Janet Hong (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Shadow Life, by Hiromi Goto and Ann Xu (First Second)
  • No One Else, by R. Kikuo Johnson (Fantagraphics)
  • Stone Fruit, by Lee Lai (Fantagraphics)

All these titles will likely be familiar to Smash Pages readers. Stone Fruit won two Ignatz Awards last year, as did DeForge’s Birds of Maine, and Gendry-Kim’s earlier graphic novel, Grass, made the 2020 LA Times shortlist, as did DeForge’s Leaving Richard’s Valley.

The judges for the Graphic Novel section were Sloane Leong, Joel Christian Gill, and Cathy G. Johnson.