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The Skills to Pay the Bills: Johnny Hiro #2    by Fred Chao order for
Skills to Pay the Bills
by Fred Chao
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2013 (2013)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Fred Chao, author of the graphic novel Johnny Hiro: Half Asian, All Hero has written a Johnny Hiro sequel The Skills to Pay the Bills. This time it's no dino-lizard, but rather a giant gorilla that takes off with Johnny's ex-girlfriend Amanda (with both our hero and Mayumi in hot pursuit!)

The gorilla had grown up on tales of his mother's 1932 New York adventure - when she died he was also drawn to New York, where he grabbed Amanda. How will sushi chef Johnny help her? Grabbing giant banana balloons from a past Thanksgiving Day Parade, he ends up leading his own parade, followed by Mayumi, gorilla, police and Fire departments! The outcome? A new Peter Jackson King Kong production in LA.

Next, John's best friend Alex (who owns their apartment) shows up, making him think hard about his own life. We see some of chef Masago's back story - a partnership with Shinto Pete, threatened by yakuza. Mayumi is invited by an old flame to a catering event at Gracie Mansion, where rivals sabotage the sushi. Finally John, Alex, Mayumi and Alex's girlfriend Liz head to a resort for Thanksgiving.

All the way through, Johnny Hiro keeps second guessing every decision he makes (or doesn't) while Fred Chao shares what gems of wisdom our hero gleans with readers. It's always fun to watch Johnny Hiro experience life, the universe, and everything in between!

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