Friday, August 22, 2014

Tune: Vanishing Point by Derek Kirk Kim

The book is available on Amazon and hopefully at your local bookseller, but you can also check out the Webcomic of the story located on Derek Kirk Kim's Tune Website!

Original image is a page from the book that can also be found HERE on the Tune Website.

I arrived at San Diego Comic Con without a book. A terrible tragedy that's easily fixed. I found a bookseller on the floor and told the hipster behind the counter that I liked young adult lit and sci-fi. She handed over three that were not at all what I said I wanted, and then as a last ditch effort handed me Tune before she found someone more important (someone who knew enough people that he didn't have to pay for silly things like books) to talk to. I finally found someone else to pay attention to me long enough to take my money and proceeded to devour this graphic novel.

If you like comics along the lines of Questionable Content or Gunnerkrigg Court, then you'll love Tune. They all share a world filled with people that we've all met (the not-doing-anything-with-his-life-but-wearing-obscure-T-shirts Marten from QC, the over-achieving-science-nerd Kat from GC) in the sci fi settings that we wished we lived in (who doesn't want a cute little porn obsessed AI companion a la Pintsize?!?)

Tune's main character is Andy Go, the art school dropout featured above who believes that he can find a well paying drawing job (haha) and finally just tries to find ANY paying job (in today's economy? haha). His art school friends, the female friend he has crushed on forever, (stereo?)typical Korean parents, and aliens make up the rest of the cast. 

The book is so funny because it is so real. Who can deny the power of Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, reruns of Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer when there is actual work to be done? Not I - and probably not you. 

Chapter 3 begins with a dictionary definition of "aigoo" (interj.) 1. Korean cry of lamentation. Often repeated in an unending cacophonous loop when one's child fails to become a doctor. 2. Korean cry of lamentation. Often repeated in an unending cacophonous loop when one's child is discovered to be a homosexual.

Andy's mom lets out a steady stream of Aiiii-gooooooos along with things like "Why you not major in computer?! Huh!? Why you not major in computer?! My friend's son, he go to med school - be doctor!! *sob*"

I texted fotos of these panels to a friend whose parents are Korean immigrants to get her take on the realism. She LOL!!ed several times and was like "Oh yeah, that's real."

Amidst all of this realism is the sci-fi adventure part of the book. Andy is approached by aliens to take a very special very well paying job with weekends off, vacation time, health insurance, and a retirement. 

My only critique is that the first installment is too short and the second installment isn't out in print yet. Fortunately, it is available on the Tune Comic website (where there are no banner ads? I hope Kim is making money off of it somehow!), where I will probably click through the rest of the story when I should be sleeping, lesson planning, or grading papers. 

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