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Tune: Vanishing Point Paperback – November 13, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Tune Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Here’s an example of an artist trying something different from a secure spot in his own wheelhouse. First launched as a webcomic, this work chronicles an art-school dropout’s endeavors to land a paying job (with a few well-placed swipes at the comics industry), his shoot-yourself-in-the-foot attempts to kindle a romance from inside the friend zone, and his unsuccessful effort to run a blocking scheme on his success-minded Korean immigrant parents. This is all familiar territory for Kim, which readers will recognize from his breakthrough book, Same Difference and Other Stories (2004), a similar document of twentysomething urban Asian American geek life. But he’s also got a few of the tricks up his sleeve that made his collaboration with Gene Yang (The Eternal Smile, 2009) such a rug-pulling treat of skewered expectations. When the story performs a dimensional about-face, it becomes clear why the panels have been floating around on starry black pages all this time. Kim’s a great cartoonist with a keen sense of humor, and he has a light-handed touch for balancing irreverence with full-hearted emotion. Sure, things are just starting to really get moving by the end of this first volume, but you won’t find a more kookily energetic sci-fi splice-of-life crossing adult-onset uncertainty with strands of Twilight Zone DNA. --Ian Chipman

About the Author

Derek Kirk Kim is the award-winning author of Same Difference, The Eternal Smile (with Gene Luen Yang), and Good As Lily (with Jesse Hamm). He has also contributed to numerous anthologies including Flight (Vol. 1), Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, and Bizarro World. His web-TV series Mythomania is loosely based on Tune.

He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

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Product Details

  • Series: Tune (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: First Second (November 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159643516X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596435162
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #814,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Andy is just your average guy. He knows what he wants to do in life--a career in comics--and he has it all planned out. So he leaves art school early to set off on his journey...and quickly finds himself unemployed. His parents soon becoming dissatisfied with his inability to land a job, (and his lounging around the house in his underwear) force him to find a job, any type of job,...or they'll find one for him. And everything seems to hit rock bottom. No one will hire him, heck a crazy homeless guy gets hired ahead of him at a fast food joint. And then a magical day happens. Andy sees Yumi (his art school crush), discovers that she likes him, and finds a job to work at a zoo! There's just one problem...the zoo job is an alternate dimension and Andy is one of the exhibits.

I've been following Tune since Derek started serializing it as a webcomic and it's quickly become one of my favorites to keep up with. Although this first volume starts off a bit slow, as its setting up the world and the universe, it picks up pace in the following chapters (that can be viewed online.) In this volume though we get a good sense of the characters that we'll be following in the series, especially Andy. I like that Andy is your average guy, for the most part. I can see elements of myself in his story, which of course makes me cringe at times (especially when he realizes that Yumi might actually like him) because I've made some of the same choices, the same decisions, and my life mirrors Andy in some ways. And that's what makes this such a great story, that it is easy to relate to Andy and Yumi. We've all mapped out our life and had it veer off into different directions (hopefully no one is an exhibit in a zoo though.
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Format: Paperback
Tune is an engaging story about a Korean-American named Andy Go whose dramatic mother and unforgiving father are less than pleased when he drops out of art school to pursue a career as a comic book artist. His parents also have questions about his sexuality given his inability to find a girlfriend. Andy is straight, he's just not adept with girls ... or life. He has a crush on an art student named Yumi but lacks the self-confidence to make a move.

Andy's father, unwilling to support an art school dropout, insists that Andy find a job, and that's where the fun starts. The only job for which Andy is remotely qualified (given that jobs in the arts are nonexistent) requires him to live in a parallel universe. Of course, the job will dehumanize him and strip him of his dignity, but as Andy's mom reminds him, that's what jobs do.

Tune takes awhile to get to the meat of the story, but the payoff is worth it. Unfortunately, just when it's getting really good, we get the dreaded "To Be Continued" message. Don't you hate it when that happens? I recommend it nonetheless because I want to see what happens next.

The panels are drawn against a background of stars. The art is simple, the sort of thing you'd find in a gag strip, but surprisingly clever. When Andy reads Yumi's journal, for instance, we see Andy looking through a window at Yumi's life. I like the characters' facial expressions (except for Andy's father, whose face is always hidden behind a newspaper). The art suits the story well.
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I'm a fan of Derek Kirk Kim since I read "Same Difference and Other Stories". I scouted "Good as Lily" for a Spanish publishing company and had the honor of translating it for Spain. This might be Kim's most personal story so far, because it looks like he'd been waiting to be able to tell it from some years ago (as a matter of fact, he had started this very same story --or at least one that began with virtually the same characters and events-- some years ago). And I think it shows that the author had a great time while making it.
The paper version I'm reviewing here is excellent. It comes in pulp paper, but crisply and beautifully printed, and the story flows very fluidly when you compare it to reading it on the website. This series deserves attention --buy it and you won't regret it!
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Format: Paperback
---------------------------------------------------------------
"Tune, Volume One: Vanishing Point"
Written and illustrated by Derek Kirk Kim
(First Second, 2012)
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This is an engaging manga-esque graphic novel about a young art student named Andy Go who drops out of school to try and get a "real" art job but finds the market a little tougher than he'd anticipated. He moves in with his humorless Korean-American parents (affectionate stereotypes worthy of a Margaret Cho monologue) who push him to get a job -- any job -- or get booted out of their house. This leads him to take a job unlike any other -- indeed, it's in another dimension -- and although this first volume is just a prelude to the rest of the story (what happens to Andy away from Earth) it's an enjoyable journey. Although this is a straightforward fantasy, it's geared more towards teens and college students, and while not wildly inappropriate, not quite suitable for younger children. Moderately "mature" fans will get a kick out of it. Another winner from First Second Books! (DJ Joe Sixpack, ReadThatAgain book reviews)
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