*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.