*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
, loosely based on Tune,
is currently in its first season.
He lives and works in Los Angeles, California.