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Tune: Still Life Paperback – November 12, 2013
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In Vanishing Point (2012), lovelorn slacker and artist-wannabe Andy Go signed up to be an exhibit in an alien museum. Now he finds that a life with no responsibilities is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially since he knows that Yumi, the love of his life, actually loves him back, and he cannot communicate with her ever again. As Andy discovers that his keepers live in a society where art does not exist and uses this information to hatch a plan that reunites him with Yumi (sort of), the book reaches its cliff-hanging end. Originally a webcomic, the book consists of panels set on dark, starry backgrounds to highlight a sense of isolation, while McClaine’s manga-influenced cartooning holds on to the humor, even in the darker moments. Kim has created a recognizable and complex character whose selfish proclivity for heading nowhere in life is balanced by an innate likability, and, though the author has plunged him into an absurd situation, the humor does not hinder Kim’s exploration of several profound issues of burgeoning adulthood. --Jesse Karp
About the Author
Derek Kirk Kim is the award-winning author and filmmaker behind "Same Difference," "Mythomania," "Good As Lily"(with Jesse Hamm), and "The Eternal Smile"(with Gene Luen Yang). He has also contributed stories and artwork to numerous anthologies including "Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall," "Flight, Volume 1," and "Bizarro World."
Les McClaine is the Eisner-nominated author of "Johnny Crossbones," "Life With Leslie," "Repeat Until Death," and "Highway 13." He has also illustrated numerous comics including "The Tick" and "The Middleman." In 2008, "The Middleman" was made into a TV series for ABC Family.
Top customer reviews
I hope that Derek and Les continue to move the story forward.
I’ve been following Tune since it came out in webcomic format and it’s quickly become one of my favorite webcomics to keep up with...although it's on hiatus now pending sales of this book. So people...go buy this book so we can continue the story!!! Seriously. Ahem.... What I like about this book is that for the most part, Andy is your average guy. He makes mistakes (dropping out of school, not reading the contract that he signs with the aliens), but all in all he means well. And 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. 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.) I like the sense of humanity and humility that Derek brings to the characters and I can’t wait to see where he takes them next.
Les McClaine took over the artwork in this volume so that Derek was able to put out the story more often. He has a similar style to Derek's but he really makes the characters his own and brings a different style to them. For me the characters come to life more with Les than Derek. For one Les has a lighter touch, less of the dark heavy lines that typify Derek's work and more of a sketch quality that loosely captures the characters movements and the shading that give them a bit of extra vitality. There's also more of a rounded quality the faces, which does create a bit of sameness to the characters, but at the same time does away with some of the harshness of the earlier versions. Don't get me wrong I love Derek's art, but Les brings his own touches to this work and it adds a great deal to it.
This story has a nice blending of sci-fi and real life, which makes it easy for folks to dive into and read. It’s a story that I highly recommend and I can’t wait to see what happens next. 4 out of 5 stars.
The artwork is cartoony which is perfect for the out-of-this-world story. The exaggerated expressions convey the lunacy of emotions Andy is going through. Panels don’t follow a standard comic grid, they seem haphazardly place about the page with lots of empty space. Sometimes it is used as a storytelling device, but most of the time it just feels empty. It was only distracting at first, but went unnoticed once I got into the story.
The story is interesting and it sets up the problem of how Andy will get out of his cage and back home. He doesn’t really do much to attain this goal. This brings me to my biggest issue with the book. Not much happens. Sure you see Andy going through the motions, making friends and then making a bigger mess. The characters grow and show a level of complexity that most graphics novels shy away from. All of that is great and I love it, but the cost is a slower moving story. ‘Scott Pilgrim’ is similar, but a lot happened along with the character development.
At one point I realized ‘Tune’ was about a guy trapped in an intergalactic zoo, but this was the second volume I was reading and he just got to the zoo. What was the first volume about? Luckily you can read the first volume online, so I did that. The first volume had the same pace and it was only at the end that he arrived at the zoo. For a book about an intergalactic zoo, you’d think there would be more about in the first volume.
Maybe that is the beauty of this book, but some comic readers expect a faster pace. If you are willing to wait and read several volumes of this story, I’d give it a 4.
Book Received: For free from publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewer: Chris for Book Sake