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Tune: Vanishing Point Paperback – November 13, 2012
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*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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Top Customer Reviews
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.) 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.
Derek's artwork is very similar Gene Luen Yang, with expressive characters and movements that eerily resemble real life, even in cartoon format. It's easy to imagine that you could walk out the door and meet Andy, Yumi, and the rest of the gang. Some of my favorite depictions are of the dad, mostly because he hides behind the newspaper and grunts. I love that we don't get to see his face and the fact that he acts like many dads out there (no, not TV ones..those guys are just fantasy.) The one thing that I will note is that after this volume Les McClaine took over the artwork so that Derek was able to put out the story more often. He has a similar style to Gene's but he really makes the characters his own (but that's a discussion for the next volume.)
One thing to note, volume one of Tune is just about to come out in print with volume two scheduled for next year, but if folks don't support the comic by buying the book the series can't continue! So if you like the comic make sure that you buy the book so that we can keep on seeing the series. You can read more about why this needs to happen over on the comic site here.
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.
ARC provided by Gina at FirstSecond
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.
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!
I loved the simple black and white of the panels which went amazing with the art.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great drawing that's really creating an atmosphere !!
this is definitely a must read