Page 45 Review by Jonathan
Im starting to think that Derek Kirk Kim is either a hopeless romantic or just a very frustrated nerd. Following on from the re-release of his sweet and sensitive tale, SAME DIFFERENCE, which features an extremely slow-burning romance between two American Korean friends, we have this work which features an American Korean college dropout, Andy Go, who had been studying Illustration and who has, to his mind, a huge unrequited crush on his classmate. Except he hasnt, as shes thinking pretty much the same thing.
So far, quite literally, SAME DIFFERENCE then. Except, when given a week by his slightly stentorian father to find a job or vacate the family home, hes forced to accept a very unusual employment offer indeed... to be an exhibit in a zoo in a parallel dimension... The pay is amazing, the holidays generous, and theres even medical and dental cover! There is, of course, bound to be a catch, but Andys parents have left him in no doubt whatsoever that hell be out on the streets if he doesnt find gainful employment, so he decides to sign on the dotted line.
Ha! This is great fun, swinging as it does back and forth between light-hearted romantic comedy and surreal sci-fi shenanigans. Story-wise it put me in mind of a few different things like Scott McClouds epic ZOT, Gene Luen Yangs PRIME BABY (whom Derek collaborated on THE ETERNAL SMILE with) and also Jason Shigas EMPIRE STATE. The lovely, curvy, fine-line black and white artwork adds to the fun and warmth of this tale. Derek also writes and directs an online show called Mythomania which is loosely based on TUNE, so I cant see him running out of plot any time soon, which is just as well as I get the impression he is intending this to be a somewhat soap-operatic multiple-volume manga-esque tale. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that when its done as well as this!