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Tune vol 1: Vanishing Point

Tune vol 1: Vanishing Point back

Derek Kirk Kim


Page 45 Review by Jonathan

I’m 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 hasn’t, as she’s 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, he’s 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 there’s even medical and dental cover! There is, of course, bound to be a catch, but Andy’s parents have left him in no doubt whatsoever that he’ll be out on the streets if he doesn’t 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 McCloud’s epic ZOT, Gene Luen Yang’s PRIME BABY (whom Derek collaborated on THE ETERNAL SMILE with) and also Jason Shiga’s 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 can’t 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 it’s done as well as this!
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