Derek Kirk Kim is the insanely productive comics creator whose chronicles the lives of pop-culture obsessed Korean-American slacker Happy Mutant semi-losers in various kinds of peril, from love gone bad to alien abduction.
Today, his online science fictional rom-com comic Tune has been collected in the first of (I hope) many volumes, with Tune: Vanishing Point.
Tune's hero is Andy Go, a lovesick art-school dropout who is obsessed with his former classmate Yumi, finding a job before his terminally disappointed parents kick him out of the house, and keeping his life as orderly and neat as possible. Andy starts the story with an epic hangover in a strange bed, fully clothed and utterly disoriented. It's only once he stumbles into the bathroom for a truly world-beating piss that he realizes the "house" he's in is a cage, with no fourth wall, and there's an audience out there, watching him.
Tune then flashes back to tell the story of how Andy got there, and here Kim does what he does so well: makes us fall in love with a group of genteel, clever, messed up losers who are their own worst enemies. By the time we get back to how Andy ended up in the box, we're totally invested in his story, and wishing that the second volume was in print already.
Tune is Scott Pilgrim played through an alien abduction chord-progression, a delight from start to cliff-hanging finish. If you liked Kim's Good As Lily, Healing Hands and Same Difference, you'll love Tune.
Tune: Vanishing Point
Tonight at 7PM, I'll be appearing on a panel at the Last Bookstore in downtown LA, with the title "Truth to Power: Genre Fiction in Post-Fact America," alongside of Gretchen McNeil, Jennifer Brody, Christina Cigala, Bobby Goldstein, CB Lee, Michael Paul Gonzalez, Kate Maruyama and Samuel Sattin.
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