Tune: Vanishing PointBook |
Slackerdom with a side of sci-fi.
Despite its fantastical premise, Tune: Vanishing Point argues that being a struggling artist in their 20s is every bit as dramatic as meeting extraterrestrial visitors. Collecting the first arc of Derek Kirk Kim's webcomic, the new graphic novel revolves around Andy Go, an art school dropout who needs a job to keep his parents from kicking him out. Though disheartened at first by his lack of prospects, a chance encounter with an ex-classmate gives Andy the resolve to go interview with a mysterious company looking to hire help for their zoo; however, the recruiters turn out to be zookeepers who look on Andy as their next exhibit. Since debuting with 2003's Same Difference, Kim has written and illustrated comics ranging from comedies to fantasy tales - the common denominator being post-adolescent main characters struggling with personal happiness. Tune continues that trend, as the first half barely hints at star-crossed shenanigans, instead focusing on Andy's real-world struggles -- he even gets passed over for a menial food-service job in favor of a homeless man. Kim's sense of humor is frequently deadpan: At one point, Andy's father offers a lengthy speech on adulthood, noting that any true coming-of-age is accompanied by willing self-degradation and "a self-induced trance of mindless complacency"; then he sends his son off to buy him a milkshake. The second half gets bogged down in the specifics of inter-dimensional travel, but Tune nevertheless coasts comfortably on its own sense of absurdity and sympathy for an underachieving protagonist.
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