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Friday, February 21, 2014

Derek Kirk Kim's new extra-dimensional graphic novel!

Kim, Derek Kirk (2012) Tune:  Book 1:  Vanishing Point  New York:  First Second

So this graphic novel is kind of like James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as  Young Man if Doug Adams of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fame had done a major rewrite, and if James Joyce had been Korean-American instead of Irish.  That is to say, it is a wonderful book.

Andy Go drops out of art school, confident his superior skills will win him a job in no time.  After weeks of searching, Andy is broke and in imminent danger of being kicked out of his parents home for not having a job.  He is also desperate to impress Yumi, the girl he is in love with.  And so, when he answers a classified ad for a position with a good salary, benefits, and relatively low expectations, he is intrigued.  When he finds out his employers are aliens and they want him to be an exhibit in an extra-dimensional zoo he has second thoughts.  Find out what happens, read the book.

As usual, Kirk's command of the graphic novel format is impressive.  H knows how to handle panel transitions so well that it is easy to get lost in the story.  His drawing is clear and just a little on the cartoony side of things.  Andy is a very sympathetic character.  This would be a great book for late middle school and high school -- especially for students who tend to like combining science fiction and humor.

But there is a small snag for teachers who want to put this in their classroom library.  There is some vulgar language that could cause parental (and even student challenges).  This is too bad.  My suggestion would be that you get hold of the book, read it, and make your own decision. 

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