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Friday, September 26, 2014

Graphic Novel in which Human Slacker Ends up in Alien Zoo (part 2)

Kim, Derek Kirk (2013) Tune, Book 2: Still Life.  First Second:  New York.

     Andy Go is back.  In Derek Kim's first book, Andy Go, a slacker who never finished art college and was facing eviction from hi parents' house and the prospect of never being able to work up the courage to ask the girls he is in love with to go out on a date.  Then a couple of strangely dressed people offer him a great deal.  They rem=present an interdimensional zoo.  They will pay him huge amounts of money if he is willing to be an exhibit for a few months.  Andy, with the encouragement of his parents, accepts the deal and off he goes to live in a zoo (in an exact replica of his parents' house.)  That was all in book 1.
     In book 2, Andy Go finds out that the contract he signed was not the one he originally looked at.  Under the "premium" contract, Andy is in the zoo for life, gets no communication with home, and never gets to leave his exhibit.  He manages to barter some art (there is no art in the dimension he is in) to one of his zookeepers in exchange for being allowed to pick the mate they are going to get for him.  When the mate arrives, he is delighted that it is Yumi, his beloved.  Unfortunately, it turns out is is not the Yumi form his dimension, but a Yumi from a dimension where Andy Go is a womanizing jerk.  And she hates him.  And his next door cell mate is turning on the charm toward Yumi. 
     This is a great graphic novel for high school students,  The art is excellent, the story is engaging, and Kirk's use of panel transitions is outstanding.  The story deals with some themes of great interest to high school students, including finding direction in life, the importance of art in life, and trying to figure out how to live with others who don't like you.  Unfortunately, there is a bit of vulgar language and some nude scenes (mostly of Andy, and his nether regions are covered with an eggplant that says "censored" on it.)  Although it is a cute gag, some parents might object.
     As I suggested with Kirk's previous book, I recommend teachers read it and decide for themselves whether to put it in their classroom library. 

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