Tune | Book 2: Still Life by Derek Kirk Kim and Les McClaine
Okay, so both Book 1 and Book 2 of this intergalactically stupendous series start out almost the same (Book 2 has an extra, well-placed, close-up “Gyaaaaah!” thrown in), but don’t be misled into thinking you’ve already read it, done that, check!
“What’s next for Andy Go?” the new chapter begins … well, he’s woken up in a faraway frontier with a splitting headache (a “dimensional jump” will do that to you), although it just happens to look exactly like the bedroom (complete with hidden porn stash under his mattress), living room, and kitchen where he’s spent most of his young life. The one exception is that his new habitat is missing the fourth wall … and on the other side of the invisible barrier are unrecognizable, definitely not human, faces who watch his every move. Welcome to the C.I.S. Zoo! “Yoiks,” indeed!
Enclosed as it might be, Andy’s new life is pretty good … at first. His zookeeping duo (Dad is belligerent, but 503(4)-0717.04.23.B101 – “Dash” for short – is rather sweet) keep him well fed with all his favorite foods, he has 500 home-y channels to keep him couch-surfing, and he’s got plenty of time to draw. When the mood hits him, he’s not above entertaining the masses, bonding through the barrier with the young ‘uns. He’s hoping his keepers will let him make a quick phone call to his beloved Yumi (too late! he forgot to sign up for interdimensional service before his earthly departure), as he gleefully anticipates his first weekend off when he’ll finally be able to tell his one true love just how very requited their undying love is.
But then surreal reality sinks in: instead of going for the basic package, Andy Go apparently inked the “premium” contract. Somehow, he agreed to live in his Praxian cage for life. That smooth-talking voice beyond the vent (who is that?) confirms the worst. Uh-oh. Now what’s our lovesick young man to do? How is he ever going to hook up with the love of his short life? Dash reluctantly promises to help, but only if he can teach her about art in exchange. How do you teach an alien about something so … well … alien?
Disguised as giggles and guffaws, Andy Go gives us plenty of fodder to consider – all about life, love, and that elusive pursuit of happiness. So he’s a bit of a slacker with plenty of talent who gets waylaid by easy money with benefits he doesn’t even need (child support for the young and the childless?). What can he do? Frontal lobe maturity happens late for the XY-chromosomed, and our young hero is no exception.
The graphic triple crown-winning – Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz – Derek Kirk Kim has picked up a collaborator since Tune‘s 2012 debut. While Kim retains the text copyright, fellow comic creator Les McClaine gets the art credit; the illustrative hand-off seems seamless between volumes. Best of all, if partnering means “To Be Continued …” happens sooner than later, that’s definitely a happy (temporary) ending for us readers. Tune 3 soon, oh please!
Readers: Young Adult, Adult