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Tune: Still Life

Tune: Still Life - Derek Kirk Kim Tune was a story I originally read as a Webcomic a couple of years ago. For some reason, I stumbled across this story a couple of weeks ago and decided I wanted to catch up with what was going on in that story. A quick search on Half.com later, and I was just waiting to get the books so I could catch up.

The bad news is that the two volumes already available comprise exactly what's available freely on the Web. I'm not disappointed about that (I have all of the Penny Arcade collections, and several Sheldon collections just because), but considering that the entire story ends on a cliffhanger sort of ending means that I have to wait even longer to find out what happens from here.

For those unfamiliar, Tune is about Andy Go, and art school dropout who's secretly in love with one of his classmates, who has to go out and get a real job when his parents get tired of supporting him. Andy is self-centered and self-absorbed, and he's convinced that his art skills are enough to get him whatever job he wants, but when life intervenes, he finds himself applying for any and all positions that have "no experience required" attached to the description. What he gets, though, is something a little more unusual and unexpected.

Still LifeThe story here is good, and the writing is very tight. There's a casual style to Kim's narrative, which is told from Andy's perspective, with voice-over narration making up a large part of it. The artwork has a manga look to it, which tends to give it a lighter feel, making us take things a little less seriously, but the story, despite its humor and offbeat style, is heavy. It's an odd dichotomy to see the cartoony artwork with the gravitas of certain parts of the story, but Kim (and, in the second volume, McClaine) makes it work. Jud Winick's Pedro and Me had sort of the same issue, but there, Winick's cartoony style worked against him; here, Kim manages to get them to work together just perfectly.

I'd recommend the series to anyone who enjoys manga, graphic novels, good stories (fans of Gene Luen Yang should pay close attention to it), and good writing. Even if you only like one of those things, I'd still recommend it. I'm hoping that the story will be developed and/or concluded soon, because I'm very interested in seeing where it goes. It feels like the series could be about halfway through, but I could even see it going on a bit longer, if necessary. Either way, I'm on board for wherever it goes next.