Selections

Authors

 

         World Wide News

               Selections

            Authors

             Review and Criticism

The Kim and Kim first vol review

The Kim and Kim first vol review

First issues reviews were a bad idea and that first review was not good. There were a lot of things I wanted to say and kind of offer a half-mumbled apology for only focusing on white dudes writing shit (with I meant), and I did. But reading back on it, it came off as embarrassingly sincere to me, and sincerity is the death of art. To appreciate anything, everything must be appreciated with a cold detachment. I wish in the future to become less of a human and more of a fugi who can appreciate stuff by just putting it on the skin.

So, let's talk about Kim & Kim. Now that I've read the first volume, which, although I promised myself I'd stop spending so much money, was I think a worthwhile pick for me on this. Kim & Kim is about a bounty-hunting team comprising of ... and get this, 'cause this is a shocking connotation ... two bounty hunters both named Kim, in a future that almost would be 100% present day if there weren't stuff like spaceships and necromancy and 12th-dimensional beings.

Kim & Kim's humor is definitely on the modern variety of humor. This is the type of thing that wouldn't exist without the internet, and specifically web comics. I can definitely tell this is a web comic, and definitely if it was posted on the web of the web comic, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

That's not to be an insult. Some of the best comics right now out in the Ether are from the web indies. That's the new indie, a hip, cool alternative place to really get it. What I'm saying is this is a thing that's Godard, and what a fancy cosmopolitan reference you're doing. Godard was talking about this in Hiroshima Mi Amor. But now that influence is definitely out of the stuff, and comic developers have been influenced by other media as much as by itself, and this is definitely something I can feel influenced by the outside.

You've got a little bit of Star Wars. You've got a little punk rock, and obviously Tank Girls is a big influence in this comic, but ... you know what I'm saying? And it's full of what I call x and y jokes, in which the world is full of oddities, and the characters are perfectly aware that the world is full of oddities. I mean, there's stuff that makes the 10-year-old in me really happy, like the first issue has cybernetic gorillas and all that fun stuff.

First arc in the thing, and then there's a second arc, but there's really only one arc in the thing, and I'll get to that. A 12th-dimensional octopus thing is stuck in our world, in our dimension, and is trying to get back, and the Kims help him out. They repeat this joke twice, and the first time I thought it was funny, and the second time I was irritated by it, but thinking back on it I know why they've done it.

So that ends with the octopus dude who can morph into stuff and who they've been friends with, pointing a gun at the Kims, demanding that he take them to the 12th dimension, and then boom! Just as there's going to be a big action scene, you know what happens? They cut away  and then they go out and eat with friends and stuff, and then it's like, "Okay, that's a pretty funny joke, right?" The audience demands action. They come in for the action like, "This is the climax of your whole arc," and then, "eh, screw it, you don't want to do it." And I laughed at that. That's a funny joke. I love that stuff. I love subverting the audience's explanation.

Then in the last issue of the first volume they set up a new guy under the term Frank. Now Frank is a big hush-hush mysterious person spammer, the scum of the universe type. And nobody knows where he is, and in the end, they find him, and it turns out Frank is a monkey-like man, and that's what the deal with was with all the robotic monkeys in the future that have been attacking them the whole time. It's like some revenge thing to a past thing. And then, bam! Big action scene. And they cut away. It ends with them having a cutaway to the bounty-hunting office and explaining what happens. Frank apparently dies in the battle and the only thing they have is his foot.

Now at this point, they've been broke. The whole bounty-hunting thing ain't working out in the end. One of the Kims' parents has to pay for their rent, and she gets very sad about this. They hug each other in the end. So now this initially irritated me 'cause it's like, "Okay, you did this joke once. It's funny, but it's not super funny the second time." But I think about it further, and I'm thinking about this, and I finally glommed on and realized what this is. I mean, it's not subtle in some ways. You don't got to be. It's a funny joke, don't get me wrong. The brown-haired Kim was a necromancer, which was said to be a stable job. But she's complained that necromancy can kill a whole town. It happens in an earlier issue where she tries to do it. The way they talk about bounty-hunting is like they're talking about artistic people, like, "It's not a stable job, it's not a real job," which is, whatever. I've heard that my whole life. I'm not bitter.

So here's the thing. It's comparing the relatively benign world of the artist to the stable corporate job that hurts people by doing their job. You know, the real job whatever. That's a pretty, I think, a fun parallel. Here's the reason why they're cutting away from this, and what I think is actually quite smart, is this is the classic young people's story. It's specifically a modern young people's story. Besides the spaceships, there's really nothing to differentiate from the time of what's going on right there, presumably far in the future, and now. Even the spaceships look like not-spaceships, like there's the occasional alien, but really it's just people.

So by cutting away it's focusing less on the innate action of it and the struggles that the young people are going through, which is a relatively smart thing. The climax of the story is not the big action scene with the genetically-enhanced ape. It's the realization that brown-haired Kim, tragically, can't sustain her dreams of making money as a bounty hunter, and she has to depend on her parents, and that's why she breaks down crying.

I mean, there's a discussion about that she has rich parents that she can call, and that's a kettle of fish I don't feel like getting into, but I think that's secretly brilliant. That's like the classic young people's story, and when I say the young people's story I don't mean the coming-of-age or teenagerism. Well, there's technically coming-of-age, but for teenagers and college-age people, the life has just begun. The new adult, I guess, is the technical term. So I think that's kind of a relatively brilliant story idea and concept, and I very much enjoyed that. Some of the humor is not exactly my cup of tea, but I found a lot of the jokes funny. Did it get criticisms Yeah, no work's perfect. Anybody who tells you that is a bad critic. I don't know if the cursing is all that necessary. I'm not like some prude who's like, "Ah! Cursing is the freaking worst." But I did feel that sometimes it was a crutch. Honestly, the story would be perfectly fine for 13-year-olds without that.

So the first saga is a drama about the trials and tribulations against the backdrop of an epic war in space, whereas this is about the trials and tribulations of the new adult, the young person, against the backdrops of a wacky, goofy comedy. I really dig that. I don't want to oversell this thing and say it's a masterpiece unquestioned, but it's a fun read. I would definitely recommend it for whatever you want to recommend it for. So, for my review of Kim & Kim, I give it a recommendation.

AHHHHHHHHHH The Last Jedi AHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The Barry Review

0