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Same Difference and Other Stories
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Same Difference and Other Stories

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  502 ratings  ·  62 reviews
After selling through the self-published run of Same Difference and Other Stories in just a few short months, Derek Kirk Kim proudly moves his debut collection to Top Shelf! Through a series of sensitive - and often hilarious - short stories, Kim deftly explores the not-so-average twenty-something's quarter-life crisis, romantic neurosis, and a refreshing slice of Korean-A ...more
Paperback, 139 pages
Published July 6th 2004 by Top Shelf Productions (first published 2003)
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Eisner Award Winners
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 802)
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Kirsty
The main story was sweet, but the extra ones at the end were pointless –largely just the author's rants and masterbatory pointlessness. Should have stuck with the main story! ...more
Traci Haley
The first story in this book was good, though a bit of a disappointment at the end, but the rest of the stories were just kind of "meh".
Kelly
Mixed bag. A few gems, but also a few more masturbation jokes than seemed really necessary.
Phoebe
This first book of collected stories shows its freshness but is worth the read. It's particularly interesting to have read it after reading Kim's two, more recently published Tune graphic novels. You can definitely see how Kim matures in both his illustrative style and story-building. The poop and sexual frustration jokes, however, remain. I forgive the frequency of them because Kim continues to exhibit a sensitivity towards the more complicated, emotional inner-lives of young men, and I appreci ...more
Andy Shuping
Cross posted from Amazon

Derek Kirk Kim is not only a pretty fantastic artist, but also a great writer as well. The bulk of the book is one story, "Same Difference." In the story we meet a group of friends discussing where they are in life and when one of them sees an old friend from High School, two of the friends set out on a journey back to home. Along the way they meet back up with old friends from High School and attempt to right a couple of wrongs. Strangely autobiographical, but brilliantl
...more
Nicole
The first story I enjoyed the most, though there were moments of eh mainly because that joke or statement was something I didn't think was funny or related to. But those moments weren't many that by the end, I thought Same Difference was a great story. The rest of the stories in the book kind of do the same thing. It's funny, I laugh. It's supposed to be funny but I don't laugh. It's something that I can't relate to or agree with. And mainly, it's stories that I am beyond. Meaning if I would've ...more
Hollowspine
A collection of stories, featuring themes of awkwardness, the absurdity of American culture, coming-of-age, being different...being the same...and did I mention the awkwardness?

Even though the stories often made me remember my own awkward moments and cringe in embarrassment, I really enjoyed reading each story. His writing was very insightful (just as in the Eternal Smile) and goes beyond storytelling to ask readers to question and to remember and to connect with the characters in his work.

My f
...more
Kapila
You know, I really wanted to like the entirety of this book. DANG there were some funny moments. And I absolutely loved the title story; I wished it could have developed more. I loved the fact that I was reading about Korean-American characters. The book's characters and stories really force the reader to invest emotionally, not surprisingly because at least one story is autobiographical in nature, but also because DKK, as author and illustrator, makes sure of it! DKK demonstrates a variety of i ...more
Printable Tire
Nerdy slacker meanderings, definitely a product of its time. Speaks to a young, lonely, nerdy, self-loathing, (though apparently not just white) male population I was apart of not so long ago. Kim has great comic book talents while (like far too many) not having much originality in what he has to say. Stories which would otherwise be tired and annoying cliches in prose form have a certain sparkle to them as cartoons, and if you are into auto-biographical comics, you know what you are in for (tho ...more
Heather
3.5 stars

As I have stated in other reviews, I don’t read my graphic novels simply because I don’t feel they provide the full background story and I’m missing some details. I read this one to see if it is appropriate to hand out to teens for World Book Night. It is NOT, however the first story (86 pages) was hilarious. I laughed out loud three times in the first 20 pages, Seriously! And I also am not one that typically enjoys stupid humor. However, the other short stories (just a couple pages eac
...more
Joy
Graphic novel short story collection. I enjoyed the opening story, "Same Difference"; it's by far the longest piece in the collection, taking up about half the book. It managed to portray Asian-American life without being obvious in the way that American Born Chinese often is. The remaining 12 pieces (none of which was more than 10 pages long) were pretty much disposable. Perhaps I'm too used to manga-style storytelling, but I was particularly annoyed by how text-heavy many of Kim's stories were ...more
Gretchen
Jesus, this book fucking spoke to me. As a post-college graduate who's pretty sure (at this point), that I never want to get married, this book was so spot on and heartbreaking that it was ridiculous. Not that it's all about those ideas, but they feature prominently. Especially the idea of going back to your high school town and seeing people you know but don't really want to see. I'm not expressing this very well, so you should probably just read it. The main story, "Same Difference," was by fa ...more
Chris
This is a wonderful bit of a collection here. True, some of the shorts aren't the best, the titular graphic novella is well worth the read--especially if you're in the 25 to 30-year-old range, as it definitely brings up many things that seem to be relevant to that age group.

Both humorous and heartbreaking, the storytelling/pacing is spot on, and the art supports everything quite well.

Another fine book worth your time--especially as graphic novels take so little time to read. There's not excuse f
...more
George Marshall
I found it pleasant to read, nicely involving, with some good moments. But I also found the art too mannered, the dialogue too laboured and the characters too self-conscious to be realistic. And I kept
thinking of how well Adrian Tomine - the other prominent Korean American comics artist/writer - deals with exactly the same issues of young singles, love, rootlessness, finding an identity. In some ways its not fair to compare with Tomine, who is outstandingly talented and a superb artist, but loo
...more
Raina
Most of this book is made up of one longish short story about two 20somethings stalking of a stalker (or something). LOVED that part. I can totally see the influence of Adrian Tomine (though he's not such a downer), and Alex Robinson (one of my fav gnists ever). The second part is a bunch of different short stories, including some memoir and travelogue, as well as some more wacky choices. Way fun, especially for a big fan, and especially since I saw him at the Oly library before teh Oly Comics F ...more
Damien
If the main characters weren't constantly referring to themselves as Korean, they could've been any number of the kinds of people I had known and hung out with since I was in high school. I really liked the primary story, although it had just a little too much in common with the subplot from another graphic novel. Some of the shorter stories were really good, others so-so. Whining about bad relationships is always annoying, unless you're Woody Allen, which Mr. Kim ain't... yet. I look forward to ...more
Jim
first thing, the edition i read is from topshelf and has an english version of the spanish cover shown.
there are some good stories in here but w/too much swearing and using God's names as curse words. the author/artist has too much of a fascination w/the human ass and bowel movements. the book wouldn't be worth fighting a parent over if it were in a h.s. library. which is sad because "same difference" is a really good story and his two page "valentine's day" story is almost worth the price of th
...more
Stephanie
I can imagine a friend sitting down and telling me these stories. (a friend who tells really good stories, the kind you want to find out what happens.) The stories are about everyday life - an afternoon adventure, weeding the garden, remembering embarassing moments, etc. They're told by twenty-something characters who sometimes reflect on highschool experiences, so this would be appropriate for mature young adults as well as adults.
sunny
Jun 04, 2008 sunny rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: comix
This book was what i had hoped american born chinese would be. no offense, gene yang. i did like ABC but what i was really hoping for was something closer to reality than satire. and double points for it being korean characters. little moments like, "You don't eat raw ramen? what kind of korean are you??" for me, that's the appeal. characters, plot, whatevs. raw ramen jokes? a little inside for the weirdo koreans out there? love it.
Thomas Andrikus
Derek Kirk Kim has painted a painfully honest story in this graphic novel in what it means to become an Asian minority in the Caucasian-dominated USA.

With the hilarious anecdotes inserted in the latter-half of the book in form of short stories (which surprisingly have different drawing styles), he could not have done it better.
Erika
I almost want to give this lovely book a perfect score, because it touches the Asian-American experience so beautifully and humorously. However, there's just too much crude sexuality. Why? It can be funny, but it also can be unnecessary when everything else is so right on. I can't help myself from reading all the "young adult" "graphic novels" I can find about the immigrant experience. This one is a keeper, too.
Mikael Kuoppala
A varied, somewhat uneven but impressive collection of shorts that explore the lives of young adults in an ever-changing world where are free but often alone.

These stories ring true, they are nondramatic but have tone and atmosphere to make them captivating, the everyday becomes fascinating in these slices of life. Pleasant stuff that has something essential to say about modern life.
Tina
This is probably one of my first graphic novels. It's very endearing in its nerdy-ness. I'm not sure if it's my kind of humor though... Some of the jokes I just didn't understand, and some I just didn't find that funny.

But this is definitely an interesting read -- made more so by the fact that it's from a Korean American's point of view.
Margot
Local Bay Area! Art and words--double threat! And what a delightful variety of artistic styles. Very impressive.

Social pressures of high school with all the unthinking cruelty and pranks that entails, culture shock of moving back to a country you left as a child, young love dashed, disillusionment with human evils--this collection has got it all.
Twan
Apr 10, 2012 Twan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Did the title story used to be free to read online? I'm sure I've read it before?

Either way, it does derserve a read or two and is a good enough story to justify the praise it has garnered over the years since it's release. Heartwarming and funny.

The older 'other stories are'nt on a par with the main tale but are worth a curious read.
mika
really good to see young asian american male protagonists in comics!!! i liked his short stories better than the long feature but overall v enjoyable. rona & i think his picture and bio on the back flap are gorgeous and we hope he is getting laid now so that he can diversify his subject matter for the future.
Sarah
Collection of various stories with the longest and most notable being the first, "Same Difference." It explores the strange connections one can have with strangers, and has many small, beautiful moments, amidst the main storyline of two outsider friends revisiting their high school personas.
Rhianne
Derek Kirk Kim has a great way of telling stories with characters that just happen to be asian american, he doesn't turn it into some huge statement about identity, or culture, it just seeps out of the story naturally. Most of all I relate to his characters as they maneuver through their world.
Renata Teixeira
I'm a big comic book fan and also an indie film lover. This book is just a mix of both, all the stories felt like an amazing storyboard for a great indie movie. The drawings are so alive, like they will jump of the page anytime. He's style is unique and precise.
Liane
I'd been reading DKK's comics online for a while, so I got a thrill out of reading them *gasp* in print. But the stories are brilliant with great drawings and cool insights into Asian American culture.
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Derek Kirk Kim is an award-winning Korean-American cartoonist. He won both major industry awards in 2004, the Eisner and the Harvey, for his debut graphic novel Same Difference and Other Stories, which was originally serialized on his website Lowbright (formerly known as "Small Stories"). He also won the Ignatz Award for promising new talent, in 2003, for the same graphic novel (which was original ...more
More about Derek Kirk Kim...
Good as Lily Same Difference Tune: Vanishing Point (Tune, #1) Tune: Still Life (Tune, #2) The Eternal Smile: Three Stories

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