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 originally published with the help of a 2002 Xeric Award).
Kim came to the United States when he was eight. He considers himself fortunate to have received formal training in the visual arts and in the craft of writing. Much of his early highly acclaimed work was done while living with his parents in Pacifica, California. He now lives in Portland, Oregon.
All of his stories reflect, to a greater or lesser degree, his personal experiences. He offers poignant tales with an ever-present dash of humor. His drawing style is realistic and clean, based on the "clear line" school made famous by Tintin creator Herg. His story lines range from the naturalistic to the fantastic.
Most of the hostility and criticism of Kim's work seems to be self-directed (either explicitly or by skewering protagonists who resemble their creator), perhaps reflecting the influence of Robert Crumb.
Recently, Kim had begun serializing his latest work, Healing Hands on his website Lowbright, until he decided to abort the project on July 16, 2006. Healing Hands was to be published as a print graphic novel by First Second Books. Same Difference and Other Stories has been translated in French and is published in France and distributed in that country and Belgium, Switzerland and Canada by the publisher 6 pieds sous terre.
Kim illustrated a story in the original Fables graphic novel 1001 Nights of Snowfall, and has worked for Nickelodeon magazine, contributing during the Christmas season.
Kim wrote a graphic novel, Good as Lily, which was drawn by Jesse Hamm and was published by Minx in 2007.
The Eternal Smile: Three Stories - a collaboration with Gene Luen Yang - was published in April 2009.