Star Wars: Darth Vader and Son
By Jeffrey Brown (2012)
What the Book is About:
The book is a simple and humorous look at the often unexpected joys, spontaneous moments of laughter, teaching moments, and some of the frustrations of being a dad to a young son, all played out between Darth Vader and his son Luke Skywalker. In this short, hardcover collection of original cartoons and captions, Vader is a present, day-to-day father raising Luke while doing what we dads do: training Luke to hit a baseball (with a light saber), telling him not to make bubbles when he sips through a straw (at the intergalactic bar), or pouring his son a bowl of cereal for breakfast (using the force to do so). You get the idea.
Brown has created a clever and delightful, super easy to read, collection of artwork, captions, and fathering moments all dads can relate to, but which you will appreciate most if you know the Star Wars stories. Thankfully, my boys have all seen every one of the movies multiple times, and I have learned the stories well, so reading Brown’s little book was fun. It was a good reminder of the things we dads do, enjoy, and wonder about (such as Vader wondering how to answer little Luke’s question about where babies come from).
There isn’t a great deal of substance to this little book, but I don’t think that’s the point. It fits well in its genre of comic communication. I do admit I am surprised it has become an Amazon #1 bestseller in the Fatherhood genre. In fact, it appears to have been so successful that Brown is capitalizing on the popularity by writing an entire line of similar products. To be published in 2013 were: Star Wars: Vader’s Little Princess (for Dads and Daughters), a Darth Vader and Son Flexi Journal, Darth Vader and Son Postcard Book, and a Darth Vader and Son 2014 Calendar.
I guess Brown has found a brand to market. Check it out if you like the book.
After growing up in Michigan, a 25-year-old Jeffrey Brown moved to Chicago in 2000 to pursue an MFA at the School of the Art Institute. By the time he completed his studies, he had abandoned painting and started drawing comics seriously. His first self-published book, Clumsy, appeared seemingly out of nowhere to grab attention from both cartoonists and comics fans. Established as an overly sensitive chronicler of bittersweet adolescent romance and nonsense superhero parody, Brown’s current direction remains split between more autobiography examining the minutiae of everyday life and whatever humorous fiction he feels in the mood for. His most popular works include Clumsy, Unlikely, AEIOU, and Every Girl is the End of the World For Me, comprising the so-called “Girlfriend Trilogy” and its epilogue. More recently his autobiographical work has included Little Things and Funny Misshapen Body. His parody The Incredible Change-Bots, the Ignatz Award winning I am going to be small and humorous cat book Cat Getting Out Of A Bag all stand out amongst his humor work, while his Sulk series continues to take on a variety of subjects with satire. Jeffrey’s work has appeared in a host of anthologies from McSweeney’s to The Best American Comics, as well as mainstream books like The Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror and Marvel’s Strange Tales. His original artwork has been exhibited in New York, Paris, and Chicago. Brown has been featured on NPR’s This American Life and even created a short animated music video for the band Death Cab For Cutie. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son. Visit jeffreybrowncomics.blogspot.com for news and drawings, and you can write to him at: PO Box 120, Deerfield IL 60015-0120, USA. (bio from Amazon.com)
Brown’s audience appears to be men who have children, specifically boys, and who certainly have a prior knowledge of and appreciation for the Star Wars genre and stories.
Click on the image to find this book on Amazon.com