From his heartbreaking personal graphic novels to his spot-on parodies of the Transformers to his Sundance-favorite rom-com starring Community's Alison Brie, Jeffrey Brown is a cartoonist and writer you ought to know. And it may be that his latest project, sanctioned by Lucas Books (yes, the Lucas), will be the one that really brings him the acclaim he deserves.
From a galaxy far, far away to your bookshelf, Brown's Darth Vader and Son is a touching, hilarious, and downright adorable look at how the Star Wars saga might have played out if the Dark Lord of the Sith knew anything about being a good father to his boy Luke. Jokingly referred to as "episode three and a half" (continuity nuts, be warned: you will never fit this into canon), this book's made up of over 60 one-page cartoons that show Darth raising his four-year-old boy, teaching him things like cleanliness, manners, and how to properly build a lightsaber. All of it's drawn and colored in Brown's unmistakable style, though the large size of the drawings make Darth Vader and Son feel more like a storybook than a traditional comic.
Vader and Son's designed with Star Wars fans in mind; there are lots of jokes here that play better if you know the movies inside-and-out like a good nerd should, like when Vader asks Luke whether he shoved Greedo first, or when he tells his son "I find your lack of patience disturbing." But the book's aimed just as much, if not moreso, at real fathers and their sons. Brown's got a five-year-old boy at home himself, and it's clear that this book was put together at least partially from personal experiences; there are definitely some moments here that will bring to mind your own childhood. But it's not like the book is all sap; Brown says his inspiration also came from playing with Star Wars action figures, and who among us hasn't done that at some point in their lives... like yesterday. I mean, that's cool, right?
Check out some promo art from Darth Vader and Son below, and let us know what you think! And if you've got nerdy parents, keep the book in mind come June 17 (aka Father's Day)… chances are your dad will appreciate this heartfelt and totally awesome gift. Finally, keep your eyes on Jeffrey Brown, guys. He's a big deal.