The Force has been strong with Jeffrey Brown.
Last year through Chronicle Books (with the permission of Lucasfilm Ltd.) he illustrated Darth Vader and Son, a 64-page book filled with Darth Vader and a young Luke Skywalker having humorous father-son bonding time throughout the Star Wars universe.
A book so great, that it’s up for the Best Humor Publication Eisner this year.
What helps make the book so wonderful and relatable is that Brown is a father of two young boys, so surely he found inspiration by simply watching and interacting with his own Padawans. It’s the perfect What If book for Star Wars fans who would have loved to seen more father-son interactions in the movies.
The gags I enjoyed the most were taking iconic lines of dialogue from the movies, and applying them elsewhere for increased comedic effect. You can tell that Darth Vader really loves Luke, but has a hard time conveying his feelings when he has to also appear to be the evil Sith Lord we all know and fear.
After a successful career of his autobiographical comics, it’s great to see Jeffrey Brown getting the respect and attention he deserves on a much larger scale. His illustrations on Darth Vader and Son are crisper-yet-reminiscent of his style on Incredible Change-Bots than his earlier comics like Clumsy and Bighead.
Darth Vader and Son was so successful and superb, that the next book Vader’s Little Princess has hit stands this week to much rejoicing from fans. Following a similar theme to the first book, Vader’s Little Princess focuses on the relationship between Darth Vader and Leia, as she goes through her ‘rebellious’ teens.
Whether it’s dating Han Solo, arguing about what skimpy outfit she wants to wear, or learning to drive the TIE Fighter, Darth Vader is certainly growing a massive headache trying to deal with his little princess. Fathers who have daughters can certainly relate to this book, for I certainly saw my dad go through some similar relationships depicted here with my sister when she was a teenager (her name coincidentally is ‘Leah’).
Luke makes a few appearances here and there in this book as well, but it’s Leia who is the star in this 64-page knee-slapper, constantly reminding us that she definitely is a princess. While they may be fighting against each other for different causes, Darth Vader and Princess Leia are still as close as family can get no matter how estranged their relationship is.
Both Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess are currently available for $14.95 wherever books are sold, and believe me when I say they are definitely worth the Imperial credits.