“Darth Vader and Son” cartoonist Jeffrey Brown made his way to the world famous CBR Yacht at Comic-Con International in San Diego to chat with Jonah Weiland about his latest endeavors including “Jedi Academy” and his need to always be working. The conversation also spans Brown’s origins as a creator, being a perfectionist, baring his soul in his autobiographical work, how his new book “A Matter of Life” may be his most personal yet and writing his first movie, “Save the Date.”
On the origins of his popular “Darth Vader and Son” book: It was supposed to be a Google doodle. I got a call about doing some sketches for a possible Father’s Day doodle and their idea was asking me to draw something with Luke and Vader in an everyday father-son moment. My son was four at the time so I immediately though, ‘Make Luke four, put Vader in all these situations I’m in’ and did up a bunch of sketches and Google went with a different idea. I was able to take it to Chronicle Books who had published some of my work and thne also done a lot of “Star Wars” books over the years. It seemed like the kind of perfect fit for this book. Like you said, it’s not really comics, but there’s comics elements and it’s very visually-oriented. And the books themselves are very much about being an object. Chronicle is a publisher that excels at that. They took it to Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm said yeah.
On baring his soul in his autobiographical works: I found that the way I write stories is I write them as stories I would tell to friends. So that trust that I’m placing in the readers has been returned. By and large, most everyone who reads the books, even though there’s things in there that they can easily make fun of me for and totally rip apart, they respond to it in the exact opposite way. They come with their own stories and they feel a connection to the work that I don’t think I could achieve any other way.