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Cover image for A matter of life
Format:
Title:
A matter of life
ISBN:
9781603092661
Publication:
[Marietta, GA] : Top Shelf Productions, [2013]
Physical Description:
93 pages : chiefly illustrations (chiefly color) ; 22 cm
Summary:
"In A Matter of Life, Jeffrey Brown draws upon memories of three generations of Brown men: himself, his minister father, and his preschooler son Oscar. Weaving through time, passing through the quiet suburbs and colorful cities of the midwest, their stories slowly assemble into a kaleidoscopic answer to the big questions: matters of life and death, family and faith, and the search for something beyond oneself"--Publisher's web site.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
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GRAPHIC Brown, J.
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GRAPHIC 921 BROWN, JEFFREY
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On Order

Summary

Summary

After the acclaimed indie film Save the Date and the bestselling all-ages humor book Darth Vader and Son, graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown (Clumsy, Unlikely) returns to the autobiographical work that first made his reputation. In A Matter of Life, Jeffrey Brown draws upon memories of three generations of Brown men- himself, his minister father, and his preschooler son Oscar. Weaving through time, passing through the quiet suburbs and colorful cities of the midwest, their stories slowly assemble into a kaleidoscopic answer to the big questions- matters of life and death, family and faith, and the search for something beyond oneself.


Author Notes

Jeffrey Brown was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1975. While earning a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he abandoned painting and began drawing comics. His first autobiographical book, Clumsy, was published in 2001. His other works include Unlikely, AEIOU, Every Girl Is the End of the World for Me, Little Things, Funny Misshapen Body, Bighead, Darth Vader and Son, Vader's Little Princess, and the Star Wars: Jedi Academy series. He won an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Mini-Comic in 2003 for I Am Going To Be Small. In 2014 his title Return of the Padawan made The New York Times Best Seller List. He also directed an animated video for the band Death Cab For Cutie

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Brown added to his growing rep last year with the bestselling Darth Vader and Son, and his newest title presents a more down-to-earth view of fatherhood, a theme that Brown clearly has deep feelings about. The book focuses on his relationships with his preschool son, and with his own father. By mixing the trials and tribulations of his own journey into fatherhood with his childhood memories of his dad, Brown draws loose parallels between the two and shows the greater insight he has been given concerning his own development. Faith and religion are major themes, with Brown questioning his Christian upbringing as he matures and discovers the gaps in his education. Brown's own father is a minister, making this a sensitive subject to tackle, and the story is intercut with his son's questioning of his grandparents' religion. With simple sketches and strong colors, this book is in the style of Brown's previous autobiographical books Clumsy and Small Things, and fans of his better-known books, like Cat Getting Out of a Bag, will find subtle and quiet insights into the realities of family life in place of humor. Darth Vader and Son was a top present for Father's Day last year, and the new book will likely offer a repeat performance. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

In this graphic memoir, a Midwestern preacher's son loses his faith and discovers art. Both the style and tone of this coming-of-age narrative sustain an engaging navet, even as the young son who is the author becomes a father himself, and the deceptively simple story encompasses three generations of male Browns, who may or may not discover the answers to life's biggest questions in church. The creatively prolific Brown (Funny Misshapen Body, 2009, etc.) has extended his talents into film, animation and broadcasting (on NPR's This American Life), and he also teaches comics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Yet there is nothing artistically flashy or academic in this understated, matter-of-fact memoir, which begins, in darkness leading to a glimmer of light (over six large panels): "When I was little, I believed in God. At least I think I did. At some point I realized that I didn't believe. And I hadn't in a long time. If ever. It doesn't mean I don't believe in something bigger than myself." Such an introduction leaves a lot of open space for interpretation, and the rest of the narrative, in panels not considerably larger than postage stamps, proceeds to fill in some of it, though by no means all. It's a story of church, camps and missions, then college, art, museums, sexual awakening and fatherhood, where a son might receive different answers than the father, who is the author, received from his own father. Brown dedicates the memoir to his father and son, and love for both permeates the pages, where epiphanies are small, revelations conventional, and neither the artist nor the challenges he faces ever seem larger than life. Intermittently engaging, but there are more questions than answers here.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Brown first garnered attention a decade ago for his simple, autobiographical comics depicting his disastrous relationships with a series of troubled young women. Now married, with a young son, Brown's concerns have inevitably changed, but his approach to dealing with them and documenting them in his comics remains entertainingly self-obsessed. Rather than worrying about his romantic life, he now ponders bigger questions, particularly matters of faith and religion. The narrative swings back and forth between scenes from his childhood and his growing skepticism about his church's teachings particularly wrenching since his father is a minister and his present-day efforts at parenthood. Along with Brown's transition to adult concerns comes a subtle maturation of his depiction of them: where his early works sometimes felt like they were spewed onto the page emotionally and randomly, this one has a thoughtful structure that enhances the story's impact. What hasn't changed is Brown's scratchy, childlike drawing style, which remains charmingly awkward, adding to the sincerity of this characteristically heartfelt memoir.--Flagg, Gordon Copyright 2010 Booklist