A Matter of Life

Brown, Jeffrey

Published by Top Shelf Productions, 2013
ISBN 10: 1603092668 / ISBN 13: 9781603092661
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Synopsis: 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.

From Booklist: 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. --Gordon Flagg

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Title: A Matter of Life
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Publication Date: 2013
Book Condition: Good

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