Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Vader's Offspring

My two younger kids got these books for Christmas. I have to say they're pretty awesome. Sure, they look like books for kids. Little kids. I'm sure it's because they're picture books. But they're those kinds of books that look like they're for kids when they're really for adults, like Animaniacs is a cartoon that's really for adults. Sure, kids like it, but kids don't get it; they just think it's funny when an anvil falls on someone's head. Which, I have to admit, can be freaking hilarious. Wait, I'm not making my point, am I?
You do know there was a Star Wars Animaniacs special, don't you? Totally awesome.

Wait! Wait! I'm talking about these books by Jeffrey Brown.
The books have brightly colored pictures that are easily appealing to kids. Funny things happen, like Luke hitting Lobot in the head with pasta sauce at dinner, which are also appealing to kids. However, it takes a certain knowledge of Star Wars and of being a parent for these books to really hit home.

I love Darth Vader and Son. It captures a moment when Luke is probably around six or so and is a great picture of what it's like to be a dad. As in the scene with the pasta sauce: Vader's hand is to his forehead in that great "I can't believe he just did that" pose. This, though, is one of my favorites:
It takes a classic situation and puts a great Star Wars spin on it. The whole book is like that.

Vader's little princess is good, too, but it doesn't quite live up to Vader and Son. Mostly, it's because he used all the great kid moments in the one about Luke. Because of that, the one with Leia is less focused and strays up into teenagerdom and young adulthood. I have to say, though, that some of the dating stuff with Han is pretty funny. Here's one of my favorites from Leia's book:
The books are a lot of fun if you're Star Wars fan and worth having around as conversation pieces, if nothing else. But, if you're not going to buy them, you should at least make a special trip to the bookstore to check them out. They don't take long to read, and it's totally worth it.


  1. so, we ignore the Star Wars fact Vader did not raise his kids.

    See why I don't read anything but adult books. *sighs* Kinda like reading the Disney version of Grimm's tales.


  2. Donna has a good point!
    I don't have kids, so it probably wouldn't be as funny. Then again, I could read it and laugh at all the suckers who did sign up for that job.

  3. Donna's point was mine, too. DV didn't raise his kids, so do they say at the beginning "this is how it may have been if DV had been awarded custody (which I'm thinking couldn't have been an option)?
    I may, however, still sneak a peek at the bookstore! It looks like it could be funnier to adults than kids even.

  4. My reaction was the same, he didn't raise his kids. Don't think those would appeal to me, sorry. Maybe you have to have kids first.

  5. LOVE the Books!
    I have a Son and a Daughter so it is so much Win!

  6. They sound great to me. I have no problem with a what if scenario myself. So no continuity complaints from me.

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  8. I really liked Vader and son, very funny with lots of Star Wars in-jokes.

    Moody Writing

  9. These are adorable~ I know a few people who love Star Wars, but none of them have kids.

  10. Okay, I totally have to go track that one down. My kids would eat it up, and I probably would as well. =)

  11. Wouldn't it destroy half the people on the Internet if JJ Abrams decided to make these the plot of Episode VII? Just completely undo the canon stuff from the original three movies?

    I heard about these a while back on IO9, but I guess I thought they were just one-off cartoons. Were they, and the guy got a book deal out of it? Or were they always a book? It doesn't matter. These are rhetorical questions.

    Except not really, because now that I think of it, I can't really think of any blog-to-book deals that worked out in the long run. Maybe "Sh*t My Dad Says" guy? A lot of the stuff that the Internet goes crazy over ends up being flash-in-the-pan things that don't sustain interest. So if these WERE originally just cartoons that got turned into a book, I'd expect them to be subpar. Your review suggests they are not.

    Carry on.

    (I'm with Rusty: I don't care about "what ifs" and I think the whole idea is it's crazy to imagine Vader raising kids.)

  12. That's so funny. That's the kind of thing worth breaking continuity for.

    I never thought about what I might be missing by not watching Animaniacs as an adult. I'll have to rectify that.

  13. Donna H: That's what makes it funny.
    Have you ever seen Chad Vader?

    Alex: Just be glad your parents were suckers.

    Donna S: I think that's implied.

    Jo: You might have to.

    David: That sounds like win-win-win!

    Rusty: They are awesome. I'd read it to you, if I could, but you'd have to be here for me to show you the pictures.

    mood: It's a great book. I wish I'd thought of it.

    Jessica: Well, that's just too bad for them, then. Tell them to get on that.

    Crystal: I bet you would. With cheese.

    Briane: I think they were written as books? I'm not positive about that, but that's how they feel. He has a couple of others, too, that I haven't had a chance to look at, yet.

    Jeanne: Oh, you definitely need to go watch the whole series again. I own it.

  14. They were selling these around Father's Day last year, and my 11 y/o begged for Vader and Son. He read it probably 50 times with his little brother (age 4). It sounded like I lived with hyenas for a solid week.

    If he could get away with a book report on a comic, this would be the one.

    So, kids get it--but I think mine really got it because they have younger siblings and they've been intermittent caregivers. And what boy can't appreciate a good football in the crotch cartoon? Even made my surly teen laugh...

  15. Veronica: That's pretty awesome. My kids actually first found the books on a tour of Lucasfilm. They were on a coffee table in the guest area. I had to drag my son away from them so that we could continue the tour. He wanted to read everything there.

  16. So...if my hubby is a Star Wars fan, would this make a good gift to HIM from each of the kids for Father's Day? It sounds like something that would amuse him.

    The Warrior Muse

  17. My daughter picked up the little princess one recently. I may need to read it myself.

  18. Shannon: There is a good chance of that, yes.

    TAS: Just go do it. It won't take you very long.

  19. HAHAHA... "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further."

    I swear I'm going to try that on my daughter...with a James Earl Jones voice, next chance I get!

  20. I wouldn't say I'm a Star Wars expert, nor do I have kids, but maybe it would be worth a read anyway. I mean, I did enjoy that book Go the F*ck to Sleep even though I'm not a parent :P

  21. Trisha: It's definitely worth taking a look at if you're already in the book store.