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A Matter of Life Hardcover – July 2, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603092668
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603092661
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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

More About the Author

After growing up in Michigan, a 25-year-old Jeffrey Brown moved to Chicago in 2000 to pursue an MFA at the School of the Art Institute. By the time he completed his studies, he had abandoned painting and started drawing comics seriously. His first self-published book, Clumsy, appeared seemingly out of nowhere to grab attention from both cartoonists and comics fans. Established as an overly sensitive chronicler of bittersweet adolescent romance and nonsense superhero parody, Brown's current direction remains split between more autobiography examining the minutiae of everyday life and whatever humorous fiction he feels in the mood for. His most popular works include Clumsy, Unlikely, AEIOU, and Every Girl is the End of the World For Me, comprising the so-called "Girlfriend Trilogy" and its epilogue. More recently his autobiographical work has included Little Things and Funny Misshapen Body. His parody The Incredible Change-Bots, the Ignatz Award winning I am going to be small and humorous cat book Cat Getting Out Of A Bag all stand out amongst his humor work, while his Sulk series continues to take on a variety of subjects with satire. Jeffrey's work has appeared in a host of anthologies from McSweeney's to The Best American Comics, as well as mainstream books like The Simpson's Treehouse of Horror and Marvel's Strange Tales. His original artwork has been exhibited in New York, Paris, and Chicago. Brown has been featured on NPR's This American Life and even created a short animated music video for the band Death Cab For Cutie. He lives in Chicago with his wife and son.
Visit jeffreybrowncomics.blogspot.com for news and drawings, and you can write to him at: PO Box 120, Deerfield IL 60015-0120, USA

Customer Reviews

Most reads like poetry.
Aaron C.
They were more like sidebars, but they weren't uninteresting to the rest of the story.
W. McCoy
This book gives the readers a short bio of his life and fatherhood.
Wendy A. Emlinger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robin Blankenship on July 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was drawn to this one because I had read other Jeffery Brown books. The Vader books were awesome. So I decided to read this one. The art as usual was great. I love his style. But this one was way more serious then the Vader books. This was a deep look into the faith, religion, growth, adult and childhood. It was a glimpse into the authors past and what shaped him into the man and father he is today. It was very thought provoking and rich in details. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and highly recommend it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Aaron C. on August 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jeffery brown has a way of pulling the reader into the story. Most reads like poetry. When you start you don't want to stop. I've met him at a con or two and his writing reflects his personality, just like you would hope. This isn't made up, this is him. And he can tell a story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W. McCoy on July 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey Brown's 'A Matter Of Life' is a semi-autobiographical look at three generations of his family, from his minister father to his young son. He attempts to find a unifying meaning to life through his lifelong struggles and eventual rejection of his faith.

He shares about growing up in the midwest where "there's a church on every corner" and of growing up as a minister's son. There are mission trips and days spent at church. He discusses how he felt about the rituals and rigidity of belief. Before he heads off to college, he is already rejecting his background, but eventually makes a sort of reconciliation.

The style is definitely more like a newspaper comic than a graphic novel, but that makes it more personal. I liked the story, although sometimes full pages of panels would appear that didn't seem to flow into the rest of the book. They were more like sidebars, but they weren't uninteresting to the rest of the story. I found the story engaging and enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover
Book Review
Autobiographies don’t have to be mundane ramblings about every little event in a person’s life. Author of The Jedi Academy series, Jeffrey Brown has illustrated his autobiography with ample detail and in full color. A Matter of Life gives readers a glimpse into the mind of an artist, teacher, and father, and what life was like growing up in the shadows of God.

While showing many of the downsides of practicing a religion, such as placing belief in a mythical person, indoctrinating children, and guilt-tripping non-Christians, he does it with commendable respect and using his own personal stories.

(If you really have faith, you'll kill your son for me) "WTF, God?! Are you insane?"

Unlike most of Brown’s books, this is a serious, but lighthearted book geared toward adults, though perfectly suitable for all ages. He has the same struggles most kids and young adults encounter, but what set him apart was his gift for free thinking and reaching to the far ends of the world to seek a deeper knowledge on various subjects to base his own opinions on.

Jeffrey Brown has provided readers with an opportunity to meet the real person behind his books. You get an idea of where he pulls ideas from and how he is inspired within his artwork. If looking for a new spin on autobiographies, this will be one you definitely want to pick up!

*This book was provided by Top Shelf Comix in exchange for an honest review.*
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