Jeffrey Brown is the New York Times bestselling cartoonist and author of Darth Vader and Son, as well as the middle grade Jedi Academy series. He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he grew up dreaming he would draw comics for a living. After spending college focusing on fine art and then receiving his MFA in Painting & Drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Jeffrey began drawing autobiographical graphic novels and realized making comics was what he should have been doing all along.
His books include graphic memoirs for adults, all-ages humorous parodies, Star Wars adventures, and the Lucy & Andy Neanderthal series. In addition to winning the Ignatz and Eisner awards for his work, his art has been exhibited in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Paris. He currently lives in Chicago with his wife, two sons, and cat.
Photo by Jill Liebhaber
I have an idea! Can we collaborate?
That’s great! I think everyone has at least one great idea in them, and most people have more. It just comes down to execution. My schedule for the foreseeable future is pretty much set, so I’m not able to take on any more work. But don’t be discouraged! Practice writing and drawing, and you can bring your idea to life – or maybe you’ll get better and better, and make your next idea a reality. Just keep making stuff!
Do you draw commissions?
I’ve enjoyed doing commissions most of the time over the years – they’re a fun break from projects and deadlines and a different way of working – but my schedule doesn’t allow time for them anymore, unfortunately.
Can you donate a signed book or art piece to my charity?
Because of the number of requests, I’m not able to at this time.
Can I send you a copy of my book to sign and send back?
I’m not able to sign and return books sent to my PO Box. However, you can always order copies of my books at my local independent bookshop, The Book Cellar, and I’ll stop by to sign it. They usually have some signed copies in stock, and if not – or if you want a book personalized to someone specific – let them know, and they’ll give me a heads up to stop by the store.
Can we be pen pals?
I try to write everyone back, but unfortunately in order to make sure I get back to everyone at least once, I can’t always reply, and sometimes it takes me a while. Also, make sure the return address is clear and complete – if I don’t write back, it’s usually because of a missing return address.
What materials do you use?
For my color work, I usually draw with Faber Castell Pitt artist pens – the Superfine black point for line work, and the brush pens for color. I like to work on Strathmore 500 series cold press illustration board. For black and white work, I use the same pens, working on Strathmore 400 series vellum Bristol board. I usually draw about the same size the art will be printed – sometimes smaller!
I really like Flat Stanley. Are you writing more Flat Stanley?
Flat Stanley was actually written by a different Jeff Brown – the first Flat Stanley book actually came out in 1964, eleven years before I was born!