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Search tags: Star-Wars-:-Return-of-the-Jedi
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text 2015-12-18 19:11
Star Wars!!!
Star Wars: Jedi Academy - Jeffrey Brown
Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan - Jeffrey Brown
The Phantom Bully (Star Wars: Jedi Academy #3) - Jeffrey Brown
Darth Vader and Friends - Jeffrey Brown

So, it appears that something special is going on today, but what was it again? I forget. Oh yeah! The newest Star Wars movie is opening. Looks like I'll be seeing it later tonight with my parents for my Dad's birthday. I was told that the very first movie I ever went to see was Return of the Jedi as an infant, though of course I don't remember any of it. 


I'm not the biggest Star Wars fan, as I know next to nothing about the "extended universe," but I do enjoy the movies (or, at least, the Original Trilogy, nothing too surprising there!) so I'm pretty excited about this next one. It seems to be attracting mostly positive attention so far, but even with the trailers, I had a good feeling about it. In order to get in the mood, I've been reading cartoonist Jeffrey Brown's Jedi Academy comics.


I have been a fan of Jeffrey Brown since I discovered his touching, relatable, confessional relationship memoir comics like Clumsy and Unlikely and his weird, geeky homage comics like Incredible Change-Bots and Sulk. His emotional resonance and love of pop culture really suit this genre, and it seems he's gotten pretty much a dream gig being put behind Disney's young adult Jedi comic series- there's probably not another cartoonist more suited to the role! Certain to appeal to many kids with its drawing on all things Star Wars, and its very realistic take on Middle School life with the ever popular "magical school" theme. I find it awesome how well Brown recalls the reality of being in middle school, the sudden swings in mood and relationships with especially when you have Yoda as your homeroom teacher. 



The Jedi Academy series follows the journal young Roan, a normal kid from Tatooine, as he finds himself at the Jedi Academy after expecting to go to the Pilot Academy. Roan, previously unaware of the Force, struggles to adjust with the help of Yoda and the other teachers and begins to find his way. As budding comic artist himself, Roan fills his journals with mini-comics, zines, and clippings from the school newspaper, report cards, Holobook (i.e., Facebook), etc. Brown's humor mixes a lot of situations and feelings familiar to your average middle school students (bullying, grades, first inklings of romance ) with the lightsabers, Wookies, and droids of Star Wars, for a great "chocolate and peanut butter" taste. It is great to see some daily life in the galaxy.


I also flipped through Jeffrey Brown's latest entry in his Darth Vader series, Darth Vader and Friends which puts everyone's favorite Sith Lord and other Star Wars characters into amusing everyday situations, in particular family situations. This one is a little less focused than the others, and are mainly one panel, Far Side-esque gags involving various Star Wars characters. Fun, but slight. May make a good gift for the Star Wars fanatic in your life who has yet to have had children! 

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review 2015-11-30 11:58
Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan - Jeffrey Brown

The second book, and also the second year at Jedi Academy, and I have to say I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I did the first book.


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review 2015-05-17 23:57
Happiest ending of all the alternate universes!
Star Wars: Infinities - Return of the Jedi - Adam Gallardo,Ryan Benjamin

The one half star I knocked off was for what I felt was the weakest art of the trilogy.   However, this one was the funnest read for me, as it had a dark aspect - Han Solo's fate, for example - but was the best outcome for the majority of the characters.   Maybe tapping into that little bit of wish fulfillment was what meant I had enjoyed this so much.  


And I have to admit, I'm not a hardcore Star Wars fan. I like Star Trek better, in fact, but even a casual Star Wars fan can easily enjoy these comics.  In fact, I'm going to check out the other Star Wars comics available through the Marvel Unlimited program soon. 

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text 2015-01-23 02:48
More War and other Strife
Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan - Jeffrey Brown
Marzi: A memoir - Marzena Sowa
Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood - Nathan Hale
The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza - James Kochalka
Maddy Kettle( The Adventure of the Thimblewitch)[MADDY KETTLE THE ADV OF THE TH][Paperback] - Eric Orchard

I'm still waiting on a big post on my shojou binge, since I then went on a bit of a shonen fest catching up on Naruto and Fairy Tail.  I have many thoughts, about gender, about stereotypes, even about endless war.


Which brings me to today, apparently I'm on a bit of a theme here.  This week I've read more graphic novels that seemed to have a theme (sometimes a tenuous one, but still) of conflict and war.


Marzi: A memoir - Marzena Sowa 

Marzi tells the story of a young girl, Marzi, living during the communist regime in Poland.  She lives in a building with many other families, and plays with the other children in the hallways, shouting down the trash chutes, pushing all the buttons in the elevator and of course all children's favorite, the ding-dong-dash.


Marzi has a lot of growing pains, she makes friends and fights with them, she gets in trouble and she worries about fitting in.  The difference is that she does all these activities while also standing in line for rations, to get an allotment of toilet paper (which, to her shame, she must carry home totally visible to the rest of the world).


I wondered a little about the author's current situation, and especially about her current relationship with her mother.  It looked like often had a difficult time getting along, but I also couldn't help noticing the difference in how she portrayed her two parents.  When I first saw her mother and father together I thought that it was Marzi's father and grandmother instead!


There isn't a scene in the whole bio that fails to paint her father as a heroic and loving figure in her life, yet her mother is consistently drawn as a fat, unkempt and angry woman, with gray hair.  Marzi precociously pokes fun at her mother's figure at any opportune moment. 


Maybe this is just a culture clash, to an American who is drilled in the concept of "one can never be too thin or too rich."  Whereas perhaps the Polish maybe a stronger, stouter figure is more admirable, Marzi's main battle with her mother is over Marzi's rail thin body, after all, maybe it's seen as a sign of wealth to weigh more.  That may or may not be true, but it didn't seem Marzi thought so at all.  I wonder if the two ever came to more of an understanding and what they graphic novel meant to Marzi's parents.


The book was an intimate look at the life of a family during this time period, about the relationships between Marzi and her family members and peers.  It is from Marzi's point of view, and she was often unaware of the things going on in the wider scale, but as she grows she becomes more and more aware of the unrest.


Next Up, I read Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: Treaties, Trenches, Mud, and Blood - Nathan Hale  

Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood is yet another in the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series, my favorite of which remains Donner Dinner Party.


This children's graphic novel goes through the entirety of World War I in 124 illustrated pages.  It's ingenious how Hale packs so much information into the book, yet still keeps it entertaining enough to keep kids interested.  Unlike Donner Dinner Party though, I think even with the amusing illustrations with the countries represented by animals, this isn't a graphic I'd recommend to just any kid.  


An interest in history, especially wars, would be necessary to get through the book.  As for me, I learned a lot.  I'd recommend this book to adults as well as interested children, it makes a very convoluted and complicated topic much easier to understand as well as taking such a dark topic and keeping it from getting overwhelming.


I look forward to reading more in the Hale's Hazardous Tales series.


Alright, I lightened it up a bit with some bright children's comics.


Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan - Jeffrey Brown 

The second book in Jeffrey Brown's Jedi Academy series, Return of the Padawan held up to my high expectations.  I would recommend this to nearly everyone.  Adults who loved Star Wars or Jeffrey Brown's adult graphic novels, kids who love Star Wars or the Diary of a Wimpy Kid would definitely love it.  


Returning to Corsucant academy Roan feels prepared to wow everyone with his piloting skills, but nothing seems to go right.  First Roan breaks the flight simulator, then he starts fighting with Pasha and Giana his best friends.


The art is wonderful, the characters have great expressions, the handwritten diary-like sections add a text element, yet don't break up the book too much, and other things, like "Yoda Says," Ewok Pilot comics and Roan's grades add a lot to the fun of the story.


Read Jeffrey Brown one has not?  Correct this one must!  (Thanks Yoda).


The Glorkian Warrior Delivers a Pizza - James Kochalka 


This one is bright, colorful, and totally hilarious.  Goaded on by his Super Backpack the Glorkian Warrior takes on a new adventure...delivering a pizza!  Although he was fine just sitting on the couch examining his feet, the Super Backpack wanted to have some fun, hm...this reminds me a lot of me and my brother.  I sit on the couch while he clamors to go out to find excitement.  Me, I'd rather examine my feet.


Anyway, this graphic novel is a lot of fun.  It's very zany, the two adventurers set off, gaining a new friend on the way and eventually make it back home to enjoy a snack. Kind of like Litwin's Pete the Cat books, no matter what happens to the pizza the Glorkian Warrior doesn't cry, he just keeps going. The twist at the end is quite funny too.


Maddy Kettle( The Adventure of the Thimblewitch)[MADDY KETTLE THE ADV OF THE TH][Paperback] - Eric Orchard 

Finally, I also read Maddy Kettle and the adventure of the Thimblewitch.


I was a bit confused when I first started reading this charmingly illustrated steampunk-tinged children's graphic.  I felt readers were dropped right into the middle of the action, Maddy and her parents are fleeing the Thimblewitch and her Spider Goblin minions.  Maddy's parents have been turned into kangaroo rats and before very long the spider goblins attack the train and steal both her parents and her companion a very special glowing floating toad.


As I read though everything started to make sense and I was absorbed by the quirky artwork and world that makes up the book.  It was a lot of fun to read and had a very feel good ending.  For kids that like a little creepy, but don't like to be scared, this might be just the ticket.


This is the first graphic novel by Orchard, so I will hope that further Maddy Kettle adventures are in store for us. 




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review 2014-12-28 16:47
Cute, fun, meaningful
Star Wars: Jedi Academy: Return of the Padawan - Jeffrey Brown

Not only is this cute and heartwarming, but for children who are struggling with peer pressure and fighting with friends, this touches upon those subjects.  It's a direct sequel, but can potentially be read as a stand-alone. 


It's told via diary entries, graphic sequences - like mini-comics - and notes and tells the story of Roan's second year at Jedi Academy.   It's more about his friendships, though, just as the first book was more about him settling in than about the Star Wars Universe, or really expanding on it.   


I really wanted to see what this looked like on a Kindle Paperwhite, and it was $1.99 at the time I purchased it.   Well worth it, as I flew through this and enjoyed it very much.   It's more readable than I expected, too.   Crisp, clear, and nothing is small enough that I had trouble reading the dialogue.   

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