Each of Dynamite Entertainment’s six Shaft comic books penned by David F. Walker will contain a download link, via a QR reader, to a short novel by Walker entitled Shaft’s Revenge. This is the first original prose work to feature Ernest Tidyman’s creation since the original books went out of print in the late 1970s.
As yet there are no details of plot or setting, but Walker’s desire to portray his Shaft in line with the character seen in Tidyman’s novels suggests fans of the books are in for a treat. Shaft #1 comic book is on sale on 3 December 2014 and #2 on 14 January.
Google have published preview pages from Shaft #1 in their Books section.
Dynamite Entertainment have updated their site promoting the first edition of the Shaft comic book, due to be published on 3 December 2014. The sample panels show Shaft in a boxing bout and also flashbacks to his service in Vietnam.
David Walker has been doing the promotional rounds talking about his new comic book series featuring John Shaft. A couple of podcasts – one with Publishers Weekly and another with Cold Beer and Comics give Walker the opportunity to talk about his work on the books and his enthusiasm for Ernest Tidyman’s novels, which are the basis for the stories Walker is developing.
The series is due to kick-off from Dynamite Entertainment on 3 December with six issues in total planned to date.
There is a great interview with David Walker writer of the new Shaft comic book on the Comic Alliance website. In the interview Walker covers the history of the character and his plans for both the comic books and new prose. Walker has been commissioned for six issues but has sufficient material for twenty four. He also has a desire to adapt the first Shaft novel.
Also on the site are the below example panels minus the dialogue and prose. This is the first glimpse of artist Bilquis Evely’s excellent work. As Walker points out in the interview the physical depiction of John Shaft is based on Ernest Tidyman’s description and not Richard Roundtree.
A preview for the cover to Shaft # 2 has been published. The comic is written by David F. Walker and drawn by Bilquis Evely and goes on sale on 7 January 2015. Variant covers will also again be provided by Sanford Greene and Denys Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz
Here’s the blurb for Issue #2: Every great detective has their first case. For John Shaft, that first case seems simple enough. But tracking down a missing person for his girlfriend quickly turns into a matter of life and death. With the bodies piling up, Shaft realizes he’s in over his head. But can he stay alive long enough to figure out what is going on, or will his first case be the death of John Shaft?
I look forward to receiving the first issue published on 3 December 2014. I have ordered the Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz cover variant (top left of the six choices). The series will form an origin story set one year before Ernest Tidyman’s 1970 novel.
I will post reviews of the series here as the comics are published.
A Comic Book Resources interview with David Walker reveals he will write and Bilquis Evely will illustrate the first Shaft comic book due to be published in December by Dynamite, who recently purchased the rights to Ernest Tidyman’s character.
Walker will be using Tidyman’s novels, rather than the films, as his basis for the character and bringing into focus Shaft’s Vietnam service and the impact this had on his life. This is good news for fans of the books, such as myself. Effectively Walker’s series will be an origins story set a year before Tidyman’s first novel.
Walker says, “With Shaft, the biggest difference between the films and the books is that the character in the books is simply more badass. He’s also more complex. It is that complexity that drew me in, and it is what is driving my interpretation of the character. In the books, there are these very brief passages about his youth and his time in the Vietnam War. If you took all of this stuff, from all seven of the books, you’d have only a few pages of material, but it is all gold. Tidyman created this character, and gave him just enough backstory that it really sparks the imagination.”
The site shows a number of variant covers for the first issue of which Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz’s (above) is my favourite.
David Walker has his own site on which he will be posting updates.