On the heels of his critically acclaimed Shaft mini series, A Complicated Man, David F. Walker is back with new artist Dietrich Smith in a four part epic, Imitation of Life, in comic shops NOW.
The initial series with interiors drawn by Bilquis Evely and mood setting covers by Denys Cowan and others, was Shaft's first foray into the comic book world, excluding a comic strip that was never published. A Complicated Man was essentially the origin of John Shaft, Viet Nam vet, former boxer and all around hard man of New York City.
Using the backstory that's touched on in original author Ernest Tidyman's Shaft novels, Walker created a story that features love, death, 70s fashion and plenty of action. By the series end, Shaft is on the way to becoming a private investigator, full time.
Dynamite Entertainment is the publisher of Imitation of Life (along with Walker's prose novel, Shaft's Revenge, available February 23rd). Here's the synopsis provided by Dynamite:
“After a high-profile case puts him in the headlines, private detective John Shaft searches for something low-profile to keep him out of the spotlight and out of danger… and takes a missing person case that proves to be more difficult than he thought. At the same time, he is hired to be a consultant on a low budget film that may or may not be based on his life, and proves to be as dangerous as any job he’s ever had. But when there’s danger about, John Shaft won’t cop out – even if it means squaring off against sadistic gangsters that want him dead.”
The Shaft we see in Imitation of Life resembles Richard Roundtree's historic version of the character, moreso than the initial mini series did. In the novels, Shaft didn't wear a moustache and had a scar on his forehead. Smith's version retains the scar, but adds the 'stache to good effect.
Writer Walker is red hot these days following the release of Shaft. He then segued over to DC to handle writing chores for Cyborg, did a Nick Fury one shot and will be resurrecting one of comics' most beloved duos, Power Man (aka Luke Cage) and Iron Fist, for Marvel Comics, on the stands February 17th. A movie critic, an author an artist and an articulate and passionate fan of blaxploitation cinema, David is a guy who will never be called boring. For proof, check out his website, Bad Azz Mofo!