David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely's Shaft: A Complicated Man was one of the best comics of the past couple of years. Focused on the first case for the legendary private eye, it was the origin story that I never knew I wanted, an engaging and very, very personal revenge case that set the stage for the character in a brutal and highly entertaining way and left me wanting to read a whole lot more.
Fortunately, that's exactly what we're going to get. Today, Dynamite announced that Walker would not only return to Shaft with Imitation of Life, a new comic with artist Dietrich Smith, he'll also be writing Shaft's Revenge, the first new prose novel about the character in over forty years.
One of the really nice things about the rise of digital comics is that there's always a sale going on, and this week, Dynamite has one that's definitely worth checking out. It's listed on the site as a "Recent Hits" sale, and there are a lot of great comics from the past year that are up for 99 cents each: the amazingly weird Bob's Burgers tie-in that features a new installment of Tina's Erotic Friend Fiction in each issue; the beautiful Conan/Red Sonja crossover; the surprisingly great Django/Zorro series from Matt Wagner, Quentin Tarantino and Esteve Polls; the Kirby-inspired Captain Victory; and even the first issues of their new King Features line.
It's one of those sales where it's easy to spend a whole lot of money --- which, I believe, is the entire idea --- but if you've only got the budget to check one thing out, then there's one book that I can recommend over everything else: David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely's Shaft, one of the year's best miniseries.
Over the past year or so, comics publishers have jumped onto the online bundle bandwagon with both feet, offering up deals via HumbleBundle and StoryBundle, among other outlets.
Now, Dynamite is trying a deal through yet another medium: BitTorrent. The publisher's "Mega Bundle" from BitTorrent Bundle includes 200-some issues of comics from 30 different series including Vampirella, Red Sonja, Bob's Burgers, Django/Zorro, The Green Hornet and Shaft, all for just $6.
Next Saturday at the Long Beach Comic Expo the first ever winner of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity will be named, and today the organizers revealed an impressive roster of nominees that includes a tribute to the first Chinese-American superhero, a blaxploitation revival, and the most prominent Muslim superhero in North American comics.
For a comic that's only two issues in, we've talked about David F. Walker and Bilquis Evely's Shaft comic a lot. There's been a review of the first issue, an interview with Walker, and now, with the second issue hot off the presses this week, we're going back to the well to talk about it again. The reason for all this ballyhoo from your pals at ComicsAlliance is simple: It's already one of the best comics in recent memory, and well worth your attention and ours.
The first issue started that trend, but in the second, things are heating up, and while the storyline follows a pattern that you probably expected going in, it's executed in an incredibly entertaining way.
David Walker and Bilquis Evely have teamed up at Dynamite for the first-ever comic adaptation of Ernest Tidyman’s ‘Shaft’ character, delivering an exhilarating, game-changing opening issue to a series that should make stars of the entire creative team.
Surprisingly, the book deftly skips away from the John Shaft seen in film and TV, instead dialling back in time to look at the young Shaft, just out the military. The original books talk briefly about this time in the character’s life, mentioning his brief stint as a boxer; this is where Walker chooses to focus as his series starts off. The story of the first issue sees Shaft just getting started as a boxer when he's asked to take a dive, and that hook is all Walker needs to create a solid sense of place and character. The story gives us a look at a confident but less seasoned John Shaft, still feeling out his place in the world and deciding what kind of mark he wants to make.
Next month, the world's most famous fictional Private Dick / Sex Machine / Bad MotherSHUTYOURMOUTH will make his first-ever appearance on comic shop shelves, when Dynamite Entertainment releases the premiere issue of Shaft, by the creative team of David Walker and Bilquis Evely. And while John Shaft is a well known figure to moviegoers and soul music listeners worldwide, this title promises to focus on the rough-and-tumble version of the character that originated in Ernest Tidyman's series of novels. We spoke to series writer Walker about the character's long history in multiple media, and his plans for the comic incarnation.
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