Shaft: Imitation of Life #1
Published by Dynamite
Created by Ernest Tidyman
Written and lettered by David Walker
Illustrated by Dietrich Smith
Coloured by Alex Guimares
Cover art by Mathew clark and Vincius Andrade
(Click on the comic cover or red link to buy/bid from ALL available Ebay sellers)
“Who’s the black private dick
That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?
You’re damn right
Who is the man
That would risk his neck for his brother man?
Can ya dig it?
Who’s the cat that won’t cop out
When there’s danger all about
You see this cat Shaft is a bad mother
(Shut your mouth)…”
-Isaac Hayes- Shaft
…But I’m talking ‘bout Shaft, The Comic; new on the shelves from Dynamite, and this book continues the legacy full throttle! I have to admit I was a little Skeptical when I opened this one up. I missed David Walkers previous instalment of Shaft: A complicated man, so for me this had a lot to live up to, but the Creative team of David Walker (Army of Dr. Moreau, Shaft: a Complicated Man) and Dietrich Smith (Battlestar Galactica: Death of Apollo) Knocked this title into the bleachers!
The artwork is clean and clear, Smith has a good foundation and a super crisp storytelling style, However, I would have liked to have seen him take a few more risks and add a bit more exaggeration and dynamism into the poses he chose, but you can see this guy is on his way up, and is definitely one to watch! David Walkers’ narrative technique, is, well, sublime. I really loved the dual narrative he had going, with John Shaft’s “voice over” it was awesome to really get into the head of this “Complicated man” and see a side of the character that was only slightly implied in the films. I loved how this story took Shaft into a place I never really expected to see him go, it explores some experimental ground, and has a really intriguing “save the cat moment”. The pacing is smooth and very cinematic- it flowed so well I read it twice. And one interesting point to note, is that he also did the lettering, so his bubble placement added to the effect of this, my eyes danced right through it to the end. That being said, I’m used to seeing more explosive cliffhanger’s at the end, but this is the sort of comic that you keep thinking about after you put it down, and like any good mystery you’ll want to know what happens next.
Ian Powers is an American film Director and Producer based in China, who has a passion for Comics and stories well told. He is currently developing several film and Animation projects and now he’s thinking seriously about writing comics.