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Corinna Bechko talks with David Walker about Shaft: Imitation of Life #3, on sale now

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  • Corinna Bechko talks with David Walker about Shaft: Imitation of Life #3, on sale now

    Corinna Bechko, writer of Lords of the Jungle #2, talks with David Walker about Shaft: Imitation of Life #3, both on sale now from Dynamite.

    CORINNA BECHKO: How do you prepare to write an iconic character like Shaft, especially one with such a distinctive presence?

    DAVID WALKER: Honestly, I get in touch with the alienated kid that dwells inside of me. I was a kid with anger management problems, and was prone to getting into fights, which is how Ernest Tidyman describes Shaft as a kid in the original books. I’ve mellowed in my old age, but some of the anger is still there, as is some of the misanthropic tendencies. I tap into that, which then allows me to go out into the real world without being a ticking time bomb of rage.

    CB: Shaft is very tied to a particular point in history. Was there anything about him that you felt you had to update for today’s readers?

    DW: I never really felt like there was anything that needed to be updated, so much as there were elements of the original Ernest Tidyman books that needed to find their way into the comics. There were these bits and pieces of character development that appear in the books, and not the films, and I felt that if I explored that stuff, there would be enough to make the character seem new and fresh to a lot of people.

    CB: I notice that you both write and letter the book. Is this an integral part of how you write comics?

    DW: It was back when I was doing more indie stuff, and budget was a concern. With Shaft, I just wanted the opportunity to play with the script for as long as possible. When someone else letters it, last-minute changes are a pain in the ass. But with me doing it, the opportunity was always there to fine tune a little bit here, and a little bit there. Honestly, I rewrote a significant amount of the first on this miniseries. I saw the art, and I realized my scripting wasn’t all that it could be, so I rewrote probably about 25% of the script.

    CB: Do you have any personal history with the cinematic version of Shaft? And how often do you get the theme song stuck in your head? Full disclosure: I get it stuck in my head every time I see your book on the stands!

    DW: Shaft was part of my youth growing up in the 1970s. That entire era of blaxploitation movies has always fascinated me, and back in the 1990s I produced a documentary on those films, as well as publishing a zine about them. I’ve seen the three original Shaft movies more times than I can count. The funny thing is that as much as I love the Isaac Hayes theme song, I prefer both O.C. Smith’s “Blowin’ Your Mind,” the theme to Shaft’s Big Score, and “Are You Man Enough,” by the Four Tops, from Shaft in Africa. Those songs are so badass.

    CB: What other projects are occupying your time these days?

    DW: I’m currently having the time of my life writing Power Man and Iron Fist for Marvel, as well as Nighthawk. Later this year will see the release of Tarzan on the Planet of the Apes, which I co-wrote with Tim Seeley. And then there are some original creator-owned projects in various stages of development, that I hope to announce later this year.

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  • #2
    I collect all the Shaft comics. There rumour Shaft returning Big Screen Sequel to the 2000 movie.

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    • #3
      I haven't read the Shaft comics yet, but based on this preview, I looked into them on Comixology. They look like solid efforts, so I'll probably pick them up at some point.

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