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Preview: A Black Doctor In 1930’s Chicago Joins Forces With The Mob In SHADOW DOCTOR #1

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Still glowing from the critical success of THE LAST SPACE RACE, AfterShock Comics is releasing their second series from writer Peter Calloway early 2021, starting with SHADOW DOCTOR #1. SHADOW DOCTOR is the real-life adventure of Calloway’s grandfather who struggled to build his medical practice in 1930’s Chicago until he joined with an unlikely ally — the notorious Al Capone.

Calloway describes this comic as the embodiment of his family’s heritage. “This is my grandfather’s story — a Black doctor that, after graduating in the early 1930’s in Chicago, couldn’t find a job at a hospital because he was Black.  He also couldn’t get a loan from a bank to start a practice, because he was Black.  Desperate, he turned to the only other source of money in Prohibition-era Chicago: the Mafia.”

You can read all about it in the official AfterShock press release below along with previews of the first issue.

Are you excited for a historical comic told from a unique perspective? Let us know what you think in the Comments section, and please share this post on social media using the links below.

SHADOW DOCTOR #1 / $4.99 / 32 pages / Color / On sale February 2021

Writer: Peter Calloway

Artist: Georges Jeanty

Color Artist: Juancho!

Letterer: Charles Pritchett

Cover artist: Mark Chiarello

This is the true story of Peter Calloway’s grandfather, Nathaniel Calloway.  A Black man, he graduated from medical school in the early 1930’s.  Unable to get work at any Chicago hospitals (because he was Black), and unable to secure a loan from a bank to start his own practice (because he was Black), he turned to another source of money in Prohibition-era Chicago: the Mafia, run by none other than Al Capone.

PETER CALLOWAY ON WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT AND WHY HE’S EXCITED FOR IT TO BE RELEASED:

“This is my grandfather’s story — a Black doctor that, after graduating in the early 1930’s in Chicago, couldn’t find a job at a hospital because he was Black.  He also couldn’t get a loan from a bank to start a practice, because he was Black.  Desperate, he turned to the only other source of money in Prohibition-era Chicago: the Mafia.

What my grandfather did is something of a legend in my family.  He faced enormous obstacles and overcame them, setting his children up for a better life than he had.  That’s not to say he was a saint.  He wasn’t.  The choices he made had consequences for the rest of his life.

I guess what I’m saying is that — on the one hand — his story represents the promise of America.  On the other hand, it also shows the worst of it.  That, to me, is compelling, exciting, and ultimately important.”

PETER CALLOWAY ON SOME OF HIS INSPIRATIONS BEHIND CREATING THIS BOOK:

“One of the things I really wanted to do was to stay away from the tendency — in my family at least — to glorify what my grandfather did or what happened to him.  He was bold and  intelligent and savvy.  But he was also flawed and did things that are — at best — morally questionable.  To be honest, that’s the part that my family tends to shy away from.  And those are the things I feel it’s necessary to explore.” 

PETER CALLOWAY ON 3 REASONS WHY COMICBOOK READERS SHOULD PICKUP THIS BOOK:

1) If the collision of medicine, the mafia and race in America interests you, the book is for you.

2) It’s a fresh, unique POV — the eyes of a Black doctor — through the famed gangster era of the 1920’s and 30’s

3) These are stories that — even though they are almost 100 years old — are still playing out in one way or another today: from race, to crime, to economic uncertainty.

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Gabriel Hernandez
Lovers of all things Comics, Sci-Fi and Horror. Former Rocket Scientist. Current IT Guru. Amateur musician. Writer. World Traveler. I live in Wilmington, DE with my wife and two children.

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