AfterShock Announce New True Life Depression Era Mafia Drama, ‘Shadow Doctor’ From Peter Calloway

by Olly MacNamee


I freely admit to having a rather unhealthy fascination with the Mafia, and in particular their role in the building of America. So, I’ll be first in line to pick up a copy of this newly announced series, Shadow Doctor, from Peter Calloway, Georges Jeanty, Juancho! and Charles Pritchett. Based on the story of Calloway’s father – a trained doctor unable to find work in Chicago during the Great Depression because he was African-American – who worked for Al Capone’s operation in order to support his family. It’s a story that comes up time and time again when you look into the fascinating history of the Mafia in America, but a very personalised and powerful account.

“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.

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

Here’s the synopsis and first look at Shadow Doctor #1, out February 2021 from AfterShock Comics:
“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.” 

%d bloggers like this: