The cracks in the foundation of the American Dream are revealed in the first issue of Shadow Doctor by Peter Calloway.
The first issue introduces Nathaniel Calloway, the author’s grandfather, who relays the events of his life to his grandson while he is on his deathbed. In a daunting flashback, Nathaniel is drawn as contemplative, riding along on a whiskey run and reflecting on his childhood growing up on a Cherokee reservation when the Italian Mafia nearly guns him down. Nathaniel explains to his grandson that he quit the mafia in the wake of the eye-opening event and made a promise to himself, a promise to do better. He went to college and obtained a degree in medicine, but after eight years of medical school, the labor he put forth bore no fruit.
Moving through the skillfully crafted images, Nathaniel is drawn into his past, into a time when he went to a hospital in Chicago, IL after being accepted for a position on the staff. However, when he showed up to work, he was not allowed in the hospital, he was turned away because of the color of his skin. Refusing to fold, Nathaniel then went to obtain a loan from bank after bank, and each time he was turned down he was told, “It isn’t personal.” It may not have been personal, but each time Nathaniel was rejected, it felt personal. A fracture formed in Nathaniel’s resolve to stick to his principles.
The treatment Nathaniel experiences was, in part, the result of a law born in the 1930s which prohibited black men from working in all-white areas or from obtaining loans to open their businesses in prosperous areas. Redlining segregated communities under President Roosevelt’s New Deal and drew lines between black and white communities that sought to keep Black people in poverty. Nathaniel attempted to find work elsewhere, including a hospital for Blacks, but there were none, they had closed from lack of funds. To make matters worse, America was still bearing the weight of the Great Depression in the wake of the stock market crash.
Nathaniel Calloway found himself in a horrible situation and the fury he felt forced his hand. Eight years prior, when he promised himself, he would do whatever it took to see his dreams through, he never imagined seeking his dreams would take him back to the beginning. Feeling powerless Nathaniel hardened himself and rose above the law to ensure his dreams would transpire. Seeking out old friends he finds himself in the den of the devil, Scarface.
Peter Calloway returns the audience to the mobster era of Chicago in the 1930s and guarantees the story will shock and enlighten. With the economy on hard times, nowhere to go, and a government working to beat you into submission, what would you do?
Shadow Doctor promises to take the reader into a seedy history of gangsters and hard to swallow truths that are all too relevant in modern times.
Continue reading Shadow Doctor March 24th when the second edition of this flawed, but charismatic doctor takes us on a journey through the shadowed alleys of American history.
Author: Peter Calloway
Artist: Georges Jeanty