“Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale,” the long-awaited origin story of enigmatic holy man Shepherd Book from Joss Whedon’s “Firefly” TV series and its cinematic sequel “Serenity,” is still six months away, but Dark Horse has provided CBR with an exclusive first look at artist Steve Morris’s cover to the graphic novel. The story is by Joss Whedon and scripted by his brother Zack Whedon, whose “Terminator 2029” miniseries, also from Dark Horse, wraps this month. Interior art is by Chris Samnee. CBR News caught up with Zack Whedon for a quick “Serenity” update, and be sure to check back later this week as Whedon discusses the latest on “Dr. Horrible” and announces another major project.
“I love that cover,” Whedon said. “Book is the product of his combined experiences as we all are. When we meet Book in the show, when we see him at the conclusion of his life in the movie, he really is a beautiful person. His path to becoming that person was less than beautiful. It was convoluted and painful and trying and I think the cover image gets all of that.”
Since we last spoke with Whedon in March, work on “The Shepherd’s Tale” has continued apace. “I have seen inks for about half the comic. They look great,” the writer said. “It is going to be a very striking style that is completely different from ‘Float Out’ [by Patton Oswalt and Patric Reynolds] and the other ‘Serenity’ comics that have been made. I think Chris Samnee’s art compliments Book’s story very nicely.”
As to whether the story has changed at all in the telling, Whedon said, “I was given a sort of skeletal outline by Joss to work from. I followed it pretty closely, putting my stamp on each piece of the story as I fleshed it out.
“I do feel that it has a lot of me in it, rather than just being a Joss story that I executed. I have gotten attached to it and am very proud of it. I only hope that Ron Glass [who played Shepherd Book] likes it as much as I do. It would be cool if the fans liked it too. I hear there are a few of them. I believe they call themselves The Coat People.”
Whedon’s joking aside, dedicated Browncoats can look forward to “The Shepherd’s Tale” in November, following the one-shot “Float Out” by Oswalt and Reynolds next month.
Tomorrow on CBR: Zack discusses the “Dr. Horrible” trade paperback, nearly Â¼ of which is new material, and where things stand with the musical sequel. Then: Zack’s next big thing.