Shepherd Book always had a calm bit of wisdom to bestow. An insightful man of experience seeming to know a lot more than maybe he should. Book could distill wisdom beyond his years, even if certain captains didn't heed his words.
As Book put it early on in his stay on Serenity, "I think I'm on the wrong ship!"
What do we really know about Book, the apparent "man of the cloth?" He's rather well versed in the criminal element, he knows how to shoot, he knows his way around a firefly, and at one point, the bounty hunter Jubal Early said "that ain't no shepherd."
We can guess at various ideas about him: A retired Alliance officer, an ex-con, a double agent for the independents? Have you ever been wondering exactly what his back story is? Yeah, me too. Joss-Verse fans really want to know!
Strangely, so does Ron Glass, the man who played Shepherd Derrial Book in the TV series Firefly and movie, Serenity! One day he told Joss Whedon that he's tired of facing fans at conventions knowing what they are going to ask and not having answers.
Well, now he's going to get some info to answer those questions with.
Whedon said that if there were ever by some fortuitous miracle, a Serenity sequel, there would never be enough room to explain Book's back history. So Whedon derived the only way possible to expound on his own universe. The place where he has the control he needs to pour forth his inner imaginations.
A Shepherd book, about Shepherd Book. A book, er... well, you get it.
Ron Glass as Shepherd Book
Whedon already has the outline in his head and the book is going to be called The Shepherd's Tale. The comic will outline Book's entire history, covering some of the most asked questions about the character. It will be vignettes as you will of who he is and how he came to be on Serenity.
The Shepherd's Tale will come out as a three-issue online comic that will be scripted by Jim Krueger and we ain't gettin' no insights from Whedon. He says we'll have to read it to find out the little things like the man Book once killed and things like that. Wah!??
Right now Krueger is writing the MySpace Dark Horse Presents online comic: Serenity: The Other Half.
But for the moment, all the good details about Book will have to wait until next year when the issues come out. As Joss put it, It's taking longer than they thought. Patience my readers, patience.
Sources: MTV, Firefly Wiki