About 10 years ago or so I was in Downtown Comics in Castleton and met a really nice guy named Doug. Although we are no longer in contact he and I became pretty good friends. I would go and hang out w/ him because sometimes it was kind of quiet during parts of his shift there... We would talk about comics, of course, movies and toys all the stuff I love and he did too. In my life I rarely have known people who were into comics and all the other stuff I enjoy, so meeting Doug was refreshing and fun. He even liked Sushi:) Anyway, he had access to all of these amazing comic treasures and we would talk about stuff we had read or were reading, but one day he asked if I had read or been reading Preacher. Now I had heard about this book for awhile and it was finishing up its run w/ say 10 or 12 issue left to go. I have always loved superhero books because it is what I was raised on, and I wasn't completely sure how I felt about reading something new and out of my comfort zone. BUT when Doug pitched me the book I became very interested. He Told me it was about a Preacher who has the voice of God, but here is the best part of how he explained it to me... He said that he has the voice of God but that he rarely uses it throughout the series. To me that is the coolest thing I have ever heard because to have the voice of God would basically make you the most powerful person on earth... you could do anything because everyone would listen to everything you said. I simply had to read this series after he explained that small piece of this EPIC story to me.( And I mean epic like the word epic should be used not "cool" like everyone seems to use it today but a Legendary Journey of a hero -a massive story that is difficult to contain!!! Freaking Epic) Anyway, Doug loved this story so much that he did something comic guys don't always feel comfortable doing... He loaned me his copies of the trade paperbacks to read. And every time I saw him he reminded me to give them back when I was done... as he should have!
When I finally sat down to begin the story I was instantly sucked in. In the first few pages we find out how Jesse gets the "voice" as it's called in the book, but we don't know the details as to why he gets it or what the point is of him having it. The way I would describe Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's Preacher is a revisionist western meets a Tarantino film like True Romance! The tone is serious, absurd and offensive... This story is not for kids or anyone who is uncomfortable with weird sexual situations and religious examination and satire. The really cool thing about this book is that the characters are so great and it really becomes more about them and their relationships than the overall journey they take. Jesse Custer is the main character, who I have said before is seriously one of the greatest characters ever created, He has all of the elements of a great hero. He's kind, Two-Fisted, has a plan of action/impossible task and the love of a good women. He means what he says and he has John Wayne as his personal adviser. Plus, he comes from great adversity, which will always please a crowd. Cassidy, Jesse's best friend with a secret, is one of the the most likable but easy to hate characters I have ever followed in a story. He is at times sincere, loving and loyal to a fault, while other times he is cold, calculating and slimy! But the whole time you care for him and want to see him do the right thing. AND he does very heroic things at times in the story. Tulip is Jesse's one true love and she is a great female lead. She is strong, sexy and doesn't take shit from any man... that is my kind of lady! She and Jesse have a story of both tragedy and triumph and we learn what it is to love someone "until the end of the world." There are other great supporting characters like Arseface, and one of the greatest anti-heroes ever created The Saint of KIllers! These two guys couldn't be anymore opposite from each other, but they both grow and change throughout the story. All of the characters do, and they all have resolution their individual stories.
I feel like lately all I do is talk to people about this book to some degree, which is why I have to tell people about it on here this week. For one, ANYTIME I talk to anyone about comics I will ask if they have read Preacher. If I am talking to a fellow comic person many times they have read it or it's on their list. I am here to tell you Comics or not this book transcends genre. As I said before I didn't know comics could be what the Preacher is because I had never read anything like it or since. It is a completely unique story...many comics have tried to capture it's tone and have failed. Garth Ennis can only write like Garth Ennis:) This comic changed the way I wanted to create comics... don't get me wrong I still enjoy the superhero genre, but I learned that there are other ways to tell a story w/ fantastical elements and that characters could feel more real, while still being over the top and silly. Many superhero books and films effect me emotionally(cause I'm a sissy) but there are time in the pages of Preacher where my eyes will tear up over moments that are as moving as a comic book like Amazing Spider-man 33: the final chapter.( Spidey has to lift this this Super heavy metal off of his body in order to save his Aunt May! It doesn't seem possible but he does it)... You just can't believe what a character is dealing with or what a character went through to be who they are in the book when you are reading it.
So that about wraps it up I guess... oh... BUT there is just one-more-thing.... And I have to bring this up because I can't stop thinking about it since the Indiana Toy and Comic Expo... I was setting up my booth the night before the show when Chris Hogan one the the volunteers comes by to check on me and say hi, since I had the pleasure of meeting him once before. So we chat a little bit and he is very positive and kind in regards to the work I had displayed and what not but then he brings up the Preacher comics he is trying to sell at the show... I being a glutton for punishment just had to ask what his price for the first 7 issues was... He told me and was willing to give them to me right then.... and what did I do you ask? I told him I couldn't buy them right now, which was true... I wanted to make sure I was going to make my table fee back before started thinking about the COMICS I AM ALWAYS ON THE FREAKING HUNT FOR AND JUST LANDED IN MY LAP!!!!!! Damn I wish I would have just stopped being a little baby and bought them, but no I have to be responsible and practical at the show and not go crazy... (THANKS MOM!!!) Okay, so anyway Preacher is awesome and I hope you read it and if you ever have the chance to buy the First 7 issues... For the love of Jesse Custer-TAKE IT!!!