Kemper's Reviews > Preacher, Volume 1: Gone to Texas

Preacher, Volume 1 by Garth Ennis
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's review
Jul 22, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: comics, sky-cake, preacher, rednecks, western, spooky-powers

Preacher has so much graphic violence that the makers of the Saw movies can’t read it without projectile vomiting.

Preacher has such profane language that Chris Rock would cover his ears if he heard it.

Preacher has acts of sexual perversions so disgusting that Larry Flynt once said he would have never taken his case to the Supreme Court if he knew that this was the kind of stuff that would get published.

But damn, is it a great story.

Jesse Custer, a reluctant redneck minister in a tiny Texas town gets endowed with the Word of God after bonding to an entity that escaped Heaven. Then he hooks up with Tulip, his gun-toting ex-girlfriend, and Cassidy, a 90-something year old Irish vampire who likes whiskey as much as he likes blood. The three join forces on a quest to find God and kick his ass for his neglect of humanity as they fight an international religious conspiracy and the toughest supernatural killer ever seen in all of creation.

It’s not Richie Rich, that’s for sure.

It’s really easy to get caught up in the shocking stuff that happens in Preacher. This is a comic series where a character casually states, “ Curiosity won’t just kill the cat. It’ll bite it’s head off and stump fuck the remains ‘til the sun comes up.” And that’s mild compared to some of the other stuff that gets said and done. Frankly, there are images in the panels of Preacher that I’ve sometimes wished I could get out of my head.

But look past the shock value, and you’ll find a comic classic with almost limitless ambition and wildly original story to tell. At times, Preacher reads like Irish-born Garth Ennis’s love letter to America. It’s also his exploration of the legends of the American West, the nature of religion, the depravity of people, and the limits of friendship and love.

Despite the gore, the sex, the language, and the violence, this is a series with a strong sense of morality. Jesse and his friends are outraged and disgusted by the depths people will sink too, and the quest to find God is a carry over from that. Jesse is angry with what he learns about the nature of God, and sees him as a vain hypocrite who created people and then just lets them suffer while expecting them to praise his name and not lifting a finger to help. And to Jesse’s cowboy nature, that’s an insult that deserves a reckoning.

Joe R. Lansdale says it best in his introduction in this volume: “I’m not sure it’s a learning experience, but it’s a thinking experience, but most important…it’s unique, and I hope it’s uniqueness does not encourage a hundred writers to go out and try to repeat it. What they will come up with is just meanness for meanness’ sake. It won’t have the edge, the special feel of PREACHER. They’ll just be imitations. Because there is only one Garth Ennis, and only one Steve Dillon, and only one PREACHER, a tale out of Ireland, dragged through Texas with a bloody hard-on, wrapped in barbed wire and rose thorns. And it’s out to get you.”
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Hilary Oh man, that is the BEST description.

Ronyell Awesome review Kemper!!! I liked this comic too!

Matt Lewis The only description anyone needs to read.

Janice Awesome review.

Jessica O'Toole This review now has a special place in my heart.

Antony Socrates Promises to be a great series. Read volume one and seen the Amazon Video season one, looking forwards to the rest.

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