Once again, before we plunge into the fray, I should point out that Preacher
is a series of graphic novels, so if you don’t enjoy a cartoon / graphic novel format then these aren’t for you.
Since I posted my review of another graphic novel – Locke & Key
– only yesterday (Click Here
to see that review), you may be forgiven for thinking that I’ve only just re-discovered this genre. In reality, I read graphic novels quite a lot, I just haven’t gotten around to reviewing many of them before, and I’ve only been prompted to do so now because of the incredible quality of the ones with which I am currently engaged.
As I mentioned in my previous review, I really like cartoons and graphic novels in general, and I particularly like them when the story line is good and the art work grabs my attention. Preacher
satisfies both of these requirements – the story is gripping to say the least (more in a moment), and the graphics are nothing if not attention-grabbing. Having said this, I should probably note that the imagery in Preacher
isn’t of the same extreme quality as Gabriel Rodriquez’s work in Locke & Key
, but most of it is pretty darn good
and some of it is pretty darn great
, as is illustrated by the pictures of Jesse (the main character) and Cassidy the vampire (just be glad he’s on our side) as shown below:
One other point I have to make is that these books are full of profanity and graphic violence. Generally speaking, I can live without violence and swearing (my dear old dad never uttered a swear word in front of me in his life … and knowing me I’m sure I gave him occasion to), but in the case of Preacher
I’m prepared to make an exception because… it’s necessary to the plot and it works.
The story follows an ex-preacher, Jesse, who has become disgusted with God's abandoning of His responsibilities. So Jesse sets off into the wilds of Texas with his “hit-man” girlfriend and his new best friend (a vampire) to find God so that he can give Him a piece of his mind.
Be warned: Preacher
is littered with perversity and blasphemy. As the official Amazon review says: “It’s like a brutal accident; you can't watch but you can't turn away.”
Consider the list of characters, for example, which includes (and this is just a sampling from the first two volumes) an alcoholic vampire, a serial killer who dismembers his victims and sends the parts to their friends and loved ones, a female contract killer, a homophobic superstar cop who stars in homosexual movies, a small-town sheriff in Texas with an attitude against any people of color (especially those from Mars), the offspring of the mating between an angel and a demon that escapes from heaven and descends to Earth, a set of angels that do all the work and seem unable to do a great deal right, a second set of angels that orders the first set around, and … the list goes on…
One reviewer who gave Preacher
five stars (as did the vast majority of the 119 reviewers on Amazon) says “This will offend you. It offended me in several ways that I didn't even know it could. However, the point is to get people thinking about religion…”
Another says “This graphic novel is gross, revolting, blasphemous, replete with foul language and bloody and I read it straight through cover-to-cover…”
Yet another comments “My God, this is sick! It's also funny as hell, even though I still feel slightly disturbed that I actually laughed at some of the things that happen…”
One of the more interesting reviews (also five stars) commences as follows: “This is an extremely difficult review for me to write. I'm an evangelical Christian, and, hard to believe as I'm sure it seems to a lot of people, I still think it's the best (and only) way. Preacher was going to be the enemy for a long time – that strange, pretentious book about a man of the cloth taking on God. And then I read Gone to Texas. And the next day, I read Until the End of the World. And the next day, I read Proud Americans. In case the pattern had escaped you, I had a very hard time putting these down. More to the point, I did not put them down, and have just finished Alamo. Did the book shake my faith? No. It made me think a great deal, and a great deal harder about things that had not previously occurred to me. Was I offended by it? Sure. Find me someone who wasn't. Did I love every single page? You bet.”
And there’s more… much, much more…
If you are still interested after reading all of the above, there are nine volumes in the series as follows:
- Gone to Texas
- Until the End of the World
- Proud Americans
- Ancient History
- Dixie Fried
- War in the Sun
- All Hell’s A-Coming
Thus far I’ve read the first two volumes and I have the remaining seven sitting here in my office crying out for my attention, but I’m rationing myself to one a week so as to prolong the anticipation and enjoyment and excitement as long as possible…
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