I discovered Preacher by accident several summers ago. I was perusing through graphic novels in my favorite library when I came across a copy of Book One. I had never seen it, but its cover image and title caught my eye. After skimming through it for a few minutes, I knew this discovery was destiny. And now I have the privilege to reread all of Preacher and share my unwavering love of it.
Preacher: Gone to Texas
What is Preacher?
Preacher is a horror neo-western comic series. It was written by Garth Ennis, drawn by Steve Dillon, released by Vertigo and the covers of each issue are hand painted by Glenn Fabry. With religious themes mixed with explicit, horrifying artwork, the books are disturbingly delightful.
“There’s worse to come, I’m afraid.”
The saga begins with our main protagonists, Jesse Custer, Tulip O’Hare and Cassidy. Jesse, a 30-something black haired and handsome preacher has history with Tulip, a beautiful blonde hitwoman who met Cassidy after a failed job. The three sit in a diner and recount their meet-cute. They are trying to figure out why Custer’s church exploded and his entire congregation was obliterated while he left nearly unscathed.
Here’s what happened: God has completely abandoned the universe he’s created and His angels have turned to drugs and alcohol instead of doing their jobs. What’s worse is the spawn of an angel and demon coupling, a creature named Genesis, escaped Heaven and placed itself in the soul of Jesse.
Jesse soon learns about God’s departure and the powers that come with Genesis now being apart of him, including the ability to force people to obey his verbal commands. No longer a practicing preacher, he now has a new job: finding the God who doesn’t want to be found.
Along the way we meet an array of characters including the Saint of Killers, Arseface and his dirty cop father. While Book One establishes these characters, we will see more of these intriguing characters in latter volumes.
Preacher does not fit into one singular genre. It has horror, black comedy, religious (and anti-religious) elements, action, romance, vampires. These are a staple of much of Ennis’ writing (e.g. The Boys and Hellblazer). His story relies heavily on dialogue, which is the backbone of Preacher. Each characters’ voice and personality is exhibited through the words they say; Ennis knows how to write dialogue and he knows it well. There are moments when the subplots hinder the story, but those instances are minor compared to the overall experience the comic brings.
Steve Dillon’s drawings and Matt Hollingsworth and Pamela’s color consists of hard line work, bright colors and dark shadows. It is a common comic book format, yet their styles are so unique and one of a kind. From the subtle background shades to brutal character designs (e.g. the first image of Arseface), the artists exemplify just how impactful art can be in comic books.
Preacher is an adventure from start to finish. I highly recommend this series, especially for horror fans. Until we meet again for Book Two, make sure to check out more Haunted MTL comic book reviews here. Amen.(4.5 / 5)
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What Have We Done: Alex Finlay Produces Another Hit
- Jenna: A stay at home mom with a secret assassin past
- Donnie: An alcoholic rock star
- Nico: An executive producer of a reality television show
They all have a past, but who is out to get them?
Jenna, Donnie, and Nico share a troubled past. They were all orphans who lived at Savior House — which is much less savior, much more terror. When their friend Benny, a famous judge, is murdered and the FBI comes looking, Jenna, Donnie, and Nico must race against the clock to figure out who is targeting them.
From the author of The Night Shift, which I reviewed here, I would expect nothing less than what Finlay has delivered. Finlay notoriously creates stories with palpable thrill and spine-tingling revelations.
I particularly enjoyed the character of Jenna. She is a reformed assassin living a normal life as a new stepmom. When she is called in to make a hit and her family is threatened, she goes badass mom on ’em. While I still thought Donnie and Nico as characters were engaging, it was nothing for what I felt for Jenna.
Also, major props to Finlay for creating a character that kills with a very unique weapon. Read it to find out more!(5 / 5)
“The Writing Retreat” Gone Bad: Julia Bartz’s Debut
Keeping it all in the family, Julia Bartz’s The Writing Retreat is the debut novel of the sister of Andrea Bartz, author of We Were Never Here, which I reviewed here.
I was much more impressed with The Writing Retreat than I was We Were Never Here.
Five up and coming female writers under 30 are invited to a writing retreat hosted by the reclusive and acclaimed horror writer Rosa Vallo. Rosa reveals the details of the retreat: each writer must complete a full length novel from scratch over the next month. The best novel wins a multi-million dollar publishing deal with Rosa.
Suddenly, the retreat turns into a nightmare when one writer goes missing in the snowy terrain outside.
The novel hinges on friendships in turmoil and has a focus on LGBT+ representation as well as interpersonal female relationships. The novel explores the dark publishing world and the search for fame and the Great American Novel.
This novel is atmospheric and intellectual, page turning, and the English major’s required reading. I absorbed this novel and found Julia Bartz’s writing and conceptual chops to be leagues above her sister’s.
Ths novel releases on February 21, 2023 and it should be in your cart right now.(5 / 5)
Buy it here!
A Murder in Reverse: “Wrong Place Wrong Time”
“A brilliantly genre-bending, mind-twisting answer to the question How far would you go to save your child?” — Ruth Ware, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Jen watches her son murder a stranger. Stab him to death. She and her husband, Kelly, watch as their son Todd is taken into custody.
The next morning, Jen wakes up and it’s yesterday. Jen knows that at the end of the night, her son kills someone. She is determined to stop it.
Jen goes further and further back in time trying to discover why Todd murdered a stranger and how to stop it.
This book is twisty. Right when you think you know the ending, something else is there to prove that the story is more multifaceted than that. While the premise of the novel is simple, Gillian McAllister elevates a simple concept with deep, dark twists.
It is best that you don’t know too much going into this one. For fans of Blake Crouch, this is such a good thriller with time travelling vibes.(4 / 5)