April 12, 2009

The first two volumes of PREACHER left me with a feeling similar to the one that followed THE DARK KNIGHT STRIKES AGAIN, and by that I mean a feeling of dizziness and delirium. In my opinion, these two volumes were packed with just the right amounts of bullets, blood, and blasphemy to keep me turning the pages.

Writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon team up to tell the story of Jesse Custer, a hard drinking pseudo-preacher endowed with the word of God, on the run from renegade angels, rogue cowboys, the government and his own grandmother. It’s a fast and frenetic barrage of drugs, violence, perversion and religion. You might be able to say it’s DOGMA meets PULP FICTION with a southern flair. You could definitely say it’s sick, in all meanings of the word.

While I enjoyed Ennis’s southern / western dialogue and motifs, I feel as though I were more won over by Dillon’s artwork. While his line work is fairly straightforward, it still draws the viewer in and effectively conveys info on the fly. His action scenes whiz by fluidly, and while the way he draws blood is extremely bloody, the violence is typically glossed over in a KILL BILL kind of way- awesome but without the gravity of actual violence. Bullets blow entire holes in faces and eye sockets, like punching holes through paper. It’s raw but not overwhelmingly intense. Furthermore, I find Dillon’s layout extremely inspiring. I don’t often see jagged panel edges and an embracement of white / negative space in a professional comic book, but I do believe that it cleverly adds to the frantic fuck-it-all feeling of PREACHER.

I wasn’t as seduced by PREACHER as I was by Vaughan and Guerra’s Y: THE LAST MAN (which I just finished in its ten volume entirety, and was absolutely floored by). But Vaughan’s homage to PREACHER via Yorick’s “Fuck Communism” lighter (which I would love for my birthday, if anyone wants to buy me one) encourages me to keep on chugging through it.


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