my year in comics, part one: Preacher
My all time favorite comic is the Preacher series. I've read it from the beginning, but starting after the first collected came out, I began to wait for the collected volumes - still collecting the single series - and read those instead. Waiting sometimes seemed like torture, but I prefer to read comics in chunks instead of single issues.
For some reason, I never bought the collected #8 or #9, the last two in the series, even though I bought the singles. So, for the longest time, the Preacher story was left hanging in my mind.
For Christmas, Justin bought me 8 and 9. Since Christmas night, I have been reading the entire collected series, from start to finish. Like a good book.
Actually, this has been better than most books I read this year. Great character development by Garth Ennis; good writing and a twisting, turning story line. Steve Dillon's artwork and Glenn Fabry's covers do the story justice, setting the mood for each story line and bringing the cast of characters to life in such detail that they seem real, not drawn.
Preacher is not for the faint of heart. It is violent, sexually graphic and deviant and contains healthy doses of religion, war and mysticism, often invoking a stark sense of the old west or great war movies. Oh, vampires and Bill Hicks, too. There are some characters in this series that would give even the most stoic person nightmares.
As with any decent story, I became attached to the characters. When one of them turned out to be something/someone I did not imagine him to be, I felt as if I had been stabbed in the back (even though he listened to The Clash). That's good writing.
Comic books and graphic novels are often looked upon as not "real" literature or books, but I dare anyone to glance through the Preacher series and tell me that it's not better than half the crap on the New York Times bestseller list.
I had heard rumors of a movie version of Preacher and, while I would like to see it get the recognition it deserves, I can only imagine that the story would be mangled beyond recognition in film. Selfishly, I hope it never gets made.
While Preacher was not exactly a 2002 creation, I finished it (barely) in 2002, so it goes on my list of top comic book moments of this year. And I've got a Texas-sized crush on Jesse Custer.