Preachin’ to the choir.

Preachin’ to the choir.

Ugh… Am I really gonna write about [amazon_link id="1563892618" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]this[/amazon_link]?

You ever run into somebody, and immediately you just know: “I should not fuck with that guy”?
That’s this guy right here. For those of you who haven’t heard of the Preacher comics by Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon, I’m about to let you in on an amazing sprawling epic that goes through heaven, hell, and leaves a lot of the earth a smoldering cinder once it’s through. This comic has everything: Nazis, angels, cowboys, horse thieves, vampires, secret DaVinci Code-esque societies, inbred rednecks, murderous mayhem, John Wayne, Vietnam, and the Saint of all Killers. Simply put, this shit is off the damn chain. Hell, it pulls the chain out of the wall and now it’s mauling the neighbor kid that always plays in your yard without asking.

This is a story about a preacher named Jesse Custer. Jessie is a reverend in a small town church who’s down on his luck and deep in the bottle. One day a spiritual entity known as Genesis descends from heaven and possesses Jesse in the middle of his service. The entire church is set aflame and Jesse wakes up with no recollection of what happened, the amazing power of the Word of God, (an ability to make anyone do anything he says) and one hell of a hangover.

Turns out Genesis is the product of a union (that’s P.C. for intercourse, try to keep up kids.) between an Angel and a Demon. It may be as powerful as God himself, and oddly enough, since Genesis came to earth the almighty has been missing from his throne. Now Stop before you get so offended, because it’s only a story. Don’t get me wrong it’s an extremely sacrilegious story. If you are a hard right Christian conservative just stop reading right now. This will only piss you off.

Now speaking as a Christian myself, I will say that a lot of the time reading this I felt very uncomfortable with the writer’s portrayal of God. It crosses the line on numerous occasions and the resolution of the story is nothing short of blasphemy. However, it’s all fiction. None of it ever happened so there isn’t any reason to get all fired up about it. Despite my religious affiliation, good storytelling is just good storytelling.

To continue, Jesse is fed up with the way things have been going on Earth and he wants answers, so he decides to go on a quest to track down our heavenly father and make him answer for the wanton destruction and chaos within the mortal realm. Along the way a secret society devoted to keeping the lineage of Christ intact–By inbreeding his relatives for the last two thousand years– finds out about the supernatural power that Custer has gained. The wholly corrupt organization run by Herr Star, an evil bastard who consistently gets more and more terribly mutilated as the series goes on, decides that the inbreeds are no longer a viable option and chooses Jesse to be the new messiah instead. Here’s a picture of Starr proofreading a paper for his underlings.

I hope maybe you’re starting to get the gist of why this series is so excellent, but just in case you aren’t I’m gonna go ahead and put a few more tasty visual tidbits from the series here for you to enjoy.

Above we have the lovable British bloodsucking scamp called Cassidy. He’s Jesse’s best bud, and traveling companion. Below is one of my favorite scenes, in which Jesse busts up a sex/coke party to find these two former angels. They’re going to help him find out where God is.

Above we have Arseface. Cassidy named him. His backstory is too long, but the short version is that he was a depressed teenager who was enamored with Kurt Cobain… so he shot himself in the face with a shotgun… and survived.

Moving on, I think this picture speaks for it self quite nicely.

Well, I hope that was a graphic and vulgar enough gallery to lose at least some of you. Anyway, this is the stuff your children are reading. And you thought comic books were good kid-friendly fun. Ha.

Despite the deplorable amounts of gore, violence, and nudity that parades itself across the pages in this series, it really does have a lot of redemptive literary value as well. Jesse is an uncompromising hard-nosed bastard determined to see that justice is done in every situation he can. He never picks a fight, but always finishes the job he sets out to do. His motives are pure though his methods and deeds stray far outside the line in many cases. Through Jesse’s eyes the reader gets to see a very black and white veiw at a predominantly gray world. Jesse travails and we travail with him, finding ourselves in numerous horrifying situations that are no fault of our own but have to be dealt with regardless. His actions take on greater meaning when we consider all of the crap we have to take in our own lives. Because in this story we are presented with a man who will not take it. Instead, He’ll give it back more than twice over. There’s something appealing in the way that works. The main thing is he never puts a boot to anybody that doesn’t have a boot coming to them. I think this image from Jesse’s childhood should sum up this sentiment nicely. Last one I promise.
Available at your local bookstore!