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Books

· 9TH OF JULY, THE YEAR 2007

PREACHER: GONE TO TEXAS, BY GARTH ENNIS & STEVE DILLON

Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to TexasPreacher is one of those classic old Vertigo series that everyone loves and I see every time I’m in the store but never pick up because it looks like a silly horror series. Well, turns out it is a silly horror series, but it’s a pretty excellent silly horror series. I think Ennis & Dillon maybe have been intentionally trying to live up to the old accusations of 50s cultural critic Fredric Wertham, who figured comic books were turning America’s youth into sex-crazed murderers. Graphic violence abounds, faces are shot off, peeled off, maybe burned off, limbs are lost, gruesome injuries and deformities sustained.

The plot is both ridiculous and inconsequential: a demon and an angel had a child, which was as powerful as God. God then took off, the kid escaped his confines and fled to Earth, where he merged with the proud but decent Southern ex-Preacher Jesse Custer, granting him the Voice of God, allowing him to control anyone with the sound of his voice. The angels have sent an unstoppable murdering cowboy called the Saint of Killers after Jesse, and Jesse has set off across the country in search of the derelict God, with his ex-girlfriend and possible hit woman, Tulip, and a recently befriended Irish vampire named Cassidy. Like I said, ridiculous, but it doesn’t matter a jot. The writing is snappy, often hilarious. The characters are actually very well realized and fleshed out. And yeah, it will probably sate your need to for adolescent titillation and gross-out.

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