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Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas by Garth…
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Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas (edition 1996)

by Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon (Illustrator)

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1,847383,754 (4.09)54
Member:Death_By_Papercut
Title:Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas
Authors:Garth Ennis
Other authors:Steve Dillon (Illustrator)
Info:Vertigo (1996), Paperback, 200 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis

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Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
N.B. This is a comment on the entire series. Generalized story spoilers follow.

The more I read of this series, the more I found hard to enjoy. Ennis' writing style carries a lot of frustration with it, and a lot of it is born of the series' time. It ain't as timeless as the classics of similar length (e.g., Sandman), and part of why is Ennis spent too much of the '90s channeling the voice of a million other snarky 20-somethings channeling the voice of Bill Hicks. (Update: The series even ends with a Bill Hicks quote about the themes this series wished it covered....)

By the 'Dixie Fried' arc, it's pretty clear all 3 of our heroes are dumb, self-obsessed assholes with really confused morals. That arc and the previous collection (vol. 4) of specials were the ones to really break it for me. Earlier, the occasional anti-feminist, anti-PC rant shared between our heroes felt like jokes poking light-hearted fun at all sides--but that feeling completely vanished in Vol. 5. This series shifts between light-hearted lampooning of all sides to didactic moralizing so frequently that you can't really keep up with whether Jesse's latest speech is genuine or farcical in its condescension. In the 'Dixie Fried' arc, Ennis moves to make Tulip a strong female character by taking that phrase too literally, having her pick up a gun and drop a lot of F-bombs and repeat how she doesn't need coddling on far too many pages and for far too much of the dang story...only to break down over and over again because she can't live without a strong man telling her what to do. Eck. (Having finished the series, my final opinion is that Ennis was just naive and ignorant of feminism (which may itself simply be a product of the time), and his message, while hopefully feminist, is ultimately condescending and gross.)

By vol. 5, Cassidy loses all personality and just obsesses over Tulip like a lovesick puppy for literally years of this comic's run. All the while she drags both him and herself through the dirt, creating some godawful melodramatic dialogue and action. With literally a single line from Cassidy, the direction of the story swerves wildly away from Jesse's powers and God--an interesting, if barely-developed angle that never feels legitimate for this very reason (& that its commentary on religion reads like the musings of a grumpy teen...)--towards the shallowest sort of melodrama about a couple shitty people driven only by blind, unbelievable love and really stupid views on friendship and honor that were clearly filtered through small-town Texas stereotypes.

Jesse Custer also turns into the grossest sort of Mary Sue, frequently stopping to look into the reader's eyes and twinkle out these obnoxious, didactic, stupid speeches about how the world really works (Bill Willingham, yeah? or, see Bill Hicks again)--which no one ever questions, because even when a character like Jesse Custer does wrong, he's still doing so with a good heart who wants nothing better than to save ugly or 'dumb' people, or--of course--sexy babes who fawn over how perfect he is.

Well...it seems it's too easy to fall into a ramble when thinking about Preacher's wealth of flaws. Aside from these issues (& the many unsaid), the series is still fun, and I was so swept up that it only took me a couple weeks to read the whole series. It's just too bad the negative crap completely eclipsed what was so enjoyable after the third collection.

It may be of interest to include how I saw the series grow and fall by volumes:
1. Gone to Texas - 6/10
2. Until the End of the World - 8/10
3. Proud Americans - 7/10
4. Ancient History - 5/10 *
5. Dixie Fried - 4/10
6. War in the Sun - 5/10
7. Salvation - 6/10
8. All Hell's A-Coming - 4/10
9. Alamo - 5/10


* Vol. 4 is a collection of specials not connected to the main plot. The 'Saint of Killers' 4-part miniseries, included here, was actually quite a good imitation of the western myth, and the last thing I really enjoyed from the Preacher series; it's just that the subsequent one-shot specials included here and in later volumes are never worth your time, never add anything to the narrative world that hadn't been said before, and sometimes even detract from established character development or plot (see most notably: 'Tall in the Saddle'). ( )
1 vote rickyrickyricky | Aug 9, 2015 |
Preacher, Vol. 1 wasn't bad, but it wasn't what I was expecting. When I see a book like this, I assume that it works as a cohesive book on its own, like Watchmen, Marvels, or The Dark Knight Returns. I expect a complete story which resolves by the end.

Preacher Vol 1 is just the first 7 issues of Garth Ennis's preacher, and the 7 seems to have been chosen largely arbitrarily. A number of plot threads and characters introduced in the comics are not referenced again, and it kind of seems to meander all over the place.

The plot resolved at the end of the book was only introduced a few "issues" prior, and the "main" antagonist disappears after 3 issues.

I think if I had realized this was just 7 comic books glued together, I would have enjoyed this more, but as it is I was expecting a standalone comic novel, which isn't this.

Overall, Preacher is a good comic, with a ton of borderline-excessive violence and an interesting and unique world. I'm glad I read it, but I doubt I'll read more. ( )
1 vote rodhilton | Nov 14, 2014 |
The story was somewhat interesting, but then a little more than half-way through it felt like it changed in some way. The story didn't flow smoothly into the new story line of a serial killer... on top of the whole angel/demon/genesis/vampire thing. It did have some great funny laugh-out-lines in it though, most of which I would probably not repeat, but still made me laugh and show my Sweety. There was also some great artwork that really captured the moment, as well as some good facial closeups of characters that I felt were done well. All in all I rated it as ok. It's not one I'd buy or go looking for, and I don't feel the need to continue reading the series.

It is beginning to feel common place that graphic novels or comics for adults tend to be overly violent, graphic, contain an overabundance of language and nudity/sex. It's almost like they are trying to prove a point that hey! comics aren't just for kids! I'll admit, some of the scenes were interesting, but mostly it felt like too much.

Elements of the story that interested me, made me laugh, intrigued me...

-The premise that God left and the Preacher is now looking for Him and wants to make Him accountable, as well as make him reveal to His people that He left them.

-The running bad coffee and what it tastes like made me grin.

-The cops son who tried and failed at killing himself and now has an "arse face."

-The whole vampire story thrown in (Cassidy).

-The opening was probably the most interesting to me, when the Preacher enters the bar and starts telling everyone's dirty secrets.

-One of the fight scenes where the Preacher has two fingers stuck in someone's nose and literally rips the tip of the nose off (this is where Cassidy gets stabbed in the eye and they find out he is a vamp).

-The Preacher's new ability to tell people what to do, and they have to do it.

Ok, so maybe if I have time later I'll continue this series... if only to see what arse face does to avenge his father's death/suicide (you have to read the story to see how that came about!)

( )
  recipe_addict | Sep 21, 2014 |
The story was somewhat interesting, but then a little more than half-way through it felt like it changed in some way. The story didn't flow smoothly into the new story line of a serial killer... on top of the whole angel/demon/genesis/vampire thing. It did have some great funny laugh-out-lines in it though, most of which I would probably not repeat, but still made me laugh and show my Sweety. There was also some great artwork that really captured the moment, as well as some good facial closeups of characters that I felt were done well. All in all I rated it as ok. It's not one I'd buy or go looking for, and I don't feel the need to continue reading the series.

It is beginning to feel common place that graphic novels or comics for adults tend to be overly violent, graphic, contain an overabundance of language and nudity/sex. It's almost like they are trying to prove a point that hey! comics aren't just for kids! I'll admit, some of the scenes were interesting, but mostly it felt like too much.

Elements of the story that interested me, made me laugh, intrigued me...

-The premise that God left and the Preacher is now looking for Him and wants to make Him accountable, as well as make him reveal to His people that He left them.

-The running bad coffee and what it tastes like made me grin.

-The cops son who tried and failed at killing himself and now has an "arse face."

-The whole vampire story thrown in (Cassidy).

-The opening was probably the most interesting to me, when the Preacher enters the bar and starts telling everyone's dirty secrets.

-One of the fight scenes where the Preacher has two fingers stuck in someone's nose and literally rips the tip of the nose off (this is where Cassidy gets stabbed in the eye and they find out he is a vamp).

-The Preacher's new ability to tell people what to do, and they have to do it.

Ok, so maybe if I have time later I'll continue this series... if only to see what arse face does to avenge his father's death/suicide (you have to read the story to see how that came about!)

( )
  recipe_addict | Sep 21, 2014 |
This was probably the easiest five stars I've handed out to a comic collection. From the insane violence combined with the wildly original story, the first volume of Preacher did exactly what it was supposed to do: hook me and leave me begging for more.

Following it's unexpected escape, the dangerous offspring of an Angel and a Demon bonds with Jesse Custer, a lone Texan minister. Now with the word of God embedded within him, Jesse forms an alliance with his ex-girlfriend Tulip and a drunken Irish vampire named Cassidy as they embark on a journey to find God - and not in the "I'm saved/born again" sense but the "I'm going to kick your ass for deserting mankind" sense.

I'm going to try and give you my thoughts on the first volume but it would be hard for me to live up to the excellent review written by Kemper.

- I honestly have no idea where this is headed, which is awesome.

- The excessive violence and the profanity could be distracting IF the writing had been terrible (i.e. Die Hard 2). Thankfully, it's not. It never feels like Ennis is throwing all of this offensive material at you to get your attention, it fits right in with the setting and characters he's presenting.

- I will admit to being shocked on more than a few occasions. I'm not saying that I have this wealth of experience in "torture porn" films or explicit writing but I've seen my fair share of gore. That being said, some of the stuff contained in this book can be anything from downright frightening to gross.

I finished this late last night around 2 a.m. I have a few of the following volumes on deck so I'm hoping this is going to be something I'll breeze through. ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Garth Ennisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dillon, SteveArtistmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Fabry, GlennCoverssecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hollingsworth, MattColoristsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lansdale, Joe R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robins, ClemLetterersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was the time of the preacher... ♫
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No more quittin'. I'm gonna get Gran'ma an' Jody an' the rest've that motherfuckin' vermin, an' I'm gonna stamp 'em into the shit they came from. An' then I'm goin' back to lookin' for God, an' when I find him -- he better have a fuckin' good excuse.
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Here's a book guaranteed to offend a bunch of people, not only because of its profuse profanity and graphic violence, but because it's the epitome of iconoclasm. Like a brutal accident, you can't watch but you can't turn away. The story follows an ex-preacher man, Jesse, who has become disgusted with God's abandoning of His responsibilities. So Jesse starts off into the wilds of Texas with his hitman girlfriend and new best friend (a vampire) to find God so that he can give Him a piece of his mind. Despite its superficial perversity, this book contains what may be the most moral character in mainstream comics. A cult hit in the making. Fans of Quentin Tarantino take note.--Amazon.com… (more)

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