Skip to main content

Preacher Thoughts

Hey, the first season of Preacher's over and I have thoughts.

First off, Preacher was and continues to be one of my favorite graphic novel series of all time. I think I loved it a bit more back then (early 2000s) than I would right now but that's the thing about enjoying art as it's being produced - if it registers with you in the moment it's probably because you're in a unique moment to begin with.

The original Preacher comic was a product and reflection of the 90s in America. It's hard to understand the comic in any other way. The hyper-literate media references, the profane but somehow sincere working of Judeo-Christian mythology, and the generally hilarious mayhem inflicted on the high and mighty seemed like a pretty good summation of a time period enthralled with Garth Brooks, X-Files, Nine Inch Nails, Clinton sex scandals, and Gingrich's Contract on America. This was right before cell phones started sprouting in every one's hands and computers were for nerds.

I think I'm going to have to write a follow-up article where I go deep on the differences and similarities between the show and source material but for now I will say, I liked this show. Not all of it and certainly not all of the time. The show veered constantly between messy distractions that didn't advance the story much and gloriously weird spectacles that didn't advance the story much. Essentially the entire first season of this show took place in between the first and final pages of the first issue of the original comic. I find that to be a curiously uplifting realization.

The important thing is that when all was said and done, Preacher wound up right where I wanted it - three awesomely flawed individuals sitting together in a bad-ass car right before they set off on one of the all-time great road trips.

***

I guess this wouldn't be a bad moment to point out that Preacher was one of my influences in writing "Agent Shield and Spaceman." I love how Garth Ennis used his basic set-up to spin out a great web of anarchic mythology and damaged heroes. In my own clumsy fashion, that's a piece of my aspiration here. For your enjoyment, I offer the next chapter of the story.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

What I Read in 2017

The third in my series of year-end lists is literature. As in past years, I've divided this post into two categories: Novels and short stories. Each of these stories made 2017 just a bit brighter for me and I hope this list includes at least a writer or two new to you.


Novels:
I Wish I was You by SP Miskowski: This was the subject of a review earlier this year. The way I feel about this novel, the tragedy of a talented person crippled by anger and regret, transformed into a monstrous avatar of wrath, has not really left me. Beyond the perfection of its prose and its preternatural subject matter, I feel like this is one of the best evocations of the mid-nineties I've seen published. There's something about this book that lingers with me long past the concerns of its plot and characters. I guess what I'm trying to say is this work moved me. 2017 would have been a lot dimmer if I hadn't read this work.New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson: Robinson writes next-level sp…

Review of "Pretty Marys All in a Row" by Gwendolyn Kiste

Part of the reason American Gods works is that it offers a kind of reward to folk lore mavens and religious study majors. Do you have a working familiarity with obscure Northern European mythologies? Are you able to describe what Neil Gaiman got right and what he fudged a bit in terms of the Egyptian religion? Then the guessing games of that novel - just which Middle Eastern Goddess is this? - magnify its other charms. 
"Pretty Marys All in a Row" by Gwendolyn Kiste (released by Broken Eye Books), is a novella for people, like me, who are waiting impatiently for the next season of Bryan Fuller's show. It's not set in that universe, certainly, but approaches the question of folklore from a similar perspective. Namely, that myths have a definite, physical explanation and your knowledge of such things will expand your enjoyment of the work. In the case of Pretty Marys, the stories are urban legends and nursery rhymes about young women. The main character, Rhee, is named…

Writing Horror

I'm wary offering advice to other writers. 

First of all I've got the whole imposter syndrome thing and whatever advice I give feels like a good way of revealing how little I know about anything. Second, what I've learned mostly relates to solving problems in my own writing. What advice does a dog have to offer to a duck on how to swim? 
However, for Arisia 2018, I'll be participating on a panel of doing just that - giving advice to aspiring horror writers about writing horror.

So, what truths can I impart?

Some advice feels absolutely true, if a bit self-evident.

You must read. If you're trying to write horror then you must read horror. Not just one novel. Not just one author. You should make a sincere effort to read everything by everyone. The more recent the better. The classics are always going to be there, but if you want a sense of where your stories could fit, you need to see what is being published out there.

You must write. I do not think you have to write …