This Was Then: Preacher – Gone to Texas

Some time after I graduated high school, I had a factory job making pretty good money. I was still living with my parents, and had very few bills to pay. Much like any responsible 18-year-old, I immediately spent any extra money I had. Often times, this was in the form of comic books, video games, cd’s, or eating out. Usually, I would make these purchases on impulse, with very little information known before hand. This was the case with the graphic novel Preacher: Gone to Texas published by DC/Vertigo. I did not know what exactly I was buying. All I knew was that Preacher was a fairly successful series from the mid ’90s, and I had $14.95 burning a hole in my pocket, that I absolutely had to get rid of.

I met Preacher: Gone to Texas with mixed feelings. It is hard not to appreciate a well-written and original story. And yet it was very hard to feel connected with this book. Every time I started to get comfortable, something else would come along to reverse that. Whether it is the constant spitting in the face of religion from beginning to end, or the over-excessive swearing, or even the seemingly random acts of violence, there was something new and unnerving around every corner.

Love it or hate it, these elements are what defined both writer, Garth Ennis, and artist, Steve Dillon’s careers. Preacher went on to be very successful, and so far it is a defining piece in Garth Ennis’s catalog of work. For some, this is the perfect combination of swearing, violence, and offensiveness. For myself, however, it just isn’t entertaining.

While I do not consider myself close-minded, it was hard to enjoy this graphic novel, considering all of the elements mentioned above. It is still a well-written story, and maybe someday I will pick up the next graphic novel in the series. Though I can appreciate its originality, there is something about Gone to Texas that did not sit well with me.