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Garth Ennis Loves Superheroes and Soldiers and Lesbians

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General spoilers for #71:

 

Being a softie, not unlike Wee Hughie (scratch that: a whole lot more than him), I loved the "ending", even if I need a re-reading in order to try to make total sense out of Butcher's process/motivations.

 

And also, hats off to Stillwell for being such a magnificent bastard. I genuinely hope he ends up unscathed, for intellectual reasons.

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[ Spoiler : Men are boys ] was a great line from #71, I'm surprisingly annoyed at the thought of just how good this series could've been had Ennis reined it in even just a little.

 

Right. I think I dropped it and picked it up again 3 times in 71 issues.

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As you guys have remarked upon already Garth Ennis often returns to explore the same territory in his work. Does anyone else see the thematic similarities in the roles of Billy Butcher and Cassidy the Vampire?

 

I can't help but wonder if Ennis had a real life situation where he was betrayed by someone he was very close to.....

 

Not the most profound insight on my behalf (I know) but wondering if anyone else caught this.

 

When I first read Preacher I thought that Cassidy was perhaps a cruel practical joke played on the Irish fans that had found an affinity for the hard living, hard drinking vampire.

 

 

- because if not for his actions at end of the series Cassidy was pretty much irredeemable -

 

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I can see that, but betrayal is the most common theme in classic tragedies, as well. So, it could be that he's copping Shakespeare, Sophocles, etc.

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Is it even that deep?

My own suspicion is that Ennis just needed to get Cassidy out of the way so that Jesse and Tulip could ride off into the sunset together, which is fair enough. He was far more interested in the love story level than the rest of the stuff in the tale, imo.

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Is it even that deep?

My own suspicion is that Ennis just needed to get Cassidy out of the way so that Jesse and Tulip could ride off into the sunset together, which is fair enough. He was far more interested in the love story level than the rest of the stuff in the tale, imo.

I always felt that, actually, the most important thing in Preacher was the relationship between the two male leads (and I have a suspicion that Ennis felt that way as well, given that the climax is mainly -I mean, apart from all the other balls in the air- a confrontation, both thematic and physical, between Jesse and Cassidy).

 

Anyway: au revoir, Boys. You had a so-so epilogue, but you were interesting during pretty much all your run, except for a few arcs.

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I always felt that, actually, the most important thing in Preacher was the relationship between the two male leads (and I have a suspicion that Ennis felt that way as well, given that the climax is mainly -I mean, apart from all the other balls in the air- a confrontation, both thematic and physical, between Jesse and Cassidy).

You're probably onto something there, but I always got the impression he was more interested in the love story, myself.

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I'll second the notion that Preacher was more interested in Cassidy's betrayal/redemption, than in Jesse's relationship with Tulip. And it was fun to see old Proinsias have his redemption "completed" with his cameo in The Boys some issues back.

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It's a very interesting comic: you can read it as an examination of male friendship (which branches off to a betrayal/redemption thing, yup), as a broad satire of North America (Arseface's character arc, for instance), as a good ol' love story... and that doesn't even take into account the basic synopsis (the religious thing). It had grating tics and sometimes it was a bit of a drag to read (I'm looking at you, Salvation), but trying to dissect and *get* it is fun. One can easily understand its classic status.

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But the way Ennis writes a Texan accent is awful. I didn't notice it when I first read it because it was a long time ago before I'd spent any time here (I am currently in residence here until I come to live in England in May. :icon_wink: ). No one in Texas talks like that. I'd wager no one in the world has ever spoken like Jesse Custer speaks, or like Tulip or any of the Anneville citizens, or Sheriff Root or any of the other Texans are depicted as speaking. That's the one really painful thing about reading Preacher. The way the dialogue is written slows the story down and makes it not as enjoyable as if he'd just written it in English the way words are universally accepted as being pronounced. But it's his made up Texan-style sayings that are most ridiculous. I can't cite an example off the top of my head and I'm not going to go find one for the reasons I mentioned above, but trust me, they are there and they are legion.

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Garth's America was never anything like the real deal, it's an (idealized? archetypal?) reflection of it, gathered from movies, books, comics, etc. Kinda like that tiny pocket of Hell in Damnation's Flame.

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I get that, but it's just so perversely idealized to such a detailed point that it really does become hard to read. Like it's oversaturated in bacon grease.

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Like it's oversaturated in bacon grease.

 

You say it like it's a bad thing!

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Erf. Garth Ennis' childrens' book. Really. And it was very good.

 

Mine is signed on the front cover and I am wondering if it is legit or not. Looks like a real sig (as opposed to a stamped print or what have you). Anyways, it was awesome.

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Rereading Preacher at the moment and don't feel like it's really stood up particularly well - Jessie spends an awful lot of time delivering dull monologues about how men should be men and pondering on just why everyone's such a gay pussy these days God Dammit!

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There's still plenty of good in there, the blossoming friendship between Jessie and Cassidy is vintage Ennis - Cassidy's rescue attempt in the first book is one of my all time favourite comic scenes.

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"I'm comin', children!"

 

Fuck yes, great stuff. didn't he drive a truck ino the Saint? I can't recall.

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Fuck yes, great scene.

 

Sure did hate the way that series ended. Seemed like everything after cassidy's origin story was crap

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So does The Boys ever get good? I wish I'd seen this thread first. I think I'd started buying the trades before I joined up here, though.

 

I just finished the fourth one, and I think after 30 issues my wavering buyer's remorse has finally cemented itself. I'd been ambivalent about the series from the start, but there were always bits I really liked, as well as a general sense of being on the verge of suddenly not sucking. Or perhaps I just heard it got good. I'm sure I did. But then it quickly falls back into a sniggering morass of half-arsed puerility that just falls flat. Plus, like so many writers when they're desperate to be 'un-PC,' Garth includes something that makes him look like a moron at least once per issue. And also old.

 

I dunno. I quite like the characters, but the stories they're put in are just so poor, and in so many ways. And sweet jesus I want to punch Garth for the 'out-Preacher' comment. I mean that's just such a fundamentally fucking stupid thing to say about it.

 

In fact 'fundamentally fucking stupid' is something I'd say about a lot of the comic. It SHOULD WORK. It's right up Garth's alley in so many ways. The basic premise is fine, and all the ingredients are there for something Garth SHOULD be good at writing. But instead it just comes across like most of the issues were written by his impressionable nephew.

 

This is also roughly what I thought about Just A Pilgrim. I wouldn't say it was terrible, it just sucked.

 

For such a predictable writer, Garth's surprisingly unreliable.

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It's not unusual for British comics writers to write in different voices for different readerships. The market they began in caters to a broader range than the US market. For a start, there are still comics for children in the UK. Actual children. :icon_wink: So the same guy who wrote Heartland and Battlefields: Dear John can also come up with The Boys. (Which is not for children, but you get the idea.)

Edited by JasonT

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