Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Preacher coming to tv

Like most people, I stopped reading comic books during the mid 90s. I was at the perfect age to stop when I did; getting on to being a teenager, and understanding the intrinsic geekiness of comics, I decided that I'd rather at least try to get laid and just quit. Also, comics at that point sucked big time. Mainstream comics that is. My favorite hero Spider-Man was going through what everyone agrees is the absolute worst storyline ever The Clone Saga, prices were overinflated, the spec market had taken over with "collectors" everywhere, and it just stopped being fun. Oh I knew a little about the underground movement. Thanks to places like The Beguiling in Toronto I'd been introduced to a little bit of Love and Rockets, Eightball, Omaha, and my favorite of the Fantagraphic books Hate. Sure I'd heard rumblings of things like Sin City but frankly it was too little too late.

I didn't start reading comics again until 2000 or so, and the books that brought me back into it then was the start of Marvel's Ultimate line, that and the early Spider-Man movie buzz. After getting a taste of what I was missing and realizing that comics had really grown up a lot since I'd been gone it was an easy jump then to really have a look at the books I'd missed. Underground comic books were really starting to come into their own too, and in a way they never could've back in the 60s and 70s. The first book I turned to was Preacher.

A passing friend during my transient years had loaned me one of the Preacher trades back in the day, and I'd loved it. Never followed up on it then but it stuck with me. Preacher is the story of Jesse Custer, a Texas preacher who has lost his way. He drinks, smokes, and fights. He also posses a power called The Word. When he decides, Jesse can say anything and make people obey. So now, along with his rough and ready girlfriend Tulip and his best drinking buddy, an Irish vampire named Cassidy they travel America looking literally for God. On the way they are pursued by the government, crazed cannibals, and cultists, as well as quite literally both the hordes of Hell, and Angelic warriors. The book is smart, dark, violent, unnerving, and very very good.

I never finished reading the series, I only read the first 30 issues or so, but I do plan on it eventually. It's all been traded now and you can actually pick up the first volume for a very reasonable $9.74 over at In Stock Trades. At the time I had gotten really caught up in The Authority which was Warren Ellis' (Preacher creator) more recent endeavor, and I felt like my money was best spent there. Even still, Preacher is a special book to me. The writing is great and some of the stories that I read really stuck with me. At least I'll never look at John Wayne the same way again.

So with the success of Preacher it's no surprise that there has been a plan to bring it to screen for some time now. Its been long in development as a feature, even to the point of casting James Marsden (aka Cyclops from X-Men) in the role as Jesse. (pretty good choice if you ask me). But all thats behind us now, because as reported here, HBO has greenlit development of a Preacher tv series. This my friends is very good news. Mark Steven Johnson (of Daredevil infamy) is set to write the pilot which while not terrible news, is not the absolute best. At least we know the guy likes comics. Anyhow, overall this is fantastic news and I'm stocked about it. Especially to know that this will be on HBO is a really great sign. Imagine if Blade was on HBO, or maybe better, imagine if Spawn the animated series was live action. Now that should be a cool sight to see.

I'll definitely be keeping my eye on this series as it develops.


Angie said...

You're such a dork. But James Marsden is hot.

Chappy said...

I bet Scott would appreciate how cool this is...

ps - James Marsden is totally dreamy