Month: June 2016

Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Well, in a minute. There’s been a lot of Goodreads reviews popping up here, largely because I’ve been churning through the Preacher trades. I’ll write on other stuff soon, no doubt, but until then enjoy something missed from my ’90s challenge posts – non-Australian music. This album was one I listened to a lot and it still remains one of those with no volume ceiling: no matter how much you turn it up, it could always go just a little further.

More anon.

Book review: Preacher, Volume 9: Alamo

Preacher, Volume 9: AlamoPreacher, Volume 9: Alamo by Garth Ennis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, here we are.

It’s kind of odd reviewing Alamo, the final collection of Preacher trades, as it simultaneously is a review of a collection of issues of the comic, and the run as a whole. It’s something you’re not going to read unless you’ve read the rest of the run, and if you’ve managed to stick through the other eight trades, you’re probably in for the long haul anyway. (more…)

Book review: Preacher, Volume 8: All Hell’s a-Coming

Preacher, Volume 8: All Hell's a-ComingPreacher, Volume 8: All Hell’s a-Coming by Garth Ennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This, the penultimate Preacher collection, gathers together issues 51-58 and the Tall in the Saddle one-off. It’s a collection that has a fair bit going on, though it’s not as action-packed, necessarily as the others. Certainly, it seems to clear the path for the final volume.

We begin with our main trio split, still. Tulip is kept in a drugged haze, and through her escape from chemical bondage (and creepy sex) (more…)

Book review: Preacher, Volume 7: Salvation

Preacher, Volume 7: SalvationPreacher, Volume 7: Salvation by Garth Ennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This Preacher trade gathers issues 41-50 of the regular run of the series, and focuses squarely on Jesse’s path after splitting with Cassidy and Tulip. It’s something of a refractory period in the story – Custer regroups and finds strength again – but it’s also home to some of the series’ more interesting foes, so it’s a worthwhile read. And that’s without counting the insight into the padre’s past this handful offers. (more…)

Book review: Preacher, Volume 6: War in the Sun

Preacher, Volume 6: War in the Sun Preacher, Volume 6: War in the Sun by Garth Ennis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Gathered in this volume is the special issue One Man’s War, and issues 34-40 of the main run of Preacher. It’s a collection that’s not quite as dazzling as some of the previous installments, but it does feature a shitload more firepower than we’ve seen previously – and the first really ruinous split in the crew.

(Oh, there’s also a small imaginary world where everyone has a face like an arse, but that’s more a little palate-cleanser for the next gathering of issues. Suffice it to say that it’s the first time Arseface has been without subtitles for a long stretch.) (more…)

Book review: Preacher, Volume 5: Dixie Fried

Preacher, Volume 5: Dixie FriedPreacher, Volume 5: Dixie Fried by Garth Ennis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This Preacher trade is another favourite. It collects Blood and Whiskey, a Cassidy special, and issues 27-33 of the regular run. Together, they deepen the portrait we have of the series’ whiskey-swilling vampire, proving that there’s a little more to him than toothy comic relief. (more…)

Book review: Preacher, Volume 4: Ancient History

Preacher, Volume 4: Ancient History Preacher, Volume 4: Ancient History by Garth Ennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another day, another collection of Preacher issues. However, this one’s something of an oddity. It gathers together three one-shot specials: Saint of Killers, The Story of You-Know-You and Good Old Boys. There’s a lengthy introduction by series author, Garth Ennis, in which his love of cinema is apparent – which is convenient, as the volume contains an excellent riff on his favourite genre, the Western, as well as a not-so-great version of the ’80s action film. (more…)

Book review: Preacher, Volume 3: Proud Americans

Preacher, Volume 3: Proud AmericansPreacher, Volume 3: Proud Americans by Garth Ennis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Preacher re-read rolls on. Proud Americans gathers issues 18 to 26 of the series and while it contains just as much blow-shit-up-while-making-knob-jokes stuff as the previous trades, it’s also one which deepens character and explores history, too. Spoilers ahead, most likely.

We begin as Jesse is en route to Paris, where he encounters Space, a Vietnam vet who has stories to share of John Custer. The previous collection’s story of Angelville told of the meeting of Jesse’s mother and father, but this one offers some insight into what sort of a man he was – traits which have rubbed off onto the son, in an exchange begun by an anti-Commie lighter. (more…)

Book review: Preacher, Volume 2: Until the End of the World

Preacher, Volume 2: Until the End of the WorldPreacher, Volume 2: Until the End of the World by Garth Ennis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Until the End of the World, the second trade paperback in the Preacher series, gathers together issues 8-17 of the comic about the Texas padre with the Word of God in his skull, a failed-assassin girlfriend and an Irish vampire best mate. It’s also the trade wherein shit gets weird.

Well, weirder. (more…)

Book review: The Suburbs Of Hell

The Suburbs Of HellThe Suburbs Of Hell by Randolph Stow
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A title taken from Webster’s The White Devil? Oh, Randolph Stow, you shouldn’t have. It’s as if you want me to think this is a gory little chapbook of a thing.

Well, it is, really. This is a novel about murder. But it’s not the usual type: there’s no neat little bow to wrap around everything. Here, it’s a bit different. It’s a meditation on the endpoint of murder – death – and a refraction of four years of Western Australia killings, written from half a world away. (more…)