2010 Mindless Podcast #5 Preacher

December 15th, 2010


…And by this point in our recording session that’s what we’ve done.  I for one was pretty drunk by this point.  Amy Poodle brought along Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher for us all to talk about.  I can’t remember much more than that other than we digressed heavily into Mark Millar and other stuff.  Why not listen with me as I refresh my memory.

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And that’s it for our 2010 podcasts.  Thanks for listening and hopefully we’ll all get together in the new year for more of the same.

36 Responses to “2010 Mindless Podcast #5 Preacher”

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  2. It Burns Says:

    I wonder…Are “Lads” what we in America call “Bros”?

  3. Zom Says:

    “Lad” tends to carry with it a dumb, trad masculine connotation. Stereotypically speaking lads like birds, beer and football.

  4. It Burns Says:

    Yup. Bros to a T. I’m sure both have their own idiosyncrasies, though.

  5. Botswana Beast Says:

    Lads is probably more like ‘jocks’ Burns – it’s a… there’s regional differences, I think most of the North wouldn’t bat an eyelid at calling a group of schoolboys “lads”, I don’t know for the South.

    But adult “lads” is – yeah, men who objectify women, love sport, enjoy beer, etc. All of which I do, to a (hopefully) not awful – not primary mode-of-existence – extent.

  6. Botswana Beast Says:

    Why do I subconsciously read things other people have written and just copy them?

    Anyway, this is my fave podcast ever, I think (out of the 10 or so I have listened to.)

  7. It Burns Says:

    Yeah, come to think of it, “Bros.” is more a part of frat boy culture. Which brings to mind another question. Is there even a Greek system in higher education in Britain? For some reason I feel like the answer is really obvious and I’m silly for not remembering.

  8. The Barry Says:

    “Tit’s ooot for the Bros” doesn’t sound as menacing. Unless it comes from the mouths of your sons.

  9. Zom Says:

    We don’t have any sort of Greek system that I’m aware of, and I work for a university.

  10. Chris T Says:

    IIRC I’m not so sure that masculinity is held up as highly as you guys seem to think in Preacher.
    It’s Jesse’s “bro-like” affection for Cassidy that blinds him to the latter’s grass-cutting and what comes with that. Also the argument’s Jesse has with Tulip which you guys didn’t seem to appreciate (although I agree the pace did flag towards the end of the series) is all about the unravelling of his cult of masculinity, as it usually does when guys grow up. The stuff with the castrato barman in the second last volume and Tulip’s best mate highlights what the series is all about: love. That’s why Starr gets it in the end (and maybe why Jesus de Sade does too) because he values his sterile obsession over love.

    I only read Preacher recently, and like your colleague I’m very “PC”. I found it to be one of the sweetest comics I’ve read in a long time. As well as the most cartoonily violent and very funny.

    You guys are right on the money about it being like a stand up routine. I didn’t think of that.

    As for the hucksterism re John Constatine, well I think you’ll find that in a lot of stories about magicians etc. It’s often easier for the magician (and writer) to con the demons, if they can, than invoke all the dread powers of the Vishanti etc. I think lawyers operate in a similar way.

  11. The Barry Says:

    Like I said, Get ya tits out.

  12. amypoodle Says:

    i don’t know about that, chris. yes daisy deconstructs him, but – and this is it – not before ten thousand comics have passed filled with manly stuff about manly men with the author’s voice (a voice we all know well, hnn? from ennis’s other books?) stamped all over them. daisy does represent a bit of auto-crtitque, sure, but…

    also, it just had to be THE WOMAN who performed it.

    ‘Yes, Mummy! Yes, I will be good. I am the naughty boy..’

  13. amypoodle Says:

    never hit women!

  14. Zom Says:


    Also, I strongly suspect that were I to go back and look at that ending I’d see all sorts of tacit reinforcement of trad masculine roles in Tulip’s auto-critique and the narrative’s reaction to it.

  15. Zom Says:

    All of us are pretty darn “PC”, round here.

  16. Alex Says:


  17. Zom Says:

    …By comic book fan standards, at least

  18. amypoodle Says:


  19. Chris T Says:

    LOL alright…

  20. Bob Temuka Says:

    One of the nice things about Preacher is that while it does have quite a few problematic themes and moments, it’s fully aware of them. Every time Jesse did go off on a rant, he would usually end it with a wry self-deprecating remark and the acknowledgement that he is just spouting off.

    (I always like these scenes largely because I do the same myself – giving the cat a lecture on the repulsiveness of homophobic political parties and the like…)

    I also found the whole idea of a “man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do” was being constantly undermined in the overall narrative of Preacher, and often shown to be pointless and thoughtless. Jesse was an ideal, but even then he brought pain and misery upon innocent folk. This was always unintentional, but people did suffer for his actions.

    Ennis gave a really good interview in the Comics Journal around the time Preacher was starting to wrap up, and acknowledged that just because something was exciting and passionate didn’t mean it couldn’t also be slightly sad and pathetic. I remember him talking about Unforgiven, and how it was rousing to see Clint pick up his gun and walk into that saloon at the film’s climax, but that it was also tragic that he couldn’t avoid becoming that awful figure of retribution. And that one shot with the American flag in the background, with Clint telling them to bury his friend or he’ll come back and burn the whole damn town down, was the ultimate summing up of the American character, which could be both great and terrible at the same time.

    I do have to disagree with the comments made on the podcast over the cause and effect of some characters actions. I don’t think Cassidy hit women because he was weak and untrustworthy, or even vice versa, but that it was all part of the same man. I also don’t think Ennis was trying to show that sexual orgies inevitably degenerate into people doing horrible things with children.

    After all, Jesse was amused and excited by a lot of what was going on in that mansion, because they were all consenting adults, until they reached a point that was absolutely unacceptable, and then he hit back. “Don’t hit women” is one of the main themes of the series, but it’s also part of an overall hatred of any kind of bullying seen in Preacher. Anybody who messes over people who are less powerful than them – whether it’s physical, emotional, social, financial or anything – gets their just desserts.

  21. amypoodle Says:

    he wasn’t at all excited. amused, sure.

    and it’s ennis who takes it as far as child rape. it’s not a foregone conclusion – he chooses to go there, and it’s very easy for a stupid reader to make a very easy leap. fnnur, yeah, fucking poncey weirdos, they’re all a bit sick aren’t they? not like manly men who don’t hit women and only like art that looks like stuff.

    ennis rarely provides space for people to be conspicuously deviant and still be heroic/relatable,/etc.

    and, yes, while i understand that preacher doesn’t like bullying, it’s still the case that DON’T HIT WOMEN!!! is the kind of overt example ennis decides to single out. it’s a laudable life-rule, but it’s also definitely bound up with the wilfully unreconstructed vision of masculinity that, inspite of a few moments here or there, litters ennis’s work.

    look, PLEASE!, you cannot seriously argue that ennis doesn’t have a romantic obsession with a grrrrrizzly man masculinity. it’s troubled, absolutely, but it’s an infatuation nevertheless. and it’s often cringeworthy.

    just to reiterate: i’d still rather read his comics than stuff by a ton of other creators. this is not me hatin’.

  22. Alex Says:

    Ar you suggesting that Ennis hit’s women?

  23. Zom Says:

    Yes. Poodle is suggesting that.

  24. Alex Says:

    I’m sorry but that’s just ridiculous. I’m not suggesting that he is or isn’t guilty of hitting women but I fail to see how any of his writing points to that.

    I usually find you extremely insightful Poodle but on this occasion I think you’re slinging around accusations with little thought.

  25. Zom Says:

    Yeah, I know, it’s ridiculous. What a crazy misreading!

  26. amypoodle Says:


  27. Duncan Says:

    I really don’t think it’s terribly interesting/useful to speculate on how a stupid person would read Preacher, though, you know?

    Also, latterly, he has done a type of grizzly masculinity guy who, hey, also fucks men, what of it; at least 2 or 3 times. I kind of… I love Preacher so much, it’s such a formative read, that I do go blind to and bridle at suggestions of its flaws but, there you go.

    What would I know, I’m only some sum’bitch never hit a woman.

    Oh yeah, sorry, the thing no-one seems to suggest is that – don’t you think Cassidy, e.g. being Irish, is the authorial avatar, more than anyone? And he’s a bit of a cunt, but loves Jesse verrah much.

  28. Alex Says:

    So now that we’ve fully established that Ennis hits women, does the act of reading Preacher endorse it?

    Is there a decision to make here? Has anyone finished reading Preacher, shut it, put it down, got up and immediately hit a women? When I say anyone, obviously I mean ‘Mindless Folk’, I’m sure readers in the wider world have succumbed to this encouragement.

  29. Chris T Says:

    Yeah I don’t see where this suggestion that Ennis advocates or has hit women comes from… I’m a bit baffled by that. I think what Amypoopdle is trying to say is that Ennis (at least in Preacher) has a chivalrous outlook which is explified/exaggerated by his depiction of hitting women (does that make sense).

    Duncan, yes, that’s an excellent point. I thought Cassidy’s story reminded me a lot of Borges’ “Three Versions of Judas” which posits an alternative hero for the New Testament. I though it was neat also how Ennis conflated the vampire with the snake in the grass. Very neat imho.

  30. Botswana Beast Says:

    Alex is havin’ a larf, Chris – I was quite earnest in my last comment but I think I – only now – see the way the wind blows in this thread.

    So: I accidentally headbutted my mum once (maybe?), in a possible Preacher-related incident. But she’s not like other women, is she? Your mum.

  31. It Burns Says:

    I hit women after I finish any comic book.

    They just make me so annnnnnngry!

  32. Chris T Says:

    I can be a bit obtuse..

    I haven’t told anyone this before but I actually shot my gran’s jaw off because she took a knife to my head and now it looks like a penis. She was a huge Preacher fan.

  33. Illogical Volume Says:

    Reading Preacher, it’s obvious that while Ennis might not HIT WOMEN!, he definitely stalks them in a variety of outlandish disguises.

    The lesbians are his favourites, but he’s been known to enjoy the odd traipse through the fetish scene too, in his most famous disguise, as “Gary Innez”. Texual evidence for this can be found in Preacher volume 1 page 33, volumw 3 page 24 and volume 5 page 3.

    That is all.

  34. Illogical Volume Says:

    Actually, it’s not all – best podcast yet? I think so.

    I go back and forth on Preacher and Ennis in general, but he’s definitely one of the best storytellers out there, and I’m glad everyone seems to be able to agree on that.

  35. EFull Says:

    Great podcast, guys.

    I have to say, though, about Preacher, that even if you don’t agree with its philosophy of life–at least it’s interesting and tries to make engaging, important points about life. When you talk about Preacher’s influence (on people like Millar, and on Garth himself), it seems like what you’re saying is that only the violence and humor is what’s worth retaining. Which is fair enough, and true, I think. But as semi-revolutionary as Preacher’s violence and humor was in its effect on mainstream comics, it’s a shame that no one could take anything more profound away from it.

    Maybe that’s Ennis’s fault, because he certainly made the philosophy of Preacher intolerant enough to push people away. But I don’t necessarily mean that writers would have to subscribe to Ennis’s philosophy in Preacher, or be as heavy-handed and “Preachy” as he was about it. But let’s face it: The Boys is stupid, and Mark Millar makes the stupidest comics imaginable (I still like ‘em for what they are, though). When you trace the influence of Preacher down to something like Kick-Ass, I think there is a very real influence there, but what jumps out to me is how much smarter and more thoughtful(!) Preacher was. It almost seems like everyone decided that big personal ideas were too scary to think about in comics. Even something like Scalped, which takes a lot from Preacher, doesn’t really say as much about life in the grandscale. (At least, I don’t think it does. I’ve only read the first few trades.)

    Preacher overreaches. It mistakes MANUFACTURED OLD 1950s WESTERN MOVIE REALITY for reality it self. Its philosophy is fundamentally flawed. But at least it tries to say something. Sure, maybe such statements from authors tend toward the juvenile, the cliche of the teenage boy-mentality still railing against what he thinks is wrong the world. But in all other media for thousands of years, writers have been able to make profound statements about life in stories that also have a great deal of violence in them (War and Peace, Homer’s Iliad, Kurosawa’s movies, amongst many others). Why, in comics, does that seem to STOP with Preacher? It’s like you can’t make a violent comic that’s also meaningful nowadays.

  36. Zom Says:

    Troll da fol da rol xxx

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