The first time I read Preacher, I was 20 years old on the other side of the world.

My year abroad at Oxford was coming to an end – and about time, too, because for this socially awkward kid from Hawaii with extremely working-class parents, the Oxbridge milieu was confounding. Before coming to England I’d spent two years of undergrad in the midwestern US, so figured I could handle another cultural adjustment.

Ha ha.

The academic system was different from anything I’d ever experienced. The sociocultural codes bordered on the downright inscrutable. The tutors expected us to know all about subjects we’d barely even touched upon in our previous education (here’s a note for any Oxford lecturers reading this: American schools don’t use the English Civil War as a primary historical touchpoint).

And in the midst of the incomprehension and fear, I discovered Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon.

The Borders bookstore near campus – I remember how surprising it was that Oxford had a Borders – stocked most of the trade paperbacks in their comics section. Luckily, its employees were either too oblivious or too apathetic to stop me from holing up and reading each volume cover to cover, which is what you do when you’re a broke student. That’s where I first met Jesse Custer, where the bottom of my heart fell out when I learned about Cassidy’s monstrous nature, where I weighed the benefit of continuing to read one hell of a comic against consuming 66 issues plus specials of raging blasphemy (I was raised in a speaking-in-tongues evangelical church), and where I learned the term “reach-around”.

I didn’t realize at the time how special Dillon’s art was, because it drew me in without even giving me time to blink. It all seemed real. More than that, it all seemed accurate. That’s exactly how it looks when someone machine-guns a report to bits in the office, I thought. That’s totally the pose you fall into when your friend’s ex-friend sends you into a voodoo trance.

Of course, these weren’t conscious thoughts; Dillon’s work invited you to react subconsciously first. It was a lot like reading comics as a kid, if you disregard all the sodomy references and profanity. My childhood comics reading experiences were immersive, or rather, I judged comics on their immersive capacity. Did I feel as though I were on that gargoyle-studded rooftop beside Batman, narrowing my eyes at the criminal scum/people failed by Gotham’s mental health care system on the streets below? If yes, then it was a good comic.

As I got older, I learned to spot badly proportioned bodies, static poses, overly photorealistic likenesses, and other artistic touches that push readers out of the action. Coming from a performing background, the best analogy I can think of is that it’s like watching an actor who’s clearly Doing A Character, or this piece of brilliance from Derek Jacobi’s guest star spot in Frasier.

Preacher was none of that. Preacher simply…was. Dillon wasn’t Doing A Comic. It felt like Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy had allowed him to observe their exploits for the purpose of documentation, because that’s something real people can do, and under Dillon’s hand they were as real as the rustle of Batman’s cape once was in my child-ears.

It was a comfort, not only for the sharp wit cloaked in splashy vulgarity, but for the surety of those good old Dillon lines. Everything around me was unknown and scary, except this. Here, in Preacher, art by Steve Dillon, was a world where even the most outlandish could be familiar, like a welcome I didn’t know I needed.

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SILENCE! #228

May 29th, 2017

I DREAMED A DREAM OF TIMES GONE BY

Welcome back to the SILENCE! Got Talent semi final. Here’s a reminder of the acts you’re voting for tonight:
To vote for Lenny Menus and his mind reading dinners phone 0345791
Or for Jurgen Klart and his turd flinging chimps ring 0345792
To see the big, ugly one who’s alright at singing go through to the final call 0345793
If you want abattoir worker Cherry Bristols and her speed slaughtering act perform for The Queen text 0345794

<ITEM>It’s Maid Of Nails joining Gary Lactus for a period of recorded talking.

<ITEM> Maid Of Nails tells Gary all about MCM (Man Crush Monday, we think)

<ITEM> Mom Of Nails is discussed in relation to Nails’ Punisher podcast, Frank Discussions

<ITEM> It’s Reviewniverse time where Underwinter, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Good Hair, All New Guardians Of The Galaxy, Star Lord Annual, The Archies, The Wicked And The Divine and Secret Empire are looked at.

<ITEM> That’ll do.  Let’s go.


@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless
@theQuietusFilm
@kellykanayama
silencepodcast@gmail.com

You can support us using Patreon if you like.

This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton. It’s also sponsored the greatest comics shop on the planet GOSH! Comics of London.

SILENCE! #214

February 21st, 2017

Then give me the electric chair

ITEM TFW you beam down from thespaceship (in space) feeling real, real good! If you knew the things I knew, dear participant…

ITEM Iiiiiiiit’s a bobsy week on Silence #214 but don’t worry it’s still quite good, he wrote, a little drunk and quite pass-agg.

ITEM The lads Gary and Batlow piss about for a bit before they enter the reviewniverse (where conditions are ferocious), and in the process cover the all-important Sponsorshibboleths, the Lego Batman movie, #dredducation and a perhaps too in-depth look at the bob’s feels about the recorded long player music album called BATMAN by the prince of a place called Prince.

ITEM And that goes on for a little bit too long if we’re honest, or maybe he’s edited it, (I don’t know. I’m on a train, as the boy Cobain might have said, also mentioned in this epppppisode)

ITEM But then yeah eventually we get to the reviewniverse where everybody’s talkin’ about (in no good order) Wildstorm, Cave Carson, CIABatman, Nazi Captain America, Ultimates 2, Doctor Strange, Batwoman Rebirth, Green Lanterns, Old Man Logan, Dad’s Weekend (good), and Punisherment (RIP Steve D).



@silencepod
@frasergeesin
@thebeastmustdie
@bobsymindless
@theQuietusFilm
@kellykanayama
silencepodcast@gmail.com

You can support us using Patreon if you like.

This edition of SILENCE! is proudly sponsored by the greatest comics shop on the planet, DAVE’S COMICS of Brighton. It’s also sponsored the greatest comics shop on the planet GOSH! Comics of London.