If You Love ‘Preacher’ On TV, Try These Comics Next
AMC’s adaptation of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Vertigo series Preacher is proving to be very popular with audiences, despite the many tweaks and changes that the television series has made to the original comic’s story. The tale of Jesse Custer, Tulip O’Hare, and Cassidy has proven to be more adaptable and malleable than many fans may have thought, and the new approach to the show’s core concept opens up different avenues to update the classic Western tale.
If you love Preacher and you already know the comic from cover to cover, we’ve got five of the best independent comics for you to try next that tackle similar themes of cowboys, vampires, and how humanity relates when faced with a god.
Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera’s follow-up to their critically acclaimed Scalped would always be much anticipated, but I don’t think anyone quite expected something on the scale of The Goddamned. It’s a story about one man with a horrible past, faced with an upcoming apocalypse; only the one man is Cain and the apocalypse is the impending flood.
The Goddamned is as raw as it gets in comic books, and tackles the humanity at the heart of the Bible stories; digging into what a world forsaken by its creator must truly look like. Packed with monsters, sinners and violence upon violence; The Goddamned is an often bleak look into the worst humanity has to offer.
Jonathan Hickman is known for his high-concept ideas in his creator owned work, but nothing quite tops the high-concept behind God Is Dead. When the gods of old return to modern day Earth, humanity is faced with the reality that it was all true, and the various pantheons plot and scheme to be the most powerful in the wake of the one true God’s murder.
While the concept is Hickman’s, Mike Costa has been responsible for shepherding the story through the twists, turns and reveals as gods are born, gods die, and humanity suffers as mere collateral damage in their wars. At times a very grounded take on the most fantastical of concepts, God Is Dead is willfully blasphemous, but entirely compelling.
Pretty Deadly has proven to be one of the most thoughtful and beautiful Westerns in recent memory. The plot follows Deathface Ginny, the daughter of death himself, on her quest through a world steeped in magical realism and harsh violence. Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire’s art is unlike anything you’ll see on the stands, and worth the cover price alone.
At times, it can be a tough read, as the series drips with symbolism and everything isn’t always immediately clear, but it’s also one of the most fulfilling reads once everything clicks into place.
The Sixth Gun is partly responsible for the new wave of Westerns in comics, and like all of the comics on this list, comes at the genre with a supernatural twist. Set in the wake of the Civil War, it centers on a mythical set of six guns, each imbued with great and terrible power. The sixth and most dangerous gun winds up in the hands of an innocent girl, and there are people who will do anything to take it from her.
Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt’s tale is a runaway mine cart of a ride, with everything you want and didn’t know you wanted from a supernatural Western. At the time of this writing, there’s a sale happening until this Friday on Comixology, making this the best time to get caught up on the series.
As good as Preacher is, it never really gets into the nitty gritty of vampires or their culture. They just exist. American Vampire, on the other hand, is all about that, and goes as far to establish different types and breeds of vampire depending on their country of origin. The series follows the villainous Skinner Sweet, the first of a new breed of American vampires powered by the sun.
The series jumps through the decades following not only Sweet, but Pearl Jones, a struggling 1920s actress who vows revenge on the old guard of European vampires and has a complex relationship with the man who made her a monster. American Vampire is sprawling in scope, rich in ideas, and one of the best things to come from Vertigo in years.