preacher

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Related to Preachers: Billy Graham, Sermons

preacher

a person who has the calling and function of preaching the Christian Gospel, esp a Protestant clergyman

Preacher

(pop culture)

Through the 1990s, DC Comics has nurtured its Vertigo series, comics written for an adult audience that have featured a variety of horror titles. Among the series’ top entries is Preacher, written and drawn by the team of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. The series is named after Jesse Custer, a preacher who had become possessed by Genesis, a new entity created by the mating of an angel and a demon. Genesis had great strength, but lacked willpower. In his possessed state, Jesse has the power to speak the Word and bend people to his desires. Jesse is driven into a number of situations by his knowledge that God has retired from running the universe. He seeks God to call him to account for this patent neglect of creation.

Jesse is accompanied by two friends/colleagues, Tulip, his girlfriend, and Proinsas Cassidy, a vampire from Ireland. Born in 1900, as a young man, Cassidy joined the cause of Irish freedom from British rule. At one point, during Easter week of 1916, Cassidy’s brother Billy pulled him from the fight, and the pair headed for home. On the way, Cassidy was attacked by a bog monster who pulled him into the water. The next day when he struggled out of the water, he began to burn in the sun. He quickly understood his survival meant staying in the water until nightfall.

Without a teacher, Cassidy learned what it meant to be a vampire by trial and error. As he mastered his new existence, he decided to immigrate to America where no one would know him. In New York, a city that never sleeps, he attached himself to the late-night pub crowd. After running across a copy of Dracula, he finally gained a better understanding of what had happened to him. (Cassidy’s story is told in issue Nos. 30–33 of Preacher.) Over the eight decades of existence Cassidy has developed few long-term relationships, having discovered the issue mortals have with his eternal youth.

However, he has involved himself with Jesse and Tulip, and they continually find themselves getting each other out of potentially fatal situations. Cassidy is almost invincible. He has been shot, stabbed with knives, and decapitated. And when appendages were severed, they eventually grew back. The sun remains his one major enemy. He needs a regular intake of blood, but also enjoys alcohol, some drugs, and tobacco.

Preacher ran for sixty-six issues, and was quickly reprinted in trade paperback editions. There were also five related one-shot special issues and a spin-off series, Saint of Killers, which was void of vampires. There have been several attempts at turning the series into a movie, and several variant scripts produced, but none have been put into production.

Sources:

Kitson, Niall. “Rebel Yells: Genre Hybridity and Irishness in Garth Ennis & Steve Dillon’s Preacher.” The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies 2 (March 2007). Posted at http://irishgothichorrorjournal.homestead.com/. Accessed August 15, 2009.
Preacher. Nos. 1–66. New York: DC Comics, 1995–2000.

Premature Burial see: Explanations of Vampirism

References in classic literature ?
And he touched the walls, and they widened out, and she saw the organ which was playing; she saw the old pictures of the preachers and the preachers' wives.
The first shed we come to the preacher was lining out a hymn.
You couldn't make out what the preacher said any more, on account of the shouting and crying.
But thee know'st thyself as it's hearing the preachers thee find'st so much fault with has turned many an idle fellow into an industrious un.
I trust so," said Arthur: "and, though I don't want to see 'brawling in church' legalised, I must say that our preachers enjoy an enormous privilege--which they ill deserve, and which they misuse terribly.
The preacher went on telling them what he meant to convince them of before he had done, and it was clear that if he only kept to one-half of his promises and forgot the other, he was good for that time at least.
The Preacher found life and the works of life all a vanity and vexation, an evil thing; but death, the ceasing to be able to be vain and vexed, he found an eviler thing.
Even at present, to be sure, there are some like this preacher of virtue, and not always so honourable: but their time is past.
The low winter sun beamed directly upon the great double-doored entrance on this side; one of the doors being open, so that the rays stretched far in over the threshing-floor to the preacher and his audience, all snugly sheltered from the northern breeze.
If you're going to be a preacher, I want you to marry me.
It was dat ole nigger preacher dat tole it, de time he come over here fum Illinois en preached in de nigger church.
I never heard these two points so wisely touched (if indeed I have ever heard them touched at all), by any preacher of that kind before.