There was a time when I stopped collecting comic books. When I had “grown up” and moved on to other things. Throughout the 80’s and early 90’s I was a huge comic collector and, with my favorite company being DC, I followed the adventures of Batman, Superman, Swamp Thing, and a host of others, religiously. Then came the 90’s and Jim Lee’s X-Men. I was hooked on the spectacle of it all. Enter Image Comics in 1992 and I was picking up every single comic they printed – Spawn, Wildcats, Cyberforce, Savage Dragon, The Maxx, and yes, even, Liefield’s Youngblood. But soon I was growing bored of all the style with no substance. Cool art alone couldn’t sustain me and I hung up my collectors hat for years.
One day I decided to pay my comic book store a visit and see how some old friends were doing. As I glanced at the issues on the rack and picked up a few comics here and there and flipped through them, I happened upon one called Preacher. I opened it up and instantly fell in love. I bought that issue that day (#16 I think) and devoured it. I couldn’t believe what I was reading and seeing! Comic books that read like novels! Characters that spoke like me and you! This was awesome.
Preacher got me back into collecting comics and I haven’t left since. I had a letter printed in issue #32 of the series. I named my band Cassidy after one of the characters. I cried when I read the final issue (first time a comic book made me do that). I love Preacher.
I write all this because today the co-creator and artist of Preacher, Steve Dillon, died. The man that brought Garth Ennis’s words to life and filled my eyes with a vision that has always stuck with me. Dillon’s art never failed to move me and astound me. It wasn’t “flashy” or “in your face” but it carried with it a weight that crushed the competition.
Thanks Steve for bringing me back into comics. I know I’ll be collecting “until the end of the world.”