I’ve been pals with Garth since we were both nineteen. We were born within 4 weeks of one another and both cracked into the UK comic scene around the same time, me doing black and white indie work for Trident and Garth doing Crisis for Fleetway. He’s ridiculously talented and has been from the start, kicking into something really special with Steve when they met on Hellblazer and then kicking into hyperdrive with Preacher a couple of years later.
It’s impossible to overstate the significance of Preacher, not just in terms of where it went creatively, but also the stylistic influence in terms of HOW A STORY IS TOLD ON THE PAGE which guys like myself and Warren and this whole generation of writers were very influenced by. It’s become known as cinematic storytelling and although hat had been done for a long time by people like Will Eisner, Garth and Steve created a new form of storytelling that was incredibly accessible to people who don’t read comics.
We’re all hardcore and never think about these things, but a huge complaint - even with some of the best comics in the world - was that people didn’t know what order to read the panels when you gave a civilian a comic to read. They didn’t know how to read captions or thought balloons sometimes too and thus an entire art-form was written off by people who hadn’t grown up learning the language of what we know so well. But Preacher smashed that and it’s a style that pretty much all creators use today. So besides the genius of the dialogue (and nobody writes dialogue better than Garth) and the amazing characters (whom we all fell in love with in the 90s) and the perfect clarity of Steve’s art and body language and pitch-perfect facial expressions Preacher should be remembered for changing EVERYTHING. It’s easy to forget now and the comparison might seem obvious, but this book was talked about in comic circles like Pulp Fiction was in movie circles. There were comics before Preacher and comics after Preacher. It was THAT influential.
So congrats to the guys like I said. After 20 years they completely deserve the success I hope this brings and the heat to be transferred to their other projects too. Every viewer is a potential reader getting a one hour weekly ad!