By etragedy 7 Comments
Interview With the Wanker
For my 1,000th review on Comic Vine, I wanted to pick something special, so I chose this, Preacher Special Cassidy: Blood & Whiskey. Preacher was a consistently good series, and Irish vampire Cassidy was one of the highlights of the series.
The story takes place mostly in New Orleans, where Cassidy has stopped because he has smelled another vampire. This leads him to make the acquaintance of one Eccarius, a long-haired, florid-talking, cape-wearing self-described 'Lord of Nightfall'. In other words: a walking vampire cliché.
Eccarius takes Cassidy to a gathering of goth types that meet in a cellar, drink each others' blood, and beg Eccarius to make them like him. Cassidy is, of course, disgusted with the lot, roughs them up. One of the Goth crowd, 'Roger', who wears sunglasses indoors, writes poetry, and looks suspiciously like Neil Gaiman (writer Garth Ennis' rival at DC Vertigo at the time), particularly elicits Cassidy's ire. Cassidy then drags Eccarius away to get drunk. (Strangely, despite the title, there is no whiskey drinking in this comic - they drink blood, wine and lots of beer, but no whiskey.)
Sure, it's another one of Garth Ennis' cheap shots (most of Preacher involves him taking potshots at easy targets especially politicians, clergy and other authority figures), and once again lionizes Cassidy as a sort of punk rock vampire who uses slang expressions like 'bollicks' a little too much, in a way that seems to say the writer's trying too hard to make him seem cool.
But to fully appreciate Preacher: Blood & Whiskey, one really needs to remember what it was like in the 90s. In the wake of the film version of 'Interview with a Vampire', neo-Gothic Revivalism was at an all-time high, and New Orleans was pretty much ground zero. So, this comic would've been much sharper then, when legions of wannabe Goths were a lot more annoying, and fewer parodies of them had been made. There were also far less vampire films and comics, and vampires generally still mostly fit the traditional mold, so this story poking fun of the genre's clichés also would've seemed much more novel at the time.
But when it comes down to it, this is still a really good read. A self-contained Cassidy story that's still fondly remembered by Preacher fans. It's not at all surprising that it made Wizard Magazine's list of '100 Best Single Issue Comics Since You Were Born'.