This was the second comic Ennis ever wrote. At a mere 20 years old it was quite an achievement. You can see he is off to a flying start. There isn’t much narrative trickery or pretentious razzmatazz just a very good story, natural dialogue and interesting characters.
Religion is a hot topic and it seems clear which side of the fence Ennis is showing you but he does it in a sincere and thoughtful way. Grant Morrison who writes the introduction is much more barbed. There are some interesting metaphors and it really evokes the feel of the period (1989) when it was written. There is also an unsubtle political commentary that shows you the roots of Ennis’s anarchic style.
The art is very distinctive. Black pen outlines and detail with ink washes. The whole palette embodies the dreary miasma of the Eighties. There are some very emotive facial expressions too.
Preacher or Wormwood may have tackled this subject more eloquently but there is a raw honesty here, and a sense of confusion common to anyone emerging from adolescence. The story is unpredictable and many of the fancy twists and reveals common today came long after this book which will be coming up for its 25th Anniversary soon.
Another Thumbs Up for the Ennis collection.
Tomorrow: Rose – Jeff Smith