Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The best damn news I've read all week?

No, not that Britney, Paris, and Lindsay have formed an unholy trinity of... I don't even know what to call it. (Thanks, Spinster Girl.)

I'm probably at risk of really letting my geek feathers show this week, with yesterday's spaceship post. But with today's news (just read at this late hour - hey, I was busy today) from The Hollywood Reporter (via Pop Candy) that HBO is developing a series based on one of my all-time favorite "graphic novels," I'm a giddy little late-night blogger.

Preacher might be (hyperbole alert!) one of the best things ever committed to paper by pencil, ink, and color. The title character (Jesse Custer) is a minister having a crisis of faith who suddenly finds himself merged with something called "Genesis," the unholy spawn of an angel and demon. This gives him the power of "The Word," which Custer can use to make anyone do exactly what he says.

(Custer's use of "The Word" leads to some hilarious scenarios throughout the series, such as when he tells some poor sap to "go #@$% himself." And that's exactly what the guy tries to do, which doesn't quite agree with human physiology.)

The main thrust of the series is that Custer decides to use his power to find God - not in a spiritual sense, but a literal one. And once he finds God, the plan is to confront him and make him answer for what he's let happen to the world.

But it's all about the journey, not the destination, as they say. And the authors of the story, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, created one fantastic cast of characters. There's Custer's girlfriend, Tulip, who happens to have once been an assassin. The two of them eventually hook up with Cassidy, an Irish alcoholic vampire with a mutual admiration for Bill Hicks.

You've also got Arseface, a kid with a severely disfigured face as the result of trying to kill himself as Kurt Cobain did. Herr Starr, who pursues Custer on behalf of The Grail - which tries to keep the bloodline of Christ alive - only to become a Wile E. Coyote type of figure that always loses. The Saint of Killers, an old cowboy who's basically a hitman for God. Top them off with the inbred descendant of Jesus Christ and the ghost of John Wayne, and you have yourself one hell of a series.

C'mon - tell me you don't want to read that now. (And if you're already a fan, let me know if I missed anything.) Nod your head in agreement that there's no way a two-hour movie could've adequately captured the whole thing. You need the serial progression of a weekly series, and a medium that allows for a larger, over-arching story. It's perfect for a HBO show.

Well, except the pilot is reportedly being written by the man who brought us Daredevil (with Ghost Rider soon to come) and the director of such gems as The Replacements and The Whole Ten Yards. Okay, it's kind of movie-snobby, but that's a bit of a concern. I'm not sure I care, however, if it means I get to see Preacher's sick and twisted brilliance brought to live action.

Make this happen, HBO. Remember, you're not just TV. (And though he's already starred in another one of your series, see if this guy's interested in playing Jesse Custer. He's good.)

▪▪ Here's more from The Movie Blog.

▪▪ And a list of all the Preacher trade paperbacks at