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Bitten by Cassidy

Bitten by Cassidy

By Amy Ratcliffe Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Whether it's on the page or screen, Preacher is an experience unlike any other. In a new series of posts, writer Amy Ratcliffe wades into the comic series which inspired AMC's new show, hitting the road with Custer, Tulip and Cassidy, and taking us all along for the ride.

It's been about three weeks since I first picked up PREACHER. Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon have managed to consistently make me lose track of time with their words and images. They've also made me contort my arms into interesting angles as I've read the comic in coffee shops and other public places. Some panels aren't meant for the eyes of young passersby. Maybe most panels. And maybe I should limit reading PREACHER to the comforts of my couch.

Reading location aside, I've been enthralled by the world. Grossed out sometimes too, but also fascinated. Even only three volumes in, the world-building is rich, intense and saturated with spirit. Jesse has learned more about Genesis at this point—heck, he's met the entity's father—and has had another indirect encounter with God. But even with the massive quest hanging over the pages, Ennis and Dillon have taken time to breathe and go deeper into the past.

One of their ventures into the events of yore explored the origin story of Proinsias Cassidy, or as we know him, Cassidy. The character grabbed my attention from the first volume. Cassidy didn't know Tulip or Jesse. He's an example of someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cassidy giving Tulip a lift turned into him warning Jesse about the Saint of Killers and then staying by Jesse's side. You never really know if Cassidy's being nice because it's his nature, because he's curious, or because he has nothing better to do. Whatever the reason behind his actions, you do know he's loyal.

Or is he?

Volume 3 introduced people who know a different side of Cassidy. We've seen examples of him being monstrous, but this is when you really start to get a sense of the trail the vampire has left in his wake. He's been a vampire for three quarters of a century and hasn't been particularly careful about staying off the radar. It's not his style, and I can't help but sort of admire his screw it all attitude.

Cassidy's carefree way of being endeared him to me during the flashback to New Orleans. It was the first time Cassidy met one of his own kind. The thrill of discovering a kindred soul (soulless?) wore off quickly when Cassidy learned Eccarius was, as he put it, a complete wanker. Imagine any elegant vampire from any Anne Rice novel. That was Eccarius. He learned how to be undead from literature, and his flowery dialogue was scarier than his fangs.

After a proper amount of time making fun of Eccarius and getting to the heart of his affected behavior, Cass took on the role of a mentor. Again, he could have rolled his eyes and headed out of town, but he didn't. It was sweet in a weird way and made me all the more attached to Cassidy. I respect how he shakes people straight and does it with a pint of beer and a stream of curses.

He shows kindness despite being burned, as eventually happens with Eccarius. There's a lot boiling underneath Cassidy's pale skin, and I suspect I've barely learned the half of it.

Are you watching AMC's Preacher? Share your thoughts in the comments. Are you reading along with me? Share comments about that, too! I'll return next week with another dive into the comics. And I have a homework assignment for you. Don’t worry, it’s a fun one. In two weeks, editor Tim Beedle and I are going to go back and forth and share our impressions of Volume 4 and we'd love for you to join us. You’ve got two weeks to get caught up!