Titan Books has recently published the official Art and Making of Preacher, giving in-depth looks at how AMC creates their famous TV series. Put together by none-other Paul Davies, the book covers everything from character to set design.
For those of you unfamiliar with Preacher, while it is a hit AMC series by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the series originated from a comic book publisher named Vertigo, an imprint from DC comics. The main character, Jesse Custer, is possessed by a supernatural creature named Genesis – that was created by both a demon and an angel. This being that is both good and evil, forces Jesse to have strength that controls the creature as he has become the most powerful being in the universe.
While The Art and Making of Preacher goes through many different aspects of the TV series, it is split up perfectly to showcase specific characters like Cassidy, Tulip O’Hare, and Eugene ‘Arseface’ Root. Below shows exactly how the book is split up per the table of contents.
Jesse Custer is clearly the main and most interesting character within Preacher, both in print and on the small screen. Dominic Cooper who portrays the split character takes on the role very seriously, and has fit it perfectly according to the directors. Cooper also has his own opinion on the character;
“Jesse believes that there’s something up there, and there’s a greater God – that’s something that he has to stick to. So, we meet a desperate, lost, self-pitying, dark, damaged human being. He’s a man who can see no way out. His life is overshadowed by the guilt of something that he did that he blames himself for, and he genuinely seeks forgiveness.
I expect it’s just that deep down strength that he has, that comes partly from a slight insanity, a refusal to quit or give up. Maybe what it senses is a mind and a spirit that no matter how bad things get it can’t quite be destroyed or beaten.” – Dominic Cooper, Jesse Custer
Ruth Negga took on the role of Priscilla-Jean Henrietta O’Hare, known as Tulip O’Hare. Known for her other roles in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., she takes on a character within this comic book universe, who in a world of men and a woman of color, is determined to be equal.
“I think Tulip displays a lot of nuance, at least that’s what I always try to infuse my characters with. She is extreme only because we are dealing with a comic universe. I just play the human within an extraordinary world.
It’s quite daunting how epic it is, you almost expect a chorus to greet every new scene. Every scene is so well choreographed and put together and written, you worry ‘Will I ever do it justice?’ I’ve found that tough. There’s so much going on, there’s so much that you can do, and so much potential. You can easily become overwhelmed by the epic scale.” – Ruth Negga, Tulip O’Hare
All Saints Church
This is the Custer’s family church, and was constructed for the show. The church is shown in eight of the nine episodes for season one, alongside pilot. It’s the pivoting point in the plot where Jesse is encountered by Genesis through the comet. If you’re interested in seeing the set, AMC has the All Saint’s Congregational Church in a 360-degree VR using the Google Cardboard and regular screen viewing. It can be found directly on their website.
Ratwater is a town in the Wild West, and the Saint Killer’s worst memory. The scenes shot here, specifically, Cooley’s Inn & Saloon is where the most action takes place. A ton of detail is made in this Wild West themed “Towne of Ratwater”.
“Though we join the Saint in the town apothecary for only a few moments, the interior is abundantly rigged with specimen jars and all manner of wooden caddies and glass receptacles from which the scent of dried herbs might waft, disguising the stench of sweat.”
One thing that’s crucial for creating and implementing TV shows is having storyboards to layout the scenes, dialogue, and actions. For an example, we have Saint Versus Cops, from season two episode one, directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The storyboard was made by Robin Richesson.
This is when Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy are pulled over by a cop, and with Jesse being armed with Genesis he believes he has everything under control. The unthinkable happens and the Cowboy from Hell comes out.
With this type of pre-planning, it gives a good layout for the episode and how to direct the actors portraying the characters.
Honestly I’ve always been fascinated with the world of Preacher. To take a comic book series and implement into a TV show can be both a blessing and a curse. While you have viable stories laid out from the issues, by copying them it doesn’t give any originality to the external series. With the series of Preacher they have Dominic Cooper, who just fits the role perfectly.
Flipping through The Art and Making of Preacher, Titan shows just all the in-depth qualities that make the series so popular and true to its original inspiration. The background knowledge shown in the book gives myself and other readers more reason to watch the series.
Get your copy here, directly from Titan; where they will direct you to a retailer in your region.