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How Hating ‘Preacher’ Inspired ‘Mortal’ Response

I look at “Preacher” in a different light.

It inspired me to write “MORTAL GODS: IGNITION,” a book about the exploits of superhuman individuals in a real-world setting.

Actually, it wasn’t AMC’s “Preacher” that partially inspired me to write “Mortal Gods: Ignition.” Rather, it was the 1990s comic book series of the same name.

I never read the “Preacher” title but became familiar with it through heavy promotion by the comic book industry. If you don’t know it, you can read a thorough analysis of it at PopMatters.

And it was a combination of “Preacher” and a ton of other terrible entertainment over the years that finally caused me to say enough was enough. It’s time to produce my own stories.

preacher-inspired-mortal-gods
Adam White. Exclusive “Mortal Gods: Ignition” art by José Cano. Copyright Paul Hair, 2016)

That’s right. “Preacher” didn’t partially inspire me to write “Mortal Gods: Ignition” because I liked it; it helped inspire me because I loathe it.

Don’t worry, though. I’m not here to rip into “Preacher” or tell you to stay away from it. Read the comic book series and watch the TV show if you want.

Like I told the commenter who said he was interested in FOX’s “Lucifer” when I wrote about Hollywood’s fascination with glorifying Satan and demonizing God: “Go for it. Just make sure to buy ‘Mortal Gods: Ignition.’ too.”

“MG:I” is the opposite of what you can expect from “Preacher” and other standard stories. It’s a fun book, and it makes you think about both contemporary issues and eternal themes.

In short, it’s intended to be entertaining literature.

Whereas “Preacher” is simultaneously a nonstop attack on God and a promotion of evil (dispute that if you like), “MG:I” is the opposite. It’s a book where the protagonists actually want to destroy evil instead of siding with it.

At the same time, “MG:I” isn’t a collection of sermons or moralizing. Nor is it a book where you will always agree with the protagonists’ actions.

So what’s it about?

“MG:I” is a collection of three short stories examining how people with superhuman abilities (they are not superheroes) might address modern issues.

preacher-inspired-mortal-gods-comic
Exclusive “Mortal Gods: Ignition” art by José Cano. Copyright Paul Hair, 2016).

And to give you an idea of what I mean by this, the second story is titled, “The First Transgender Superhuman.”

Read its opening few paragraphs at Liberty Island. You might wonder how the concept of a “transgender” superhuman factors into the resolution based on this excerpt, but I assure you that you won’t be disappointed once you read the entire story.

Apart from being a highly relevant tale, the last line of “The First Transgender Superhuman” likely will be one of the funniest lines you’ll read all year.

Read Dave Dubrow’s “MG:I” review for another perspective on the book. Dave is a fellow Liberty Island creator, and he offers great insights on it.

So my rejection of “Preacher” and other mainstream entertainment helped inspire me to write “Mortal Gods: Ignition.” But that’s not the reason you should buy it.

Buy it because it’s a good book with stories you’ll enjoy reading. And after you read it, review it at Amazon. Comment on it at my website (Liberate Liberty) and at my creator page at Liberty Island.

(By the way, there also is a free short story set in the Mortal Gods universe at my Liberty Island page. It’s a quick read called, “I Am Chaos.” And for fans who enjoy analyzing stories, here are two things to think about with “I Am Chaos”: (1) What is unique about the protagonist Caitlin throughout the entire story? (2) Some people might argue that Caitlin isn’t the protagonist. Why would they make such an argument and why would they be wrong?)


Paul Hair writes fiction and nonfiction. He writes under his own name and he ghostwrites for other authors and personalities. He also is a veteran intelligence analyst who provides clients with professional intelligence analysis and other national security insights.

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2 Comments

  1. Paul, I appreciate your perspective (and will pick up MG:I) but I’d ask that you consider this: there are a ton of people out there (myself included) who find many Christians creepy, the Catholic Church bizarro land, the Evangelical Movement scary, and religion of any kind laughable. To some (myself included) see very little difference between ISIS and the Evangelical movement. There are people (myself included) who’ve never found a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque that seemed to fit. Maybe they had bad experiences as a kid (I had my head split open by a priest in the second grade) and maybe they’re naturally inclined towards logic, reason, and science (premed) and maybe, just maybe, books like Preacher offer a way in through an antihero and his pals. From my perspective, shows like The Leftovers, Preacher, The Walking Dead, True Detectives Season One open a nontraditional door to God and faith. Preacher to me was never antichrist, certainly antichurch, but it explores themes of: a crisis of faith, love, friendship, God, mission & purpose, and forgiveness. Since you haven’t read/watched Preacher, maybe consider that there’s a character named “Arseface” who’s walking satire AGAINST Kurt Cobain, suicide, and the entire grunge movement of the 90’s. (Very daring for the time.) There’s more to this story than you might see at first blush and the paths people find to God and Faith vary dramatically and if you really believe in God… then isn’t it possible to meet God without a church, without the Bible, and without a Preacher?

    1. Matt,

      First and foremost, thank you in advance for purchasing MG:I. I appreciate that. Here are answers and comments to your questions or points. I repost the relevant portion of your comment and then my answer or comment (bracketed with two asterisks) below that.

      Paul, I appreciate your perspective (and will pick up MG:I) but I’d ask that you consider this: there are a ton of people out there (myself included) who find many Christians creepy, the Catholic Church bizarro land, the Evangelical Movement scary, and religion of any kind laughable.

      ** Yep. I am well aware of that. **

      To some (myself included) see very little difference between ISIS and the Evangelical movement.

      ** Then evangelicals are doing something wrong. ISIS (and Islamic terrorists in general) have terrorized and slaughtered people in their conquest effort. Evangelicals, on the other hand, have been lukewarm and constantly compromise their convictions, going so far as to abandon authentic Christian beliefs in attempts to get people to like them. The result: ISIS is winning and Islam keeps growing while evangelicalism and Christianity fall apart.

      On top of this, I could argue that it is ISIS and the ruling American secularists who have very little difference—not ISIS and evangelicals. Both ISIS and the ruling American secularists are fanatical religious groups that are willing to do whatever it takes to impose their religious beliefs on others. **

      There are people (myself included) who’ve never found a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque that seemed to fit. Maybe they had bad experiences as a kid (I had my head split open by a priest in the second grade) and maybe they’re naturally inclined towards logic, reason, and science (premed) and maybe, just maybe, books like Preacher offer a way in through an antihero and his pals.

      ** I understand that. Yet I’ve had bad experiences with atheists, humanists, and secularists. It’s another reason I decided to start writing fiction.

      Also, I knew that no matter how much people complained about Preacher there would be plenty of others who would like it. Furthermore, I became fed up with conservatives and professing Christians complaining about what the entertainment industry produces. My thought was, “They know the entertainment industry isn’t going to change—the entertainment industry loves angering them. So why haven’t they produced any alternatives?” Action is better than complaining. So I created MG:I.

      And this is part of the reason I’m not trying to convince people to avoid Preacher right now. Instead, I’m saying: “Here are the stories I have to tell.” **

      From my perspective, shows like The Leftovers, Preacher, The Walking Dead, True Detectives Season One open a nontraditional door to God and faith. Preacher to me was never antichrist, certainly antichurch, but it explores themes of: a crisis of faith, love, friendship, God, mission & purpose, and forgiveness.

      ** I disagree but like I said, I’m not trying to convince people to stay away from Preacher (or other entertainment) at this point in time. **

      Since you haven’t read/watched Preacher, maybe consider that there’s a character named “Arseface” who’s walking satire AGAINST Kurt Cobain, suicide, and the entire grunge movement of the 90’s. (Very daring for the time.) There’s more to this story than you might see at first blush and the paths people find to God and Faith vary dramatically and if you really believe in God… then isn’t it possible to meet God without a church, without the Bible, and without a Preacher?

      ** I think I knew that about Arseface. Many, many years ago I used to subscribe to Wizard Magazine when it was extant, and that magazine alone heavily promoted Preacher, its stories, and its characters. I may have learned that particular fact about Arseface from Wizard. I’m not certain, though.

      (By the way, I was never a Nirvana fan and to this day I don’t know why people—particularly Gen X—think “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is a great song much less THE greatest song ever.)

      There is the argument that someone can’t judge something until he’s experienced it. I don’t accept this. Sometimes it’s true but other times it is not. In fact, sometimes it takes someone outside of the experience to see things correctly. I’ve had it happen to me where I didn’t see the true nature of what I was involved with until someone came along and said, “Hey, do you realize what you’re actually doing/involved with?”

      My answer to if someone can meet God without a Church, the Bible, and Preacher is a conditional no. There are deeper theological conversations to be had about this (“What if someone never had the opportunity to read the Bible or hear about God?”) but as a general answer, I’d say no. I’ll modify this to say that someone can come to know God without a church or preacher as long as he has the Bible. But there are caveats that go with this answer as well. **

      So those are my thoughts. Thanks for the comments and questions. I hope my reply at least proved worthwhile even if you don’t agree with what I wrote. And thanks again for purchasing MG:I.

      Also, don’t forget “I Am Chaos” is available for free at Liberty Island (the link to it is in the last paragraph of the post). In addition to what I mention about it in the post, the story also deconstructs a real-life trend, and it deconstructs a fictional villain cliché. Feel free to comment on it at LI or my website.

      Paul

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