Pride and Joy TP Vertigo NM & 1st print Garth Ennis Preacher Writer J Higgins


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Pride and Joy TP
by Garth Ennis, John Higgins (Illustrator)

PRIDE & JOY is a suspenseful thriller that chillingly investigates the powers of familial relationships and hidden pasts. After his wife’s tragic death, former criminal Jimmy Kavanagh is struggling to raise his young daughter while regaining the love of his rebellious teenage son. But when the psychotic killer that Jimmy betrayed years ago comes looking for vengeance, the widowed father comes face-to-face with the past he thought he buried. Now as a madman hunts his family, Jimmy must find a way to reconcile with his son and redeem himself from his past before all is lost forever.

Best known for his legendary and controversial work on Hellblazer and Preacher, Garth Ennis shows what a talented writer he is with this tough, sensitive crime drama. Once a notorious criminal who betrayed his murderous boss, Jimmy now has kids and is trying to settle into a normal life. But he is engaged in ceaseless battle with his disaffected son, who knows nothing of Jimmy’s past until, that is, his father discovers his ex-boss is out of prison and after his blood. But, as he attempts to protect his family, Jimmy must tell the truth about his terrible past if he is save them…A poignant tale of atonement in the face of adversity, this is the kind of class storytelling we have come to expect from one of comics’ finest writers.

Jimmy Kavanaugh grew up in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen when it was still hard to do without getting into crime. But he left that behind ages ago, or so he thinks, until the two guys he did his biggest job with show up on his doorstep with news that Stein, who hired them for that heist and whom they betrayed to the police, is out of prison and looking for revenge. Savage as Hannibal Lecter, Stein is also as implacable as a Fury, but Jimmy decides not to face him. With his erstwhile partners and his kids, 17-year-old Patrick and 10-year-old Rachel, he runs. Complicating the flight is Patrick’s sulking rebellion against Jimmy’s hard-guy toughness. Patrick’s resentment helps with the backstory, however, when Jimmy decides to placate him by revealing why they are running. Ennis develops every narrative strand in this scary, violent noir surprisingly fully, and Higgins makes it look richly moody by emphasizing the darker shades of a full-color spectrum; there are few single-color suffused pages. A guilty pleasure par excellence.

This noir tale of parenthood and revenge brings Ennis’s talent for dialogue and flair for the grotesque to a decidedly unexpected venue. Jimmy Kavanagh is a long-retired petty criminal and recent widower raising his young daughter and sullen teenage son. He’s still mourning his wife and his recently deceased father, whose memory he keeps alive by telling his kids tales of the elder Kavanagh’s macho bravery and deeds of chivalry and honor as a pilot. But he’s disconnected from his son, who rebels against Jimmy’s brand of macho fatherhood, and he seems adrift in the world. That is, until a vicious criminal named Stein returns to exact vengeance for a decades-old double-cross. On the run, Jimmy reminisces about his wife and father’s mortality, the stories they told him, and his relationship to his son. Ennis (Preacher) ambitiously attempts to give a sermon on honor, family and love in the context of a family on the run from a psychotic murderer.

Paperback, 104 pages
Published February 1st 2004 by Vertigo

Collects Pride and Joy 1-4. Near mint, 1st print.