Dixie Fried focuses on Cassidy, the Irish vampire and long-time friend of Jesse Custer. However, as Custer and girlfriend Tulip get closer, Cassidy causes something of a rift as his past and his big mouth rush to catch up with him.
Out of all the books that feature the main characters, this one goes off on the largest of tangents, as Jesse’s quest is moved to the back burner. The Grail is licking its collective wounds and so all evil work is left to a group of goths who call themselves The Children of Blood (although they use a French translation to add weight to any accusation of pretentiousness). After the firepower and fanaticism of the Grail, there’s a slight feeling of cannon-fodder to the whole proceedings, with Ennis simply taking Cassidy and company down a blind alley for a bit of a poke at this maudlin, pasty faced bunch, who take their lives a little too seriously but don’t have nearly enough respect for the lives of others.
The relationship issues put a bit of emotion back on the agenda, but by focusing a lot of attention on the interaction between the main characters, the action we’ve come accustomed to is left a little on the light side. This might be to do with the format. The first section, dealing with another part of Cassidy’s history, was originally published as a ‘special’ – a larger companion to the main thread of the story that was published independently from the regular monthly series. Followed by this other Cassidy centric story, we are almost left wondering exactly who the main protagonist of the series is supposed to be.
However, these are minor niggles, and a Preacher story that’s just off top form is still worthier than most. You wouldn’t want to skip this book if you were collecting the series, as at least some of the main plot struggles through. However, there’s little progression here and we finish in almost the same place as we began. Just think of it as taking the scenic route to the next title in the series.