Seminar paper from the year 2014 in the subject Didactics - English - Literature, Works, grade: 1,3, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, course: British Literature, language: English, abstract: Violence and the media have been sharing a long history together. This is primarily because people have always been interested in the question whether violence in the media increases the aggressive potential of real human beings. Although this question, according to Kunczik and Zipfel, cannot be answered satisfactorily, great parts of the world's population blame violence in the media for being responsible for the sway in our nowadays society (399). Nonetheless, violence rapidly gains more and more importance in the pop culture which also affects the productions of media corporations (Ahrens 125). Action and horror movies often cause rushes to the cinemas and theaters worldwide. Bookstores sell thousands of thrillers every year and the names of authors such as Steven King or John Sinclair are famous throughout the globe. However, also smaller markets like the comics market are crowded with whole series containing a huge amount of violence and are, therefore, recommended for mature readers only. One graphic novel which "filled itself to the brim with violence, cursing and things most would never dream of publishing" (Batson, "Vertigo - The Birth of an Imprint"), is Vertigo's Preacher (see fig. 1) by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. The protagonist, priest Jesse Custer, accidentally merges with a mysterious creature called Genesis. From that point on, he possesses the power of God. Together with his ex-girlfriend Tulip and the Irish vampire Cassidy, he starts a horrible and dark journey across the USA in order to find God, who has abdicated heaven's throne. As already mentioned, Preacher contains a lot of violence which makes it according to Korsun "the most intense adult comic in ages" (44). Hence, the "intensity of violence is located to a large extend in the degree to which it is presented as immediate an impactful on the viewer" (King, "'Killingly funny'" 129). Nevertheless, King also argues that a huge amount of immediate violence can distract the audience ("'Killingly funny'" 129). To keep their comic entertaining, Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon had to establish certain narrative techniques which helped them to distance their readership from Preacher's violent content. This leads to the circumstance that Ennis' and Dillon's work does not only contain hostile violence, but also a more humorous, almost kind violence.
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