This was one of my stranger finds on trawling the net recently. Someone called
Jack Chick felt the need to spread the word of god some time ago. He then
figured with his training as a draughtsman, he would best serve the lord by
spreading the word in the form of black and white hand-drawn strip cartoons.
At no time did the lord tell him to give it a rest, a result of which being a
huge body of work aimed at helping the "sinners", ie. The 99% of the worlds
population not following his fairly narrow teachings, to accept Christ and be
Jack Chick has produced an interesting body of work, much of it viewable on
his website (www.chick.com). I'll show you some select examples in a minute,
but for those devout Christians among the Atari faithful, I might add that his
religious politics are somewhat suspect, and seem to be living in the 17th
century! For Grey and other fans of Pope John Paul, I might suggest you look
away now. He has a big downer on Roman Catholicism!
"In the mid-1970's, when he first began to understand what Roman Catholicism
really teaches, he knew it was unscriptural. He also knew that to speak out
against it would be unpopular, and hurt his publishing company."
"But God has been faithful (as He always is) and has protected Chick
Publications over the years. Jack Chick has made it clear that if he had to do
it over again, he wouldn't change a thing. The letters from so many Catholics
who have read Chick's anti-Catholic material and have gotten saved carry one
theme: "Thank you for loving us enough to tell us the truth!" Those precious
people make it all worthwhile." (!)
One of his non-cartoon writings alleges an ongoing Catholic plot to take over
the world, describing the Nazi Death camps as a general attempt to purge
'heretics' as well as the Jews! (Erm, that included homosexuals, another
group who are in deep trouble, according to Chick!)
He's also not too keen on Moslems, Freemasons, Mormans etc.
So what you have here is someone who is running quite happily on his own
internal conspiracy theory logic. All the facts fit neatly together, the
disjointed parts of the case ignored. He keeps it tantalisingly unclear, which
branch of the multi-faceted christian faith he belongs to. The tone of the
site, and the things he speaks out against, suggest a sort of anglican King
James VI edition bias?
Anyway, let's take a look at some of those cartoons!
Owing to technical and space restrictions within the Alive environment, there
are not as many as I'd have liked to put in. But I've done my best, with some
carefully selected items. (Carefully selected to allow me to take the piss as
much as possible!)
These strips mainly come from a strip called "Happy Halloween". All the
classic Jack Chick thematic buttons are pressed here. A bunch of kids go into
a haunted house, and being scared shitless, one of them runs out into the path
of a car and he is killed! Unfortunately, 'Timmy' had not accepted the word of
god, uh oh, he's in trouble!
Do you get the feeling that the first bit, where Timmy becomes aware of his
mortality, was robbed off the movie 'Ghost'? And I like the second bit. where
he gets a personal orientation tour of hell itself! "Here's your information
pack and namebadge, and if you have any further questions, feel free to ask
one of the minor demons thereabouts.."
Meanwhile, back home, the others aren't getting the help and support that they
might expect to come to terms with the tragic loss of their friend!
Ooo-eer, what a heartless bitch she is! She's one of those people who hang
around deaths door in hospital waiting rooms, chanting at the nearest tearful
close relative that her husband has gone to hell for eternity. "Eternity"
being defined as the length of time it takes a butterfly wing brushing against
a steel ball the size of the sun, once in a million years, to erode the ball
away completely... (Just how much lighter fuel did the writer of that need to
sniff, to get this fantastical descrition of eternity in the first place?)
But in this strange alter-reality of the Chick script, those harsh words seem
to have the desired effect. Grief gives way to relief! Poor stricken dead
Timmy's soul has gone to eternal torment, but his friend goes down on his knees
and he is saved!
But hold on, you've forgotten about your dead friend already?
Meanwhile, in another strip, fireman Fred is on the receiving end of a very
unusual bedside manner..
(Fred is really thinking "Maybe this fucking ghoul will go away if I tell him
what he wants to hear!")
So there you have it, Jack Chick.
Maybe if we get a slow releases period before the next issue of Alive! I'll
stick some more of these in? ;-)
CiH, for Alive Mag,Dec '03