This Was Your Life!
October 24, 2016 12:42 PM   Subscribe

The man that Daniel Raeburn suggested was "the most widely read theologian in human history," for better or worse, has died. A report from the official social media of Chick Publications states that Jack T. Chick has passed away at the age of 92. The wide, insane, paranoid, KJV-only, anti-Catholic, anti-Masonic, anti-Semitic, and, of course, loving world of Chick's work has appeared in the finest of public transit and mall restrooms for decades. An accessible and delightful in-depth critical review of his work can be found in The Imp, available here [nsfw] as a PDF [direct link].
posted by Countess Elena (153 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ah! I was just about to link that issue of The Imp as an FPP; it's fantastic! Anyway, fuck Jack Chick, and may maggots eat his eyes!
posted by Greg Nog at 12:44 PM on October 24, 2016 [15 favorites]


I saw this for the first time today. Jack Chick parody
posted by Ambient Echo at 12:47 PM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


NSFW image over there at The Imp article, workers
posted by thelonius at 12:47 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just realized that I was only vaguely convinced he was a real living person to begin with. He feels like a creation.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:49 PM on October 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


Weird. I was using a mind bondage spell just the other day.
posted by selfnoise at 12:50 PM on October 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


Only the good die young?
posted by Slothrup at 12:51 PM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Jack T. Chick: one of the most widely read cartoonists of all time, a giant among men, a tireless proponent of some of the most ass-backwards Christian lunacy money can buy, a real piece of work, My Hero.

.

His tracts are great, but if you haven't read his full-sized Crusaders line of comics, you are really missing out! there's some high quality double-barreled wingnuttery right there. And with trick-or-treating just around the corner, don't forget to stock up on Halloween tracts!!
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 12:51 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


.

I don't think he gained a lot of converts but he introduced me to weirdo religious art and for that I am forever grateful.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:52 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Years ago I sent my wife a copy of "Dark Dungeons" as a gift at summer camp; I even got to have an extended back and forth over e-mail with someone who worked for the organization because the camp didn't have a real address just "CAMP NAME, Town, Maine." She was nice and eventually helpful, but for years the organization kept finding me as I moved, diligently sending me copies of the new tracts.

The joke was not worth it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:53 PM on October 24, 2016 [25 favorites]


.
for an outsider artist.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:53 PM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Okay, 2016, you're finally turning it around.

Also, . Cos dying is hard.
posted by tspae at 12:54 PM on October 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


What a jive turkey.
posted by Palindromedary at 12:54 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Sorry, thelonius, I wasn't paying attention to that one, I sent a contact form note.

Bulgaroktonos, it's true! He seemed to want it that way, either out of modesty, or so that he could pass off the talented Fred Carter's artwork as "Jack T. Chick"'s, or perhaps a mix of both.

As a Bible Belter, I have a longtime relationship with Jack T. Chick's work. I wrote a paper for a class dealing in part with his work not long ago. You could very well say he converted me to his view of Christianity for a hot second when I was young -- said conversion being accompanied by the immediate realization that if that was what God was, I didn't want one bit of his Heaven, I'd rather burn in Hell with my good and real friends than spend time upstairs preening white wings and praising Him for building Hell in the first place. This is a refreshing and freeing sensation, for which I have Chick to thank.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:55 PM on October 24, 2016 [23 favorites]


Eventually all those old awful white guys are going to die out--Trump, Adelson, Murdoch, David Duke, all of them. Every time another one goes, the world gets a little brighter.
posted by Slinga at 12:55 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


And since it's almost Halloween, here's a primer on Chick Halloween Theory from SPELLBOUND?
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 12:59 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


two things about jack chick:
a) he taught me that i could have vehement disagreements with someone and appreciate profoundly the craft of an object, that taking the object seriously didnt mean it wasnt camp.
b) death cookie made me roman catholic.
posted by PinkMoose at 12:59 PM on October 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


As the recipient of Dark Dungeons mentioned above and thus receiver of many other tracts, one of the (many!) douchey things about Jack Chick was how in his tracts he made it very clear that if you actually wanted to save souls, only name brand Chick TractsTM would do it. It made it even clearer that it was about self-aggrandizement and not helping people.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:01 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


.

I was very entertained by his funny books, but they were a force for badness in the world. How much badness? I don't know. It's hard for me to imagine someone who didn't agree with him already being genuinely swayed to the dark side by those books. But I can't rule out the possibility. I think in many more cases they had the opposite of their intended effect on people, because they made Christianity seem totally nuts.
posted by demonic winged headgear at 1:02 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Well, I hope he rests in peace, which is more than he would have wished for me.

Loved his comics, though. Never has naked hate speech been more fun to read.
posted by maxsparber at 1:03 PM on October 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


.

I'm trying to be less of a jerk-off atheist, so I've been torn about how to deal with the guy who started showing up at my subway station in the morning, trying to hand off Chick Tracts to people. On the one hand, I would love to add to my collection. On the other hand, he's literally trying to hand them out, and I would feel quite the jerk if I just took one on my way into work without a word. I'd feel even more of a jerk if I told the guy why I wanted it.

(It might be jerky to have a collection, too, but at least that's private. One of my many regrets is coming across a copy of Dark Dungeons at a train station 14 years ago, and leaving it there because I didn't realize what I had.)

I don't want to be Elfstar, anymore! I want to be Debbie!
posted by SansPoint at 1:04 PM on October 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


I think it would be amazing if Jack Chick awoke to find himself in a beautiful, merciful afterlife, one that was literally the opposite of the one depicted in his comics. One that was miraculously large enough to contain every single group of people that he had railed against, along with his own small-minded, hatemongering self. I bet he'd feel like such a dick.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:04 PM on October 24, 2016 [39 favorites]


Long ago, when I was in undergrad, I got one of those itinerant, campus street-preachers to send me ALL them. (Just the ones then in print, mind. Not the hotly-desired, out-of-print ones.) They arrived in a big bale, and my housemates, who thought they were hilarious, promptly distributed them throughout the house.

For a few weeks, they added this bright, silly, and hideous layer of hypertext to our lives, and no one could resist reading them. Chances were that if there were four people in the house, one of them had their nose on a Chick tract. Then, one morning, without saying anything, to the rest of us, one of the housemates grabbed a trash bag and silently started collecting them up. I was horrified, and demanded to know why. "They started making sense," he said, grimly. So I took a step back and let him finish his task, and throw all my revolting treasures away.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 1:04 PM on October 24, 2016 [56 favorites]


I'm glad that he no longer has to face life alone. He never did forgive himself for letting Black Leaf the Thief die.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 1:05 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think the only place I've ever seen a Chick Tract in the wild was sitting on top of the toilet paper dispenser in a gas station restroom.
posted by mikeh at 1:06 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Jack get out of here. YOU'RE DEAD! You don't exist any more!"

Blackleaf can rest easy now.
posted by happyroach at 1:06 PM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


I found these everywhere between 1987 and 1994. Mostly in bathrooms, either on top of the toilet paper dispenser or commode tank. My favorite one was the girl who lit a candle in a dark room, said the magic words to summon Satan into her life, and in return got the super power of controlling a volleyball with her mind.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:07 PM on October 24, 2016 [22 favorites]


I think it would be amazing if Jack Chick awoke to find himself in a beautiful, merciful afterlife, one that was literally the opposite of the one depicted in his comics. One that was miraculously large enough to contain every single group of people that he had railed against, along with his own small-minded, hatemongering self. I bet he'd feel like such a dick.

He'd think he was in hell.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:09 PM on October 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


Loved his comics, though. Never has naked hate speech been more fun to read.

I do know what you mean, but I've also found that this stuff really wears on me after a while; if I actually sit down and read a bunch of Chick tracts (something I have most definitely done), I realize that after a while I feel just awful. All the hurtful and hateful stuff about Muslims and Catholics and LGBTQ people affects me negatively, even if I'm reading it because it's so absurd as to be funny. Eventually the hate and paranoia really start to get to me and I become upset. It's like someone continually scraping an emery board on your skin; at first it's pleasantly scratchy if you itch, and then it's unpleasant, and eventually you're raw and bleeding because the abrasiveness has really gotten to you.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:10 PM on October 24, 2016 [31 favorites]


I think it would be amazing if Jack Chick awoke to find himself in a beautiful, merciful afterlife, one that was literally the opposite of the one depicted in his comics. One that was miraculously large enough to contain every single group of people that he had railed against, along with his own small-minded, hatemongering self.

Where God had a realistically drawn and detailed face...
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:10 PM on October 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


Well, he did make me laugh. That one about the evil cookie... man, when you see something so absurd you just have to laugh. There's a good Cthulu themed parody which was laugh-out-loud good.

He believed in hell.
posted by adept256 at 1:11 PM on October 24, 2016


I remember coming across that piece by Raeburn years ago, probably via MetaFilter from one discussion or another, and it was a really good read about all the strange and awful wrapped up in Chick's career.

He's a difficult figure because there is some legit outsider art stuff there that, from a weird-shit-is-weird perspective, really is interesting and explains why he's got a reputation in a comix all other context aside.

But it's one of those cases where "yes, he had his issues" doesn't really suffice; you can say "if you look past Jack Chick's ideological hangups, there's this art stuff..." but that requires looking past a tremendous amount of really terrible stuff. And it's not a case of an interesting artist who was an asshole in his spare time: the hatred and bigotry and bizarro shitheel fantasies were central to his work. He made hateful, fucked-up stuff; it's what he did, what he was.

I feel something—affection isn't the right word, but some sort of...connection?—to the phenomenon of Chick Tracts, as this thing the strange offness of which I bonded about with other lit-ish weirdos in high school, but I can't for a minute summon up any real sympathy or forgiveness or excuse of a life spent reiterating and peddling hatred in the poor guise of something in any way Christlike.
posted by cortex at 1:11 PM on October 24, 2016 [26 favorites]


I've also found that this stuff really wears on me after a while

Oh, for sure. It can only be taken in small doses.
posted by maxsparber at 1:11 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Missionairies were doing the lord's work for sure leaving this comic on the bus seat that makes stoners giggle.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


I used to work in an office where I was the only non-Mormon. My friends there were a little incredulous about my stories of growing up fundamentalist, since the LDS were very different both theologically and culturally. One day I caused a near work stoppage by bringing in a box of Chick tracts. Still remember fondly the increasingly shocked faces.

I will appreciate him always for creating this dark mythos in my childhood memories. Sometimes he's akin to Lovecraft in my memories. There was something about the art and doomed, hopeless souls which was actually fun for a gloomy kid.
posted by honestcoyote at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


Okay, 2016, you're a terrible shot but you finally hit. Now put the gun down.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2016 [23 favorites]


Sorry to be dense....I can't figure out how to read the review in the imp. So I open the PDF and the main article doesn't seem to be about him. I ctrl-F for chick, but it shows letters to the editor about the review, not the review itself. What page is it on or what's the headline?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:14 PM on October 24, 2016


(Also damnation why doesn't ASCII have an inverted cross character to use in place of a . ?)
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:14 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


And while JTC himself was an accomplished cartoonist, it should be pointed out that the highly detailed yet awkwardly stiff illustrations his tracts are most well known for are the work of Fred Carter, who is still among the living.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 1:15 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


I just checked eBay, and apparently some of the old, presumably discontinued ones are going for serious money. Can't say I'm that surprised.
posted by Slinga at 1:15 PM on October 24, 2016


Sorry, thelonius, I wasn't paying attention to that one, I sent a contact form note.

No problem! No harm done here. Just wanted to warn the people.
posted by thelonius at 1:16 PM on October 24, 2016


It's cool if you wanna recontextualize Jack Chick into some kind of uh, Bob Ross type hero of the weird AF artists, but I don't believe that in any way changes how anyone could perceive his work, which is by intent absolutely hateful shit. To abstract his work to only the elements of design and while tossing out the actual purposed intent of his creations feels like a really dodgy thing to do.

I mean, fuck this guy and his art career too. There are better examples out there I'm sure.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:17 PM on October 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


F.
posted by theorique at 1:18 PM on October 24, 2016


Learning at approximately the same time that Jack Chick and Pete Burns had both died is spinning me right round.

And also says something about the whole "only the good die young" thing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:18 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just realized that I was only vaguely convinced he was a real living person to begin with. He feels like a creation.

Jack Chick [real]
Jack Handy [real]
Jack Van Impe [status indeterminate]
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:18 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


If only I had a penguin, the issue all about Chick is linked at the second image down.
I have this idea it's rude to deep link PDFs but I just now realized I don't know why I thought that
posted by Countess Elena at 1:20 PM on October 24, 2016


I'm pretty sure Jack and Rexella Van Impe are actually Muppets.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 1:20 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's hard to be angry and full of hate so consistently and for so long, but he managed.
posted by tommasz at 1:22 PM on October 24, 2016


Judy Greer and French Stewart in a live action re-enactment of a Chick Tract warning of the dangers of Mardi Gras to your Immortal Soul? That I did the production design/sets/costumes for?
Sure thing!
Party Girl
(I love to party here! This is my favorite spot!)
posted by sexyrobot at 1:23 PM on October 24, 2016 [24 favorites]


Sorry to be dense....I can't figure out how to read the review in the imp. So I open the PDF and the main article doesn't seem to be about him. I ctrl-F for chick, but it shows letters to the editor about the review, not the review itself. What page is it on or what's the headline?

The Imp is an irregularly published series of booklets about comic books by Daniel Raeburn. You want the second one, which is actually about Jack Chick.

Mods, maybe point the link directly to the pdf, with the usual (pdf) disclaimer?
posted by zamboni at 1:23 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, he did make me laugh. That one about the evil cookie... man, when you see something so absurd you just have to laugh. There's a good Cthulu themed parody which was laugh-out-loud good.

Ah, the anti-Catholic tract!
posted by leotrotsky at 1:23 PM on October 24, 2016


...moon god?
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 1:24 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I used to work in an office where I was the only non-Mormon. My friends there were a little incredulous about my stories of growing up fundamentalist, since the LDS were very different both theologically and culturally. One day I caused a near work stoppage by bringing in a box of Chick tracts. Still remember fondly the increasingly shocked faces.

I sure hope you brought them The Visitors
posted by leotrotsky at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2016


I have this idea it's rude to deep link PDFs but I just now realized I don't know why I thought that

I have the same idea and I think it's because I figured web-robots might click through on the length and drain bandwidth unneccesarily? At this point though it's important to emphasize I do not know how technology works and can barely grasp where the images go when I turn off The Knowledge Screen
posted by Greg Nog at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


It's like someone continually scraping an emery board on your skin; at first it's pleasantly scratchy if you itch, and then it's unpleasant, and eventually you're raw and bleeding because the abrasiveness has really gotten to you.
Mrs. Pterodactyl

That's true, but I think demonic winged headgear is right: in many more cases they had the opposite of their intended effect on people, because they made Christianity seem totally nuts.

Chick laid out all the ugliness of his particular strain of beliefs. It's possible that Chick's work had a net harmful effect on spreading his message, because what's in it is so awful and crazy that most people will be repulsed and only those who already agree will like.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:26 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Waiting for the comic strips illustrating the place he went to...
posted by aletheia at 1:26 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ah, the anti-Catholic tract!

Well, a anti-Catholic tract. He was full of em.
posted by maxsparber at 1:27 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


If there is an afterlife ... and I lean towards no, but hope I'm wrong ... I always kind of hope that we're cured of what mentally ailed us, even if we thought it was an opinion or decided truth.

I'm in my early 40s and have recently realized some opinions of mine were influenced by my past. Now, I'm working on rewriting that.

If there is a God and a heaven, I would like to hope that such "opinion" ailments are cured, and we become our best selves. Not through "brainwashing", but simply by the damages incurred through life, whether we knew of them or not, being lifted from our minds.

So that's what I wish for Jack Chick right now. I hope he's feeling it lifted from him.
posted by WCityMike at 1:28 PM on October 24, 2016 [12 favorites]


I'm bothered by how many comments there are about how a hateful horrible bigot was Actually Quite Talented! What a wacky crazy guy, and not bad at art either!

He was most "popular" when I was a kid. I was figuring out my gender and sexuality, and I knew people dying of AIDS. It was a really vulnerable time. The Westboro folks were just kicking into gear. So to hear at a tender age that someone - lots of people! - viscerally hate you, and other people were laughing about it... you know? That's why the "ha, what a campy ridiculous guy, and also not a bad artist!" stuff really stings. I know people don't mean to direct it at me (or other LGBTQ people), but still.
posted by AFABulous at 1:29 PM on October 24, 2016 [13 favorites]


NOOOOOO! Best of the worst. Shame there's no way we can know what his reaction is to finding out how wrong he was about what happens when you die.
posted by Rykey at 1:30 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm bothered by how many comments there are about how a hateful horrible bigot was Actually Quite Talented!

Why? Clearly nobody here even remotely supports his ideas or beliefs, but him being an awful bigot doesn't make him a bad artist. It's clearly not an attempt to justify or soften his views.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:30 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jack Benny [real] [deceased]
Jack Kirby [real] [deceased]
Jack Riley [real] [deceased just 2 months ago and who brought more joy into the world to the nth degree than Chick]
.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:33 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh I just realised his ongoing damage is this trend of leaving stuff in phone boxes (ask your parents what a phone box is). It's littering! I found a full dvd box set in a phone box. You throw them away and there's more there days later. Jack had a big part in making that 'normal' and you can draw a direct line from him to megatons of stinking rotten garbage. Both literally and figuratively.
posted by adept256 at 1:33 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Good bad indifferent or flat-out evil: As an artist, he was mind-blowing.
posted by whuppy at 1:33 PM on October 24, 2016


The funeral will be held in a bus station bathroom, the body carefully balanced above the toilet paper.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:34 PM on October 24, 2016 [23 favorites]


Why? Clearly nobody here even remotely supports his ideas or beliefs, but him being an awful bigot doesn't make him a bad artist.

I think (and AFABulous is very very welcome to correct me if I'm wrong!) that the issue is that here is this guy spewing this awful, naked hate that's baked into every panel of his work, and instead of people saying "oh yuck, this is gross" you get people saying "LOL how hilarious is this! And the art's not half-bad!".

The point of comments like that is intended to be "this guy is a loon" but if you're the one being targeted by Jack Chick and the many, many people who agree with his bigoted views it maybe doesn't feel so great to have other people laughing along, even if they feel like they're laughing at him instead of at you.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:35 PM on October 24, 2016 [8 favorites]


'm bothered by how many comments there are about how a hateful horrible bigot was Actually Quite Talented!

Nobody has said this. I was a target of his comics -- aside from the openly antisemitic "Where's Rabbi Waxman?", Chick and his fellow cartoonists had a deplorable habit of illustrating the comic's bad guys with hook noses and Semitic features, often with grasping, greedy hands like a Nazi cartoon.

That doesn't mean I don't find the sheer floridness of his illustrations to be interesting. It's not that he's talented, it's that he's so manifestly untalented. His cartoons are raw, brutal, unvarnished, untalented, and unhinged, and it is useful to see any veneer of politeness ripped from his brand of Christianity and presented so forcefully.
posted by maxsparber at 1:38 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


He was a hatemongering asshole, and I've got former friends whose understanding of God comes from the pages of his bullshit tracts.

I don't believe in heaven or hell, so I'm just disappointed he got to die without ever realizing the hurt he caused.
posted by Mooski at 1:41 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


In ten or twenty years, I hope that kids find his stuff on the Internet and gawk at it with the same lack of comprehension that we have for ads from the 70s that advocate smoking for lung health, and high fructose corn syrup to give your kids some after school energy.
posted by codacorolla at 1:42 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


His tracts were probably the first place I encountered anti-Catholic bigotry. Grew up in a serious Catholic bubble. It seemed real weird, since my entire life was in the sort of post-Roe v Wade alignment of conservative Catholics and anti-abortion evangelical Protestants.

His attitude towards people was pretty poisonous, but I'm not going to fault anyone for laughing at the absurdity of it or the seriously weird art.
posted by dismas at 1:42 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think of Jack Chick as the embodiment of that peculiarly Dallas crazy right wing hate that people used to worry about after the Kennedy assassination.
posted by Bee'sWing at 1:46 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


ⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧ death cⓧⓧkies ⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧⓧ
posted by pyramid termite at 1:47 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's in the thread already but the artist behind the most vivid illustrations wasn't Chick anyway but the mysterious Fred Carter.
posted by atoxyl at 1:48 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]




Somehow this thread appears to have continued for some several and many comments, and yet no one has mentioned the fact that Dark Dungeons was adapted into a movie made of ABSOLUTE SOLID FUCKING GOLD. Has also been previously exalted on this, our very own Blue.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Nobody has said this.

Okay, fine, no one used the word "talented." Instead, "entertain[ing]," "funny," "bright, silly," "laugh-out-loud good," "actually fun," "mind-blowing," etc.
posted by AFABulous at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2016


"See more of Chick Publications - Chick Tracts by logging into Facebook" Ha-ha-ha. No.
posted by lagomorphius at 1:50 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Okay, fine, no one used the word "talented." Instead, "entertain[ing]," "funny," "bright, silly," "laugh-out-loud good," "actually fun," "mind-blowing," etc.

Yes. All these things are true of Chick. The issue I took with your comment was your insertion of the word "actually," which suggests that people in this thread are denying his hatefulness in favor of his dubious artistic and literary skills. Nobody is doing this.

The fact that something terrible is also fascinating does not remove its terribleness, and does not preclude discussing the fact that it is fascinating.
posted by maxsparber at 1:54 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just realized that I was only vaguely convinced he was a real living person to begin with. He feels like a creation.

Actual conversation I just actually had:

Me: "Hey, Jack Chick just died."
They: "Really? I didn't know he was still alive."
Me: "He's not."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:59 PM on October 24, 2016 [14 favorites]


*

I must admit that I find my reactions to this to tend more to the rage side of the spectrum. His primary virtue was printing and distributing the libels that are routinely spoken from the pulpits of certain flavors of Conservative Christianity into to print in an age before the video gotcha. It's not even kitsch for me, just a case study in post-Vietnam hate.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:00 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Jack and Rexella Van Impe are actually Muppets.

POINT OF ORDER!

You should only refer to Mrs. van Impe with her name and title. She is not "Rexella," she is "Rexella, Mistress of the Night."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:01 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Some day, in the far future, when movie producers have scraped the bottom of the superhero comic book barrel

when they have wrung the last dollar out of the Alpha Flight franchise, and have moved on to newspaper comic strips

when Marmaduke and Mary Worth no longer draw the crowds

somewhere, some Hollywood producer will be scouring a dark basement for one final piece of Pure, Unadapted Comic Ur-Content

and they will find Jack Chick
posted by phooky at 2:04 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


What I'm saying is that commenting on his art as fascinating or somehow serving some kind of importance as a cultural lens is actually some lowbrow pseudo-intellectual crap masquerading as a pithy and ironic critique of an extremely hateful outsider artist.
posted by Annika Cicada at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Chick Tract" is my favourite anatomical euphemism.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


A lot of different kinds of people were targeted by the old nut. There are multiple legitimate reactions to that. (And of the comments you pulled words of praise from one or more already was pointing out that in spite of his whacko entertainment value he was ultimately a genuine force for ill, one was actually praising a parody of a Chick tract, etc.)
posted by atoxyl at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


Jack Chick based comic book movies: What they show in the Handmaid universe.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:06 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


"Well, now, this is not what I was expecting at all. No, sir. Not. At. All."

Jack Chick; this morning.
posted by Grangousier at 2:07 PM on October 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


dammit I wasted my hot Jack Chick take on the election thread
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:13 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


There's a good Cthulu themed parody which was laugh-out-loud good.

Two, funnily enough. The one entitled "Why We're Here" has original artwork, while the other, "Who Will Be Eaten First", remixes Chick's own, but I'd like to think they pissed him off equally.
posted by Doktor Zed at 2:15 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed Chick tracts with a sort of detached irony that my position of privilege as a queer dude who grew up in the embrace of a family that never once shamed me about any aspect of who I am, laughing right along with the rest of those of us who got a nice little smirk out of the flailing, campy desperation of people so deeply mired in lives of bullshit orthodoxy.

Then, I met and fell in love with someone deeply damaged by this kind of nonsense, and finally got to see up close what it was like for a pure, open heart that just wanted what we all want to be assaulted by this howling din of lies for forty years, and my mood's changed.

Fuck Jack Chick. He didn't die nearly soon enough.
posted by sonascope at 2:15 PM on October 24, 2016 [22 favorites]


This Was Your Life!

The title reminds me of the very first Chick tract I ever saw, handed to me in the street by what was presumably an evangelical.

The scene: I am maybe 11 or 12, a shrimpy nerd kid downtown after dark for the first time. I am waiting in front of the (now-long shuttered) Odeon Cinema to meet my friends for the movie which is probably some forgettable sci-fi thing. I am slightly nervous at all the passersby and hoping to see some friendly faces soon.

A tall, slender figure in a white shirt and dark pants looms over me, the end of his tie not much below the tip of my nose. He mumbles something and hands me what I take to be a piece of paper. I turn it over and read in portentous capitals, THIS WAS YOUR LIFE! My guts churn and my stomach plummets as I realize I am about to suffer a death of weird invention at the hands of Slender Man, whom I will not hear of for another twenty-five years. I say whimper something incoherent and hope my death will be painless then drop the tract from nerveless fingers.

The god-fearing fellow, clearly thinking, "The boy ain't right," passes on after promising to say a prayer for me. I check to see that I have not in fact wet myself. Shortly thereafter my friends arrive. I tell them nothing of my encounter and I carry the story in troubled silence from that day to this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:21 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


This Halloween I'll remember with nostalgia, but not much fondness: those little Jack Chick booklets that jerk grownups would put in my trick-or-treat basket to scare the crap out of me with warnings about ETERNAL DAMNATION TO HELL instead of giving me candy or plastic spider rings like a decent human. Even the houses handing out toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters were preferable to the Chick tract houses.
posted by nicebookrack at 2:24 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


It feels like there are some people here expressing ways in which Chick Tracts and similar are painful and profoundly NOT fun to them and other people telling them they're wrong or yeah but the art was so different and fascinating or whatever and it doesn't seem so great to me. It feels like a weird amount of pushback against people saying that they don't find that the literally proselytizing work of an unrepentant bigot has value.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 2:26 PM on October 24, 2016 [9 favorites]


It feels like there are some people here expressing ways in which Chick Tracts and similar are painful and profoundly NOT fun to them and other people telling them they're wrong

I think the pushback that is happening is that some people want to discuss other aspects of Chick's work, recognizing that the message of them is terrible, and some would prefer that the discussion primarily or exclusively be about how awful they were. I literally do not see a single example of somebody being told they are wrong when they say there were hurt by Chick's work.
posted by maxsparber at 2:31 PM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


I was raised in a Catholic family. I was told that when we died our bodies would be made perfect (I'm really not sure about the details). I don't believe in an afterlife, but if I did my wish for Chick is that he be made perfect, spend about five minutes feeling....healed. Clean. Pure.

And then I want him to understand the effects his vile, hate-filled crap had on the lives of so many. I want him to feel every single bit of the pain he caused. I want his perfected self to suffer perfectly. For maybe five minutes. But those are god minutes, which are a bit longer than human minutes. (see: earth made in 7 days)

Just a little bit longer.

Then I'd like him to feel better because the dude was sick in the head and doesn't deserve eternal damnation.
posted by merelyglib at 2:31 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Other people can do the ironic reappraisal of his art. I'm not up for it.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 2:33 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I first read his tracts before I had enough social context to understand most of what he was saying, but it was pictures and words, and reading material was a little hard to come by back then. They were crude and violent; and later I found them to be hateful. The only thing that was interesting about them was that you could find them everywhere, for decades, and they were always the same, no matter what they were saying.

There is at least one good thing about Chick Tracts: they inspired the form and content of Sithrak Tracts, from Oglaf.
posted by the Real Dan at 2:36 PM on October 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


Reminiscing about Chick tracts on the Internet like this is the closest we'll ever come to the thrilling horror of a real-life Candle Cove.
posted by nicebookrack at 2:39 PM on October 24, 2016


For those in the mood for more Chick-inspired satire tracts, http://www.monsterwax.com/parodytracts.html has links to all of your favorites, including my personal fave, Chemical Salvation?
posted by mosk at 2:53 PM on October 24, 2016


Jack Chick was so awful that even my homophobic, racist dad didn't like him. That's how bad Jack Chick was. (I kid. The real reason my dad hated Chick is that his family was Catholic, even though he was not, so JTC's anti-Catholic shit didn't sit well with him.)

On the other hand, the weird combination of semi-competent outsider art and over-the-top inhumanly absurd, ham-handed stories was almost impossible to take seriously. Like, they'd be easier to take at face value if the art really did just suck. Or if it was slickly-produced mainstream stuff like The 700 Club or Fox News. The juxtaposition produces an incredibly striking effect.

I think the pushback that is happening is that some people want to discuss other aspects of Chick's work, recognizing that the message of them is terrible, and some would prefer that the discussion primarily or exclusively be about how awful they were. I literally do not see a single example of somebody being told they are wrong when they say there were hurt by Chick's work.

Yeah, I agree with this. Nobody is minimising his shittiness. But there's a reason that Chick Tracts are a phenomenon and we all know who this asshole is but we don't know any of the hundreds of equally-shitty imitators out there. Not to mention that people have inherently different reactions to this brand of hate. Laughter is an entirely valid response, and it's probably the response that would have pissed off ol' JTC the most, which ain't worth nothin'.

You could very well say he converted me to his view of Christianity for a hot second when I was young -- said conversion being accompanied by the immediate realization that if that was what God was, I didn't want one bit of his Heaven, I'd rather burn in Hell with my good and real friends than spend time upstairs preening white wings and praising Him for building Hell in the first place.

Same. And, obligatory.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:55 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Good. May his memory be scorned and then quickly forgotten.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:01 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


An excellent soundtrack for a Chick tract is Josh Ritter's joyfully snarky Getting Ready to Get Down. Jesus hates your high school dances!
posted by nicebookrack at 3:03 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


It feels like there are some people here expressing ways in which Chick Tracts and similar are painful and profoundly NOT fun to them and other people telling them they're wrong or yeah but the art was so different and fascinating or whatever and it doesn't seem so great to me. It feels like a weird amount of pushback against people saying that they don't find that the literally proselytizing work of an unrepentant bigot has value.

I think the pushback that is happening is that some people want to discuss other aspects of Chick's work, recognizing that the message of them is terrible, and some would prefer that the discussion primarily or exclusively be about how awful they were. I literally do not see a single example of somebody being told they are wrong when they say there were hurt by Chick's work.

I was pushing back because the comment seemed less "sorry but I can't find Jack Chick funny" than "I am disappointed in you all for finding Jack Chick funny." Since pretty much all of the people who were talking about the camp value of the tracts themselves acknowledged that there was real hate there and many already admitted being conflicted over their reaction that seemed rather unfair - to the other commenters in the thread, I mean. Not to Jack Chick, who deserves anything you want to throw at him.

I did not want to make anyone feel bad about not being able to find Jack Chick funny, or even for having a kneejerk response to the thread - because yeah, that's understandable when it's a painful subject.
posted by atoxyl at 3:14 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


.

Thanks for the laughs Jack... I used to collect these after having one handed to my at a church group when I was young - being an avid RPG gamer, I though its misconceptions and mistakes and downright lies were hilarious.

This is where I get to post my all-time favourite parody... "Antlers of the damned" (Sigh, I miss Space Moose, as bad as it was - it could be outrageously funny at times...)
posted by jkaczor at 3:18 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


Learning at approximately the same time that Jack Chick and Pete Burns had both died is spinning me right round.

A subsequent actual conversation I actually had:

They: "Peter Burns died today, too."
Me: "Peter Burns... hold on, I know the name...."
They: "Dead or Alive."
Me: "Hunh. I guess we settled that question."

I am on fire today.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:21 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


Even though his views both disgusted and freaked out this Catholic boy, I still found his tracts fascinating. And scary. Not sure what punctuation to add.
posted by jonmc at 3:26 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


My full stop above was mostly because he was my (Scottish) introduction to a subculture that I only hazily knew existed and knew nothing about. For people living in that subculture, or exposed to its venom, he must have been a nightmare. I intended no pushback to those who suffered.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 3:36 PM on October 24, 2016


When I was a somewhat-caretaker of our campus chapel as an undergraduate, Chick Tracts were the bane of my existence. They would be left by all of our official literature. Also in out of the way places, but mostly in places that made them seem "official". I picked up so many of those, but I shudder to think of the people that saw them and thought we were promoting this shit.
posted by Hypatia at 3:56 PM on October 24, 2016


I loved The Other People, a Wiccan tract in Chick style.

I have considered nominating Chick Tracts for Yuletide, and decided I like my holiday fanfic fest without that particular brand of toxin.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:59 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


got plans for tonight now
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:11 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Here's my Jack Chick story.

Poisonous man. I'm glad he's gone.
posted by h00py at 4:30 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


Since they had at least one other artist working for them according to Wikipedia, I have few doubts that it will go on.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:36 PM on October 24, 2016




Chick comix helped me form my Unitarian Universalist point of view before I ever set foot in a UU church. My parents brought me up to understand the difference between comic books and real life. Something about my wanting to jump out of a second story window with a towel as a cape. So when I discovered Chick tracts, I just thought of them as kind-of-crappy comic books with devil characters and whatnot. I was probably 14 or 15 before I realized they were a sincere evangelical tool, and by that time I was already playing D&D and listening to heavy metal. HAW HAW!
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:43 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'll say this about Jack Chick: he was consistent. A lot of Christians, particularly of the fundamentalist variety, have a tendency to pick and choose their beliefs. Not Chick. He was committed to the whole shebang and all its implications, right up to wearing mixed fabrics. So you spent your life helping people and significantly reduced the sum total of human misery, but you never spoke the magic words "I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior?" Burn in hell, sinner! God loves you, but only if you obey.

I grew up in a non religious family, and there were a few years around 13-15 where I was a prime candidate for conversion, but thanks to a few different factors, among them very prominently the magical, non-rational Christianity laid out by Jack Chick, I was already inoculated and escaped infection. So thank you for that, Jack. I hope you did make it to heaven, but as Strange Interlude already imitiated, if it exists it's probably a lot weirder and more inclusive than you ever imagined.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:53 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm Jewish and discovered Chick tracts in high school. Being that I didn't believe any of it, I kind of thought they were hilarious. I really never believed that anyone actually believed in that slice of Christianity until college. I'm pretty sure I have some still around.
posted by Sophie1 at 5:04 PM on October 24, 2016


More from Fred Clark, slacktivist:

Nowhere in his ubiquitous cartoon pamphlets would you find any hint of love for God, love for Jesus, or love for neighbor. That wasn’t what animated him. He was driven, instead, by the eschatological hope that one day God would settle all the arguments he was never able to win here on earth...I do not believe that anyone ever converted to Christianity as a consequence of reading any of Jack Chick’s gospel tracts. But I do believe that thousands of Christians were converted by them into something else — something more like the ugly dishonesty and nasty triumphalism that were those tracts’ main attributes.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:26 PM on October 24, 2016 [11 favorites]


Tract [satire]: Galactus is Coming!
"Mr. Richards, my big brother says Galactus is real!"
"There's not really a giant man in space who wants to kill us, right?"
"Of course not! There are giant MEN in space who want to kill us."
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 5:37 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


I think it was a Chick Tract that gave the bullies in my junior high the idea of trying out an actual playground inquisition as a bullying tactic. Not with burning at the stake, at least, but with little twig crosses and such. The Satanic Panic was some times. Yep.
posted by eviemath at 5:54 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


My biased reassessment of Chick-published work is that they're mediocrities of draftsmanship, notable only for their excessive rhetorical cruelties. Were they not aggressively distributed by a particularly spiteful flavor of Christian missionary, we wouldn't be talking about them at all.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:07 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


When I die, if it's the incredibly unlikely case that I somehow remain conscious and perceiving of the bodily degradation and eternal isolation of the grave, I will be able to keep a sane mind and chipper attitude by reflecting on how Jack Chick had to experience the same knowing his beliefs were false and his ministry in vain.

So it is with a light heart and clear conscience that I hold my copy of Some Like It Hot high and proclaim, "Fuck Jack T. Chick! If only he could have died twice and suffered more!"

Now please excuse me, I have a jig to dance.
posted by Appropriate Username at 6:17 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


And on the other side, Sheri Tepper died as well. So fuck 2016.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 6:18 PM on October 24, 2016


Sheri Tepper died as well.

Truly terribly news, she was such an amazing writer. Gate to Women's Country and Grass were so important to me growing up. Scalzi has a wonderful tribute post.
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:38 PM on October 24, 2016 [5 favorites]


One of the more surreal events of my life occurred a couple of years ago. I was at the beach with my dad, my wife and her parents one October, on a dark and rainy night. For reasons that have departed my brain, we decided to ride down through Ocean City and go to the boardwalk by the inlet to see what was open. The biggest arcade on the south end, Marty's Playland, was open so we figured, what the hell, let's go in -- the old 10c mechanical crane machines are always cool to see.

So we went in to play some games. Two men were standing around near a horse racing game, and one of them turned to my dad and had a brief conversation with him. When they turned away, I asked what they gave him, and he showed me.

It was a Jack Chick tract... in Cyrillic.

And that is how most of the brain cells on my left side died spontaneously.
posted by delfin at 6:45 PM on October 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


In my ongoing quest to be less of an asshole, I try not to celebrate the death of anyone.

So I won't celebrate.

But I will say that he went out of his way to make life worse for others, the world was worse for his existence and it is better with his absence.

The fact that there are many such people and that it seems only their deaths can cause change is greatly depressing. Waiting for the bad people to die off before we can have good stuff is not what I'd call a good path forward, but I don't see any other moral alternatives.
posted by sotonohito at 7:11 PM on October 24, 2016 [1 favorite]


I grew up around his stuff. It wasn't fun for me.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 7:12 PM on October 24, 2016 [10 favorites]


While I don't really believe in the afterlife, I am getting a kick out of imagining Jack Chick meeting Saint Peter. The man generally considered to be: 1) the gatekeeper of Heaven, and 2) the founder of the Catholic Church.
posted by ckape at 8:13 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think the appeal that Chick's work has for a lot of people is that his stuff just shows how laughable this kind of vile spew is. Seeing this stuff rendered as silly little comic books just points up its ridiculousness.
I can well understand how some might not share that mirth, though.

I had been posting some of his Halloween bits on facebook just the other day, and a friend responded, "The Maiden Aunts in the small Wisconsin town I used to live in gave out Chick tracts at Halloween. The irony radiated from their doorstep." That made me smile. And I learned a new euphemism.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 8:17 PM on October 24, 2016 [4 favorites]


The concordance at the end of that issue of The Imp is one of the greatest fictional-world encyclopedias ever written.
posted by BiggerJ at 9:10 PM on October 24, 2016


HAW HAW HAW!
posted by old_growler at 12:46 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


The weird affection (?) I have for Chick tracts has little to do with their hateful messages, and everything to do with how unapologetically American they feel to me.

They're like matchbooks from dingy diners or grease-stained Route 66 roadmaps or star-spangled Jesus-themed truck balls, and the process of explaining to a visiting European or African or even Canadian just what this horrid little thing is is something I've never tired of.
posted by rokusan at 1:01 AM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


Jack Chick was a prolific comics maker and publisher. He left behind a massive pile of work. A deep guide to a time, place, and ideology. He was also a hateful, paranoid bigot. He did great harm to the world. He died yesterday at 92. I don't believe in an afterlife. He's gone.

Scott Benson on twitter has a good look on Jack Chick from the perspective of an illustrator who grew up in the pretty horrific fundamentalist environment where Chick tracts were common currency. He collected them. He covers their context and their impact - cultural and personal - well. Worth a look.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 2:17 AM on October 25, 2016 [5 favorites]


Another kid who grew up smack dab in the middle of this stuff here. It's all things I've said before, but – fundamentalist evangelical family, child abuse, gay cousin, trans brothister (he prefers these terms now).

I've literally been having panic attacks with the reactions of Trump supporters to his vile comments, because they're what I grew up with. Chick tracts were part of that. They were part of normalizing that discourse. The banality of evil. How our childhoods, our lived experiences, are also fodder for "awesome that's so weird and quirky". Great. Nice you had that privilege, and I honestly hope no one else has to live through what we did. Unfortunately there's a good chance many will, because these people who listen to this stuff? Who share this discourse? A lot of them have kids.

Chick was absolutely disgusting. (Trigger warning: rape, incest, child abuse) The takeaway from that? That it's okay to do whatever you want to your kids so long as you have Jesus in your heart? What we grew up with. What we saw validated in these tracts. Again, I'm really glad that there are people on this planet who think it's so twisted it's unbelievable. But it also cuts both ways, because how are we who were raised unbelievably, supposed to find respite in a world that greets our stories with disbelief?
posted by fraula at 4:50 AM on October 25, 2016 [11 favorites]


I just this morning found "SPOOKY" [warning: link goes to Chick's website] in a study carrel in the library where I work. Probably the first one I've seen in the wild since the mid 90s when I was riding the T on a daily basis.

I have a ton of sympathy for folks who were/are hurt by seeing this kind of stuff around (it's why I always used to pick up any I saw and trash them), but I have to agree with the idea that he must have done Christianity more harm than good, as he made it seem so unappealing and ridiculous to anyone I have ever known who was familiar with his work.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:52 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd never previously heard of this individual until today (lucky me, you might say).

What bothers me about his material, in addition to it being insane, is that it depicts God as a gigantic, raging asshole. Something about Moses striking a rock and God actually taking people misrepresenting Him fairly seriously. You know what? I can cherry-pick verses to support an insane, warped theology too.

. because he was a human being.

Much more importantly though, MASSIVE HUGS for anyone who had to deal with this crap growing up.
posted by iffthen at 4:57 AM on October 25, 2016


Sorry, fraula, your comment posted as I was typing mine. I hope it didn't come across like I was trying to rebut you. He was truly a despicable individual, and it sucks that he had any sort of impact at all.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:10 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


God damn it MetaFilter, this guy was the worst, not some cute goofy crank.

He's with Orcus now. Pop the champagne and play some D&D.
posted by chunking express at 5:22 AM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


Chick tracts were part of that. They were part of normalizing that discourse.

Yep, it's the same concept as rape culture. You (general you) may find it ridiculous and over-the-top but clearly there are people who don't.
posted by AFABulous at 6:22 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]






[Couple comments deleted, updated comment link.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:24 AM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


What bothers me about his material, in addition to it being insane, is that it depicts God as a gigantic, raging asshole.

You probably won't like the Bible.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:50 AM on October 25, 2016 [8 favorites]




Rodney Ascher's animated 'Somebody Goofed" is amazing. It captures the paranoia and toxicity perfectly; in it, anyone who expresses skepticism is of course SATAN incarnate. Having grown up with Pentacostal-style religion and questioning it, I certainly felt some of that pressure of demonization of skepticism. There is intense pressure to keep your mouth shut.

Apparently in order to obtain permission from Chick, Ascher had to pretend to go along with the sentiment, but doing the story in a neutral way just underscores the damage that Chick's belief system inflicts upon people.

I too was an ironic 'fan', if you can call it that, of Chick's work. The all-encompassing hatred of everybody
who wasn't Jack Chick is evident in all the books. I even bought the dvd The Light of the World becuase I just had to see it to believe it. His vision of the gates of hell is incredible; it's a version of "It's a Small World" of doomed sinners. In line for the lake of fire are a ballerinas pirhouetting, a football player throwing a pass, a farmer carrying a bucket, various figures of racial stereotypes, nuns, priests, rabbis, etc. You can't even tell who Chick approves of because everyone is evil, apparently. His hatred and bigotry knew no bounds and I always got the feeling that only Jack Chick was saved; the rest of us are fucked.

Also, for those who say his art was great, you should see some of the early paintings in this DVD. They have spray-paint style effects for beams of light and halos and so on. It looks like van art; really bad.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 11:45 AM on October 25, 2016


I don't know when I first came across Chick tracts - I think it was on the subway in my hometown. It was kind of thrilling, like the time when my friends and I came across a waterlogged porno magazine left behind in the park by ... who knows? Reading the tract felt like contraband, like I was in the presence of something extreme and forbidden.
posted by theorique at 12:55 PM on October 25, 2016


Chick's work is literally spiritual snuff porn, so that comparison is not at all inaccurate.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:40 PM on October 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


My college roommate and I used to obsess over them. At some point he got the catalog, which was a great piece in and of itself. It had an option for comics in a bunch of languages and an option with images in the word balloons for "tribes without a written language". A nice piece of colonialism.

I never ordered any because it felt like cheating. Collecting them on the subway was my joy. I'll still never forget when I got Dark Dungeons, it felt like I had hit the jackpot.

He was a scumbag and possibly psychotic, but his paranoid ravings unintentionally enriched the lives of heavy psychedelic using art students for years. I'm not sure that's a net positive, but recently I bought a pile of them at a yard sale, thereby keeping my hands clean of giving him money, but still having some around for perusal after a few scotches. What can I say, I love reading them.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:49 PM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd never previously heard of this individual until today (lucky me, you might say).

Same here and I am wondering how I managed that.
posted by futz at 3:21 PM on October 25, 2016


My continued fondest memory of Chick's work was cartoon of the evil Richard Nixon, who made friends with the evil, godless Chinese. In more recent times, it amuses me to remember that Fundamental disrespect for the Republican president.
posted by Goofyy at 5:08 AM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I read a bunch of tracts when I was 8 years old. Scared the B..Jeezus out of me.

I still don't want to go to hell.
posted by Kilovolt at 6:12 PM on October 26, 2016


I still don't want to go to hell.

That's fair. After all, you'd have to hang out with Jack Chick.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:57 PM on October 26, 2016 [1 favorite]


I had the thought today that this election season fell out of a Jack Chick comic about the AntiChrist and noted it elsewhere here and then I hear on As It Happens tonight that he died and come to find this. Spooky squared.
posted by y2karl at 10:55 PM on October 26, 2016


JACK CHICK: THIS WAS YOUR LIFE!, via The Nib.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:10 AM on October 27, 2016 [6 favorites]


Where this stuff ends up, Christian "Hell House" features depictions of Pulse Nighclub and the Emanuel AME shooting. The school system pulled the plug on that event, but still.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 7:59 PM on October 29, 2016


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