Tract Marks: More Berserk Religious Comics from Jack Chick

Just short while ago, I dug deep into an evangelical trash pile to bring you some of Jack Chick’s shrillest, most paranoid attempts to drum up business for Christ. We all had so much fun — except Jack, who only has fun imagining sweaty, sculpted gay men being subjected to various forms of torture — that we decided to do it again. Just like last time, I’m going to excerpt some of Jack’s choicest immortal dialogue for you, complete with his idiosyncratic punctuation and formatting.

Boo

Remember last time I did one of these, and I discussed Satan’s super short-sighted plan to manage an entire network of warehouse party venues in order to literally poison one lady’s drink? Well, in Boo, Satan does one better by showing up in person to murder a bunch of Friday the 13th-style cabin teens with a fucking chainsaw. They say the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was getting people not to believe in him, but he’s got to rate pretty high in chainsaw dexterity, too.

After this rip-roaring New Line Cinema rehash, Chick decides to traipse into another of his favorite areas: doubtful religious history. According to Jackie Boy, Halloween was an invention of the Druids, “spooky guys” who spent every October 31st going door-to-door, collecting victims for the human sacrifice bonanza that was Samhain. Also, jack o’lanterns are supposed to ward off “death demons.” I won’t even expend the energy explaining everything that’s wrong with this, but I will say that Jack Chick’s research skills make Martin Ssempa look good.

Immortal Dialogue: “Satanic human sacrifices are a slap in God’s face.”

Still No Revival?

**In which Jack Chick picks a fight with Seth McFarlane over a fey cartoon baby.** Honestly, when those are the two sides of a conflict, it’s kind of a Freddy vs. Jason scenario: you really hope both sides end up destroyed, and the real winners are America’s youth. Incidentally, I know that Bible passages are open to vagaries of interpretation, but I’m not aware of any version of Leviticus 18:22 that mentions Stewie Griffin.

**Feels like that’s missing an intro to that sentence, or I missed something? I was also thrown by “fey” at first, but that actually makes sense – I looked it up and I was thinking fae/fay lol.

The overall message of this tract is lamenting how much the world has turned away from Jesus since Chick started his career way back in 1961. He’s mad that Christians of different sects have drawn closer together in an increasingly secular world, especially because he still genuinely believes the Pope to be a James Bond villain. Also, he’s upset that people nowadays can’t be bothered to read the storied King James Version and prefer something more accessible, which is just adorable coming from a guy whose theology comes in the form of gum-wrapper-quality comics.

Immortal Dialogue: “Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world. We blew it!”

Unloved

Here, Jack Chick goes to bat for, uh, less-impressive siblings of favored children? It’s the story of eternal fuck-up Jimmy, who’s forever in the shadow of his perfect sister. Nancy gets straight A’s, gets a law degree, marries a rich senator, and has children that look just like her. Jimmy gets beaten up during recess, marries a lady with three kids, and his son turns out to be a drug dealer. Finally, Jimmy’s wife leaves him and he decides to pack it in via bridge leap, but he’s stopped by a free-range Sweater Christian.

After explaining how Jesus died for our sins, Sweater Christian happily explains that Jimmy’s not a LOSER anymore, but a WINNER. You see, the all-powerful God of Abraham knows the suffering you’ve endured, because he explicitly signed off on it! He gave you emotionally unavailable parents, an interminable series of dead-end jobs and fucking cancer to get you to like him, Jimmy!

Jimmy?

Jimmy?!

Immortal Dialogue: “Jimmy, if your think your life is bad, look what they did to Jesus.”

The Nervous Witch

Last time, we learned that Satan’s machinations could be neutralized by busybody grannies, and this comic reveals the only reliable counter for black magic: Uncle Bob, peerless soldier for Christ. Teen witches Holly and Samantha aren’t fans of his, probably because he looks like a vanilla Gomez Addams and only talks about Jesus, but too bad, the showdown is inevitable.

Hilariously, Holly’s plan is to cast a love spell on Uncle Bob, I guess to fuck the Christ out of him, but his faith is too strong. He casts Holly out and gets Samantha to admit that Harry Potter seduced her into witchcraft, and his appeal extends even to Holly’s dad, a preacher. Just to be safe, Samantha and Uncle Bob light her room on fire and watch the demons fly out. It’s just like Jesus said: “Yea, burn it, my children. Fuckin’ burn it all.”

Immortal Dialogue: “I hate your stinking gospel.”

First Bite

It’s another Halloween adventure as Jack Chick asks the immortal question, “What if Rosemary’s Baby and Mad Monster Party? were the same movie?” Jack Chick normally imagines Satanists as caricatures, but this is the first time they’ve been literal cartoon characters. I feel like this assembled group of monsters is more likely to sell me seasonally-available breakfast cereal than loose the Antichrist on the world.

Sure enough, Igor grows up to be a little ween, even after decades of training under well-known Devil-worshippers like Blade, Osama Bin Laden, and Gandalf. He has ONE JOB — to drain the blood of some lady named Faith — but he can’t even swing that, and he winds up getting saved. The best part is Satan’s response to his exasperated monster coven, “Uh, sorry, I guess I lied about the whole Antichrist thing.”

Immortal Dialogue: “No! I’m real! I’m Igor, the child of the Devil! Look at my fangs!”

Who, Me?

Things are about to get meta in here: this is the evangelical comic book tract Jack Chick drew to sell people on distributing evangelical Jack Chick comic book tracts. Jack spends the entire thing assuring you how easy and effective comic book ministry is, and he even includes the sinister origin story of his chosen art form.

Jack claims that he got the idea from Red Chinese spies who saw how much American kids loved comic books and then used that medium to secure supreme power for Mao Zedong. Given how much Chick hates the godless commies, I’m not sure why he’s so comfortable stealing from their playbook, but here we are. My favorite part is his inclusion of a helpful list of places you could leave some tracts. “On top of mailboxes! On public phones! On a doorknob, with a rubber band!”

Immortal Dialogue: “I was saved by reading a Chick tract at work in the restroom.”

Matt is a writer, pop culture historian and aspiring two-fisted adventurer. He has a degree in ancient Mediterranean history with a focus on Roman ritual violence, which is why he writes about monster movies and pro wrestling on the internet. He is the host of the I Hate Wrestling podcast, and he resides with his two cats and hot wife in the happiest place on Earth (Hoboken, NJ).

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