Saturday, April 04, 2009

Fundamentalist nutjob cartoonist Jack Chick explains the error of fictional holiday figures in a gripping tale of murder and spiraling insanity

Most Jack Chick tracts exhibit a slow-burning incivility, a quiet offensiveness and absurd overstatement that makes them unsuitable as a subject of anger. The parsing of small, out-of-context snippets of Biblical verse into the text to emphasize whatever evangelical talking point Jack had in mind at the moment - coupled with text added to the verses whenever the Bible didn't make the same point Jack wanted - absurd consequences for sin ("Charlie smoked marijuana against his parents' wishes and was run over by a car!") and outlandish, subtlety-free writing hardly elevate it above, say, Mary Worth as a subject of religious education or parody.

Nevertheless I've been reading a couple of his online tracts this afternoon with the cynicism I reserve for irony-free douchebaggery, neither offended nor particularly amused. Until on the third strike I ran into his tract "Fairy Tales," which hit comedy gold. For those without the desire to read the story I'll summarize the gripping tale of self-destruction below:

We witness a veritable mural of emotion, a group of protesters - murderous, obese trolls on the left side (including the rather amusing goblin near the edge of the panel mumbling "Kill, Kill!"), bespectacled religious conservatives on the right. Harry's parents insist that this can't be happening!; their son was always a "sweet little boy." The answers are simpler than reasonable people would imagine, and only require a brief trip into Harry's past:

Harry's parents unfortunately fall into the trap of other well-meaning, but ultimately Satanic and hellbound parents - they begin to indoctrinate Harry with the lies of secular society, teaching him about the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny (and, no doubt, about the moon landing and flouridated water). Obviously deeply disturbed, Harry gathers these fictional creatures up until they form the core of his very identity, until one fateful day. Oh, let's watch:

This is when things start to get awesome. Just so you know, the wide-eyed little Edward Scissorhands in the story really does kill a kid in the schoolyard. And this kid's murdering spree isn't over, you'll be happy to know:

Keen observers will notice that this story is a little devoid of warm-hearted religious significance at this point, so this is when Jack ramps up the story; Harry's cellmate learns about and accepts Jesus. Harry, uh, doesn't:

After all of this carefully-constructed buildup Harry's end seems almost a little too abrupt:

Other ironic fans of Jack Chick may enjoy the thrilling twist at the end of "Oops!" or the story where Satan kills a bunch of teenagers with a chainsaw.

Other tales of the kookiest side of religion:

Why Santa Claus is the Devil
The Philippines' [Voluntary] Good Friday Crucifixions
A Jack Chick parody with quotes from the Necronomicon (PDF)

1 comment:

  1. Jack Chick tracts have been one of my favorite sources of unintentional comedy for decades. There are endless websites dedicated to their preservation. "Dark Dungeons" where he first took on the world of D&D and other RPGs is still a classic.

    Any line comics that feature Satan watching "Bewitched" and enjoying it can't be all bad.


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