Site Contents © 2013 Monsterwax
© 2013 Monsterwax
The Jack Chick Museum of Fine Art
PRESS RELEASE! Dec. 24, 2014
Anyone interested in comics or Christianity should be amazed to learn that this January, Jack T. Chick reaches 250. (His 250th original tract, that is.) Chick tracts are those 3 x 5” gospel comic tracts that have blanketed the globe for the last 54 years. Mr. Chick drew most (and wrote all) 250 stories. He also self-published 850 million copies, making him the most published author and cartoonist alive. He is the subject of multiple books, a documentary film, hundreds of websites, and countless parodies… yet he avoids the camera and refuses interviews.
Instead, the cartoonist, publisher, and WW2 vet has spent his lifetime witnessing to others with his eye-grabbing comics. Even at 90 years of age, he still draws them and fans say his art is better than ever. The tracts have become highly coveted collectibles among hobbyists. (Recent sales on eBay have seen rare titles sell for over $1,000—that’s 20,000 times the original 5 cent retail price.) Chick tract collectors-- most of whom are not religious-- treasure the many variations and changes the comics have undergone since 1961, when anonymous Christians first started leaving them in bus stations, park benches, and other public places.
Mr. Chick is reclusive and avoids public appearances. There are no public photographs of him since his high school yearbook in the 1940s. The artist has received numerous death threats since 1979, when he published a series of comic books and tracts that depicted what he claimed was a Vatican conspiracy to undermine Protestant churches. Catholics complained that the allegations were false and controversy and boycotts ensued. Yet Chick Publications has remained in business despite efforts by several groups to close them down or limit their influence.
Chick has allies, as well. Underground comic fans and collectors are some of them. Famous cartoonists, including R. Crumb, Daniel Clowes, and Hal Robbins, have mentioned Chick as an influence or otherwise praised his work.
Many Americans grew up seeing the tracts mysteriously appear in public places, especially in the South, where witnessing is a more common Christian practice. Third world nations have also been heavily exposed to Chick tracts, since missionaries take advantage of the 100 plus different languages that they are published in. The heavy inclusion of cartoons makes them easier to explain to those who cannot read, or have a hard time understanding foreign concepts like the Holy Trinity.
Others argue that Chick’s criticism of different religions and lifestyles is offensive and hateful. A few nations have even outlawed his comics, including Canada (during the mid 1980s—a ban that has since been lifted). But collectors tend to relish the controversial tracts more because they are so politically incorrect, and often feature entertaining conspiracy theories. Collectors have even formed their own organization, “The Chick Tract Fan Club”, which maintains the largest website devoted to all things Chick (Chickcomics.com). They are also reprinting a newly rediscovered tract (“The Lost Continent”) to celebrate Chick’s 250th story, and praising the artist for his career of gospel cartooning:
“Chick should be getting a ‘lifetime achievement’ award for his giant body of work and his unmatched success in self publishing,” claims Richard Lee, President of the club. “But since his art is politically incorrect, few will stand by him. He deserves real credit for his talent, determination, and courage. He’s a true artist that refused to be silenced by others.”
For further questions, you can call or write Kurt Kuersteiner, Vice President, Chick Tract Club, at 850-591-3080 or email Monsterwax@aol.com. The Chick Tract Fan Club is not affiliated with Chick Publications and is open to anyone, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.
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