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History of Battle Cry Newspaper
When Catholics started organizing boycotts against Chick Publications to stop Alberto comics, Chick lost nearly 2/3rds of his retail outlets. Most other companies would have cried "Uncle!" and pulled the Alberto series in order to call off the boycott. Not Chick. He did several things to fight back! He printed several tracts in response to what Catholic critics were saying, including ARE ROMAN CATHOLICS CHRISTIAN? and the more "in-your-face" Alberto-esque tracts "MY NAME IN THE VATICAN?", THE POOR POPE?, and KISS THE PROTESTANTS GOODBYE. (Other's have also popped up in the years that have passed.)
When the Christian Book Association (CBA) pressured Chick to censor the Alberto series, he pulled out of the organization. Having lost so many retailers, he was having a tough time getting his product to his customers. So he made a very savvy marking decision-- he started selling DIRECT to customers using mail order, and promoted it with a new medium that few people knew anything about (back then). It was a thing called "the internet." That's right, Chick was one of the early bird pioneers on the net, so early, that he was able to buy "chick.com" before the pornographers snatched it up (if you'll pardon the expression). That effectively doubled his profits on the items sold direct, since such retail sales sold for nearly TWICE the price as wholesale items did.
The other big change that the Catholic controversy caused was that in inspired Chick to begin his own newspaper, so he could answer the charges made in OTHER newspapers and media that claimed Chick was publishing hate lit. Chick called his new paper, BATTLE CRY! And it looked just like a regular newspaper in size and paper stock. The content, however, was as much right wing and religious as the Washington Post or New York Times are left wing and political! Even the headlines were strongly biased in favor fundamentalist Christian values. (What other paper would refer to the Pope as the anti-Christ?)
The first issue was mailed in October in 1983, and announced how Chick comics were once again reaching Canada despite the best efforts of Catholics to stop them. (Canadian Catholics had successfully banned the comics briefly under Canada's draconian hate speech laws, but the Protestant League successfully appealed and reversed the decision.) A new issue of Battle Cry has been published every two months since that year.
In May of 1994, the large newspaper format shrank to newsletter/booklet format, to save paper and postage costs. It has shrank a little more two more times to save money as the years have gone by and postage has gone up. But the inflammatory content has never shrank in its ability to anger critics! Just reading the headlines alone proves that Chick hasn't gone soft on fighting those he perceives are out to ruin his country and his faith.
Although older Battle Cry issues are very tough to collect (because they suffered the same fate as many regular newspapers did and were thrown away when they got outdated) there are several reasons they are still worthwhile and fun to collect.
First, while most newspapers are so politically correct it's ridiculous, Battle Cry is so politically INcorrect, it's even funnier in comparison! And if that were not enough, they also contain a special Jack Chick editorial cartoon found no where else. (Many are classics!) Finally, they also contain a special "Message from Jack Chick" where he addresses the reader in the first person to discuss the latest issue of importance to him (usually having to do with recent world news). And as an added bonus, the earlier issues (up to around 1992) included full layouts of his newest tract, providing rare peaks at the original versions of many now discontinued classics.
Fortunately, even though collecting older copies of Battle Cry is hard, obtaining recent copies is easy. You only need to order products from Chick Publications on a semi-regular basis, and they'll mail you copies of Battle Cry as they come out for as long as you're a customer.
You can see our index of Battle Cry headlines here.
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