Site Contents © 2013 Monsterwax
© 2013 Monsterwax
Welcome to the Chick Vs. Canada Wing
How big is Chick? Well friends, he's soooo big, that even the Country of Canada is scared of him! (Or at least their government is.) The following is the true story of how our otherwise laid back neighbors in the North drew up their draw bridge on Chick's gospel efforts and deprived themselves not only of classic comics, but also free speech and the free expression of religion.
Many Americans think Canada is cool. It's a great place to run away and avoid the draft, plus it has socialized medicine. And how could the birth place of SCTV be anything but hip? But Alas! It seems like the same folks who look down their noses at American Pop culture (with good reason, I might add) have a dirty little secret we don't often hear about... They censor their books! Yeppers, it's true! An otherwise proud democracy regulates what people can and can't say. And the man who tested Canada's tolerance for free speech (a test they flunked) was none other than Jack T. Chick!
It all started during the 1980s when a right wing anti-immigrant party called "The Freedom Front" started to distribute Jack's tracts to highlight how Jews, Catholics and Buddhist Asians were destined to hell (see Holocaust , The Death Cookie and The Tycoon). Of course, they claimed they were just trying to save some lost souls, but lets assume for the sake of political correctness that they distributed the tracts out of hatred and bigotry, instead of Christian love. Whatever the motivation, the liberals assumed the worse and demanded to silence their speech. Although they didn't outlaw the actual tracts, sometime in 1984/85, Attorney General Roy McMury went on nation wide Canada TV and announced a special ban on Chick's comic books of Alberto and The Broken Cross. It's been downhill ever since. The laws have since expanded to repress all sorts of politically incorrect speech, including pictures of naked women (which many feminists hate) or controversial educational views, including history books by David Irving (a renowned historian in the UK who offended Jewish groups with revised accounts of WW2). There are even rules controlling what internet sites are aloud! (So much for the information super highway, since it appears to run off the road on the 49th parallel.) Then again, "Free Thought" is still permitted... so long as "offensive" thoughts are not openly expressed or printed.
One can't help but chuckle at how Canadians condemned the US boycott of Cuba, and recent efforts to fence the rest of the border with Mexico, while they themselves don't even enjoy the basic democratic right of free speech! The irony is juicy indeed. They mock Americans for being scared of Castro and illegal immigrants, when they're scared of Chick's comic books! At least Castro tried to get nukes. Chick, on the other hand, has never threatened anyone with anything more dangerous than religious comics. (Get thee behind me Fredic Wertham!)
Of course, Chick is the only winner in this controversy. Although getting censored in Canada can't be good for business, it's the ultimate back handed compliment. His claim that Chick comics make an impact is certainly given credence by the fact that an otherwise modern country took such extreme measures to shut down his influence.
All snarkyness aside, we love and appreciate our northern neighbors, and realize this was not a move made or asked for by the gereral public. There are many secret Chick fans and collectors up there, and we regret the inconvenience the PC police has imposed on them.
Interesting Historical Footnote: Another country to openly ban Chick comic books was none other than Apartied South Africa. (And we all know know happened to them!) Kinda ironic. The Great White North had some distinguished competition from the Great White Hope in their efforts to stomp out Chicks. But they're not alone in the censorship biz. Many Muslim and Communist nations also outlaw the tracts. (But we expect that from governments with no sense of humor-- just not our SCTV neighbors!) Oh well, to each their own. Maybe it end up helping the US economy as tourist are forced to travel here to read or collect their Chicks!
For more amazing information on Canadian censorship, check out the Dec. 12, 1999 Washington Post article, reprinted here.
*A special thanks to the Henry D.T. Collection and Richard Lee for information about Canada's crusade against Chick. See also the October 1983 issue of Battle Cry for stories on both Canadian and South African bans of Alberto & Broken Cross comic books.
Content copyright 2013