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© 2013 Monsterwax

Jack Chick Tract Club link

Welcome to the Museum's Memory Lane!

A collection of correspondence on Chick tracts. (New e-letters added as they come in.) To view older letters & memories, click here.

[Please Note: Curator's remarks are in bold type.]

This is Chick Memories 14

From Jan 1st 2013 to present (The newest entries are at the top.)

Revised 11.21.16 (All contents ©2012 Monsterwax)

 

Jack Chick passed away in his sleep, Sunday Night, Oct. 23rd, 2016. It's the end of an era. Brandy Zadrozny from The Daily Beast contacted me about it (as did Dan Barry from The New York Times). Both outlets have very secular audiences, so one would expect hostile treatment of the artist. However, Brandy's essay shows a great deal of interest and respect.

Although he is no longer with us, Chick continues to bless release new tracts every two months-- tracts he drew and stockpiled in anticipation of his death. The first posthumous example of his tracts was released early November, entitled Watch Out! It is my understanding that he has at least two years worth of tracts in the pipeline, and after that, new tracts will continue with David Daniels writing them (and perhaps Fred Carter drawing them).

Whatever the distant future reveals, Chick's continued publishing of new tracts places him in a unique status for authors. He is no longer the most published author alive, yet he continues to be the most published author still publishing...

Now deceased, friends and followers are revealing photos they kept hidden of Chick to protect him from any fanatics who might attempt to enforce the Islamic fatwa (edict) to kill artists who draw pictures of Mohammed. Chick also received death threats from gay activists after publishing The Gay Blade in 1972, and various Catholic supporters after publishing Alberto in 1979, but recent assassinations of other cartoonists who dared draw Mohammed indicate the Islamic threat was most real. Chick devoted an entire full color comic book that both depicted and criticized Mohammed back in 1988, as well as numerous black and white tracts. The fact he lived to the ripe old age of 92 would seem to support his theory that he was protected by a higher power.

The King of Underground Comics is dead. Long live The King!


I just wanted to let you know that I received my membership packet and was thrilled with it (haw, haw, haw!)

Thanks, Jeff


Just wanted to mention that your reviews of the Chick tracts are probably one of the best and funniest things I've ever stumbled across online! I can't even tell you how many times I started crying from laughing so hard at some of the reviews, whether it was for a tract like Sampson or for Chick's Crusader comics. I also love how you guys take a very even-handed and fair approach and support Chick's freedom of speech. I just recently ordered the sampler pack of in-print tracts from his site, the fan club from your site, and I will definitely also be ordering your book soon as well! Thanks for providing me with weeks' worth of entertainment!

- Mike


Hi there. I ordered the Chick Tract Club membership pack and I first wanted to say how excellent it all is! I feel like I felt when I joined the Six Million Dollar Man Club back in the 70's!!! Great button and the "Get Out of Hell Free" card is a real bonus. Thank you for putting a kit together for the real fans of Chick!

PS. After ordering the club kit I found your website - wow, fantastic! I've spent a number of hours reading all the info you've gathered and had no idea there was such a complicated history to Chick Tracts. I have such great memories of them from the 70's and 80's and still have a small collection (favorite - Soul Brother).

Hey, thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the club-- that's why we do it! -Kurt


I received your package today, and it looks great! I have devoured many pages in your book. I had to skip to the end to read about your visit to Chick Publications. I am sure that was an awesome experience.

I hand out the tracts as a means to lead people to Jesus and salvation, but I also like collecting them. You might find some humor in where I leave them on my weekly visits to stores, etc. For example, during my weekly visit to Wal-Mart, I usually leave a "Baby Talk" tract on the aisle with the pregnancy tests, either a "Sin City" or "Doom Town" next to the condoms and lubricants, and "Happy Hour" in the wine and beer sections. On top of the price scanners I prop up various tracts; this week the tract title that I left "Is Allah Like You?" since it tied in to the tragic events in California and Paris. I left a tract on a bench at our local Belk store, several underneath the price scanners there, and my waitress this weekend received a tract with my signed receipt and tip. In addition, I left some inside the credit card applications at my local gas station. I always enjoy finding new places to leave the tracts. I ordered 1,000 copies of "The Greatest Story Ever Told" since it was half price! I gave each couple in my Sunday School class a bundle, as well as the wife of my pastor.

-Scott (Greenwood, SC)

Thanks Scott,

Glad you enjoyed the book. Just between you, me, and the eavesdropping Jesuits, the visit to Chick Publications is one of my favorite chapters, too. They were wonderful hosts and a delight to meet in person.

It's great you're passing out the Chick tracts. They really are the most eye catching tracts out there. I was reminded of that during Thanksgiving when I visited Petsmart and encountered THE MISSING DAY tract in my shopping cart. While talking to one of the clerks about aquarium fish, another clerk approached with a pile of tracts she had collected from the other carts. She seemed angry (probably inspired by the invisible demon on her shoulder). I told her those were very collectible Chick tracts and many people loved to get them, and she shouldn't throw them away. I also told her that title was very festive and appropriate for the season. Then I said I and many other people collected them, and they were some of the neatest (and cheapest) things to collect out there. These seemed to make an impression on her, though I'm not sure what she did with the tracts. Haw-haw-haw!


Mr. Monsterwax,

Hello and thank you for your fine website. Thanks for publishing my top ten list in 2008. I've since gotten sick of religion, when they pressured my then-broke ass to tithe instead of buy food.

More recently I had an exciting tract spotting in the wild: I saw some in a dentist office, just lying there forelorn, including The Awful Truth.

Boy, Jack Chick is just bringing it: he has no love for Catholics. Man. He just doesn't care about stepping on toes anymore.

Also, I was equally charmed and repulsed by reading Mean Mama. JTC is not above killing children characters in order to move a plot forward. Yikes! --
Sincerely,

David S.

It sounds like you had some fine reading while waiting to have your teeth drilled. I can only imagine how the person who left it must have enjoyed predicting the "finders" response. Haw-haw!


Kurt,

Great book and film! Got them both off Amazon a week or so ago, and wow, just top notch work. My wife had never even seen a Chick tract, and she is loath to watch the endless documentaries that I drag home, but she genuinely enjoyed God's Cartoonist. My story is at the opposite end of the spectrum from my wife's—far from "never having seen a Chick tract", I grew up in a little fundamentalist evangelical church outside of Memphis, Tennessee where Chick tracts were both ubiquitous and the primary ammunition for door-to-door witnessing in our community. This was in the 1970s and '80s. A natural born collector since childhood, I would liberally help myself to the tracts in the "Take one—Free!" rack at church so often that one day the preacher joked from the pulpit that they were going to send a pickup truck to our house to get all of their tracts back. My mom was so embarrassed. I hoarded all manner of religious literature, but Chick tracts and Crusaders comics were by far my favorites. (I also deeply coveted the Clarence Larkin Dispensational Truth book, but as my parents would not buy it for me, I had to content myself with perusing the church library copy.)

My best friend in town was a Catholic, and that poor kid had to suffer through all manner of dire warning from me, just spewing Chick/Rivera rhetoric and further embarrassing both families. He was a comic nerd and actually got me into mainstream comic books, starting with the Legion of Super-Heroes. Anyway, I would force Alberto and Double Cross on him, and his parents would have to call my parents… It's funny, I had really forgotten all about this stuff until I found three old Crusaders comics at junk store a few months back. They were like a buck apiece, so I picked them up and took them home. I should state at this point that I was absolutely terrified as a child and young adolescent by the scaremongering that Chick employed. I was saved about a thousand times and never felt like it "took". And though I was horrified by the concept of hell and eternal damnation, I kept coming back to the well—I just couldn't get enough of this stuff, and I bought it hook, line and sinker—hell, demons, rock music, the Catholics, the Druids, it all rung true for me. I actually participated in record burnings at church, and I dutifully tossed my Disco Duck and Osmonds records in the flames.

Anyway, I had left the church by the mid-teen years, and discovered girls, drugs and real rock music. Never really looked back until I got sober in AA at age 30, at which point I had to really wrestle with the gods of my youth. I found a spiritual path that Jack Chick would say leads straight to hell, but I know better now. Yet it is fascinating to go back and re-read this stuff with the benefit of maturity. So anyway, after reading the three that I found, I started poking around online to see if the rest were still out there somewhere, and lo and behold but they are still all in print! I got the pack of 23 comics direct from Chick, found your book and movie and got those, too. What a great film! I actually love it that you presented it in a "fair and balanced" manner rather than taking the easy road to lambast him as a kook. Great interviews, just a really solid piece of documentary film making. Really enjoying the book as well! I'm at the part where you're going through the Todd story, and it just goes to show you that when the chips are down, the truth trumps fiction every day. This shit is crazy!

And so it goes. I am now completely down the rabbit hole—in for a penny, in for a pound. I just got a 139 different title sampler set off EBay yesterday, and now your collectors club thing. If this proves similar to my other collecting obsessions, I will not rest until I have tracked down every last Chick tract ever published, so my wife has that to look forward to. J

Thanks again for all you have done to shed light on the topic and spread the work about a guy who is, whatever else he may be, the most successful underground cartoonist of our times!

C.S., Memphis, Tennessee

PS—I have no idea what happened to all those tracts I hoarded as a kid. I'm going to ask my mother about them the next time I visit her at home, but I fear they were all thrown out years ago…

Thanks CS,

Always happy to hear others enjoy these little wonders as much as I do. You should get a charge out of collecting them. Aside from all the other reasons, they are still very cheap (compared to other collectibles). Plus, the endless variations provide additional pleasures once you've obtained all 250+ titles. And considering how much the "War on Religion" has heated up in recent months (with Christian businesses being sued for refusing to help celebrate gay marriage and now Church's tax free status under threat), it is clear that the first amendment is no longer considered sacrosanct. These tracts (or at least many titles) could become illegal to pass out or even manufacture. If that happens, we can imagine how expensive it will become to obtain such artifacts! So if I were you, I'd call your mom and search for that older stash sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you may pull into her driveway one day as the church pickup is pulling out!

Hey again, Kurt,

That's very cool that you got to visit Chick Publications. Top notch. What a cultural experience. Again, very impressed with your impartiality/neutrality on Chick's worldview.

I just went over and "liked" the "ChickComics.com" Facebook page today.

Unfortunately I think we're out of luck with mom having held onto any old tracts. Bummer. Still, I may canvas some local fundamentalist evangelical churches in the area. I'm reminded of when the New Yorkers and New Englanders came south looking for old blues and jazz 78 records—some of these guys would literally go door to door in the poorest, most rural black neighborhoods to hunt this stuff down. I may do the same with churches if I ever get any spare time…


 

Today is International Pi Day (March 14th, 2015) and I set up a both at Alt Con filled with Chick tracts and comics. A lot of the self-professed "nerd crowd" (including older people) picked them up and told stories about encountering them in the past. Every single one of them said they had eventually thrown them away or lost them-- except one person who was still fairly certain she had them. That's about 1 out of 25 who had the sense to hold on to them! But that's also why certain tracts become so valuable: so few people ever imagine they can ever be worth anything, so only a tiny % ever get saved.

Also, for the record, that tract I discuss below that sold on ebay for $10.95 (BUY-IT-NOW) on January 12ht, 2015, not only included the original WHAT'S YOUR SCORE, but it also included several other tracts, like an oversized THE BEAST, FRAME UP, THE THING, (the original) LAST GENERATION, (the original) PASSOVER PLOT?, ESCAPE, (the original) WHY NO REVIVAL?, (the original) THE POOR REVOLUTIONIST, the super hard to find OPERATION SOMEBODY CARES, and not one, but TWO copies of THIS BOOK HAS BEEN BANNED. Plus it was free shipping! Someone really did well on that purchase!


I sure enjoy your Face Book Page and keep tabs on the museum web site. I picked up a while back a unopen and one barely open, My Name?...In The Vatican?, for nothing? Makes me wonder what is still out there? Did you ever do a remake of " The Secret Weapon" ? Don't find those anymore either.

-Tom R.

Hey Tom,

You sure scored the MY NAME tracts, as they are perm. discontinued. That's another nice thing about the tracts, there are still plenty of bargains out there just waiting to be found. No, we never reprinted any of the tracts except ones that seem to be otherwise nonexistent (I don't want to undercut the value of the regular collectors who may have paid $100 plus for a super rare but still available title.) So I limited to the titles that no one even knew existed until we discovered them. That would be WHAT'S YOUR SCORE, and THE LOST CONTINENT. I've never seen either of those titles anywhere else except recently, an original WHAT'S YOUR SCORE appears to have popped on eBay for 28 minutes before someone snagged it with a BUY-IT-NOW option. (I think they paid a mere $11 for it.... only a fraction of its worth. So again, more proof that there are still some great deals out there!)


As an 80s kid, I grew up shocked and horrified by my father's Crusaders comics, they kicked the ass of any superhero comics. To this day the only thing I've found that comes close to the artistry, shock and impact is Heavy Metal magazine.
I read some article a while ago that most of the comics were drawn by "some black guy" that never gets any credit and I'd really like to learn more about this amazing artist and if he's done any other work outside Chick publications. Any information you have about the realist-style artists that designed covers for Chick or if they had a style-guide for their artists would be amazing info for an avid fan of the art.
Thanks! -J


Dear J,
The artist who drew all the Crusaders comics (inside and out) is Fred Carter, a black artist and minister who has a small congregation. (He looks a lot like James Carter in The Crusaders.) He also drew many of the realistic styled tracts, including Titanic, The Contract, and Soul Story. Better yet, he painted most all 360+ images for Chick's beautiful movie, The Light Of The World. I agree, he is a fantastic artist and could have made a fortune in super hero comics, but he prefers to dedicate his talents to promoting the Gospel.

 

Thanks for writing back about this. The guy is an absolute master. I saw part of "light of the world" on youtube. The man is an unsung hero of the art world. His sinister characters are the most compelling, the way he draws them with warts and hair and fat rolls. I'm not sue which book it's in but the way he draws Nimrod is a perfect example. Crusaders covers like Angel of light, literally scared the hell out of me as a little kid.

I wish I could tell him how great of an artist he is. The fact that it's religious stuff has kept him underground but his work is truly nonpareil. -J.


Hi Kurt!

Can you believe it ? It's been ten years since I joined The Chick Tract Club! Originally, I bought your book, a club membership, and a tract assortment. (I'm not sure if I bought them all from you but I did get them all around the same time.)

Other than the assortment I bought to jump-start my collection, I haven't acquired any other tracts as I thought it might be more fun to hunt for them "in the wild." Since this is Wichita, Kansas —a place with no shortage of Bible-thumpers— I thought I'd find some in no time! But, in ten years, I've encountered only ONE tract in the wild, "Titanic." And that was only a couple months ago and it was a tract I already had.

Still, finding that dog-eared copy of "Titanic" reminded me that I had a collection neatly stored away in postcard pages with a pretty cool book and club membership materials; So, I dug 'em out!

So, recently, I began entering my tract list into a database and looked up catalog and printing history codes in your book. There was one thing that I didn't see mentioned that I was curious about: Some tracts have their catalog numbers (like #042 for "Allah Had No Son" or #5005 for "The Big Deal") underlined on the back cover and some don't. And some variants of the same tract have underlining while others don't. Is there any significance in the underlining of the catalog numbers ?

Cheers!, Roman G. (Witchita, KS)

Hey Roman,

Honestly, I don't know the answer, but I can sniff around and see if I can find out. Did you see that this month, Chick is releasing his 250th tract? You have some catching up to do! (We just reprinted another one of his long, lost promos to celebrate the occasion.)

I can appreciate trying to locate Chick's tracts in the wild, and avoid overpaying for them on ebay. But if you're going to do that, may I suggest at least getting the new titles as they come out straight from Chick for 16 cents each. (Otherwise, you'll keep following further behind.) Another good place to look is any Christian Bookstore you encounter. They almost always have some older, out of print titles if they carry Chicks at all. And if they don't carry them, encourage them to get them. It's a great place to preview the merchandise.

Kurt


I have read your book and would love a 2nd edition. Readership may be low for this hobby but everything has to start somewhere and if this ever takes off, you're going to be one of the main players. Your book is an amazing compilation of information and it is appreciated. I also collect western non-fiction magazines, True West, Wild West and a bunch of others no longer in publication. Talk about a lonely hobby, it's me and another collector in Oregon who may have every issue of every title ever published in the U.S. He wrote a greatly detailed book also, I may be the only guy who bought it. It's sad to think that, but we're hoping one day the hobby will take off. Probably after we're dead right? -John


A new Catholic rant against Chick demonstrates that some Catholics refuse the bury the hatchet... unless it's in Chick's skull! Check out this diatribe, the writer uses every trick in the book to demonize our beloved cartoonist, even calling his comics "born again pornography." He describes "My Name In The Vatican" as a "popular Chick tract." (Actually, it's been out of print for decades.) My favorite quote is, "Little is known about Chick outside of company propaganda. Some have even speculated that Jack Chick could be a pen name for a pool of writers pumping out the stuff." It gives a whole new meaning on the term, "mass hysteria." Haw-haw-haw!

Meanwhile, a fundy writes his third sermon/hit piece against Chick for not being more outspoken about "Once Saved, NOT Always Saved" in his tracts. No wonder Chick gets frustrated with is his so-called brothern. They turn on him over the slightest disagreement.


Hi Kurt,

Thanks for updating your Chick tract museum, this is a great help when referencing tracts and I use it always. Since speaking to you last time, I've nearly completed my collection of Chick tracts at the same time spending a ton of $$ doing it. I'm sure you've seen some of the insane bidding wars on tracts that are not so uncommon, but sold for ridiculous amounts of money.

I'll say, the MISSIONARIES ARE FOOLS tract just sold for $660. We give that tract away free with the Chick Tract Club. But of course-- it's only a reprint. Still, compared to the even HIGHER prices of regular comics from the same time frame, older Chick tracts are still quite a deal!


If I order tracts from the website, do I go on an insane mailing list?

It depends on how you define "insane." If you mean insane like you, no, you will not be on such a list. If you mean insane like me, well, of course! I'll come knocking at your door 24/7 to explain all the tracts to you until you convert and become a human tract dispenser!

(Just kidding.) I believe you emailed me thinking we're part of Chick publications. We are not. We're just collectors who like collecting his tracts. We don't sell his tracts on a website, except the ones that are included for free with the purchase of the chick tract club.

We also have an e-newsletter (the Chickstalker) that goes out about once a year, but the readers are all blind copied so they don't know who else gets it. And if they want off the list, they just ask.

That reminds me, I need to contact Chick Publications and ask to be put back ON their insane mailing list. They send all sorts of cool things every 2 months for free, like copies of Battle Cry, a message from Jack Chick, and samples of the latest tract. But they'll dump you from the list if you don't order more stuff after six months. I bet if you asked them NOT to be put on the list, they would be glad to oblige.



Did you notice the following very obvious "OSAS" statement that was included in Chick's most recent tract "Just One More"? "That afternoon both Ruth and her son gave their hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ. Their future's now secure. Jesus will never leave them, nor forsake them." -Bruce

I'm sorry, I can't remember all the acronyms. Can you remind me what it means?

OSAS = Once saved always saved.

It's the damnable teaching (prevalent in the Baptist denomination) that vehemently denies a person can lose their salvation once they've become a follower of Jesus Christ... and it's even taken the extent that the saved person can reject Christ and His Power to "sin no more". In fact they've taken it to the point that a "saved" person can commit unrepented rape, murder, sodomy, adultery, and suicide, but yet still be welcomed into Heaven.

Oh yes, I didn't know the initials, but I'm aware of the belief. Chick discontinued FOUR BROTHERS because of the infighting it caused among Christians since that tract contradicted OSAS. But I don't think saying Jesus "will never leave or forsake them" means anyone automatically gets into heaven no matter what crimes/ sins they commit after accepting Jesus. (My parents would not leave or forsake me either. However, if I murdered someone, they might pay for my lawyer, but I'd definitely be out of their inheritance!)

"The Four Brothers" was based on the "parable of the sower" with it's four different types of soil into which the Word of God (seed) is sown. And it's this same "parable of the sower" that's presented in three of the four gospels; Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Now, in both the original 1987 tract and the latter "Four Angels?" tract Jack Chick portrayed "Henry" as the soil that "received" the Word of God (seed) "unto salvation" the night of the revival, and then followed it up with "fear and trembling" (I don't want to go to Hell) by continuing to "work out his salvation" (grow the seed) throughout the rest of his life by producing the "fruit" that God had required of him.

So Henry was the very obvious representation of the "soil" that received the "seed" that produced the "fruit" according to God's plan. In other words, Henry got saved the night of the revival and he stayed that way until the Lord called him home.

And then there's the "soil" in the original 1987 tract that received the "seed" but did not continue on to produce the "fruit" required by God. And of course his name was "Bobby", and the following Scripture was that which Jack Chick chose to represent him in "The Four Brothers" tract:

(Mark 4:16 KJV) And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
(Mark 4:17 KJV) And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

That's the Scripture Jack Chick chose to work from in describing Bobby. However, if it would have been me, I would have used the following account presented in the gospel of Luke:

(Luke 8:6 KJV) And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
(Luke 8:13 KJV) They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

You see in the preceding account that's given in Luke, the Lord makes it perfectly clear that this type of soil "received the seed" and "believed unto salvation"... howbeit if only for a short time. And, of course, this was the case with Bobby who gave his life to the Lord during the revival ("I accept You, Lord") but later on took his life back in order to keep his job. In fact Bobby was well on his way to producing fruit through his witness at work... that is until the
persecution got to the point that he wasn't willing to lose his paycheck for Jesus.

So, in the original 1987 tract, Bobby was "once saved" but he didn't stay that way. Jack Chick presented the gospel truth without compromise in "The Four Brothers"... but of course this did not set well with the many assorted "Once Saved Always Saved" Baptist believers that he's associated with. And just like Bobby, Jack Chick put out the fires of Baptist persecution by pulling the tract.

However, some 19 years later, Jack Chick re-introduces "The Four Brothers" tract in a way that will satisfy his "Once Saved Always Saved" Baptist Brothers. You see he now calls it the "Four Angels?" and Bobby never gets saved so that Jack Chick doesn't have to present the gospel truth that "Once Saved NOT Always Saved".

Here's my sermonet on "Just One More." http://www.fmh-child.org/S6.1.14.html

Thanks for elaborating Bruce. I understand where you care coming from, but at the same time, I also see where Chick is coming from. He's choosing not to fight this particular battle when he can reuse an old tract without causing a brouhaha. And to be fair to him, he's alienated/ ministered to so many politically correct causes/groups (homosexuals, the Catholics, Muslims, etc.), that to condemn him for not fighting every single battle doesn't seem very generous. From what I can see (and you explained), he hasn't endorsed the other position, he has just avoided taking sides. I can understand why you would devote a web page to argue and condemn the belief, but I wouldn't take it to the point where I condemned Chick not taking a harder line (when he's taken so many others). He's running a business that's fighting an uphill battle in today's liberal "don't judge anyone" environment, and taking on the Vatican alone cost him million$ over the years. So in order to survive the war, he's avoiding certain battles.

Chick still agrees and advocates the vast majority of your beliefs more than most anyone else. He's devoted more time, money, and resources doing it than you or anyone else I know could, so that should count for something. I would think you'd be more prone to condemn those who are waging a cultural war against Christianity in general, rather than rip on allies over details. (Especially since your side is so small.)

But that's just my opinion, I won't be offended if you ignore it-- most people do! Either way, I appreciate you taking the time to explain it all as well as you did. -Kurt

 

With all due respect, it is abundantly obvious that you do not understand what it means to be a Christian ("Christ like" - an
obedient follower of Jesus). When one gives their life to Jesus it means that they relinquish all control of their life... and there must not be any compromising along the way: http://www.fmh-child.org/NoCompromise.html

Jack Chick's publishing company is not a business... it's a ministry! And everything that takes place within that ministry must be as the Lord directs. His "The Four Brothers" tract was what God instructed him to do... however, pulling the tract was not. Jack Chick compromised his walk. Jack Chick sinned against God! Jack Chick needs to repent and make things right. -Bruce

 

Actually Bruce, I do know what it's like to be Christian. In fact, I agree with you, that just "believing" won't get you into heaven, and that following Jesus means you must also try to follow his teachings. But you're mistaken when you say Chick Publications is not a business. Yes, it is also a ministry, but it is definitely a business, and it will close if it loses more money than it makes. If "everything" they did was based purely on Jesus, they would give all their products away and quickly go out of business. What you call "compromising his walk," I see as a common business sense to keep the doors open. As I mentioned before, he has already defied political correctness on a number of issues (gays, Catholics, Muslims, etc.) and it has cost him dearly, yet he did not back down. So my point was simply, if you can't cut Jack slack, who can you?

Can you name ONE other Christian who you agree with 100% who also runs a business that promotes Christianity? One that is at all successful? I'm going to go out on a limb and predict "no." Because if they are as uncompromising as you insist, then they would not remain in business very long.

I'm not saying you're wrong to point out any disagreements you have with Chick's tracts, because you are not bound by the same business restraints that he is. You don't have dozens of salaries to pay every other week, or millions of dollars in machinery to pay for, or a multi-million dollar LA area business property to pay taxes and a mortgage on. (Unlike a Church or regular ministry, Chick is NOT tax exempt.) All I'm saying is to keep those business realities in mind when you criticize and judge him. IMHO, it is amazing he has managed to stay in business as long as he has considering how little he has compromised overall.


The bi-month has passed and Jack still hasn't sent out a new Battle Cry (newsletter). I have always kinda' liked the Battle Cry items, especially since they add to the story of the latest tract.

But now its even worse, because with JtC turning 90, I wonder whether he is still even among us. Or is he too sick to keep up? (YAHHHHH!)

You seem to have some excellent communication-related trust from Jack. Can you
check on him?

-Bill

Hey Bill. Yes, he's still alive and drawing tracts, having just celebrated his 90th. (In fact, he's drawing extra ones for the eventual day he's called home. Let's hope that's a long way off!)

If you aren't getting Battlecry, try ordering something from Chick Publications. They purge the BC mailing list automatically after six months to only their current customers. Considering the cheap price of their tracts and all the free stuff we get (Battle Cry & all the tracts for free on-line), ordering something twice a year seems like an awfully fair deal!


I noticed you're missing something from your collection. I was standing outside of a Marilyn Manson concert with my friend and my girlfriend (now wife) in Jacksonville in 1997. I didn't give a sh*t about Marilyn Manson, but I couldn't resist a good circus:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l6vuCGiw5E

I got a stack of OLD tracts from a creepy guy who was there with his whole family. I had to talk to him for almost half an hour while he slowly doled them out to me. Included in the stack was Ivan the Terrible, which became the crown jewel in my collection.

oh, I have it, it's a fave, too! That's a great story and fun link, though!


I first encountered Chick tracts circa 1973. I was seven years old at the time, and my older brother had begun what was to be a brief sojourn as a born-again Christian. The very first tract I saw was, indeed, "Somebody Goofed!" In order to drive its point home, someone (probably my brother) had helpfully colored-in the demon in the final panel. And so, when I flipped to the last page I encountered a bright red denizen of Hell telling me what would happen if I didn't accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior.

It scared the bejeezus out of me. But not into me, which I suppose was the intent.

Over the subsequent decades (I'm now 47) I encountered various Chick tracts in the usual locations: buses, grocery stores, libraries, pay phones and so on. While I was never swayed by their message, I could see the genuine appeal that these kinds of things would have to a certain audience. Hence why I was delighted when I happened upon your website.

-George (Canada)

Thanks George, delighted to know you enjoy the site. You may also want to join our facebook page.


THE ART OF JACK CHICK book. I wish to purchase but why can't I find it in the official Jack Chick website? What allegiance exactly do you have to chick comics? Please respond as I wish to purchase soon.

Regards, Shaun (England)

Hey Shaun,

We are not Chick Publications... we are in Florida and Chick Publications is in California, all the way across the country. I maintain the Chick Tract Fan Club though, and wrote the latest book about Chick and his tract empire, a book he told me he "enjoyed." That being said, I do not take sides in the book about if Chick is right or wrong. I try to be unbiased overall, but as a collector of his work, I'm obviously a fan of his cartoons. Fundamentalists seem content with my neutrality (though some gripe), while some from the politically correct crowd object to the fact I do not condemn Chick's views. If you seek a book attacking the man or his views, you will be disappointed. If, however, you are comfortable with making up your own mind and not having the author tell you what to think, I believe you will be pleased. Chick Publications does not offer it because it is not a Gospel "soul winning" book, but instead, aimed towards collectors with a good sense of humor.

Thanks for the speedy reply. The information you have on John Todd. How accurate is it? Thanks again, Shaun.

If you are a John Todd supporter, you may not like the information in the book on Todd. It is extensive. Again, I do not judge whether what he says is correct or not, but his personal character has certainly fallen from grace. My sources are as accurate as news paper articles and state records-- which are cited in the book and are the basis of my information. In fact, the entire book is clearly cited throughout, so you can follow up on the sources of anything you find interesting or provocative.


I'm so glad I stumbled across your reviews before I ran out and bought an additional 50 chick tracts, once I read your oppinions and all the witty sarcasm you included while your bs radar was cranked up to full detection, I began to question my salvation. How could anyone fall for this world wide conspiracy of getting men to trust in the precious shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, it makes more sense that by just being a good person and trying super hard not to offend anyone we can make it to heaven all by ourselves. Thank you for exposing the real crook in this case, I think ill start attending mass every Sunday, confessing my dirty secrets, and giving as much money as I can so the good 'father' and our holy poop, oh I mean pope, can assure me ill only spend a certain amount of time in purgatory. (Which by the way is NEVER mentioned in the bible) but hey we are not supposed to read, just listen to the father and say a few hail marys, am I right brother? That awful Jack Chick should have been drug through the coals along time ago for bringing to light any misinformation in any religion. Hey i'd love to have you come to my house and preview every movie I'm about to watch, if you don't think its 100% true you can give it sarcastic praise and tell me your version of how it SHOULD go. Spoken like a true catholic. Thanks again bud, I enjoy reading criticism from assholes like you. - Ashley S.

Hey Ashely,

Thanks for writing. It's enthusiastic feebback like yours that keep us from shutting down the site due to lack of interest and indifference. But seriously, we get it from both sides... Many liberals hate us because we're too sympathetic to Chick, while various fundys hate us because we're not respectful enough of his work. However, if you read more than just a handful of reviews, you'll see EVERYONE gets the same sarcastic treatment. Not because we have it in for any particular group, but because laughs are what we're striving for, and to exempt one side or the other from being the target would forfeit nearly half of the humor. So more fair to make fun of both extremes plus it's twice as entertaining (IMHO).

We're not here to preach, we let Chick and his tracts do that for themselves. It is true that there are a lot of Religion Haters who enjoy this site. Perhaps they think as you do, that we denigrate Chick's message. But there are just as many true Christians who enjoy our site as well, because they recognize we are not out to put Chick down, we actually love his comics, irregardless of whether we agree with all his religious views or not. Let's be honest-- comics are NOT high brow literature. They invite humorous reactions because they try to be humorous themselves. (That's why they call them comics!) So maybe if you snoop around the site some more, you'll realize we mean no one harm. You can still enjoy reading the reviews without losing your faith (as most visitors do.) If other readers become Satanists afterwards, look at the bright side: We did you and the Lord a favor by helping to separate the wheat from the chaff. After all, you sound pretty hard-core. Would you want heaven to be overcrowded with a bunch of half-hearted Christians? (I didn't think so. Haw-haw-haw!)

Your right. I'm sorry. I felt bad about my message all night. I'm glad to see you have a sense of humor, I just take salvation very seriously I guess because half of my family is not saved and I worry about where they will end up. I was not raised with any type of religion so I want to instill good values in my two children. While the chick tracts are very much over the top, and I find myself rolling my eyes sometimes, I appreciate the message he is trying to send. Thank you for writing back, you sound like a person I would get along with. I apologize for the A-hole comment.

That's A-o.k., Ashley!
A brief tour around the net will find plenty of vitriol and hatred directed at Chick and his tracts--so I can understand why supporters are defensive about him. We're one of the few to appreciate his cartoons without attacking him personally for daring to express traditional Christian views during a time of non-Christian hypersensitivity. As mainstream America becomes more controlled by the forces of political correctness, it's important for everyone to stand up for the rights of other's free speech, whether or not they express the same views. And that's what brings our audience (and tract collector community) together: not necessary Chick's message, but his way of delivering it. Thanks again for writing and giving us another chance.


I asked Chick.com why they stopped publishing Wounded Children and this what they answered: "That tract had some errors in it and Jack Chick decided that we were not going to have it printed any more." - Mike

Hey Mike,

That sounds about right. There are several tracts they've discontinued with no plans to reprint, like Lisa, Wounded Children, Hit Parade, Kings of The East, That Old Devil (just to name a few). Chick had included The Poor Revolutionist on that list, but changed his mind and printed is last year (probably because of some of the more controversial actions taken by President Obama). So you never know what can be added or subtracted to that list.


I received an anonymous letter in the mail, along with a Complete Catholic Mass and Daily Medications book. The hand written note read:

"To whom it may concern!

"After watch [sic] a few clips from the video that you sell (God's Cartoonist), I fear that you souls are at risk. I pray that what I have enclosed at the very least, will start the process of your withdraw from such extreme fringe paranoia."

It was signed "A Christian". Unfortunately, there was no return address to send an equally fun tract to.


Hi Kurt,
I don't know exactly when I first started collecting these tracts as a kid. It was some time in the early 70's. I mentioned in a earlier e-mail that a Sunday School teacher gave them out each week. I believe I either had or at least read almost all the early tracts except for the speculative value ones you found. I should clarify that the Sunday School teacher was very good at removing tracts that were not appropriate for kids. I never saw tracts like The Thing or Gay Blade until I was an adult.

I actually gave away most of the tracts I had collected as a kid by the mid 90's. I hung onto my over sized The Beast and a few other favorite titles like Kings of the East and Frame Up. I also kept a poor condition copy of Don't read this book only because I did not think it looked nice enough to hand out. I actually remember giving out a few mint copies of that tract. I am glad though that I still have that one poor condition copy now since it is very hard to find today. By the late 90's I wanted to learn more about the Beast tract and found your website. I actually got hooked on collecting them again after seeing your site. For the past dozen years or so I have built my collection back up to near completion.

My prized mid over sized 48 page The Beast tract has since been joined by four other mid sized and one large over sized tract. I have some work to do completing the large tracts from the 60's. The only tract I had as a kid that is not currently in my collection is This Book has been Banned. Actually that is the only tract I still need that is not one of the super rare speculative tracts. I hate to admit this but I am getting close to 1,000 variations on tracts now. My prized tract is The Secret Weapon. As I mentioned before I give out many more copies of tracts than I collect. I suppose you could have worse hobbies than collecting Jack chick tracts.
Have a good day! Thank you, Dave


Hey Kurt,
Your book is a great reference tool and I use it all the time. If you ever want to offer an addendum to it or an update, I would gladly pay for it.

As for those rare missing promo tracts (needed on my want list), If any of them ever do show up on eBay, I'll be sure to have at least a grand in the bank for it. You know they're going to go high. Especially if (some hard core snipers) are still around. The only way some of those are ever going to be available is either someones dying and it's time to sell or some picker stumbles upon them. Would a garage sale hunter or picker even know what they have? - John

Hey John,
You never know what deals will come up when or where. Just last week or so someone put an oversized WHY NO REVIVAL up with a buy it now price of $40. It was there for 2 1/2 hous before someone saw it and snatched it up. So miracles happen. Also, check out Christian bookstores when you travel. I was walking around in Berkeley with Bob Fowler and we passed such a store (Tammy's Bookstore), and I suggested we should check it out for tracts. Bob waved me off: "Oh, don't bother. This is BERKELEY, everyone here knows and collects comics. If there was anything good, they would have picked through it by now." I said "Why not check it out, we're already here," and made a bee-line for the door. (The fact is, I go to all the Christian Book Stores I pass to ask for Chick tracts to encourage them to carry them, and to offset the activist/censors who pressure them to stop celling Chick tracts. (We won't mention any names though, haw-haw!)) The old store was a dive, but on a bare wooden table was a large silver dollar sized key ring with 60 or so Chick tracts attached to it. (They had holes punched through the top corner near the spine to slip onto the ring.) I started flipping through them. They had Lisa, The Big Spender, Angels, original Doom Town, original Soul Story, The Poor Little Witch, The Thing, and dozens of other out of print and hard to find titles. I bought the entire mess of them at full retail... 12 cents each. Bob was dumbfounded, and I was too, but it just goes to show you can never tell where these little babies are hiding (often times, night under your nose.)

Thanks for the kind words on the book. I have to say, I use it a lot too! (The ol' memory isn't what is used to be.) But I'm certainly glad others find it enjoyable or useful as well. I'd like to do a sequel to is sometime, when I have enough material to fill it. It takes a while to finish though-- my last book on old time radio horror shows took nearly two years to complete!


Just a quick question I was wondering if you know the answer to... I'm in the process of cataloging all my tracts, and am using the codes to identify "age" or rather "position" when it comes to variations within a kind... I know about the tract-no / print run (eg 01/A) and the tract-no date-of-print (eg 028 0104.1)
But there is another style - A derivative of the original, that has several letters and dashes in it. For example:
28/H4E-U-D
or
02/H-E-J
I'm not sure how to read these, or where they should be placed amongst other derivatives from the same tract. Would these be sub runs of "H", or some sort of custom or special run? How can I determine which is the oldest?

-James B (New Zealand)

Hey James,

I explained most the codes in the book, but I didn't mention these as they are even MORE confusing and I wasn't sure of them myself. So I contacted someone at Chick and they provided the following:

1. The first number is not necessarily the order in which the tract was written. It only indicates when the number was given to the tract, in the lower numbers. So 101 was given a number before 102. But 840 might be earlier than 101, being a completely different designation of number. They picked another number grouping for Spanish, German, French, Italian, etc. In comics, 118 may be The Enchanter, but 318 may be the Spanish Enchanter. Yet it doesn't tell you which was published first.
a. Sometimes, though, a derivative tract or a more vastly modified tract has its own, completely different number. Go by copyright date for figuring which numbered tract is older (although the copyright of real old tracts can get updated)– though usually it would be the lower number. But for print runs within a tract number, see #2-3.


2. The higher the letter of the alphabet after the first number, the earlier the print run / edition it is.
a. So 101/M is newer than 101/A

3. The remaining numbers are an esoteric system. But by and large, the earlier letters of the alphabet inside each hyphen are earlier … whatevers.
a. For instance, all the My Name?... in the Vatican? tracts I have bear the designation 904/M3E-U-A. I don't know of any other My Name's that don't have this specific designation. But as a for-instance, I would place the following made-up numbers like this:
904/J
904/M
904/M3E-U-A
904/M3E-W-A
904/M3E-W-B
904/M4E
Etc.
b. I don't know anything else beyond that. They were in the mind of the guy who printed them on, not of Chick Publications as a whole.
c. What mattered most was the 904. What mattered next was the letter after the slash (/): e.g., /M. That for sure is the printing/edition number.

I hope this helps!


Greetings...

Many years ago a friend of mine had a 8 x 10 painting on his wall that I really admired. It was an elderly woman on her death bed. But at the time of death, her soul was rising from her body and she was a young, yellow haired, beautiful woman with a big smile. She even had false teeth in a glass beside her bed. Do you know the painting I am referring to? And is it available to purchase anywhere that you know of?

In Jesus Love, Robert

Yes Robert,
That painting was made by Fred Carter for Chick Publications and has been out of print for twenty or thirty years. Others have asked for it but to no avail. However, Chick recently reprinted it and included several of the more eye popping images Carter painted for the recent film (Light of the World) and they are for sale at Chick.com at the following address:

http://www.chick.com/catalog/artprints/default.asp


Dear Webmaster -

This is to let you know that one of your contributors, Terrible Tommy passed away this summer. You can find his on-line obit. It appears Tom had a Christian burial which I'm sure he did not want since he was Wiccan but his father I believe was a pastor so probably he expected that would happen.

Tom was a friend of mine way back in the 80's when we both attended a technical college nearby. The last communication I had with him was some years ago when he had said he had gotten a band together and was packing up to go to Atlanta. I wondered throughout the years what happened to him after that and discovered the obit and that he had posted on here and a few other places. I noticed you had mentioned you had lost touch with some of your contributors and thought you might want to know.

Keep up the great work on your page. I remember these pamphlets and was always interested in comics but I never realized there was a website in reference to them on-line. -Adriane

We're sorry to hear it, but thanks for alerting us, Adriane. Tommy had a funny sense of humor, and we know he enjoyed Chick tracts. So there's a better than average chance he converted back to being a Baptist seconds before his passing, adding yet another notch in Chick's Gunslinger handle of saved souls. Our condolences to his family.


Just thinking after visiting your site...

Interesting that you'd accuse a good organization like Life Messengers of "knocking off" Jack Chick's work!
http://monsterwax.tripod.com/chicklike.html
Life Messengers started in 1944 when Jack was 20 years old, a few years before Jack even became a Christian. Perhaps it was Jack who got some ideas from a forward thinking west coast organization that was bold enough to evangelize at one of hell's favorite doorsteps--Seattle, the "Queen City of Sin" as it was called back then, in the pagan northwest! As a young YFC director in Vancouver, WA from 1969-1973, I benefited from LM materials. Jack was just gettin started as a publisher around 1970...LM had been around 26 years by then and had been using illustrations to get their points across. In fact, one of their main artists made the Vancouver YFC cartoon logo for us in 1969 at the request of my board chairman who had known the artist for many years.

I helped bring the first cartoon tracts by Ron Wheeler into the world in 1982 at American Tract, and they weren't a knock-off of anyone, at least not that Ron or I ever knew of. But your approach makes it sound like Jack's tracts and using cartooning are divinely inspired. Besides, even if some have used Jack's concepts (which I always thought were great), so what? Is it wrong for someone else to also do cartoon booklets to get their message across? If so, I'd like to think such folks were smart enough to know a good idea when they see one, and follow a leader.

As a publisher for the past 34 years, I've felt that being copied in concept is perhaps the greatest compliment! Of course, if LM has actually used Jack's copyrighted work, that's another issue altogether. I'd also like to think that Jack (whose work I've defended for many years against detractors) would prefer to take Paul's approach to preachers who were "knock-offs" of him--"Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice" (Philippians 1:15-18).

Onward and upward!
Doug
--
Doug Salser, President
Literature Ministries International

Dear Doug,

Thanks for visiting our site and taking the time to communicate your thoughts. However, you are mistaken if you think we are accusing other Gospel cartoon tract companies of stealing or misappropriating Chick's work. When we say "knock-off", we do not mean illegal counterfeits or anything improper, just imitations of the same basic concept. It's all fair game because religious tracts have been around for centuries. To my knowledge, however, Chick was the first to fill them with humorous cartoons. It was considered revolutionary by some, and even sacrilegious by others, since the Bible is supposed to be serious and cartoons are not. In fact, Chick's first "tracts" were more like 28 page mini comic (8 x 10") books. He sold them in Christian book stores but they were criticized as being controversial for using low-brow cartoons to evangelize. That was 1961. Within a couple of years, the fully illustrated cartoon booklets shunk to nearly half that size, and then into tiny 3 x 5" tracts we still see today.

Like you say, imitating the same technique of creating fully illustrated Gospel cartoon tracts is a compliment to Chick, not a put down. In fact, the reason we list those tracts on our site (which is a fan site and has no affiliation with Chick Publications) is because I personally enjoy and collect those other Gospel cartoon tracts a well. I assume many other collectors do, too. I have never seen any Gospel cartoon tracts dated before 1961 that are not from Chick, but if you have access to any, I would certainly appreciate getting my hands on some (or at least, copies). In fact, I would appreciate any cartoon tracts (or copies) that are not listed on our site, including Life's Messenger Tracts. Thanks again for writing and keep on tract'n!


View Chick Memories 13 (Comments from 2009-2012)

 



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