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J.T.C. Museum of Fine Art REVIEW WING-6 1/2B
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TRACT REVIEWS-6 1/2B
All reviews are Copyright ©2005 by Monsterwax
"MEN OF PEACE" Guest Review by Derik (Art by Chick, © 2006) How do you think Jack will top " Who Cares?" with its drawing of the WTC just seconds away from destruction via Al Qaida Airways? Simple. He brings out this tract; his first explicitly inflammatory tract in a relatively long time, which despite having a cover drawing of three Muslims giving peace signs, waving flags, smiling and holding flowers, shows them as inherently terroristic.
The tract proper begins as Muslim Terrorists known as "Mohammed's Faithful" (note: Chick uses "Muhammad", but I prefer the former spelling.) As this happens, a woman named Jenny (probably a college student) and her grandfather, (an obvious Chick or Alberto surrogate) discuss the attacks' relationship with Mohammed's teachings. Jenny says they must have been distorted versions of his teachings. The Grandfather disagrees with her, and so she calls him intolerant of Muslims. This naturally launches him into the stock "Allah was an idol, and the only idol Mohammed left in the Kaabah" spiel. He also includes the shopping list of atrocities that Mohammed had to commit to keep Islam in power, but lessening the anti-catholic slant by only mentioning that Khadija was a Catholic.
By Page 16, he changes tone from "God hates Islam" to "Christ Died For Your Sins," when he mentions that while Jenny has heard Jesus' Story, Muslims haven't. He goes into Jesus' Story noting his pacifism, not seeming to know or care about the atrocities committed in his name (like the Crusades, The Salem Witch Trials, Manifest Destiny, Segregation, Persecution of Jews, and The Army of God-- just to name a few), or even the times where Jesus advocates violence (like in Mt. 10:34 and Lk. 19:22-7). While doing this, he manages to Save Jenny (as usual), and tells her that God wants to save everyone, but he fails to mention how God lets most of humanity fry in hell, either because he's too lazy to enlighten them to his ways, or that Chick tracts fail to put the fear of damnation into their readers (or maybe both). Either way, it makes God seem a little cruel and the Bible /Chick tracts seem kinda ineffective. But Chick's main goal is achieved: Islam looks evil, and it's good to look bad (at least in Tract land). B+ for "Bad Muslims! Bad!" Return to Main Index.
"HERE KITTY KITTY" Guest Review by Adam! (Art by Chick ©2006)
It's been 20 years since the dynamic duo of Rebecca and Elaine, Witch Hunters extraordinaire, had any influence at Chick Publications, and the passage of time has been showing. Virtually all of the witchcraft-oriented tracts on Chick.com are either out or print or on the discontinued list.
But lo and behold, just when it looks like Jack had forgotten about witches, animal sacrifice and demonic curses, here comes Here, Kitty Kitty.
This tract takes us on a heartwarming walk down memory lane back to the mid-1980s... a time when vast underground conspiracies of Witches, Satanists, Heavy Metal Musicians, and D&D Gamers were just starting to ooze their way out of their lairs and into your children's' bedrooms and brains. I'm sure you can remember... hundreds of thousands of children poisoned by their Halloween candy, sacrificed in midnight rituals, or turned to sacrifice themselves. The headlines were impossible to ignore, and if you didn't see it, you weren't paying attention.
In this tract, the first thing one notices is the change in style of the illustrations. It's similar to Jack's usual sketchy cartooning, but smoother. It's reminiscent of the early "Peanuts" cartoons by Charles Schultz, and according to sources at Chick Publications, that's exactly where the influence came from. Beyond that, the style is similar to the many of the older "L'il Suzy" tracts aimed at children. Lots of white space and very little background imagery until the last four panels. The main character, although she's called Betsy, also looks a lot like our girl L'il Suzy, another character who, along with the Witches and Good Ol' Bob, seems to be fading from Jack's repertoire. (For those keeping track, Fang makes an appearance on page 18).
The story is a kinder, gentler version of an ongoing theme in the tracts... a young girl ( it's almost always a girl) is duped into joining her friends into some 'harmless' occult fun. Only too late does she realize that she's in over her head and tries desperately to find someone who will bail her out. Betsy's teacher, Miss Johnson, is the one who turns out to be the one who saves her --a switch from Chick's usual formula where the teacher either supports the witches or is one! I don't know where Betsy's parents are during all this... I guess it's just more of the "Peanut" influence. Anyway, after Betsy's heart wrenching confession to Miss Johnson about the mean boys planning to sacrifice her kitty as part of a spell to get better grades, Miss Johnson waxes a child-friendly version of God not allowing the unclean into heaven and how Jesus died to wash us all clean. (Right in the classroom! I hope Miss Henn isn't listening!)
Like all unsaved souls in Chick's world, Betsy has never heard of Jesus (hmmmm, have you ever met ANYONE who hasn't at least HEARD of Jesus?), but Miss Johnson is quite the educator and Betsy quickly joins the fold. After going home and discovering that the Mean Boys have already kidnapped her kitty, Betsy follows them over to Miss Johnson's house, the planned scene of the sacrifice, praying all the way that God save her poor kitty. Since they're standing about 15 feet away from the house, God doesn't have to put too much effort into alerting Miss Johnson of the trouble afoot in her back yard and the Day Is Saved. Oddly enough, for a Chick tract anyway, she makes no attempt to Save any of the boys. She just gives them a stern finger shaking and a warning that to get good grades there's no need for blood sacrifice, they just need to do their homework.
Overall pretty good for a children's' tract. The new cartooning style alone makes it interesting, and the story is a bit rough and scary and not as cutesy as most of his kids' tracts. Good clean spooky fun. Grade: B for Back to School.
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"THE UNWELCOME GUEST" Guest Review by Anneke! (Art by Chick ©2006)
This tract starts "in medias res" showing two guys in a car, both wearing their seat belts (naturally). The guy on the passenger seat has a kinda stupid facial expression. "Frank, how did you do it? You bought that lumber 40% off." The words "do" and "40% off" are printed bold. Is there a difference between pronouncing words printed in regular, bold, or italic letters? (Just an innocent question.) Frank, who's sporting wavy hair considerably fairer than his eyebrows explains that this is his little secret. And little secrets are always bad in Chick's universe, especially if the person applying them has a big smile and a big nose. And Frank's little secret does not only apply to lumber, it works with virtually anything. Stupid face man flashes a mean expression. He wants to get in on it, after all, he's Frank's brother-in-law. Of course he can, he just has to be special. And special, in Chick tracts, means having a contract with Satan. In a later frame Frank asks Stupid Face man if he believes in God. Stupid Face does, claiming that he is even a deacon. (But in the Gospel according to Chick, this doesn't mean that you're saved.)
In the same frame we see that Frank is wearing a strange ring. He's a mason (gasp!). In the next frame, Frank and Stupid Face man are nothing but dark shadows. And by the next frame/ next day Stupid Face has been invited to join. On the wall behind Frank we see a framed picture of Fang, our beloved dog. (Could he be a mason as well? Like the Masonic conspiracy, he seems everywhere!)
A short time later, Stupid Face has to take his oath. Something sinister happens. It is dark except for the moon (does the moon god, aka Allah represent Satan here?), and the people are nothing but dark shadows. We also see an obelisk, the pagan symbol of a male god. These symbols don't bode well.
One year later we get to know Stupid Face's real name. It's Larry. His wife mentions when she makes a phone call to her pastor with tears in her eyes. Not only has Larry changed, he's ignoring (bold letters) his family. He's more interested in the Lodge (capitalized) than in the church (all lower cased).
Lucky for Larry, his family pastor is not one of the many Masonic-influenced, NIV Bible reading, hell-denying Reverend Wonderfuls. He frankly asks Larry about the ring he is wearing. Larry proudly states that he is a member of the capitalized LODGE. His facial expression has returned to Stupid Face. And additionally, the pastor claims that Larry's eyes show darkness. This is due to the unwelcome guest. Fans of Chick tracts might already know him, though. It's Baphomet, the god of masonry.
For a short time, Larry's facial expression changes to horror. He says the sinner's prayer and an evil spirit leaves him. The demonic spirit doesn't look much like the picture of Baphomet the pastor shows him later, though. It looks more like the diliphosaurus lizard that killed Dennis Nedry in "Jurassic Park", the movie.
Several photos follow, showing various representations of Baphomet on mason-related objects. And finally, we get our reference to Allah, the "moon god". (I knew he would eventually appear.) Larry changes his facial expression to repentant and asks God to forgive him for bringing bold-letter-witchcraft into his family.
The next panel is one week later. Regretfully, we do not get to see how the couple observe their pastor's wish to burn all mason-related stuff. Otherwise, we might have seen his devilish Masonic underwear or maybe even an apron with Masonic symbols going up in smoke. Instead, we see Lois, as happy as possible. Something boldly wonderful has happened, Larry boldly loves his family again (including his brother-in-law who presumably still is a mason? We never saw him witness to him!) and Lois cannot do anything but thank bold-lettered Jesus for saving her husband. We do not get to know if Lois is saved, but she certainly has the facial expression of the saved, or at very least, a wife who is getting some every night.
Finally we get to see a panel we know all ready: "Depart from me, ye accursed", in best Elizabethan English. Sometimes hell is on the right side, sometimes it's on the left, but never less, God is faceless, so he's the real one. The "Big LODGE in the SKY" is actually in the pit of hell. And even there you'll find a symbol of Baphomet.
Finally, we get our chance to thank God for showing us what He thinks about Masonry (according to Chick). Between the prayer to receive Christ and get saved and the adhortation to read our KJV Bible daily, get baptized, worship in a "true" church and witness to others, we're told that anybody in our family tree, reaching back to Adam from 6000 years ago, could be under a generation curse. This means that we not only must ask Jesus to come into our heart but to renounce the evil witchcraft in his name so that he may perform an exorcism on us. Good to know. Grade B+ for Bad Brother-in-law.
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"BUSTED!" Guest Review by Anneke! (Art by Chick ©2006.) On the tract's title page we see a dark-haired man with a thin moustache who is being threatened with a pistol. No, it's not Bob Williams.
The tract opens with the scene of somebody getting arrested. The police officer says the words even non-Americans know from watching American crime shows and movies. "Anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to an attorney" "But I'm broke!" the arrested interrupts, only to get informed that an attorney will be appointed to him, then. In the next frame, we see the court-appointed attorney, a bespectacled man wearing a moustache, a bow-tie and a beer gut. We get to know the arrested man's name: Tony. And he doesn't exactly look like a WASP, either. But the problem will be that the prosecutor, a certain Douglas Rogers, is the best.
Indeed, in the next frame we see "Doug" Rogers, who announces that he'll win this case and move into the governor's chair, then. He doesn't care if poor Tony might be innocent, he'll win this case either way. And he loves to see the accused squirm when the evidence is stacked against him. The person who calls the proscecutor "Doug" explains that the evidence is also piling up against him. Yes, against him, District Attorney Douglas Rogers.
The following frame shows us for the first time the face of the man speaking now. He is elderly and together with the second cop, the accused Tony, his attorney and "Doug" he is the fifth moustache-wearing man in this tract. We still don't know what he has to do with the governor-to be, but we know that he is it who is going to witness to the sinner in this tract. "Doug" doesn't understand. He claims that God loves him and so does society. But the elderly man wearing the moustache and suspenders explains that the God of the Bible, the only true God, does not feel love for "Doug", but wrath because of his rotten lifestyle. So far, we have seen that the attorney is greedy for power, does not care for the justice he is supposed to stand for. But while a big-eyed secretary, the first person after a long time who doesn't wear a mustache, by the way, listens to both, be get to know the dark depths of "Doug"'s soul. He hates the current governor, and he would lie, cheat and steal to become governor himself. And worst of all, he has no idea what this stuff has to do with the 10 commandments. But Mr. Moustache-and- Suspenders has already started the sermon. All Chick fans know its content. Everybody is guilty, because nobody has always kept the 10 commandments. Now it's
time for the passion pictures. While Mr. Moustache-and-Suspenders explains that the only innocent man, Jesus Christ, was accused, arrested, beaten and finally executed in order to redeem all people. The only thing you have to do is to surrender yourself to Him.
Actually, this should be an offer too cool to refuse. But the attorney hesitates, his present case is of of more importance to him. And so is his coveting the governor's honors. "When I'm governor I'll become a Christian, Okay?" Surely it's okay for the Grim Reaper who is already standing behind him. It is implied that "Doug" also covets his secretary, by the way he offers her a ride to court (which she cannot accept) and tells her that he'll "see her later".
But in the next scene an ugly-looking guy is holding a pistol to "Doug"'s jawbone. "Give me the keys." he demands. The attorney isn't understanding yet, but he's sweating already. And he makes a fatal mistake. Fatal in the actual sense of the word. He refuses to give the thug his car keys - and the thug simply shots him dead. BLAM, BLAM, BLAM! SHADDAP! "Doug" surely shut up, the way he's lying on the ground while the car VROOM!-SCREECH!es away. "GOTCHA!" the Reaper triumphates.
The next frame lists the 10 commandments, for those who've never known them. Really? Thou shalt not tell a lie! -- What a coincidence that the Reaper takes this example to illustrate who will have a part in the lake burning with fire and brimstone. But if you believe in the Lord Jesus, you won't finish there with "Doug". Still hate that name!
It would be interesting to know what happens to Gloria. She also heard Mr. Moustache-and-Suspenders witnessing. Will she get saved? Or will the attorney indeed "see her later?"
Grade: A for Attorney Stew. Return to Main Index.
"Heart Trouble" Guest Review by Anneke! (Art by Chick ©2006.)
This tract begins with a man on a chair in a doctors office. He might be a redneck, as he isn't wearing socks, has bad hair and a tattoo of a heart on his left arm. Later in the tract, the doctor calls him "John“ once, but I think he should better be called "Cletus“, like the redneck from the Simpsons, who also likes to wear a tank top. Let‘s hope our Cletus also has other clothes and just took them off for the physical. Anyway, the doctor tells his patient he has a bad heart. "Can you fix it?“ asks Cletus, who sports a really prominent nose, too. Yep, doc can fix it, but there is something more important. Because, if not during the surgery, Cletus will die some day. In this frame, we see Cletus from behind, and we see that he not only has a prominent nose, but also quite unusual ears-- the kind that poke out funny. And we get to see his thinning hair. He may be poor, but he sports the Donald Trump comb-over. "Everybody dies“, explains the doctor, and he seems to be smiling a bit. (It's kinda creepy, actually.) Cletus asks if he was born with his heart problem. The doctor doesn't answer him, but launches instead into a sermon on everyone being sinners, deep in our hearts. Because "there‘s more to the heart than just muscle, nerves, blood, veins and tissue." No shit Sherlock, it's also big business, and you're getting paid for medical advice. So unless you want a preacher to perform the surgery, why don't you show some professional courtesy and stick to your area of expertise?
These finer points are lost on Cletus, however, who continues to waste hundreds of dollars on theological opinions from his doctor when he could have purchased the same advice from Jack Chick for 15 cents!
Doc continues to pad his billable hours. He shows Cletus a medical picture of the human heart and tells Cletus that it is very ugly. "What part of the heart?“ asks Cletus — one of the few sensible things that Cletus says in the whole tract.
The doctor explains, as the minutes and dollars roll by, what these most ugly things are. The first frame covers a whole page: The terrified Cletus gets to know why he wants Judy every time he sees here. He admits his lust and blurts out that Judy is his wife‘s best friend. Cletus is married? Oh my #@x§! We can also see how hot Judy is, and I doubt she wants Cletus very often (if ever). The doctor claims that in every heart there is adultery (even the babies? It's amazing what Science can find out these days).
Then the doctor asks Cletus if he ever wanted to kill somebody, maybe his boss or mother-in-law. Cletus looks fierce, and he probably makes a note to himself: Kill boss and mother-in-law. He‘s already picturing in his mind how he will do it: with two pistols, at once. But why would his boss and mother-in-law stand so close to each other? Maybe they want to commit adultery, too. Thank goodness, Cletus‘ fantasy has him wearing full clothes. (He tends to hang with the uglys.)
Doc asks Cletus if he ever told a lie. "Once or twice“, Cletus answers, "little white lies, nothing big“. But his fantasy tells us something different. We get to know that Cletus is a typical middle-aged worker, complete with thin tie and beer gut. He‘s just sold a sedan to a bespectacled man who needs a car to take his wife to the hospital. "It‘s the best deal you ever made, trust me“, Cletus says. "Cough, cough“ says the sedan. — Those of us who have read the tract, Trust Me, already know that apart from Jesus you cannot trust anybody. Cletus facial expression tells us that he doesn't feel remorse for his cheating ways. Actually, he looks quite proud. Maybe his boss will give him the needed raise because of that transaction and he won‘t have to shoot him. But wait a minute, the shop is called "HONEST JOHN (AUTOMOBILES", probably), and Cletus is called "John“ by the doctor some pages later. So if the shop belongs to Cletus, why would he have a boss who controls his paycheck? But this is the Chickverse. It's best not to pay too much attention to details (unless they are printed in footnotes).
The doctor starts to tell Cletus something about fornication, but the poor guy doesn't know what that is. We have learned by now, that Cletus is no regular redneck, but a full fledged idiot. So doc explains it to Cletus, using words like "One-Night-Stand“ and "shacking up“. Cletus finally understands, but he doesn't get the message. Everybody is doing it, even his boys. (Great, his gene pollution pool is spreading.) The doctor doesn't talk about ethics, morals and so on, he only asks Cletus Stupidhead if he ever heard the word "STD“. Cletus doesn't know what this abbreviation stands for, but fortunately he is talking to a physician. "Sexual transmitted disease, that‘s what it means." Cletus isn't scared yet, because he thinks you just have to take a pill and the STD is gone, according to the TV ads. But doc claims that most of them stay with you for your whole life and that for some there is no cure. (Doesn't that mean the same thing? Lifelong = incurable? One begins to wonder if Chick thinks Cletus is really that stupid, or his regular readers in general!)
Cletus is scared now, but the doctor continues to talk about other "heart problems“, even if Cletus isn't sure if his heart can take it. But to this doctor, witnessing matters more than medicine... even though both cost the same to deliver in his office. He‘s been talking for a long time, and he hasn't even mentioned Jesus yet.
The doctor asks Cletus if he‘s ever taken something without asking. Of course Cletus has, he's a used-car salesman. Duh! "That little sin keeps our prisons full“ claims the doctor, although for most thefts you never get caught or convicted (like say, Medicare fraud). Doc then talks about blasphemy. Cletus asks if it's a medical term. (The fat has not only clogged his arteries, it's also filled his brain.)
It must be close to closing time, because doc finally brings up Jesus. Cletus thought it was just a swearing word. The doctor briefly mentions that Jesus is God Almighty and the only way to heaven, then he concludes his rant about the bad, ugly things in our hearts. "Last but not least, evil thoughts" he announces, while Cletus is working himself into a raging fit. Will his heart be able to take it? Doc doesn't seem concerned. Instead, he asks Cletus if he expects God to let him into heaven with that heart. Well, with that heart... I think the answer is no. It not only looks deceitful, it's outright ugly. It's dark, has two ugly veins and arteries, and like any human heart, two fierce eyes, something resembling a nose and a big ugly mouth with vampire fangs. And it growls: Grrrrr! Chick informs us that we all have a heart like that. It would explain a lot of things, like why we get heartburn after pizza. (It's probably the garlic irritating our heart's eye balls.)
Cletus declares, "There is no way we could ever get into heaven!"
Doc it there with all the answers: God doesn't want us to go to hell, but he cannot let us in Heaven because of our ugly hearts. That‘s why we need a new one. "Is it expensive?“ asks Stupidhead. And although the doctor claims that it cost somebody his life, we can't say it's expensive, because "salvation is a free gift." Doc explains how Jesus came to earth, was without sin, and had a pure heart. If you accept Jesus, your dark, fierce growling heart will turn into a white, stylized heart with two smiling eyes including eyebrows (What? A heart with no fangs? How does it suck the blood? It must be another miracle).
And if you don‘t join the Jesus Club, you will be cast into hell, which regular tract-readers already recognize as the lake of fire. But it‘s amazing that Cletus, who believed that "Jesus“ was just a swear word, doesn't know that "hell“ is more than a swear word, too. The doctor continues with the obligatory quote: "I am the way, the truth and the life…“ On our behalf, Cletus asks if there really isn't any other way, and the doctor replies, on Jack‘s behalf: "Absolutely not!"
But poor Cletus likes his lifestyle. (He likes being fat, ugly, and selling used cars.) He asks if he can't wait until he's old. The doctor reminds Cletus of his heart condition. (At least he hasn't forgotten the real purpose of the visit.) Cletus pictures himself in the lake of fire. Cletus wants to pray, but he doesn't know how it works, because he's Cletus Stupidhead. The doctor tells how, and Cletus talks to God in his own words. Cletus is suddenly feeling happy, and he‘s smiling and joking. His X-rays may not have changed, but that‘s no longer important. He‘s saved, and now everything will be alright. He'll stop having evil thoughts, he will no longer cheat customers, and he'll probably do something to discourage his boys from fornicating (so there may be hope for our species yet). And when his clean, beautiful heart finally stops beating, he will hear that famous Chick tract line: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter ye into the joy of your Lord!" Bet he can't wait (and neither can Judy).
Favorite Panel Award goes to p.11, which shows Cletus and his doctor in profile. Two big noses, but one very big mouth asking: "Jesus? Isn't that a swear word?" Grade B for "Beer Gut“, which Cletus probably earned while watching Nascar.
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"Fairy Tales " Guest Review by Anneke! (Art by Chick ©2007.)
The tract opens with a scene in front of a prison. Among the protestors and counter protestors before the prison is a redneck wearing an undershirt, sunglasses, and a baseball hat. He‘s holding a sign on a stick that reads: DEATH TO THE MONSTER. There are other protestors bearing signs and shouting. The only sign that is ambiguous: "Thou shalt not kill!“ Does that mean that the monster broke the commandment "Thou shalt not kill“ or that the monster should not be killed? Or maybe both? Anyway, Jack seems to be pro-death penalty. If somebody is supposed to be executed, it is all about saving his soul, no one talks about the death penalty being wrong. In the next panel we are informed that the monster, also known as the son of Mr. and Mrs. Garner, is to be executed.
Mr. and Mrs. Garner don‘t understand why their "sweet little boy“ is supposed to be executed. Daddy is even shedding some tears. Hey, this is quite new. In Chick tracts, men usually shed tears of remorse only, not of pity or compassion. Mommy is sure that her "baby“ would never do a thing like that. Well, we don‘t know yet what the "thing like that“ means, but it has to do something with all the people calling him "the monster“.
And to explain all this, the next panel starts a flashback of Harry‘s childhood. That‘s the monster‘s name: Harry. Harry Gardner. Mommy‘s little baby just lost his first baby tooth. Mommy tells him about the tooth fairy who is going to visit him that night. Little Harry puts his tooth under his pillow and dreams of the "magical lady“ who is going to exchange his tooth for money. He‘s dreaming of a whole bag of money, with a $ sign on it. (He must think his tooth is worth big bucks!)
The next scene is a week before Christmas. Daddy doesn't tell Harry anything about Jesus‘ birth, just that Santa Claus is going to come. Little Harry is looking forward to Santa‘s visit. He even cleaned up his room. (Perhaps this is the first warning sign of a future death row monster. Normal kids never clean their rooms.) The radio is playing "Santa Claus is coming to town.“ And Daddy affirms what is sung: Santa knows that Harry‘s been good. (Of course, we avid Chick tract readers already know that what is important is not if you've been good, but that you are saved.) Harry gets to meet Santa, together with a bunch of other kids. Santa is sitting in a chair under two crossed sugar canes, and there is a young four-eyed girl sitting on his knee. We don‘t find out if Harry got to sit on Santa‘s knee, but he got to talk to him. And little Harry is beaming with joy. Aw, he's sooo cute. But don't worry, it won't last long. (Yo! Satan! Warm up The Lake!")
The next scene is at the Garners‘ home. Harry is still excited, because now he knows that Santa is real. The parents don‘t actually reply…on the contrary, they seem a bit embarrassed. Harry is taking the thing far too seriously. —The next morning, we get a glimpse of Harry‘s presents. Among them is a stuffed animal, looking like a crossbreed of Godzilla and a dinosaur, a telescope, something that could be a scooter, and a piece of paper with the word "Super“ on it. (Wow. His very own Super paper. What a lucky guy.). Little Harry loves Santa! His parents don‘t want to tell him the truth about the Santa lie, because it would break the little baby‘s heart.
Three months later, it is Palm Sunday. In church, the minister tells his parishioners that there will be an Easter egg hunt the next Sunday. Harry is sitting in the first pew, between his parents, and he‘s beaming with anticipation of the Easter Bunny. He even cries out: "The Easter Bunny is coming!“ His parents are a bit embarrassed…mine would have been too, if I had cried out loud in church. — Harry even gets to meet the Easter Bunny. When he asks the guy in the bunny suit if he‘s Jesus, he only gulps. Maybe he hasn't learned much about Jesus, either. (This must be one of those Satanic churches that don't use Chick tracts.)
Then…the day that will change Harry into "the monster“: Other kids are mocking him for believing in Santa Claus. Just a question…isn't that a normal thing? I didn't believe in Santa when I was in grade school, but I was mocked for still watching Sesame Street. When the other boys tell Harry that his parents lied to him, Harry shouts that he will kill them both. — Later that day, the school is calling Mommy Garner to tell her that her son has been arrested. The 8-year old baby only succeeded in killing one of the two boys, but that was already enough to get him into juvenile hall. But before that, his parents have to admit that they had been lying to him all the time, and that they themselves pretended to be Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy. (Oh, the humiliation of it all!)
Harry concludes that Jesus and God are also just lies. Behold, this will be important later! Somehow during the course of the following week, Harry strangles his cell mate. The judge confers and calls Harry a "little monster“ and the killing of the first boy a "school yard incident.“ He tells Harry that he'll remain in juvenile hall until he'll be 18. Harry informs the judge that he'll kill him next, as soon as he gets out of jail. (Now Harry looks and acts just like the revenge filled roommate from the recent 3-D pixar movie, Meet The Robinsons.) Fast forward two years later. Chaplain Lorenzo visits juvenile hall and witnesses to Harry‘s black cell mate, Jamal. And to Harry, too, because he‘s what you would call a "captive audience". In order to convince the delinquent children, that Jesus is *not* a fairy, he plays the "more than 500 people saw him“ card. But Harry is unimpressed.
Then Lorenzo starts with a re-telling of Jesus‘ life. How he left Heaven and was born of a virgin. Wait a sec: Do you think a 10-year old who still believed in Santa 2 years before, knows what virgins are? He's obviously not one himself, jails being the homosexual Universities of higher learning that they are, but it's unlikely that anyone took the time to explain to him what female virgins are while they were passing him around like an endless bottle of whisky.
Another frame depicts the world‘s evil people: We see a Sikh with his kirpan—or is that a Muslim assassin with a sword? Difficult to tell. And a guy with a pentacle on his forehead. And a Chinese communist soldier. And a witch. And a woman with a bun on her head and the sign: "No prayers." And a man wearing a safari head and holding a bone. Is this supposed to be an evolutionist?
Jamal gets saved, Harry turns down the offer. Jamal gets released 3 days later, Harry has to wait another 10 years. Which means that he had to do time even longer than promised by the judge. (It must have been his winning speech about wanting to help the old man into Heaven when he got out of jail that earned Harry some extra time. Way to go, big mouth!) At age 30 he is already among America‘s Most Wanted, right next to Osama Bin Laden. And unlike Bin Laden, he doesn't even attempt to smile for the photo. (What an ingrate.) And also unlike Bin Laden, Harry was easy to capture. Mommy‘s little baby is "sentenced to death for his vicious crimes“. His old cell mate Jamal visits him to ask him to accept Jesus. But Harry refuses to get on his knees and pray the sinner's prayer. (Maybe he remembers what happened the last time he was on all fours in jail with Jamal.) Whatever the reason, Harry rejects his last chance at salvation, and thus, dies in his sins and slides down the fire pole into Lava Lake. Poor kid. But look at the bright side: At least the next pain in his butt will only be pitchforks! Grade B for Bottoms Up!
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"Where Did They Go?" Guest Review by Anneka. (Art by Chick ©2007)
Pastor Weber just died. Oxygen tubes and an isolating blanket couldn't prevent it. So welcome, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord! His widow, however, is weeping for him. And then there are two demons. Hey, I haven't seen these goofy little devils since "A Demon's Nightmare." They're chuckling because they made the Pastor's life hell. Unfortunately, he stayed true to Jesus so he won't actually go to hell, but the demons delight in knowing they broke up his family, and they successfully split his church. (Isn't that what Jesus told his disciples to do? Turn family members against each other?) Anyway, the demons laugh that all the stress gave Weber some good ole cancer. By the way, both of them wear horns. One of them has two, while the other looks more like a unicorn. He sports hooves, while his comrade has claws, and they both have Vulcan ears. Bi-horned demon does not look forward to be attending the deceased pastor's funeral. But their big bad boss wants it, because he doesn't want anyone to use the opportunity to win souls.
Later, at the ceremony, bi-horned demon bids farewell to pastor Weber at his casket. Then he goes about distracting the mourners so they don't hear the sermon. He uses the standard demonic routine of subliminally embedding the same evil thoughts we all think while at church: "I'm missing my soap opera," or "I'm sooo tired, I'll just close my eyes for a minute," or "Hey look, there's that gorgeous blonde!"
The guy at the lectern is doing a good job for a minister in the Chickverse. Usually, they are unsaved, politically correct social activists, or gay pride advocates. Fortunately, this guy does not wear a rainbow colored stole, but instead, a conservative suit and tie, like a good minister should. (Previous preaching attire included turtleneck sweaters for reformed homosexuals or police uniforms for saved black body builders. It was beginning to look like a Village People concert.) Mr. G.Q continues with his hard hitting homily. He predicts the Christians will meet Jesus in the air when they are sucked up to heaven during the rapture. "Those left behind will pass though 'hell on earth' as God unleashes his terrible judgments" he sternly says as storm clouds form and lightening strikes behind him. "We must be ready. It could happen tonight!" he warns. Don't you just love upbeat funerals like that? The audience is probably thinking Weber was lucky he died when he did! He gets to skip the terrible judgments. Meanwhile, an aardvark-look-a-like demon is down in hell talking to his big boss. Satan orders him to make sure the late pastor's grave is guarded, because he's worried something is up with all this talk about the end times.
Sure enough, in the next frame we find a different pastor is speaking at ole Weber's church, and he too, is speaking about the end of the world. He's explaining that American will be destroyed by a great fire (nukes) because it isn't mentioned in the Biblical prophecy. Um-- far be it from me to suggest anything other than the most terrifying interpretation of Revelations, but couldn't it also be because the U.S.A. hadn't been founded yet? Such obvious answers elude the imaginations of the congregation, however. Only one objects, and he's probably queer because he wears a turtleneck: "No, no, no!" he wails, "God won't allow it! We're the greatest nation on earth!" No we ain't: We still allow homosexuals (and their turtlenecks), Roe vs. Wade, and who knows what new blasphemies tomorrow? Our next president might even be a — gasp! — woman. Okay, so the pastor doesn't actually say this, but he's probably thinking something along those lines. What he says is "We are going down!... Our government has slapped God in the face by rejecting His Ten Commandments. Jesus' name has become offensive!"
Three weeks later, pastor Weber shoots out of his grave, overturning his tombstone and blasting through the air while ejecting the demon sent to guard him. The next Christian to be ravished…I mean, raptured, is about to be beheaded by Muslims. However, the sword slices through thin air, because the faithful Christian is already in the joy of his Lord. The next frame shows the skies filled with bodies floating up to heaven. (Let's hope none get sucked into passing jetliners, like so many unsaved Canadian geese.) The last panel encourages us to trust Jesus and to get saved, but Satan stands next to the plea and contradicts it. He advises us to forget all that crap, and to join him in hell and not to read the inside back cover, which contains the famous invitation to receive Christ. Who should we trust? Chick or Satan? Chick never shows his picture, as if he has something to hide, but Satan's image has a winning smile and sincere look in his eye. And that sinner's prayer does look rather boring; it's in very small print and has no cool comics. On the other hoof, there's probably no comics in hell that have survived the flames. It's a tough choice. Grade "B" for Bi-horned demons.
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"Unforgiven" Guest Review by Anneka (Art by Carter ©2007)
The title page shows us the black angel we've already seen in other Negro tracts. He's the angel sent to retrieve blacks and take them to their beautiful mansions in Heaven... or toss them into Hell's fiery furnace when they don't make the grade. Why the angels won't mix with different races is never addressed. (Segregation in the better world, it appears.) On the cover, the black angel is pointing his black passenger to the Lake of Fire. In other words, it's a SPOILER cover, coz we know from the start things end badly for this bro! Now to find out why...
Inside, a young black man named Lamont is shown into prison by a white guard. Waiting for him are several white brutes, many of them reminding us of the grubby sodomites in Doom Town. The guard gives some friendly advice: "Stick to your own kind, if you want to survive."
But even "his own" are not above threatening the newcomer. "Your with us, or you're dead!" says the tallest and most muscular of the three black dudes. He's bald and wears a thick mustache that makes him look like the polar opposite of Mr. Clean (more like Mr. Mean). The guy to his right sports a gut instead of muscles and a rather nasty beard. The third prisoner looks like a voodoo doll. Black Mr. Mean is about to name the condition under which they will take Lamont under their wings. It sounds rather suggestive: Lamont must do exactly what the threesome wants. Lamont says "Yes, yes, I will! Tell me what to do." So he quickly agrees without asking if he will earn AIDS doing what they want.
We fast forward five years and watch Lamont getting released from prison. He looks much older than in the panel before. Perhaps his new beard is the reason? He is picked up by another dude who presumably is not a relative. Three weeks later, a big, elderly black woman awakes from a terrible nightmare about Lamont. She feels ashamed and remembers that she didn't talk to him for seven years. Seven years? That was two years before Lamont went to jail! Maybe he wouldn't have committed the crime if she had taken better care of him. Anyway, the woman phones Lamont's wife and demands to speak to her grandson. But Lamont says that he does not want to talk to her. He claims that to him, she is dead. Wow. Five years in the clink certainly hasn't made Lamont mellow!
But the news for Grandma gets worse. She learns that Lamont has changed his name to Muhammad. Grandma gasps as she suddenly understands the gravity of the situation. Her grandson wasn't raped in the rear, but rather, in the brain! He's been brainwashed by Muslims! She acts fast and announces she's coming for a short visit: Just a month or so!
Lamont/Muhammad knows there's trouble coming. He confers with another black guy named Ali on what he should do. Ali looks a lot like Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam (you know-- the stupid cap, emaciated facial features, overdressed suit and silly bow tie). Ali tells Muhammad not to let Grandma, the infidel Sunday school teacher into the house. He even places a curse on Grandma for good measure. But regular Chick fans know such curses don't work against true born again believers...
Sure enough, Grandma makes it to Muhammad's home safe and sound in a taxi (which is rather remarkable, given how most of the taxi drivers are Arabs). Her prayer/thoughts reveal that she really loves "this boy" but that she is afraid and needs the Lord's guidance. Muhammad appears at the door to block her entrance, but Grandma doesn't need the Lord's assistance to get inside. She is a very rotund, typically big black matron, and she practically tackles Muhammad inside the hall while pretending to hug him. The ruse works. Once inside, the daughter-in-law provides refreshments. Muhammad, now wearing the same "Muslim cap" Ali did, explains that he found the truth (Islam) in prison. He yells at Grandma for dragging him to church every Sunday and forcing the Bible down his throat. He doesn't mention that Islam was also forced down his throat, but hey, better that than something with AIDS in it! Muhammad shakes his finger at Gramps and says that he spits on her religion.
Grandma doesn't appreciate such remarks. She explains that what she has is not religion, but eternal life with Jesus. Poor Muhammad is, according to Gramps, "stuck in a religion," because he has to pray on a rug five times a day facing Mecca toward a Moon God. Grandma reminds us, that she does not have to do such things. She omits that she has to pray for everything "in Jesus' name" as the Gospel instructs. However, this is not as important, because Jesus loves Grandma. Her arms akimbo, Grandma starts speaking with disgust about Muhammad (the famous dead one, not Lamont, the living loser). She explains with some relish that Lamont's Islamic namesake married a little girl who still played with dolls and even had sex with the child. (Although considered immoral today, the practice wasn't uncommon or illegal in that culture at that time.) But that's not all. Dead Muhammad was a white man who called Negroes "raisin heads." He founded a "religious army" to terrify, kill, or enslave others (including Africans, making them future African-Americans). Worse yet, Islam sent over a billion followers to hell, because dead Muhammad "put himself above the Lord". Living Muhammad (Lamont) does not want to listen, but Grandma doesn't stop when she's on a roll. She tells how dead Muhammad called Jesus a false prophet and liar! And dead Muhammad didn't even fulfill a single prophecy (compared to the 30 that Jesus did). Of all the nerve!
Now Grandma starts retelling about the death and resurrection of Jesus. She says dead Muhammad ridiculed the resurrection, and what did it get him? (It's true, he go everlasting fame, but he also got everlasting flames!) Living Muhammad continues to try and defend his blasphemous namesake, but the best he can spit out is "Allahu Akhbar!" He also reaches out to throttle the old woman. She counters by casting some Christian mojo on him, raising her arm like a magician and saying "In Jesus name, -- take your hands off me!" The spell works and Muhammad cowers in disbelief. He regains his courage when she begs him to join Jesus. Instead, he throws her out and calls her an infidel. Grandma grabs her bags and hits the pavement with a parting shot: "You declared Jihad on Jesus!" Her grandson (the one she really loves but forgot to talk to for seven years) shakes his fist at her and answers, "So be it!" Another brother continues to wash his car while the civil war plays itself out in the driveway next to him. It is, after all, just another day in the 'hood...
Six months later, when living Muhammad joins dead Muhammad in the long line of those who die and go to hell, the Faceless God, (who has a darker complexion in this and other Negro tracts), plays back the argument scene on his heavenly movie screen (the one that's always playing This Was Your Life). Faceless God then points to his big ass entertainment center and yells to the cowering Lamont, "This is why I must say the same words to you, Lamont, that I said to Muhammad...Depart from me, ye cursed, into the everlasting fire!" (Although really, they couldn't be the same words since the first Muhammad didn't speak English. But who's going to call God a liar when he has his finger on the button to Hell's hatchway?) Naked Lamont stands there with his knees knocking and screams, "Nooo!" But 'fraid so, bro! Press the button and down he goes! Lamont winds up, presumably, on the front cover, where the black angel points to an especially cozy place in hell for him to sit his burning ass. Flip the page, he's back in prison and it all starts over again. This may be the cruelest punishment in all of Chick history. Lamont goes from hell, back to prison, then he relives Grandma's home invasion, dies all over again and gets sent to hell repeatedly, with only a brief sinner's prayer to provide any break at all. Try reading this tract from front to back and front again, over and over for a million years or so, and you'll see what I mean. Chilling! Grade: B+ for Black Jesus and his Black Angel Posse!
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