Jack Chick and Me

Posted by : Rev. Ouabache | Monday, December 14, 2009 | Published in

PZ Myers did the world a favor a couple of days ago and brought it to everyone's attention that there was a great documentary recently put out about (in)famous Christian tract artist Jack Chick. Here's a quick trailer for it:

A documentary about the nuttiest form of Christianity that features "Dr. Dino" Kent Hovind AND Ivan Stang, founder of the Church of the Subgenius? Sign me the fuck up! Of course I had a moral imperative to hunt down a digital copy so I could watch it as soon as possible.

I watched it tonight and I must say that I enjoyed it. It's obviously not for everyone. If you've never read a Jack Chick in an utter state of horrormirth then you should probably skip it. For the most part it is interviews with people who happen to be ironic fans of his work and people who have worked around Chick Publications over the years. His cult followers and his "cult" followers, if you will. The stuff with Ivan Stang was obviously funny. There were also some fun animated sequences that helped bring some of his tracts to life. There was no interview with Jack himself since he is extremely reclusive. (They mentioned that no picture has been taken of him since the 1940s) Overall they did a good job piecing together as much information as they could out of the sparse details they could gather about Jack Chick's life and works. They mentioned his humble beginnings in the suburbs of LA. His brief time in the military and fighting at the Battle of Okinawa. How he built his "publishing empire" from the ground up. The part I found most interesting was the conspiracy theorists that influenced him heavily in the 70s and 80s: John Todd, Alberto Rivera, and Rebecca Brown.

I guess the main reason I have this morbid curiosity with Jack Chick is because I grew up around people who believed a lot of the stuff he was preaching. I was the member of a Methodist church as a teenager and I remember seeing Chick Tracts around all of the time. Hell, Rebecca Brown did most of her preaching less than 40 miles from where I am right now. I couldn't help but end up with Jack Chick Shrapnel in my brain.

Then again, it is hard not to see Chick Tracts everywhere. According to the film there have been three quarters of a billion tracts published in 100 languages over the last fifty years. He is easily the most published comic book author in the history of the world.

The scariest part of the movie for me was when Kent Hovind pointed out that Jack Chick has probably converted more people to Christianity than anyone in history. And I can't think of anyone that would come close to him. Maybe Billy Graham, maybe Emperor Constantine if you want to stretch it. That scares me because the Christianity that Jack Chick believes in is the most twisted version you could think of. Just as dogs start to look like their owners, gods look, think and act exactly like their owners. The god of Jack Chick is paranoid, vindictive, bigoted and seems to hate 90% of His creation. In Jack Chick's universe there are evil demons around every corner ready to posses unsuspecting teenagers. Witches covens meet on a regular basis to listen to rock n' roll music and sacrifice babies. Satan controls everything on this planet including the Catholic, Mormon and Jehovah's Witness churches. (Don't even get him started on the Muslims.) He's even attacking your children through Dungeons n' Dragons and corrupted science with evolution. To make matters worse, at The End God decides to throw everyone who doesn't say the Magic Words into a Lake of Fire for all of eternity. In essence, it is Christian through the prism of a paranoid schizophrenic.

Kinda makes you glad that Jack Chick's god doesn't exist. Haw haw haw.

(4) Comments

  1. Jay said...

    A few weeks ago, while my dad was in the OR undergoing a bypass, one of my brothers happened across a Chick tract that had been placed on a table in the waiting area. The title of the tract was "Heart Trouble?"

    As you say - Chick's version of Christianity is the most twisted you could think of.

    December 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM
  2. HipGnosis said...

    omg i would love to see this. i collected jack chick tracts for years, i always found them to be hysterically depraved. (as an angst-filled, rebellious youth, of course i did.) the doc sounds great though, and with ivan stang in it, it's a must-see for me too.


    December 23, 2009 at 4:43 AM
  3. chickcomics said...

    Thank you all for your interest in the film. It was a blast making, as it's clearly one of those "only in America" stories. It did take a lot of time and money to make though, and we're still in debt paying the bills, so please, don't resort to pirated downloads. Get your official DVD which comes with a special "JTC" parody tract (by Subgenius artist Hal Robins), direct from the producers. It's a great gift too, under $20 with shipping: JackChickFlick.com

    December 24, 2009 at 11:23 AM
  4. Rev. Ouabache said...

    Thank you for making such a great film. Just to be clear, I was not trying to advocate pirating the film. I paid the $3.99 for the digital copy on FilmBaby. I will probably buy the DVD sometime in the next year because that parody tract sounds amazing.

    December 24, 2009 at 11:36 AM

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