Saturday, April 7, 2007

Chick Tracts: Whoa ..

posted in 2006

I used to love Chick Tracts. I still have a copy of "The Beast" .. which was the one tract that opened my eyes to the horrors of the end times as depicted with that unforgettably well rendered pen and ink drawings. He doesn't sell it anymore I think. That tract shook me like no other when I was a reprobate and 17 back in the late 70's. Mom knew what she was doing leaving them lying around the house.

I inhaled and developed a collection of Chick Magazines and tracts as a baby Christian. I think because I love cartooning and comic book art back in the late 70's that his work had a dual attraction. Their technique changed from tract to tract, but I always enjoyed reading them and admiring the very obvious skill, composition and graphical talent that went into it.

However, I almost went too far swallowing the Chick worldview. That brilliant old heathen Carl Sagan described it well with the title of one of his books: for Chick, this is truly a "Demon-Haunted World," and his obsession with a conspiracy theory championed by Old Scratch himself to explain all of the great collisions of evil in world history is too heavy to believe. Everything in the world is black and white. His comic book characters make a point of ensuring we catch every proverb and belief Chick feels we need to understand.

That always seemed strained to me.

Do you remember the black and white guy who were ex-Rambo and Super Fly characters, natural born killers who could break you in half, but who find Christ through humble old preachers and become prayer warriors with 30 inch biceps who globe trot through adventures exposing evil everywhere? It always seemed just a WEE BIT forced when they would be rescuing nude teen age girls from knife wielding Satanists in one panel and then be complaining about Mexican food in the next? You learned pretty quickly that if you didn't ask too many questions, you'd learn a lot. I had too many, so I started to realize that this comic and the tracts were a bit too propagandizing for me to push.

I think where I learned pretty quickly you had to watch out with using Chick Tracts was when you tried to heed his specious Alberto Rivera saga: I almost lost a relationship with a devoutly Catholic relative .. my aunt and godparent .. when I shared with her Chick's rag on that ..

Sounds and looks impressive, don't it?

This link shows how Cleveland, TN has a rather interesting link with the good "Dr. Rivera." Personally, I wish I could find him around. I'd like to have a little cara a cara with Hermano Alberto and let him know about how I really feel about some of the things he's been pushing ..

Chick has a really, REALLY bad problem with promoting some really dippy and even dangerous people in the past through other portions of his product line like John Todd, Bill Schnobelen, and "Dr." Rebecca Brown. All of them have been documented as fabricating the major portions of their so-called "testimonies", which brother Jack seems to have a really hard time owning up to. Sensationalism is the double edged sword of too many "testimonies" of ex-Member Of A Bad Group, and it sells tracts: it's understandable why brother Jack has a hard time cutting loose from these scam artistes.

The sad thing is that when Chick sticks to the GOSPEL and creatively uses his wonderful graphic skills to advance it, he is probably the best out there. But he mixes so much of his conspiratorial obsession in even those tracts that I can't simply use them. And some of his tracts on cults, the occult and the world religions are so unbelievably ham handed and unreal that it really is sad.

BUT, all things considered, his antievolutionary poster is one of the coolest, most awesome Christian cartoons of all time. If there's any ONE Chick publication I'd recommend you get, aside from "This Is Your Life", his BEST gospel tract, THAT would be it. It is a HOOT .. with a real message.



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