Tract Dissections by Boolean Union Studios


Today's Candidate:


Spellbound?

Spellbound

© 1978 Jack Chick
Uploaded May 4th, 2011



"Spellbound" is not one of the standard Chick tracts, but rather an entry in Chick's "Crusader Comics" series. These are full sized comic books. In March 2011, Chick.com finally made these comics free to read online, so we felt free to comment on them. Be aware that these images are taken from screen captures and may be a little blurry compared to the original.


Panel Index
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20
21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37
38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53
54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61
Conclusion



Panel 1
Jessica:

The title of this comic asks a question with its punctuation. Spellbound?

We could save ourselves a lot of time and energy by just answering this simple question right here upfront. No. No, we are not, thank you very much.

 

Andrew:

This comic is all about John Todd, alleged "ex-occultist", and the source of most of Chick's insane ideas about the occult. Anyone familiar with tracts like "Dark Dungeons" will recognize many elements here.

 

   
   

Panel 2 Jessica:

He's a joker. He's a smoker. He's a mid-night toker.

 

Andrew:

It may be in color, and full sized, but it's good to see that "haw haw" is still the number one indicator for bad people in Chick-verse.

 

Jessica:

So, are they supposed to be high or something? That would seem to be the implication but it just comes off like they're shitty drivers.

 

   

Panel 3 Jessica:

Maybe they've taken personal umbrage to your crappy little hatchback there, James.

 

   
   
   
   

Panel 4 Jessica:

"Oh Lord... there are rocks all over the road!"

As racist as it is that makes me think of this one image macro I saw a while back.

 

Andrew:

Uh, so what exactly is happening here? This illustrator has few strengths, and competent depiction of action isn't one of them.

 

 

 

 

 


Panel 5

Jessica:

YAAAAA! BLAMM! Thank you Ma'am!

 

Andrew:

Crash Crunch! So much onomatopoeia.

 

   

Panel 6 Andrew:

Actually, it looks like Bobby Dallas might have had a hand in that accident as well.

 

Jessica:

Yeah, let's put the blame where it's due here.

 

 

 

 

   

Panel 7 Andrew:

So where did he put the tourniquet? Around the guy's head? I was always told that you didn't put tourniquets around things you weren't going to amputate.

 

Jessica:

That is true. The idea of a tourniquet is that it completely cuts off the blood supply to the bleeding limb. The idea is that it's better to lose the limb then have the patient bleed out. Though it has to be an extremity, and not too close to one's trunk, so a neck or a head would be kind of out of the question since you would... um... choke to death.

 

Andrew:

Is this red-headed chick intended to be the same as Sabrina, from later on in the comic? They often look the same, but nobody ever mentions it, and nobody ever says this girl's name.

 

Jessica:

Bobby Dallas kind of looks like how Jack usually draws his "suffering Jesus" panels. I wonder if he just cribbed off of one of his other pieces.

 

 

 

 


Panel 8 Andrew:

And here's the first appearance of Diana, the "sponsor" of the temple Debbie joined in Dark Dungeons.

 

Jessica:

Do you know ANYONE who unsarcastically worships Diana and didn't live in Ancient Greece? I think in the pantheon of "False Gods" Diana is kind of low in the pecking order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Panel 9 Andrew:

"Actually, 'dude', I put that tourniquet around your head because I was hoping they'd cut it off."

 

Jessica:

I hope "old Bobby Dallas" is suffering from a concussion or a subdural hemotoma or something and isn't just pretentious enough to refer to himself in the third person just because.

 

 

 

   
   

Panel 10 Jessica:

It's always presumptuous to assume that people recovering from horrible accidents want to be pestered to Jesus. Hospital chaplains and outreach ministries and whatnot always seems a bit like vultures to me that way.

 

Andrew:

Once again, we have the absurd idea that these people accept that God and Jesus are real, the Bible is true, there's a heaven and a hell...and they decided to go with the other guy.

 

Jessica:

Sooo... is this sort of like that other tract? Is Chick really suggesting that most (or all) rock stars have signed actual demonic pacts in exchange for their careers? I know record execs can seem like demonic entities, but this is a little much for me to swallow.

 

Andrew:

Don't ever make a contract with Jesus. Make a deal with him to mow your lawn every two weeks over summer vacation? By August your lawn will look like a nature preserve, but if you complain about it, Jesus will be like, "Eh". "Everyone in the room who's the Son of God please raise their hands. That's what I thought."

 

Jessica:

James just thinks a question mark. Like a generic sort of quizzical expression We could actually replace all the dialog with random punctuation. James thinks a question mark, the redhead can think three exclamation marks and Nurse Ratched over there can think an interrobang. Or a sarc mark or something.

 

Andrew:

"Bitch set me up!" Unfortunate implications, I know.

 

 

 


Panel 11 Jessica:

James is built like a fucking tank! I would seriously wonder if he's one of those gay guys who live in the gym. It brings the whole "two guys go on international adventures" motif of the Crusaders into a new light.

 

Andrew:

Good lord this guy is sinewy.

 

Jessica:

Who is James' date? And who is this tool bag? "It's good to suffer"? I think you'd get your ass kicked saying something like that.

 

   

Panel 12 Jessica:

Jesus Christ. Ok. What the hell is going on here. We've got that possessed kid from The Exorcists rocking out left of frame, a weird asian stereotype with a Black Widow drawn on his forehead, and his date. Have I mentioned recently that I hate Jack Chick? I mean, really hate him? I do, you know.

 

Andrew:

Chick doesn't exactly go for the subtle approach, does he. I'm surprised James is so calm.

 

Jessica:

That's quite an assortment of recreational drugs Old Bobby Dallas offers them. I like to think he has them set up buffet style on a big long table, on silver platters with meticulously embroidered label cards next to each one.

 

   
   
   
   

Andrew:

And now we've apparently entered the "educational" portion of this comic. Is there going to be a test on this at the end?

"That's cool!" Shades of Marriage Mess here.

 

Jessica:

Wow, it's like an encyclopedia of the occult, distilled down to one comic page. He mentions that all these symbols are at this party, but is too lazy to actually work them into the plot, so he just does an info dump all over the page here.

Also, the Hexagram. I like how he goes out of his way to mention it isn't a Magen David, but rather a jewish symbol "perverted by Satan's people." The only difference I can see is that the "Hexagram" has a circle around it. Thin line, I know.

 

Andrew:

"Italian Horn"? Why not Human Horn?

 

   
   

Panel 14 Andrew:

"It looks like we've got some aliens with us!" Chick has no idea how these people might talk.

 

Jessica:

"YOU NEED NOT BURN THIS BOOK!!!" This seems like a really flimsy justification to quash all the little Christ-pyros who might read this and think "OMG!!! This has occult symbols in it. Better incinerate it!"

 

   
   

Panel 15 Jessica:

Leaving already? It's two in the friggin' morning! Christians got to get up early for church!

 

Andrew:

"But, but, but, I love my bread! Wait, what were we talking about?"

 

Jessica:

Such a romantic, moonlit night to stroll by the pool and "talk about Jesus." He may have seen wild things, but James is going to show him something even wilder. Shit will turn you white!

 

 

 

 


Panel 16 Jessica:

The Broken Cross, eh? I'm glad we're not the only hack jobs that reference our own works all the time.

 

Andrew:

I think it's interesting that Crusader Comics have a definite continuity. I mean, I like to imagine that Chick's other comics take place in the same world, but there's no evidence of that.

 

Jessica:

I get the feeling Old Bobby Dallas is really just humoring our friend James here. "Yeah. Uh-huh. Yup. Ok. Jesus. Uh-huh. Yup."

 

 

 


Panel 17
Jessica:

I always thought the term "heavy hearted" was so damn cloying.

 

Andrew:

"I wish those dudes hadn't butted in on us!" Well, if it was that important to you...

 

Jessica:

Pitching Jesus, eh? Mohammad was catching and Krishna was shortstop.

...or is this more like pitching a tent?

 

   

Panel 18 Jessica:

They drownded him!

 

Andrew:

Well, that certainly came out of nowhere. These satanists don't mess around!

 

Jessica:

Good thing Old Bobby Dallas wasn't a cash cow or anything. These people don't think too far ahead, do they?

 

Andrew:

So much for Old Bobby Dallas. Bring on the New Bobby Dallas!

 

   

Panel 19 Jessica:

And now where the hell are we? Who the hell are THESE people?

 

Andrew:

.... and now for something completely different.

 

Jessica:

Oh no! He's losing spiritual control of his family. If the women in the house start thinking for themselves then he'll be, like, less than a man, or something. His daughter should get into the position of the church or something. That will straighten her out.

 

Andrew:

I guess Bob's spiritual joystick is broken, so he's got no spiritual control.

 

   

Panel 20 Jessica:

This guy wants her Dad to talk to him about Jesus and she's all like "Whatever." Actually. I think that's a rather healthy response to something like that.

 

Andrew:

I guess that's supposed to be a Kiss-style glam rocker, but he really looks like a luchador.

"Here's a new one by our favorite group. Our nameless, favorite group."

 

Jessica:

So, is this different from the other occasions where Chick feels the need to differentiate between people who "attend church" and people who "are Christian."

 

   
   

Panel 21 Jessica:

This brother. Like "Brother" in Christ, or "Brother" from another Mother?

 

Andrew:

Lance Collins is, of course, our stand-in for John Todd. His arrival signals the beginnings of the fantastical rivers of bullshit that dominate the rest of this comic.

 

Jessica:

"What's a Druid?" Herp-a-derp.

"Lance Collins" here has the shit eating-est grin EVAR!

 

   
   

Panel 22 Jessica:

All the Satanists look like homeless people with poor hygiene. I wonder if Chick is trying to make some sort of comment about how hippies are filthy little mongrels. Damn kids today with their rock music and fast cars and Pong machines...

 

Andrew:

I guess the implication is that they've been trying to get Collins for a while, and keep failing. C'mon people, you'd think that the satanists would be better at this than Team Rocket.

 

Jessica:

In Chick's universe, everyone in the 70's refers to everyone else as turkey. I used to think it was strictly an African-American affectation, but whatever.

 

   

Panel 23 Andrew:

"Lance, tell us about the druids." Worst. Justification for exposition. Ever.

 

Jessica:

Perhaps if God had been just a touch more liberal with "light" then you wouldn't have had such a significant Satanic stronghold half way around the world. For someone omnipotent God sure doesn't think things out, does he?

"Men of Oak" sounds like some sort of Viagra fan club or something.

 

 

 

   

Panel 24 Jessica:

Hmmm... Kernos... I've tried to do a bit of research on this Kernos fellow and it seems like unless you are discussing a certain feature of greek pottery the only person who's ever heard of him is John Todd. The Wiccans seem to worship a Cernunnos, which it would appear that Todd simply bastardized the spelling of and declared him Satan, which is what they seem to do with all Gods, even Allah. I mean, just blame the shit on Chernabog or something.

 

Andrew:

"Lance" is looking an awful lot like Jeffrey Jones here.

 

Jessica:

If Satan can duplicate all of God's miracles, what's the difference? Except these people would suggest that Satan still does stuff like this in this day and age, which is more than can be said for lazy old Yahweh. Wouldn't make more sense to go with the guy who actually gets things done?

 

   

Panel 25
Jessica:

"Everything ties together." ...in my head!!!

 

Andrew:

Yeah, usually when somebody says something like that, they're spinning a big ol' conspiracy theory. "Remember when I talked about the red spots in eggs, that dent above your upper lip, and the way avocado pits keep guacamole from turning? Everything ties together with the Illuminati!"

 

Jessica:

Speech impediments aren't funny, okay? Some people are really sensitive about it.

They played rough!!! And they LIKED IT THAT WAY!!!

 

   

Panel 26 Jessica:

By the by... the British countryside was littered with castles by the way. That way they could go from one to the next just picking virgins like fruit.

 

Andrew:

This adheres to a complete fairytale version of Merry Olde England (except for all the death, of course) as though every few miles there was a king who had a marriageable daughter just waiting around for a noble knight (or brave scullery boy) to save her.

 

Jessica:

The implication is that the "father" here is a totally cold hearted bastard. "Father! Don't let them take me!!!" "Sorry, bitch. We have to pay our dues. You knew what this was. Now go with the nice men."

 

   
   

Panel 27 Jessica:

Dad's still sitting back in his easy chair, all like "Keep it down, okay? I'm trying to watch the game. Can't you go to your gruesome death peacefully and quietly? Like your sister did? Ungrateful kids..."

 

Andrew:

Why does this sound so much like the bullshit explanations for holidays that snopes.com spends so much time debunking? Oh, that's right, because it's the same idea!

 

Jessica:

NO! YOU WILL BE KILL BY DEMONS!!!

 

   

Panel 28 Jessica:

Think about this for a minute. The druids come to every house once a year. They demand a woman for sacrifice, whom they promptly kill. If no woman is to be had, they hex the house and indirectly kill someone through fear (whatever the hell that means). So one way or another the household loses at least one member each year. Every if you had four kids your house would be empty after six years. You can't produce more than one kid a year, and that's if you work really hard at it and there are no complications. So even if you keeping having children solely to feed the druids you'd still only barely keep your head above water, and that's only while you are still of childbearing age. The whole country would be deserted in under two decades.

I think someone just might be pulling our legs here.

 

Andrew:

The spellbinding beat of the Druid music... right. Thump. Thump. Thump. Polyrhythms was extremely uncommon in western music until the 20th century, when increased exposure to African-derived music (which did have such rhythms) led to some cross-pollination.

 

Jessica:

Stonehenge, by the way, has been dated to between 3100 BCE and 2400 BCE. The druids didn't really get rolling until around 200 BCE. So they're only off by two or three millennia. Considering their track record it's not that bad.

 

   

Panel 29 Jessica:

So God requires blood sacrifices? But didn't you just say Satan (excuse me, Kernos) didn't demand the same thing? Are we sure that God and Satan aren't the same person?

 

Andrew:

It sounds like the same thing to me. My guess is that Todd purposely modeled his bizarre version of Samhain to have some aspects of the passover.

 

Jessica:

What does any of this have to do with anything? This whole train of thought is one giant non-sequitur.

 

   

Panel 30 Jessica:

This is always the lamest part of Chick's work. You know somewhere around the half-way/two-thirds mark you're going to get a torrent of biblical information presented in as dry a manner as possible. It's like having dry, overcooked turkey for dinner with nothing to drink, then following it up with a turd pie.

 

Andrew:

Sooooo... what about the druids? Criminy, it's like the panels are out of order or something.

 

Jessica:

Everyone is going to stand before God in a silken bathrobe. Which seems kind of weird since Chick usually depicts them as buck stark naked when they have to stand there and review the movie of their life. Being in your birthday suit makes it all the more humiliating when millions of people are getting to watch your various sexual faux pas.

 

   

Panel 31 Jessica:

That's a pretty piss poor battle strategy there. You'd have to seriously outnumber your opponent to be able to spare at least half your army in kamikaze runs.

 

Andrew:

Yeah, the Romans did have trouble with the Picts. Also the Parthians, Goths, Vandals, and a whole host of other people. The Romans weren't invincible, just for a long time they had more successes than defeats, and they were good administrators. The Picts don't really have much to do with the rest of the story here.

 

Jessica:

What did you expect doofus?

"They played the accordion, the xylophone and an oboe made from a rhinoceros pizzle!"

 

   

Panel 32 Jessica:

Yes, America will never recover from the Beatles. Beatlemania is 4-EVAR!!!

 

Andrew:

So I guess earlier rock and roll artists like Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard didn't count. It was only the Beatles, who came from England, where there used to be druids, who had that druid beat. Does this make sense to anybody?

Also, this comes perilously close to asserting that the Beatles existed solely to open the US to witchcraft (where I guess, according to Todd, there hadn't been any before).

 

Jessica:

"...penetrate...with their Satanic beat" All of this stuff is always put in such lurid terms.

"Then they listen to worldly music again and the desire to study the Bible cools off. Then they get up and get themselves a sandwich and watch TV while you just lay in the sweaty, sticky sheets wondering if they were thinking of someone else the whole time."

 

   

Panel 33 Jessica:

That's it, Dad! Exert some "spiritual control" over her. Show her who's the boss! God gave you a penis and you don't have to take sass from anyone!

 

Andrew:

And here we really get into it. "Lance Collins"s sermon is clearly a template for the final panels of Dark Dungeons. It certainly helps explain what that line about "rock music", otherwise out of place, is doing in that tract.

 

Jessica:

Is "playing church" like "playing house"? Do kids take refrigerator boxes and pitch the roof and one little boy is like "I'll be the preacher!" and some little girl will be like "I'll be the parishioner!" and some younger kid with a (not so adorable lisp) will be like "And I'll be da sex cwime victim!"

...probably not. I hope...

 

   

Panel 34 Jessica:

"I was a Druid High Priest." Chick seems to be constantly teaming up with people who have lived fascinating and action-packed, but somehow completely unverifiable lives.

"I was a Wiccan, Druid, Catholic, Satanist, Mason, Templar Mormon who controlled witches, wrote RPG games and drank the blood of young women!"

 

Andrew:

I find it hard to believe there are 65,000 self-identified witches anywhere.

 

Jessica:

Yeah, that's nearly the population of Lynchburg.

So witches and Satanists KNOW that Bible-believing Christians are more powerful than them (the Christ-o-philes are oblivious to this for the most part) but they still follow their wicked ways? WTF is this guy smoking?

 

   

Panel 35 Jessica:

Let us NOT go to the city of ancient Ephesus and say we did.

They shouldn't have provoked Beavis like that.

"He he he he... Paul's a bung-hole! Fire! Fire! I AM CORNHOLIO!!!"

 

Andrew:

YAAAAHH! That is the most lazily drawn screech I've ever seen in a comic.

 

Jessica:

That dude is chucking Jews left and right. Damn! Those early Olympics were brutal.

 

   
   

Panel 36 Jessica:

"Don't throw them away... BURN THEM!!!"

 

Andrew:

So, wait, how does this follow from the scene with Beavis chucking Jews? There's just no structure to this narrative!

 

 

 

   

Panel 37 Jessica:

Here's another whackjob who doesn't realize Ouija Boards are manufactured and sold by Hasbro.

 

Andrew:

There's our D & D mention. It's like this comic and the Dark Dungeons tract are two different versions of the same spiel, one targeted more towards roleplaying games, and the other targeted at rock music. Almost Rashomon-like, if the idea of comparing Jack Chick to Akira Kurosawa weren't so blatantly offensive to good taste.

 

Jessica:

Awww.... he made a cute little goat. They're doing a really poor job with this comic. Satan is looking cooler and cooler as we go along.

 

   
   

Panel 38 Jessica:

That's Christians for you. Got a problem with something? Set it on fire.

 

Andrew:

So what is it that these spells do, exactly? Are we talking like, "fireballs being launched from stereo systems" or what?

 

Jessica:

This bitch just does not know when to keep her mouth shut, does she? Where's Dad when you need him?

"Over my dead body!" Don't tempt them Penny. They may take you up on the offer.

 

   

Panel 39 Jessica:

<Snerk> John To.... I mean Lance Collins was on the Council of 13. That's hilarious.

 

Andrew:

So I guess the witch language is so secret and hidden it sounds like ordinary English.

Diabolical!

 

Jessica:

VERY carefully guarded. So carefully guarded it makes NO GODDAMN SENSE!!!

 

   
   

Panel 40 Andrew:

I love the idea that the druids, about whom we have almost no written evidence, and only the sketchiest understanding of their religious practices, somehow left behind a bunch of music notation that was a) legible (our familiar music notation arose in European monasteries long after the druids were gone) and b) contained music that sounded anything like modern rock music. I mean, come on!

 

Jessica:

And what would said musical notation contain, anyway? You hit the drum every third beat. I doubt it took ancient Druidic manuscripts to figure that out, instead of just having someone stumble upon it by accident.

 

 

 

 

   

Panel 41 Jessica:

"Blessed." Give me a break.

So a Satanic blessing is a curse to a Christian. Is a Christian curse a blessing to a Satanist?

 

Andrew:

Does Lance Todd have any idea how many records were produced during the 1970's, often in very short periods of time? The idea that they'd just sit on a saleable record for 6 months is kind of silly. Satan? No, record companies worship the almighty dollar.

 

Jessica:

HAH! Sabrina the Middle-Aged Witch!

 

   

Panel 42 Jessica:

Sabrina is channeling Lot in her derpitude here. Why do so many of Chick's characters end up with the fish eye?

 

Andrew:

"A spell to increase the listeners' belief in reincarnation."? That seems oddly specific. And how does this work, anyway? I can picture the instruction manual:

"Use of this spell will increase belief in reincarnation by 10 percent. People who used to think 'maybe there is such a thing' will start to think 'maybe I used to be Napoleon'"

Diabolical!

 

Jessica:

Good thing they didn't try to draw them "skyclad" since none of them have probably ever seen a woman naked.

 

   

Panel 43 Jessica:

Jack, why do you hate the Jews? Shouldn't you love the Jewish people? Don't you know God will abundantly bless those that bless Israel?

There's that warning at the bottom again. "It's not a Star of David!!! It just looks like it!!!"

 

Andrew:

So are they being deceived? Up above, Collins says that witches know Christians are more powerful. Why be a witch?

 

Jessica:

Again, they know this, but still they stick with Satan. The guy must have one helluva benefits package.

 

   
   

Panel 44 Jessica:

Jeez, this panel is seriously familiar...

 

Andrew:

Oh, under Old Testament law, huh? You mean like Deuteronomy, the laws that Chick endorses when he likes them and ignores when they're inconvenient?

 

Jessica:

I like the setup in the last panel better. It had more style. This is far more cluttered. Where's Martha Stewart when you need her?

 

   

Panel 45 Jessica:

Regé? Regé White?

 

Andrew:

And here we learn about a demon so prestigious and important that I haven't been able to find a reference that doesn't come from John Todd.

 

Jessica:

I guess they're using those irritating birthday cake candles that don't go out when you blow on them.What a bunch of jerks.

 

   

Panel 46 Jessica:

What the hell is going on with her there? Calling up demons makes you seriously ugly.

Also, I'm not exactly sure, but I think there may be a small continuity error with the random runes disappearing on her right tit there.

 

Andrew:

So does Regé really speak with random parentheticals? That's awfully considerate of him, to worry about whether his worshippers can follow his dialogue.

 

Jessica:

Now Regé here looks like a blue Klansman. Either that or Cobra Commander.

 

   

Panel 47 Jessica:

That's actually a pretty good idea. Look at how successful IKEA has been with that same model. You put the stuff together yourself!

 

Andrew:

Ok, so I take it that these terrible, horrible spells that have been put on these records don't do much of anything. "Oh, my home is messed up. Sometimes my teenager doesn't listen. This sort of thing has never happened before in the history of mankind!" "Is there a rock record in your house?" "Why yes, and correlation equals causality! Who brought the gasoline?"

 

 

 

   

Panel 48 Jessica:

I am sure Wikipedia will agree, but I doubt there is a better way to impart the validity and impartiality of a particular story by starting it off with "I heard a story that's worth repeating."

 

Andrew:

Yes indeed, because modern American rock music sounds just like traditional African music. And where did those Africans learn that hot hot druid beat? Criminy! Was anybody thinking about anything when they wrote this down?

 

Jessica:

Who would admit that their previous religious ceremonies involved actively calling up demons?

And how much to do you want to bet that our blond haired pastor then immediately takes the records from his children smashes them over their heads and then proceeds to take off his belt and give them the thrashing of their lives all on the say-so of this one unassuming fashion victim?

 

   

Panel 49 Jessica:

Yeah all you Middle-American church-goer's! Cut out your honky-tonkin'! Whatever that means.

 

Andrew:

"Don't throw them away. Burn them. We'll do that here, tonight."

 

Jessica:

Take note, if you ever engage in ANY activity that is not thoroughly and overtly about Jesus, you will go straight to Hell. Do not pass "GO". Do not collect $200.

 

   

Panel 50 Jessica:

Oh, well if Albert Pike said it, it must be so! He would never lie to us. I mean, how could you doubt a guy who so clearly resembles Santa Claus?

 

Andrew:

And now Penny has become our Debbie analogue, the young blond girl who recognizes the error of her ways!

 

Jessica:

This girl is fickle as hell. Just a few minutes ago she's all like "You'll have to pry my rock music from my cold, dead fingers." And now here she stands all teary-eyed and innocent like "I wanna get saved!"

I guess it's a good thing she's decided to give up her lodge though. I hear they don't take kindly to women anyway.

 

   

Panel 51 Jessica:

Yeah, Ben. You're going to church with them if you ever want to tap that sweet thing. Shame I doubt you'll realize that her new found religion is going to keep here from doing anything heaver than holding hands until you're bound by the bonds of holy matrimony. Enjoy those blue balls, dude.

 

Andrew:

The Jack Chick who wrote this comic needs to have a conversation with the Jack Chick who wrote The Marriage Mess (in the very same year). And I quote: "Too many Christian women have become wrecks because they tried to preach to their unsaved husbands." I guess that doesn't apply to Christian girlfriends.

 

Jessica:

"There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight!" Somehow that line just isn't as cool as it could be if it were immediately followed by a perfunctory "Haw Haw Haw."

 

   

Panel 52 Jessica:

Now who's this schmuck? He's sitting around in dramatic shadows smoking his Hobbit pipe with his red-eyed wolf/dog thing pacing around and looking ferocious. It's like he makes a living out of sitting around and looking like a stereotypical "bad guy." Either that or Chick has absolutely no concept of visual subtlety.

 

Andrew:

So here's the man behind it all, huh? Why the hell does Sylvia the news reporter answer to him, anyway? I guess the idea is that the Satanists run everything, but does Dear Leader really approve every single story that ABS runs?

 

Jessica:

Wait a minute... In reading up on old Johnny Boy it seems as though he had some bad blood with a latter day neo-pagan named Isaac Bonewits. Is that who this is supposed to be? Because if you look at the Wikipedia article, he seems less like the kind of guy who could control a nation or world-wide Satanic/Druid conspiracy and more like the burnt-out old pothead who teaches arts and crafts at the local community college.

BE AFRAID!!!
   

Panel 53 Jessica:

This is just... God... Todd Collins is so full of shit!

 

Andrew:

This is a character based on the same John Todd who went to prison for rape in 1987. Emulate him, people.

 

Jessica:

"If they don't like it, let them go!" Yeah, if they won't swallow every last juicy nugget of your whacked-out theology let 'em bugger off! What are they going to do? Start their own church?

Jesus may have said his followers are the "salt of the earth." But Lance here is more of the "saltpetre."

 

   

Panel 54 Jessica:

This is so nonchalant. "The pastor and his deacons bound Satan according to Matthew 18:18." Like that's just the most natural thing ever. Is there some other way of binding Satan? Like using a full nelson or something?

 

Andrew:

I can imagine the itinerary.

4:00-4:02 PM: Bind Satan.

4:03-5:00PM:. Light refreshments.

5:01-9:30PM: Bitchin' bonfire.

 

Jessica:

Your church will never be the same. Got that right. Thank you for teaching my parishioners that there's only one way to deal with ideas you find threatening, disturbing or unfamiliar.

 

   

Panel 55 Andrew:

And now we get the coda that Dark Dungeons never gave us. When we made that movie, people who weren't familiar with the comic kept saying "what happened next?" Well, now we know.

 

Jessica:

You know, I've had Christian friends before, and I used to hear them say all sorts of whack-a-doodle things like this "The Lord told me I should do this." "I felt I've been given a calling to do that." And I outright asked them "Do you actually hear voices? Or is this just some sort of bizarre way you like talking about your own intuition?"

Those people aren't really my friends anymore.

 

 

 

   

Panel 56 Jessica:

They followed him for 40 minutes. Would they have followed him all night? What if that wasn't really a calling from the Lord? What if you just had a bout of really bad gas or something?

 

Andrew:

And finally our international Bible-thumpers The Crusaders actually get to swing into action and... drive their car into another car. This isn't derring-do, it's falling asleep at the wheel!

 

Jessica:

These would-be assassins are hard-core! "What in the world?!" Sounds like the WHAM-bulance there made them spill their Earl Grey tea or something.

 

   

Panel 57 Andrew:

More lazily drawn onomotopoeia. "RRRRRHH". What's the source of this? Is it the oncoming car? Our Satanic assassins? Mountain lions?

 

 

 

 

 

   

Panel 58 Jessica:

Yeah. Totally. Charlie Manson and Ed Gein here were just coming home from a hunting trip when their gun accidentally went off. Happens all the time, I'm sure.

 

Andrew:

Gasp! The cops are in on it! This conspiracy goes ever deeper! We know because it appears in a comic book!

 

Jessica:

That cop has a big-ass heart to go with his big-ass chin.

 

   

Panel 59 Jessica:

If the cop was in on it, why didn't they just have the cop shoot Todd Collins? Then there wouldn't have to be any sort of cover up. Efficiency people!!!

 

Andrew:

"A lot of groups want him silenced!" "Especially Satan!" I wasn't aware Satan was a group. We've gone from "Satan is a real person" to "Satan is a committee". Besides, everywhere else in this comic it's implied that Satan controls everything- why bother making a distinction?

 

Jessica:

Yeah, I wonder how much time he has. Of course, John Todd died in a mental institution in 2007, sooooo... about 29 years. Yep.

 

   

Panel 60 Jessica:

I don't think it's either professional or ethical for a newscaster to outright state "I was so ashamed!" during a newscast. Even if she works for the All Bull Shit (ABS) network.

It's like she should pull a Christine Chubbuck or something.

 

Andrew:

Melinda? She looks exactly like Gloria from The Marriage Mess. I guess it's her long-lost twin sister.

Also, I think this is the first time I've seen "Haw Haw" come from a character who wasn't explicitly evil.

 

Jessica:

Ben is trying to go along and be supportive and understanding of Penny's new hobby. But when he goes home at night - EVERY NIGHT - empty-handed, you know he jerks off into an old semen-encrusted sock, curses God above and then cried himself to sleep.

Thanks, Penny. You've destroyed that nice young man.

 

   

Panel 61 Jessica:

Penny? She was the point of this whole mess? What about Old Bobby Dallas? What about John Lance Todd Collins? What about poor, sexually frustrated Ben? This whole thing was about that fickle, stupid-ass Penny? Man, what a gyp.

 

Andrew:

Wouldn't be the first time we've seen a bait-and-switch from Chick. (Though, maybe chronologically speaking, it is...)

 

Jessica:

She's the Lord's property now. All this talk of women being other people's property makes me really uncomfortable. You belong to your father, until you get married and belong to your husband. You belong to Satan until you get saved and then your belong to God. Is it really all that bad to just be responsible for yourself? It's not that unusual a concept, is it?

 

   

Conclusion
Andrew:

Well, this comic contains the most distilled essence of John Todd's craziness yet seen in Chick's work. Even though Chick has since moved on to figures like William Schnoebelen and Rebecca Brown, the conspiracy insanity contained herein really packs a punch. Still, I have to wonder how this all fits together with Alberto Rivera's Jesuit conspiracy, or any of the rest of it. It sounds like virtually everyone in the entire world, except for Chick and the brave souls who give him information and (no doubt reluctantly) take his money, is a part of some conspiracy. With a worldview like this, it's easy to understand why Chick is such a recluse.

For Chick aficionados like us, this comic is also helpful to understand classic tracts like Dark Dungeons. That line about "Rock music" being occult paraphernalia never made any sense to me before. Now it all fits into place, in a crazy sort of way.

In a way, comics like this make me feel sorry for Jack Chick. He's so vulnerable to people who tell him what he wants to hear that he's made tract after tract dedicated to the easily debunked stories of con-men like John Todd and Alberto Rivera. At the risk of psychoanalyzing a person I've never met, he must have a deep need to believe in theories like this, even if they don't make any logical sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


blog comments powered by Disqus

 
Last Modified: December 22, 2013

 

 

Back to Chick Index
Back to Main