Not Another Relgious Tract Dissection by Andrew Bean and Jessica Blum


Today's Candidate:


Crazy Wolf
© 2010 Jack Chick

Uploaded January 14th, 2011



Based on a story of Native Americans, this is a classic head-to-head battle between God and Satan. Guess who wins?

Page Index

Introduction
Cover | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21
Conclusion



"Crazy Wolf" is a Native American-themed tract. In this story, Mary is resented by others in her tribe for being a Christian and turning against the old ways. In order to silence her, they call upon Crazy Wolf, a famous shaman who agrees to kill Mary using his spirit form. Jesus protects Mary and an angel sends Crazy Wolf packing, and then an angry Satan brutally punishes the shaman for his failure. Afterwards, Crazy Wolf visits Mary to discuss what happened, and he accepts Jesus while revealing that his real name is Billie Wolf. Unfortunately for Mr. Wolf, he is promptly gunned down by the woman who hired him, and his soul ascends to heaven.


Introduction
Andrew:

So what exactly does "based on a story of Native Americans" mean, anyway? It's not the same as "based on a Native American story", that's for sure. I mean, if I made up a story about Luke Warm Water and his brother Coyote Ugly, you could make a tract out of it and say it was "based on a story of Native Americans" and have it be just as accurate.

Of course, the depictions of Native American life in this tract come straight out of old Westerns.

 

Jessica:

It's kind of like a Great White Man Eating Shark. "A" is not necessarily equal to "B."

 

 

 

 

 


Cover Jessica:

It's the circle. The circle of life.

 

Andrew:

I guess that's supposed to be a snake he's holding, but it's just as likely it's a microphone, and he's finishing up an extatic rendition of Mississippi Queen.

"Live On the Reservation! It's Crazy Wolf and the Wolftones! AWOOOOOH!!"

 

Jessica:

Naw, man. He's totally rocking the Santana.

 

 

 


Page 1 Andrew:

Is there a Young Mary, so that we need to make a distinction?

 

Jessica:

That woman looks like she could flap those ears and take off.

 

Andrew:

Most Chick characters have a simple dichotomy: saved= pretty, unsaved=ugly. Bad characters are often given stereotypically Jewish features (especially noses) right out of old antisemitic propaganda. This is all despite Chick's fervent "God bless Israel" tone, mind you.

 

 

 


Page 2
Andrew:

"Have you tried putting curses on her?" That just rolls out of her mouth like it's the most natural thing in the world.

And in the second panel, we seem to have stumbled into a Mark Trail strip.

 

Jessica:

The owl is like "Don't look at me man. I don't have the slightest idea what the hell is going on here either."

 

 

 

 

 


Page 3 Jessica:

There's Fang, pestering some cattle.

 

Andrew:

Oh yeah, I almost didn't notice the little bugger. Fang gets around, you know. He appears in all sorts of geographic locations and timeframes. Is he like the Wandering Jew of dog-kind, or something, doomed to roam the earth forever?

 

Jessica:

She tell her to have Henry call her. That implies there are telephones, meaning this is taking place in a relatively modern setting (the tract was written in 2010). See if you can find any other indications this doesn't take place during, say, the old west. I think Chick believes this is how all Native Americans live today.

 

Andrew:

I'll bet Chick hasn't even talked to another human being not in his employ in decades. It's pretty clear that all his ideas about Blacks, Native Americans, gays, and pretty much everybody who is not him, come from old movies, old tv shows, or from charlatans like Alberto Rivera and John Todd.

 

Jessica:

Though Chick's source for occult nonsense has historically been Dr. Rebecca Brown (of "Poor Little Witch" fame). But I think that Native Americans are waaaay outside her area of expertise as well. So who can say.

 


Page 4 Jessica:

Chick seems to think that all Indians look stoned all the time. Henry looks like he's about to nod off in mid-sentence here.

 

Andrew:

They don't just want her to die, they want it to be messy!

 

Jessica:

I don't think their culture would throw the term "witch" around as willy-nilly as ours does.

 

 

 


Page 5 Andrew:

"Of course he's a skin walker- he killed his brother!"

That's like "Is Crazy Wolf a certified public accountant?" "He committed war crimes- you tell me!"

 

Jessica:

It's a little known fact, but Native Americans actually use wildlife as landmarks in direction finding. If one were to send Mr. Wolf here a letter one would address it:

"Mr. C. Wolf
Corner of Fat Kidnap Victim and Snake Rack
Right of the White Rabbit, Nevada."

 

 

 

 

 


Page 6 Andrew:

So yeah, he just kills this guy right here. It's never mentioned again.

And why would finger and toetips and ear lobes of the dead kill you? I mean, that's disgusting, but lethal?

 

Jessica:

From what I understand from my old pal Wikipedia, Corpse Powder is indeed a real thing, though mostly a Navajo tradition. Though I would sincerely doubt its application results in actual physical illness. I think this is on par with believing you can go to church and eat Jesus or something.

 

Andrew:

I find it interesting that Crazy Wolf feels that Old Mary must die, and yet requires payment before he'll do anything about it. I guess his religious beliefs must war with his business savvy, and regularly lose.

 

Jessica:

This tract also has a bit of a problem in that they keep waffling back and forth between whether Old Mary betrayed their "Gods" (plural) or "God" (singular). I know Jack thinks that they all worship Satan but he should at least be able to have a little bit of consistency on this point.

 


Page 7 Jessica:

"That makes me feel better." Ummm... Ok. You're a sociopath.

"He's pure evil!" I didn't really get that feeling. Hideous? Yes. A little goofy? Definitely. But pure evil? That's giving the old guy a little too much credit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Page 8 Jessica:

You're gonna die real soon!

Crazy Wolf is coming to get you. You know he's involved in black magic.

Crepa, pezzo di merda, e vai a sucare cazzi su un aereo!

 

Andrew:

"His skin was brown!" except, of course, in Chick Tracts, where Jesus is as white as snow.

 

Jessica:

"My God's stronger!" "No! My God is!" It's like they're second graders have a schoolyard tiff (either with or without the cheese).

 

 

 


Page 9 Andrew:

I guess this isn't the same universe as the Crusader Comics, in which one can call upon The Crusaders, a sort of evangelical A-Team, to help deal with problems like demonic possession.

 

Jessica:

This guy, who I guess is a Pastor, says he knows Crazy Wolf is serious bad news and he asks who's with her. She says it's just her and Jesus. And that's it. No "Jesus will protect you" or "The congregation and I will come by to sit with you." It's like he just hangs up on her as if to say "Well, you're fucked, lady. Sorry. Shouldn't have pissed off a Skin Walker."

 

 

 

 

 


Page 10 Andrew:

"I'm going off the rails of your crazy train!"

 

Jessica:

Holy crap. Crazy Wolf is a Juggalo. I knew he was evil.

That floating snake/squid is pretty awesome too. He fits right in with the rest of Satan's entourage here, Bowser and a random Murloc.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 11 Jessica:

Chick seems to have actually done quite a bit of research on this one, actually. I'm surprised he got a detail like the silver cord correct. Although, apparently that is a reference to Ecclesiastes. Eh, whatever.

 

Andrew:

Well, what better to defend yourself from imaginary evil powers than with imaginary good powers of your own?

 

 

 

 

 


Page 12 Andrew:

"Everyone hears his voice and trembles." Who is everyone? All I see is Mary and that cat who is usually paired with Fang.

 

Jessica:

These guys look like rejects from Where the Wild Things Are or something

Here I am! Rock you like a hurricane!

 

 

 

 

 


Page 13 Jessica:

Angel Smash! And Bowser and Squidee are like "Later, dude. You're on your own."

 

Andrew:

And now for some WWE-style wrestling!

I notice Jesus himself didn't show up for this, but rather delegated one of the more athletically inclined angels.

"I, Smashael, the angel of wrestling, am your champion. LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE!"

 

 

 

 

 


Page 14 Jessica:

I thought Crazy Wolf called up the demons to kill Mary. Not the other way around. How did he fail them?

 

Andrew:

So for his failure, Satan beats him to a pulp (like with his bare hands?) and takes away his powers, but doesn't kill him. That's surprisingly decent of old scratch. You think he'd just kill Mr. Wolf and have done.

 

Jessica:

Ah, more smug egalitarianism. There's nothing finer.

 

 

 


Page 15 Jessica:

It took him three weeks to get his shit together. I guess he just sullenly lurched around the house bad-mouthing his snakes and kicking that guy he keeps tied up in the front yard.

 

Andrew:

You know, if Crazy Wolf wanted to kill her that bad, he could always just use a gun or something. I guess he didn't want to get his hands dirty.

 

Jessica:

"More chicken, Mr. Wolf?" It's always a requirement to pass the good guys off as doddering, unassuming pacifists to highlight how awesome it was they kicked the bad guy's ass. It always comes off as trite and pedantic, though.

 

 

 


Page 16 Jessica:

"Every crime! I go to the store and cut the tags off of mattresses and pillows! I'M A MONSTER!!!"

 

Andrew:

"Every crime known, and a few that aren't yet. They haven't even made LAWS against some of the stuff that I do, 'cause nobody's thought about it but me!"

 

Jessica:

"No! Seriously! Sometimes I'll go into public bathrooms and fill the urinals up with rancid mayonnaise. There isn't a law against it, but there damn well should be!"

 

 

 


Page 17 Jessica:

Shades of Ron Wheeler here. "Nobody's good enough!" Sounds like a really stupid way to set things up then, don't you think?

 

Andrew:

"Of course, the whole "hell" thing appears to be God's fault in the first place, so I guess you might as well blame him, too."

 

 

 

 

 


Page 18 Jessica:

Love Gift!!! We need to start keeping a running count or something.

 

Andrew:

So just like that, Crazy Wolf converts? I guess he's never ever met a Real Christian (TM) before?

 

 

 

 

 


Page 19 Jessica:

Satan sure gets around doesn't he? Why didn't he drive Margaret to shoot Mary in the first place? Cut out the middle man.

 

Andrew:

Billie Wolf. William Wolf if you want to be formal. Is he any relation to Wile E. Coyote?

Well, Satan's got a point there. The least Billie Wolf could do is refund her money, unless he's already spent it on "corpse powder" or snake antivenon or whatever.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 20 Andrew:

Is it just me, or does it seem like this happens a lot in Chick tracts? No sooner is the guy saved than he dies, often as a direct result . Chick seems to be sending a mixed message- "get saved and die!"

 

Jessica:

It saves him the trouble of doing it himself. In other tracts, whenever someone gets saved they suddenly get real eager to meet the big J.C. You'd think that newly Born Again Christians would be lining up to jump off of buildings or something.

 

Andrew:

And why is it that she shoots Crazy Wolf but not Mary? Like you said above, cut out the middleman.

 

 

 


Page 21 Jessica:

You would think Chick would be put off by having to admit that God probably allows brown people into Heaven. That seems downright progressive of him.

 

Andrew:

So it's a bit like The Gunslinger, where the bad guy who believes goes to heaven and the good sheriff who disbelieves goes to hell- though who honestly thought Margaret (who just commited murder) was a good person?

I'm going to take a page from Jack Chick's Funnybook Gospel and point out here that Jack Chick's heaven seems to be populated almost entirely by scoundrels, while almost all good people in these comics go to hell for prioritizing works over faith. Does that really sound like a good arrangement to anyone?

 

Jessica:

Jesus saves. Everybody else blows their paychecks at the dog races. That's why you want to hang with him. He was a Jew after all.

 

 

 


Conclusion
Andrew:

I'm not sure this comic knows what it wants to be. It's got the whole Native American thing, which it handles with the sensitivity and depth of an episode of F Troop, plus the whole occult thing. Chick of course believes that everyone who believes something different than he does is actually worshipping the devil, whether they believe in the Christian devil or not. Nevertheless, it seems to me that Chick regards Native American beliefs as mere witchcraft, rather than an actual religion: Billie Wolf seems to actually interact with Satan, rather than whatever the appropriate gods are. At least when dealing with, say, Hinduism, Chick accepts that Hindus worship Ganesh or Shiva- he just thinks (basically) they are demons masquerading as gods. Native Americans don't even get that much.

Who is this tract for? Is it legitimately aimed at Native Americans? I'm not sure about that. Chick's tracts for believers of other religions are usually pretty closely targeted, with lots of references to specific literature and stories, whether the target group is Catholics, Muslims, or Mormons. Chick likes to show off his knowledge, but here there's nothing he couldn't have gotten from a hazily recalled Western. Where are we geographically? What year is this? What tribe are we talking about? They really are different from one another- it's like saying "Based on a story of Europeans".

We've also got Chick's trademark super-easy salvation, which boils down to "do whatever you like, and then when you accept Jesus, it's all wiped away!" Hell, in comics like Lisa, characters don't even face legal repercussions for their terrible actions. Setting aside the instant death of characters like Crazy Wolf and The Gunslinger, it's hard not to shake the idea that in the Chickverse good and bad actions take a distinct back seat to belief in Christ. Tell me again why Christians are supposed to be more moral than other people? Ok, fine, I guess you could say that Billie Wolf, newly reborn in Christ, wouldn't have committed any more crimes, but he never gets the chance. Just poof, and he's saved, no other actions required. How does this make the world a better place?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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Last Modified: December 22, 2013