Not Another Relgious Tract Dissection by Andrew Bean and Jessica Blum


Today's Candidate:


Doom Town
© 1991 Jack Chick

Uploaded January 13, 2011


Story of Sodom. Delivers a compassionate plea to repent of homosexuality.

 

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



"Doom Town" is one of Jack Chick's tracts about homosexuality, and one of several that retells the story of Sodom. Part of what makes this one notable is the over-the-top artwork (not drawn by Chick himself), with a never ending cavalcade of WTF moments.


Introduction
Jessica:

Since Chick decided to get the ball rolling again with his Anti-Gay rhetoric with the release of "The Uninvited" I thought it might be a good time to look into some of the other tracts he's done on the same subject. And man, not much has changed over the last twenty years.

 

Andrew:

Jack Chick is some kind of twisted genius. Most people only have it in them to create a single, notorious, awesomely bad work. What you usually see in the realm of religious tracts is a stream of boring mediocrity. Most people would release a "Dark Dungeons" tract and call it quits. Chick dares to go lower, however. Doom Town is remembered, at least in certain circles, for one particular panel, but the work as a whole is still a thing of wonder.

 

 

 

 

 


Cover Jessica:

Danger: Living in this town may be hazardous to your health. In case of accidental ingestion, do not attempt to induce vomiting and contact a poison control center immediately.

 

Andrew:

Unfortunately, the tract itself may induce vomiting.

As silly as it may sound, I'm glad we got to this one before Jabberwock. Sometimes we feel like a new animated show comparing ourselves to "The Simpsons", in that they have a vast archive and have already tackled a lot of good material, so we worry that our dissections of the same tracts would be pale imitations. We have more confidence with the newer tracts, but Jabberwock never covered Doom Town, despite it being of 1991 vintage.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 1 Andrew:

How much do you want to bet this is based on an actual photograph?

We haven't been able to find and watch the video Chick mentions, though Jeremiah Films still sells it, in staunch denial of the many changes that have occurred between 1991 and today. Then again, this is a company that publishes what it calls the "Pagan Invasion Series", which covers among other topics, evolution and Halloween.

 

Jessica:

"AIDS: What You Haven't Been Told." If this video is anything like I imagine it is, then I get the feeling we haven't been told a lot of it because it's right wing, clap trap propaganda instead of actual fact. And that's a good thing.

Did you know they also sell fetal body parts after abortions and that Christmas is pagan and Santa was originally a representation of Odin? Their movies totally told me so!

 

 

 

 

 


Page 2
Jessica:

This point has been made in our reviews of other tracts, but just because you are gay it doesn't automatically follow that you have AIDS. And just because you have AIDS, it doesn't mean you are necessarily gay. Gay people can't give blood in America, which goes to show that this sort of fear mongering works. But even if they could, all donated blood is tested, so what's the problem here?

 

Andrew:

Yeah, Chick seems to believe that AIDS funding is solely about gay people. But even in 1991, there were a lot of non-gay AIDS patients, such as hemophiliacs, intravenous drug users, people married to the above groups, and noted heterosexual Magic Johnson.

And you know what, this "blood terrorism" never freaking happened. I mean, it wouldn't shock me if someone somewhere said something dumb like that, but this tract pretends that this wackiness is representative of all gays. Fear them!

 

 

 

 

 


Page 3 Jessica:

These angry gays will TEAR US TO PIECES!!! Gay people are like rabid animals! You can't expect them to be able to control themselves! Did anyone bring any bear mace just in case?

 

Andrew:

Lol. "Bear" mace. Will it work on the otters?

He wants to prove he loves them. Prove it to whom, exactly? The gays? God? His friend Charlie?

"That's what this is all about. Making me look good."

 

Jessica:

For a second I thought our mustachioed friend here seemed kind of familiar... but then I realized that it was just a bunch of hooey.

 

 

 


Page 4 Jessica:

I find it hilarious that he compares a peaceful rally championing gay right to the sordid depiction we are about to see of biblical Sodom. Jack Chick has absolutely NO sense of scale.

 

Andrew:

Is "videoed" even a word?

"Hey, I 'videoed' your rally of my own free will for 3 hours. You are now obligated to listen to my spiel." It's like some kind of time-share thing.

 

Jessica:

Wow. It looks like Ash from Streets of Rage 3 actually showed up to the rally. Talk about celebrity cameos.

 

 

 


Page 5 Jessica:

Abraham changed world history. By supposedly being the ostentatious patriarch of two religions with the same back story and a lot of the same holy sites. Thanks for that, by the way. It's worked out like gangbusters.

 

Andrew:

Uh, maybe a better solution would have been to impose some freaking discipline on their herdsman.

 

Jessica:

Judicious beheadings tend to get people to simmer down and play nice together right quick.

 

 

 


Page 6 Jessica:

Why exactly is it greedy to pick the better option if honestly asked? It seems kind of arbitrary.

 

Andrew:

Here we have the classic Chick habit of emphasizing random words.

Nice lizard, by the way.

 

Jessica:

That is quite a nice lizard, though damned if I know why it's the primary focus of the panel.

Lot is looking a tad derpy here. Like he just tripped out on a bad hit of mescaline and is slowly realizing he's a pseudo-mythical bible figure moonlighting in a shitty hate comic.

And say what you will about living in Doom Town, but I hear the housing market and real estate values are top rate. Good schools too.

 

Andrew:

I think Doom Town is located somewhere near Circuit City, where service is state of the art. It too is doomed.

 


Page 7 Jessica:

Somehow Lot strolls into town to set up shop and manages to miss how it's populated entirely by flaming stereotypes.

 

Andrew:

I guess the Sodom tourist bureau must have been working overtime to keep Lot from finding out what a "gay town" it was.

 

Jessica:

It was the worst mistake Lot EVER made. Except for that one time. And that other time.

 

Andrew:

Do you ever wonder if maybe Lot didn't have the best judgment?

 


Page 8 Jessica:

Assuming that gays in the Bible were out to any great degree I sincerely doubt they strolled around rocking full beards and bouffant hairdos. This is like a 1970's version of what a bad gay stereotype looks. Which is made even sadder by the fact this was written in 1991.

 

Andrew:

One thing I love about these "Sodom and Gomorrah" tracts is how they uniformly portray the city of Sodom as being inhabited entirely by men, and the citizens appear to do nothing other than sin. How do they reproduce? How do they pay the bills?

 

 

 

 

 


Page 9 Jessica:

Lot is sad. Perhaps he feels left out.

Also, gay men don't tend to be referred to using female pronouns no matter how femme they happen to be. Unless this happens to be a depiction of something else going on here, in which case fuck you, Jack. Fuck you right in your ass.

 

Andrew:

And heeeeere it is, the panel everyone remembers from this tract. "It's that time again!"

See, where did this kid come from? Unless the Sodomites work like Kronar, Son of Man (NSFW) or something.

 

Jessica:

This kid and Lisa need to start some sort of support group. There seems to be an awful lot of this in Chick Land. The sad thing is that he had enough of a conscience to pull Lisa since it involved incest and rape. Since it's a homosexual doing the pedo-rape here that make it A-OK in his book.

 

 

 


Page 10 Andrew:

One thing I always thought was goofy about this story was how Abraham actually bargains with God, managing to talk him down from just making the city to go splat without warning, to actually having some conditions. Following the Documentary hypothesis, this story is from the "J writer" who tends to portray God as being more human and more reasonable than some other writers.

 

Jessica:

It does seem somewhat absurd for an omniscient, omnipotent being to defer to a human after making a decision like that. Of course, God has been known to show regret before, so who can say. I am sure it is whichever interpretation is more convenient for the fundie referencing it at the time.

 

Andrew:

Seriously. They mean to tell us that, in this case, God wasn't sure what to do about the situation, so he let Abraham talk him down?

 

 

 


Page 11 Jessica:

It really seems outlandish that there was NOT ONE semi-decent person in the whole city. I call hyperbole on that.

 

Andrew:

Sooooo what about those poor molested children? Were they not innocent victims?

 

Jessica:

Naw. The kids were totally sinners too. They... kicked puppies and stuff. Besides, you know that you can catch the ghey, so they were going to grow up to be homosexuals too. God just nipped that right in the bud. He is loving and righteous you know.

Christ...

 

 

 


Page 12 Andrew:

You gonna get graped!

 

Jessica:

"Hey there, Sailor!" and other random, inappropriate soliloquies.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 13 Jessica:

Of course this is a summation and smoothing over of the actual text found in the Bible. But I think it would be awesome if the Bible was actually a little closer to the interpretation we see here.

Genesis 19:5 - "And then da Queenz holla'd at Lot and sez 'Get dem gorgeous slabs of man-meat to back doze asses out here. We're gonna rape 'em!" (Latter Day Urban Translation)

 

Andrew:

...and this always passes without comment. "Here, rape my virgin daughters!" One of the cases where the morality of characters in Bible stories is inconsistent with so called "Biblical morality". Yeah, I'm sure Biblical literalists can spin it, but that's just fucked up.

 

Jessica:

But you see, that's the rub of the whole thing. Adults engaging in consensual (hopefully) loving relationships with members of the same sex deserve to be incinerated while guys who pimp out their virgin daughters to quell an angry mob are considered "righteous." I often do wonder how people can use the term "Biblical Morality" without the slightest hint of irony.

 

 

 


Page 14 Andrew:

It's bad enough that they're perverts, but swearing perverts? That's just beyond the pale.

 

Jessica:

"The swearing, clawing perverts lunged for him - thrusting and heaving - covered in the sweat of passion and the musk of exertion, reaching eagerly for Lot in..."

...oh. I'm sorry. I thought we had stepped over into an alternative Harlequin novel. The writer's word choice here make it seem like he's got some unresolved issues he really wants to vent. Shame he works for a bigot like Chick though.

 

Andrew:

He's terrified, but also a little aroused.

 

 

 


Page 15 Jessica:

They couldn't find Lot's door, but they found their ways home. So gay people get blinded, then they get roasted. God is love, all right.

 

Andrew:

The left panel has a distinct "zombie movie" quality to it.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 16 Jessica:

Those angels sure are pushy. Dragging people around. Although I guess it's a step up from tripping people.

 

Andrew:

This illustrator seems to rely heavily on movie references. His Moses, for example, looks like Charlton Heston in the 1956 version of The Ten Commandments. In this tract, Lot is clearly Stewart Granger in The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah. This has the unintended effect of badly dating Mrs. Soon-to-be-a-salt-pillar's hairstyle.

 

Jessica:

Yeah, the use of photo references helps to make the drawing look more realistic. But unfortunately they come so close (but not close enough) that they topple right into the Uncanny Valley, so Lot and his wife look like plastic action figures rather than real people.

Each sold separately. Collect the whole set!

And coming soon the Incinerated Sodom™ playset! Lighter fluid not included.

 

Andrew:

You can recreate all the icky aspects of the Bible in the comfort of your living room! Make poor addle-brained Lot drunkenly father children with both of his daughters! Then with Barbie!

 


Page 17 Jessica:

Screw superior morality, all you need is superior fire power! That will teach the rebellious queers not to worship you!

 

Andrew:

While the left panel has undoubted style, I still like the "my word, my hand seems to be on fire!" version of this from Uninvited.

 

Jessica:

God DOES NOT play games! Natch.

 

Andrew:

Well, it's been said that God does not play dice with the universe... but I thought that was just because he prefered Parcheesi. I guess God's just a serious stick in the mud. No fun at parties.

I find it interesting that Chick and others like him really stress this point- that Sodom was destroyed just for homosexuality, and God never destroyed another city for the same reason. If one buys into this mode of thinking, it leaves open the question of why God doesn't destroy, say, San Francisco (I know its a stereotype, but for Chick, all stereotypes are always true), or maybe Las Vegas (which people actually call Sin City, you know, like a city founded and dedicated to sin.) But only Sodom got that treatment.

 


Page 18 Jessica:

...and because God doesn't light cities on fire anymore, preferring to work out of sight like the god-damn Wizard of Oz, he waits until you die to char-broil your ass.

 

Andrew:

Yeah, and here's Charlton Heston Moses to prove it. "You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you. God damn you all to hell!"

So wait, now homosexuals are rebellious? And then rebellion is like witchcraft, so that means homosexuals are like witches. Somewhere our syllogism has broken down.

 

Jessica:

I like the apologetic tone of the caption in the second panel. It's almost like he saying "You know, I don't WANT to hate gay people. But, it says right there in the Bible God condemns it. I don't have any choice in the matter. So whatta gonna do? Better write some legislation to take away their rights and encourage violent hate crimes against them!"

Oh, goody! He whipped out Leviticus! It's a good thing too. Because it totally does say that gay people are abominations. You know what else it says? Don't shave your side burns. Keep disabled people out of church. Don't eat all sorts of stuff, including shell fish. It would seem like people disobey all sorts of things from Leviticus. Would it be all that hard to skip the stuff about gay people as well?

 

 

 


Page 19 Jessica:

Duuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrr.......

Or, subsequently, our gay friend here finds what the TV guy just said so ridiculous he just can't wipe the look of incredulity off of his face. All he can retort with is "You're pissing people off." Which is a good point when you think about it.

 

Andrew:

Knowing that Lot and Co. are taken from a movie, it makes me wonder where these two bozos came from. Our mustachioed friend bears a certain resemblance to famous womanizer Errol Flynn.

"I came to show you the error of your ways. See, I have sex with women, and I do it-a lot."

As for mister bowl-cut, I haven't got a clue.

 

Jessica:

I just noticed something. Errol Flynn here is an exact mirror image of himself from the first panel on Page 4. I'm guessing whoever drew this figured that by doing it at opposite ends of the comic no one would notice, but this shows the really shoddy workmanship here.

 

 

 


Page 20 Jessica:

Set them free from what? Did it ever occur to you that gay people might be happy, and perhaps even proud, of their orientation? Just because you think being attracted to or loving someone with the same junk as yourself is icky doesn't mean the whole world thinks like you do, nor are they obligated to.

Also, this is an exact copy of the second panel on Page 3 with the background cut out. They didn't even bother to mirror it this time.

 

Andrew:

Much like in "Born That Way" where hatred and homosexuality are repeatedly equated, I find this "all sins created equal" thing to be weird and overzealous. Like arson, murder, and jaywalking. Disrespecting your parents or taking the Lord's name in vain will send you to hell just as much as killing someone. I mean, ok, being a hypocrite isn't a good thing, but it's a far cry from rape and murder. Let the punishment fit the crime. Oh well, remember, kids, Christians like Chick have a much stronger moral compass than the rest of us.

That's just a bunch of hooey.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 21 Jessica:

That shirt... is hideous. No self respecting gay man would allow himself to be buried in a suit that tacky.

 

Andrew:

Whee! It's just that easy! "Escape the sin of homosexuality" with prayer. That'll make it all better!

 

Jessica:

"We're only telling you your a filthy, degenerate sinner and that your love is an abomination worthy of a horrific and painful death because we love you!"

"Trust Jesus. Please. PRETTY PLLLEEEAAASSSEEEE?!?!?!" Do you notice you never see The Dawk saying in his books "Would you please, please, PLEASE accept the Gene-Centered view of Evolution? With cream and sugar and a cherry on top??? I'll be your friend!"

That's because Dawkins is right, and Jack Chick is an ancient bigoted crank who sells hate, fear and pseudo-science for a living.

 

 

 


Conclusion
Andrew:

"It's that time again!"

We've said it before and we'll say it again. Chick just doesn't understand a damn thing about gay people, and he doesn't care enough to find out. There's the lazy conflation of AIDS and homosexuality, as though they were ALWAYS linked, there's the wildly inaccurate depiction of gay life, and the resolute insistence that gay people have some kind of nefarious agenda whenever they try to have other people respect their rights. Chick's the one with the agenda, one of hate and intolerance for people who disagree with him. And this isn't one that just says "we don't like you", it's political, an agenda shared by many elected officials- officials who ironically insist that "homosexuals control Congress". If lobbying to have laws belatedly passed that say in essence "yeah, I guess we shouldn't persecute you guys so much" means having control of Congress, then I... can't think of a way to end that sentence so that it makes any sense.

Sure, it's supposed to be "hate the sin, love the sinner" but just reading the words Chick uses to describe them in the above tract shows the obvious contempt he feels for gay people. It's the same thing with Arabs, Catholics, and pretty much anybody else. The occasional "God loves homosexuals too!" just doesn't outweigh the rest of it.

Regarding this tract's treatment of AIDS, with the "blood terrorism" and all that, I'd like to be able to say "it was early, and nobody knew" but A) that's not true, and B) Chick is still peddling the same stuff years later- just look at Uninvited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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Last Modified: December 22, 2013