Not Another Relgious Tract Dissection by Andrew Bean and Jessica Blum


Today's Candidate:


The Poor Little Witch
© 1987 Jack Chick

Uploaded March 1st, 2011



She thought she could mess with Satan and then quit. But someone had to pay the price.

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
Original Page 20 | Original Page 21 | Conclusion



"The Poor Little Witch" is one of Chick's many comics about the occult. The tract is apparently based on the story of Dr. Rebecca Brown, one of Jack Chick's sources for occult information. Story-wise, "The Poor Little Witch" has some similarities with the (in)famous "Dark Dungeons" (which is based on information from John Todd). In both tracts, a girl is seduced into witchcraft by a sophisticated older woman, but after a terrible event, the girl tries to back out, but is unable to do so until a Christian intervenes. The biggest difference? The original ending of this comic was very much darker.


Introduction
Andrew:

Chick's so much fun when he does stuff based on the occult. Moreso than a lot of other subjects, Chick relies really heavily on outside sources, in this case Dr. Brown. I think it goes without saying that his "experts" don't know what they're talking about, but Chick doesn't know that. Whenever I read a comic like that, I have to constantly remind myself that these people actually believe that this is real, and that the world works like this.

 

Jessica:

It's kind of scary when you think about it. These people vote. And teach children. And pick up your garbage. Do you want nutjobs like this rifling through your kitchen refuse? JUDGING YOU?!?!

 

 

 

 

 


Cover Andrew:

You know, when I first saw this cover, I thought it was another one of Chick's "Halloween" themed tracts. I don't know if that would have been better or worse.

 

Jessica:

When you consider the violent end this comic originally took, this cover seems way too cutesy. Like you're expecting to read a light-hearted story in which a young girl gets into trouble and learns an important lesson about life.

Instead she's kidnapped, raped and murdered by Satanists who control the entire town in which she lives. Serious case of Covers Always Lie if you ask me.

 

Andrew:

I'm assuming Chick is using the word "poor" to mean "unfortunate" rather than "impoverished". Actually, I think we should get "The Poor Little Witch" together with "The Poor Revolutionist". Seems like they'd have a lot in common, with all the people trying to kill them. Maybe they could solve each other's problems? He could gun down those threatening Satanists, and she could put a hex on that mean old Catholic priest who sentences him to be executed.

 

 

 


Page 1 Andrew: Playing volleyball is a one-way road to consorting with the devil. I always knew it.

 

Jessica:

The girls (?) on the other side of the net just look so damn happy with themselves, while the girl exclaiming "Of course!" doesn't seems nearly as upset as she should be given the circumstances. Or perhaps she's a bit more mature than her classmates and really doesn't give a shit about some P.E. Volleyball game. Perish the thought.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 2
Andrew:

Chick is so subtle. "HINT HINT! Mandy's problems are due to her mother being single! Divorce causes satanism! Listen to MEEEEE!"

 

Jessica:

"I'm the only one to support this family..." I mean, Jesus! What are you? Like, fourteen? Get a goddamn job, already. Pull your weight or you'll be out on your ass! Friggin' kid...

Let this be a lesson to all you women out there who may be having marital difficulties. If you leave your husband, your daughter might start sleeping over at her teacher's houses where they will teach her witchcraft and next thing you know, she'll be shotgunning baby blood and getting gutted by Satanists.

What I'm trying to say is... divorce is bad, mmm'kay?

 

Andrew

So it really is bad experiences in gym class that make her go bad? Geez, then considering my own gym class experience, I should be Satan's right hand man by now. But alas, no demon ever came to me and offered me UHHNLIMITED POWAAAAHH!

 

Jessica:

Does anyone remember that movie "Little Monsters?" I like to think this particular fiery demon would be played by Howie Mandel in the film adaptation. And that he turns into dirty laundry whenever light shines on him.

 


Page 3 Jessica:

Teacher wants you to stay after school. Bow Chicka-Bow-Wow...

 

Andrew:

It's Mrs. White, no relation to Ms. Frost. I wonder if they know each other... at least this satanic temptress is apparently married.

 

Jessica:

Maybe they get together at conventions ever couple of months and trade tips. On... you know... how to seduce teenage girls. <Ahem>

 

Andrew:

Yeah, there's a subtext to both comics that Chick doesn't exactly go out of his way to deny. See next panel.

 


Page 4 Andrew:

"Go easy with her." Indeed, this comic offers us a delectable palette of sapphic delights.... or not.

 

Jessica:

All witches are lesbians. Or, all lesbians are witches. I forget which.

I know we point it out over and over with these things but please note that Mandy's face is not draw the same way twice. I think we can safely say this particular tract came from the hands of the Master himself.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 5 Jessica:

Holy shit. Check out the tacky wallpaper. Mrs. White needs to fire her interior decorator.

 

Andrew:

Well, we're already ahead of Dark Dungeons in that we actually show the characters using magic, so that we can't say it's all in their fictional heads.

Actually I think these panels would be far more fun if we follow the "covert lesbianism" theme raised in the previous panel, and wipe out the images but keep the dialog: "Hey Mandy, do you want to learn some really neat things?" "Wow! Could I do that?" "It's easy... we'll show you how."


Jessica:

What? That's what chicks are supposed to do at slumber parties, right? Skinemax would never lie!

Ok, you go over your teacher's house with a bunch of other girls and witness her levitating a table. First thing that would go through my head would be "Is this some sort of crappy Criss Angel thing?" followed by "Jesus Christ! Magic is real?!?!?" I do not, however, think I would react as calmly as Mandy appears to here.

 

 

 


Page 6 Jessica:

I could think of a few more interesting things to do with an unholy mastery of the dark arts of Necromancy than make some random bitches drop a ball in gym class. These people have no imagination whatsoever.

 

Andrew:

And yeah, who the hell is Bruth?

 

Jessica:

You know, Bruth Sthpringtheen. You can't lose with The Bothhh on your thide.

 

Andrew:

First time we've seen Mandy without that humongous bow in her hair. What's up with the fashion? Oh that's right, it was 1987. We're lucky she's not also wearing a ripped jean jacket and legwarmers.

 


Page 7 Jessica:

What kind of bullshit incantation is that "Bruth, you are my friend." (or should that be "fwiend" given the unfortunate speech impediments everyone has) If you're consorting with demons I figure that calls for some serious theatrics. Like masturbating with a crucifix or something. Guess they're saving that for the next "sleep over."

 

Andrew:

I like to think that all demons everywhere put the word "baby" at the end of all of their sentences. "Foolish mortal! One does not toy with demons, baby!"

 

 

 

 

 


Page 8 Jessica:

Rev. Smiley? No. Just NO. Is the church next door run by Pastor Yuk?

 

Andrew:

Hey hey, it's another love gift- but this one's not from God.

 

Jessica:

I'm glad the Red Devil mascot is planning to look after the good Reverend. Smiley already looks pretty damn jittery as is.

 

 

 


Page 9 Andrew:

I like how these witches basically assume the Bible is correct and true: "he doesn't believe the Bible... so he's ours" -which implies that if the minister did believe the Bible, he wouldn't be vulnerable to their techniques.

 

Jessica:

You're right. Though this is just an extension of Chick's actual beliefs (and a lot of other fundamentalists, actually), that all people "know" God is real and instead choose to ignore or defy him. The only way someone could disagree with him would be by deluding themselves. I think there's a term for that, actually.

"I'll ask him to join the lodge." Because all Masons are Satanists. I hope he tries to go for the conspiracy hat trick here. This thing needs to be brought full circle.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 10 Jessica:

She's grown so fast! Soon she'll be out of training bras!

This teacher is Grade "A" creepy.

 

Andrew:

Still following the Dark Dungeons template. "I knew you were ready by the way you played the game. But this is just the beginning."

That looks like one of those churches you find in the inner city, where it's just an old storefront- I've even seen converted movie theaters.

 

Jessica:

"Mrs. White, are you sick? You're shaking!" Yes, Mandy. Just the thought of a shoe repair business makes me violently ill. Shifty, back door operations, the lot of them. Just buy a new pair! It's not that hard!!!

 

 

 


Page 11 Jessica:

That Gospel Hall is totally evil. How stupid do you have to be to buy that crap? Gaudy? Pretentious? But evil? Come on, now.

 

Andrew:

Mandy's never seen a barn?

Heck, I thought every town had a spooky place like that. Where I grew up, there was an abandoned building often known as "The Klan Shack" that kids carefully avoided after dark.

 

Jessica:

We had a place like that in my town too. Ironically enough it was rumored to be a meeting place for Satanists. Go figure.

 

 

 


Page 12 Andrew:

So... what is that little guy doing in the upper left-hand corner? Running the stereo?

 

Jessica:

Naw. That's the CB radio. "Breaker, breaker. We've got a bogey in a plain white wrapper, come back?"

Think about this logically for just a moment. "Sister" Loraine got knocked up, carried the child for nine months, then brought it here so they could chop it up and drink it's blood. Do you think anyone would notice this woman had a kid one day and not the next? You remember all the hullabaloo over the dumpster babies? People keep track of these things. You can't disappear an infant that easily.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 13 Andrew:

Oh come on... really? I question Jack Chick's commitment to verisimilitude.

You know, when Debbie joined her cult in "Dark Dungeons", she pretty much just had to show up. They didn't even make her pay dues.

 

Jessica:

Yeah, this coven doesn't seem to be too keen on retention techniques. You go from levitating tables directly to lesbian orgies and right to baby slaughter and blood drinking. Slow down people. You can't come on rushed like some drunken prom date. You're going to scare them away.

 

 

 

 

 


Page 14 Andrew:

Sooo.... did she drink?

 

Jessica:

I'm thinking so. You know teenagers can't handle peer pressure. I mean, all the cool kids are doing it.

"Our High Priest IS the Chief of Police!" Everyone in this town is a Satanist! You're in the Twilight Zone!!!

 

Andrew:

I like the demented teddy bear. I guess it's supposed to represent her lost innocence, but it just looks insane.

 

Jessica:

Can't sleep... Bear will eat me... Can't sleep... Bear will eat me...

 


Page 15 Jessica:

The big Christian church. Located right next to the small Jewish Synagogue. And across the street from the miniscule Muslim Mosque. It's where all the Islamic Little Bits go to worship.

 

Andrew:

Ah, so there is in fact a Mr. White.

This is getting to be more like an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" sort of story, where everyone in town is already a Satanist, except for our protagonist (and a handful of Real Christians (TM)).

 

 

 

 

 


Page 16 Jessica:

What's this about being "Foreordained to damnation?" I think Chick is starting to trip over his theology. I thought everyone was ordained to Hell, unless you do something to stop it. This sounds downright Calvinist.

 

Andrew:

Once again, shades of Debbie. "Oh God, my life's a mess. Help me!"

 

 

 

 

 


Page 17 Andrew:

I know that Mrs. Grayson is a stand-in for Dr. Brown, but I like to think that she's actually Debbie from "Dark Dungeons", as an old woman. Perhaps she's married to Mike.

 

Jessica:

I've read that Mrs. Grayson is supposed to actually look like Rebecca Brown as well.

 

Andrew:

Mrs. Grayson is so jaded that she doesn't even react to "they killed a baby." "Yes, sweety, that's nice."

 

Jessica:

You can tell that Grayson and White used to be part of the same cult because they both have the same shit taste in wallpaper. What the hell is wrong with these people?

 


Page 18 Jessica:

"TRUE servants of God" reminds me of that scene in From Dusk Till Dawn - "Are you a faithless preacher or are you a mean motherfucking servant of God?"

 

Andrew:

It washes away your sins, but will it wash away those satanists? Time will tell!

 

 

 

 

 


Page 19 Jessica:

Now that she has rebuked Bruth she can devote all her time to worshipping Bob Theegar.

 

Andrew:

But will she keep using that lousy Dark Dungeons manual?

 

 

 

 

 


Page 20 Jessica:

God has made you impervious.

Have I mentioned she looks like a total tool in that handkerchief.

 

Andrew:

And just like that, the story is over... so whatever happened to all those angry, murderous, baby-killing satanists? It's just a mystery!

 

 

 

 

 


Page 21 Jessica:

It like one of those barnyard children's toys. "The cow says Moooo..." "The God says Enter Thou into the joy of the Lord."

 

Andrew:

We seem to have jumped ahead of ourselves here. Of course, in the original version of the tract, Mandy met God a lot quicker than she expected.

 

Jessica:

This is a rather nonstandard depiction of Satan. I'm typically used to something more like this. Or this. I'm guessing Chick is far too much of a candy-ass to go the extra mile with this.

 

Andrew:

I never knew Satan bore such a strong resemblance to Lich. Take that, Light Warriors!

 


And now, for your edification and amusement: the original, non-bowdlerized ending to "The Poor Little Witch."See the two endings compared (opens new window.

Thanks to www.escapeplan.org/chick/Satanists/ for these images.


Original Page 20 Jessica:

Well, there you go. What did you expect to happen? Even the nauseously optimistic bible thumpers told you that if you went outside, you were going to get your ass killed. You've got no one to blame but yourself.

 

Andrew:

And there you have it, folks. Mandy was murdered by the Satanists. It's almost like an admission that Jesus won't solve all of your problems. You can chase away the demons, but not the demon worshippers.

 

Jessica:

"It's party time, kid!" It's that time again! I'm sensing a theme here, and I don't think I like it.

 

Andrew:

Also notice the name "Pastor Chuckwyn", who became Reverend Smiley in the current version of the tract. Why the change? Only Chick knows for sure.

 

Jessica:

Yeah, "Chuckwyn" just coincidentially buys it the same night as Mandy. Talk about contrived.

 

Andrew:

Maybe his massive consumption of Red Devil finally caught up to him.

 


Page 21 Jessica:

The Faceless God has been known to throw hissy fits at heathens when they stand before the great white throne on a number of occasions. But when he gets really worked up it always makes me harken back to a particularly narmtastic one in "Who Murdered Clarice." Panel #7.

"You devil**... you sold her baby ears for $75*** and I damn you to hell."

I also wouldn't be surprised if Faceless there was all bipolar, see-sawing back and forth between gushing over someone's piety and faith to having a pseudo-drunken shit fit at someone who cheated on their taxes. How is that arranged anyway? Do people go in alphabetical order? Or the order in which they died? Or do they draw straws or what?

 

Andrew:

Good point... in a lot of these God comes across almost as more Orcus on his Throne than Great White Throne Judgement.

At least now we see Mandy meeting God in the proper context- not as something down the road, but as an immediate event. Also, "Chuckwyn" gets damned to hell. Why his lookalike Reverend Smiley got out of this fate is again unknown.

 

Jessica:

Maybe Smiley didn't die in his sleep because he was just so damn happy... while Chuckwyn was just a great big fat ass?

 

 

 


Conclusion
Andrew:

So here we have the rare Chick tract that actually follows its narrative to its logical end. In most cases, the tracts lose interest in the characters the instant they accept Jesus, and we never find out what happens to them. This is certainly true in a tract like "Dark Dungeons" where ominous characters like Ms. Frost are simply abandoned and forgotten. Of course, the re-edited version of "Poor Little Witch" is exactly like that. My guess is that it may simply have been too dark, even for Chick.

In many ways though, I think this tract is the inferior "Witchy Woman" to Dark Dungeons' "Black Magic Woman". But that's just me. Maybe if I'd helped make a movie about Poor Little Witch I'd be just as fond of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
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Last Modified: December 22, 2013