Tract Dissections by Boolean Union Studios


Today's Candidate:


Satan Comes to Salem
© 2012 Jack Chick

Uploaded October 31st, 2013



What REALLY happened in Salem, and what God thinks about it. Finishes with a clear gospel message.

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



"Satan Comes to Salem" is a tract who's fact checking comes not from history, but from the Daniel Day Lewis film version of The Crucible. This comic gives the standard recounting of the events surrounding the Salem Witch Trials as filtered through the lens of Arthur Miller. Interspersed with some heavy helpings of shoehorned scripture and random non-sequitur references to modern witches demands for "civil rights" it provides excellent atmosphere for the Devil's Birthday, a.k.a Halloween.


Introduction
Jessica:

So, here's the thing about this tract. Chick never comes right out and says that there's no such thing as witches. He can't. Too much of his work is predicated on the requirement that witches (as described in the Bible) are real, that they practice real, verifiable magic and are willing in league with the Prince of Lies. It is thus extremely humorous to watch him twist himself into knots trying to say that the children of Salem weren't REALLY tormented by witches, but that they could have been had any actual witches been around.

 

Sean:

Yeah, he kinda shot himself in the foot there, what with all the evidence to suggest that the whole ordeal was simply mass hysteria. Though I must say I'm surprised he actually did some research this time. So sadly, it seems unlikely that we will have him claiming that letters of the alphabet hold no meaning.

 

   
   

Cover Jessica:

Here we see Satan riding the Mayflower into port like Rameses on his chariot.

 

Sean:

Looks to me like he's trying to give them directions. Maybe that explains why the pilgrims ended up in the wrong place.

 

   
   

Page 1 Jessica:

Was there some sort of witchcraft related scandal that happened at the University of Massachusetts that I missed or did Chick just focus on UMass because it's in the same state as Salem and colleges are EEEEVULLLLL!??!!?

 

Sean:

Maybe he picked "UMass" because it uses the world "mass", which means that it must be the work of the SATANIC CATHOLIC CHURCH!!!!

 

Jessica:

Satan looming in the background there kind of reminds me of the Wicker Man. How'd it get burned indeed.

 

Sean:

One whole panel later, and he already made an obvious attack on Catholicism. Considering he finds them responsible for the Holocaust, it wouldn't surprise me if he thought the witch trials were an evil plot by the Catholic church to wipe out all the women in the colonies to ensure that the Puritans are unable to have children and die out within a generation.

 

   

Page 2
Sean:

Well if he's so powerful, why not just manifest and lay waste to the village? Or if you wanna go the sneaky route, mind control the whole lot of them and have a massive blood orgy that envelops the entire continent.

 

Jessica:

Those are some seriously sour looking bitches.

 

   
   
   

Page 3 Sean:

Is it just me, or does Tom here look more feminine than his so called "wife"?

 

Jessica:

Thomas Putnam and his wife, known to local friends and family as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head...

That is a BAAAADDDD comb-over.

 

   
   
   

Page 4 Jessica:

Hey, "Reverend" Parris... why the LONG face? Haw Haw Haw!

 

Sean:

Wow, what an obviously evil man! Owning two slaves is one thing, (heck, everyone did back then. Not that Chick would have you believe that) but he was educated at Harvard! I bet his liebral professor is responsible for brainwashing him into such a heathen!

 

Jessica:

Chick seems to think that putting words in quotes immediately robs them of any value. He does the same thing with gay "marriage." It's sophomoric at best.

 

   
   

Page 5 Jessica:

'Cause everyone knows them there brown people from that furrin' country down there are deep into witchcraft and occult goings-on's. That's why we have to get down there as soon as possible and enslave them... for their own good, of course.

 

Sean:

If she's meant to be a Voodoo priestess then why does she look like a Gypsy? I really shouldn't have to explain why those are not the same thing, but as far as Jack is concerned, everything that doesn't fall under his own particular branch of Protestantism is interchangeable for any form of Satanism. Why do I get the feeling that at some point, we're going to get a "Zoroastrian" ritual that involves sticking pins into a doll, while wearing an Aztec headdress, and then doing a ghost dance around an altar of burning incense in the middle of Stonehenge?

 

Jessica:

Wait, so Satan was ready to use them but NOT by actually tormenting them with witches? WTF?

 

   
   

Page 6 Jessica:

The girl with the tongue hanging in from the right is a nice touch.

 

Sean:

Uh... that demon looks kind of, well, kinda like this.

 

Jessica:

He "cured" her, all right. With his belt. Is it intentional that John Proctor looks like someone's drunken step-father there?

 

   

Page 7 Jessica:

Because if the Old Testament doesn't justify your irrational bigotry, use the New Testament. The Christian god is bi-polar for a reason.

 

Sean:

So we should ignore the Old Testament laws and focus solely on the new. Except when it comes to Creationism, Gay Marriage, the 10 commandments and Isaiah’s prophecies.  Or just whenever it's convenient, same thing.

 

Jessica:

FANG!!!! NOOOOO!!!!!

 

   

Page 8 Jessica:

He just can't help himself from using those scare quotes, now can he?

 

Sean:

Oh joy, more of Pasty McWhitebread Jesus. I've talked about this before, that he actually seems to acknowledge the most likely appearance that Jesus Christ would have had, and yet still insists on drawing him as a Caucasian man, despite even his own admission that his skin was brown. This says a lot about what kind of person he really is.

 

Jessica:

Gee, it kind of makes you wonder if ANY religious authorities have ANY idea what they're talking about. I don't see Chick trotting out this little dispensation whenever he's condemning Masons, Jews, Muslims, Gays, Satanists, Missionaries and others to the flames of Hell.

 

   

Page 9 Jessica:

Someone, somewhere on Earth has the MOST POWERFUL LIGHTHOUSE EVAR!!!!

Oh, and don't tell Chick, but stars don't actually look like that.

 

Sean:

Given the angle of that baby's head in relation to the rest of his body, I don't think he's sleeping.

 

   
   
   

Page 10 Jessica:

John 3:16... yadda yadda yadda...

 

Sean:

It took me several minutes to figure out what the second panel was supposed to be. Rorschach paintings are more coherent than Chick's art.

 

   
   
   

Page 11 Jessica:

Is it just me, or does that woman in the background look just like the Aww Yea Guy? So, I guess you could say she looks like a witch, kinda.

 

Sean:

This is something I've noticed about Jack's writing style, he tends to use the word "little", in a quaint almost Rockwellian (It's a word, because I say it is) context. I'm not sure why, but it feels very off to me. Especially when he uses it to describe such a precious figure.

 

Jessica:

Which Rockwell would that be?

 

   

Page 12 Sean:

Not even Jack Chick can deny the utter bad-assery that is Giles Corey. Though he's such an inept writer/researcher that he got the spelling wrong. That's how incompetent he is, even when he does something right he will find a way to botch it up.

 

Jessica:

I don't know how many were imprisoned during the trials, but the total number who were executed or died in custody seems to be under 70 from all reputable sources I can find. So Jack... Citation Needed.

 

   
   

Page 13 Jessica:

This Tituba looks nothing like the Tituba depicted on Page 5.

 

Sean:

I rest my case, he isn't even consistent within his own tracts.

 

 

 

   
   

Page 14 Sean:

It says a lot about an artist when his ordinary people are more terrifying in appearance than his Demons.

 

   
   
   

Page 15 Jessica:

"Who could prove it wasn't true?" Pot, meet kettle.

 

Sean:

Only the middle girl looks remotely like her age. The one on the left looks to be on the bad side of 30, and I'm pretty sure the one on the right is a 45 year old man.

 

Jessica:

So angels were recording everything but did nothing. Couldn't they have tripped one of the girls or something?

 

   

 

 

 

Page 16 Sean:

Just what is that first panel supposed to be anyway? It doesn't look anything like a prison, and doesn't match the narration in the slightest.

 

Jessica:

How does that gallows setup work, anyway? Usually they kick a bench out from under you or open a trap door in the floor. From the looks of that they would have to haul all three up that ladder, tie the noose around their necks and then give them the old heave-ho. Seems kind of overly complicated to me.

 

Sean:

Subtle imagery Jack, trying to invoke the image of the Jim Crow lynchings. Although given what we know about his age and views on race, I wouldn't be surprised if he drew these from memory.

 

   
   

Page 17 Sean:

Wait a minute, this can't be a judge! We all know that Judges are identified by their aircraft carrier sized noses!

 

Jessica:

GASP! Scandal!! The hypocrisy!!! Is Jack actually impugning the character of a God appointed judge!? What a Philistine!!1!

 

   
   
   

Page 18 Jessica:

So the witches (who ride on broomsticks, you know) are demanding equal right. Such as? Do they want to be hanged as well?

 

Sean:

What an amazing display of black magic! That witch's disembodied forearm is being levitated and manipulated at will!

 

   
   
   

Page 19 Sean:

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT IS THAT ABOMINATION IN THE FIRST PANEL!!!?? 'TIS TRULY THE SPAWN OF RI-CHAN!

 

Jessica:

Actually, on first glance I could have sworn that was Knox.

 

   
   

Page 20 Jessica:

Wouldn't be a Chick Tract without a cameo by old Faceless here.

 

Sean:

Having to watch the entirety of the lives of every single sinner that died before you would be one Hell of a wait. I think by the time my turn would roll around we would have exceeded the life span of the Universe by an exponential factor... 17 times.

 

   
   
   

Page 21 Jessica:

The angel doesn't even have a sinner this time. He's just standing on the cliff pantomiming. Maybe he's warming up before his shift or something.

 

Sean:

Well it can't be easy tossing as many people into the pit as he does, think of how many morbidly obese sinners there has to be.

 

Jessica:

Chick couldn't seem to fill the 22nd panel here, so in this comic we get two inane questionnaires to fill out. We usually exclude the one that comes after this in the back of every comic he prints but he included this one specifically. I guess it means more if you fill the form out in triplicate. That way accounting can have a copy for their records, too.

 

   

Conclusion
Sean:

It's hard to imagine a more perfect tract to riff on this time of year. Watching our old friend flip back and forth between condoning the oppression of "actual" witches, while condemning the exact same mind set towards innocent people is true comedic gold. Happy Halloween from all of us at Boolean Union! Remember to avoid unwrapped candy, stay clear of Dentist's houses, and take it easy on the Pumpkin Schnapps.

 

   
   
 

 


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Last Modified: December 22, 2013